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My Thoughts on Saturday's Mike Franz C&E Seminar

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This past weekend I made the drive from Dallas to attend the Clarification and Enhancement seminar by Mike Franz, hosted at Colorado Heli-Ops. I'm currently working on my CFI down here in Dallas and figured that any wisdom I could get from a 44 year veteran of the industry would be good, and was I ever right.


The seminar's basic premise is that in most flight schools, the instruction is probably very good, but incomplete. It's not meant to be a sermon on the shortcomings of your instructor, or their instructor but more of an identification of training gaps that Mike has seen in 50+ turbine transitions for young CFI's that he's done.


We covered quite a few topics, everything from the "Damn Internet" and applying a filter to the information you take in, to the H/V diagram and performance issues. The goal, as I said, was not for him to brow beat us because we somehow recieved incomplete training, but to instill a mindset that we could take with us in the future and hopefully pass on to our students.


It worked. The last two or three hours was an ADM lesson with pop-up scenarios that Mike has encountered in his career. They ranged from the straight forward get-it-done missions to the high risk, high reward type, and everywhere in between. We learned how to systematically break down every potential threat, pressure or risk in a given scenario and looked at various ways to mitigate or eliminate that risk. After we'd done that, it was briefing time in front of everyone. The critique and questions at the end by Mike and everyone else were really beneficial, as they would sometimes present factors or thoughts that you had never considered.


This seminar has really helped me think about this helicopter thing in a whole new light, and I hope that I get to pass this on to other potential pilots soon.


My overall impression: it was easily worth a 27 hour round trip drive and the price of admission. If there is any way that you can get to one of his C&E seminars, do so. Whether you're a pre-solo student pilot or a 10,000 hour ATP, there is something you can get out of this class.

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