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Instructing building ADM and Risk Assessment


jjsemperfi
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So it's funny how an instructor with 1500 hrs might only have 300 to 400 hrs of actual stick time, agreed? For the most part, I think instructing just builds ADM and Risk Assessment. Most students could probably fly more gracefully than a very high time instructor (although I would imagine that after so many hrs flying, gracefully isn't exactly on many high time pilots top priorities). Although that instructor will be running circles around said student with his thought process. Do you guys think that pilots, both fixed and rotary, that have been CFI's have an advantage over those who never got it?

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Do you guys think that pilots, both fixed and rotary, that have been CFI's have an advantage over those who never got it?

 

All other things being equal, yes.

 

Also: A 1500 hour instructor with only 3-400 hours of stick time I would hope will still have more hours than most student pilots. I don't think a student pilot can fly more gracefully than a high time instructor in most cases.

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Just being in the cockpit is usually enough to maintain basic proficiency. Once you pass your checkrides, you have demonstrated that you can fly to that ability. You don't need to constantly prove that. What you really gain from instructing is a depth to your knowledge. Think of your training as a vessel, if it's built well it will hold all the experience and knowledge and deeper understandings of all of the concepts that you will pick up during your career. You can always get stick time back with a little practice. The experience you need to move on takes years to build.

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For sure. A little off topic but it relates to instructors building experience..... It would be very nice to see more schools with 135 tickets so instructors can get real world experience before they get out there. I know there are several schools out there that do have 135s, I just think it's a great idea. I've heard it's sometimes pretty hard to get the tickets but if you have the helicopters and there is work to be done, why not make more money? Once again, I know nothing, just saying.

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I'm not saying it's not real. It's real flying, real pattern work, real cross countries, real ADM. It's just not commercial work.

 

It's also real autorotations, real hovering autos, real scenario-based training, real pinnacles, real confined areas, real mountain flying, real full-down autos, real dodging birds, real dodging planes, real pilotage, real instruction, real fine-tuning, etc etc etc.

 

Instructing is way more than sitting in the left seat and talking. Just wait until your first time teaching autorotations and making sure the rotor doesn't overspeed. You have to be quick, you have to *know* the best way to catch the RRPM as it swings upward, and you have to be able to sense or understand when it will happen when you are not at the controls. It's harder than it sounds, and it's a blast.

 

Your post makes it seem like it's all patterns and cross-country. Come on.

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It's also real autorotations, real hovering autos, real scenario-based training, real pinnacles, real confined areas, real mountain flying, real full-down autos, real dodging birds, real dodging planes, real pilotage, real instruction, real fine-tuning, etc etc etc.

 

Instructing is way more than sitting in the left seat and talking. Just wait until your first time teaching autorotations and making sure the rotor doesn't overspeed. You have to be quick, you have to *know* the best way to catch the RRPM as it swings upward, and you have to be able to sense or understand when it will happen when you are not at the controls. It's harder than it sounds, and it's a blast.

 

Your post makes it seem like it's all patterns and cross-country. Come on.

 

I'm saying Flight Instruction is not commercial work. Employers say they want 200 hrs long line, or 500 hrs nvg or whatever, they don't say they want 1000 hrs of flight instruction experience. And I'm saying if CFI's could get that experience (long lining, pipeline patrol, tours, etc...) it would help when getting jobs beyond the school.

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That's a caveat. Technically, you don't need a medical at all if the pilot you are instructing is rated to fly that aircraft. You still need a valid commercial certificate and you are still getting paid.

 

It seems to me like you are kind of dreading being an instructor. It's really quite challenging and fun. Of course, YOUR mindset is what is going to determine how much you enjoy your job.

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I'm saying Flight Instruction is not commercial work. Employers say they want 200 hrs long line, or 500 hrs nvg or whatever, they don't say they want 1000 hrs of flight instruction experience. And I'm saying if CFI's could get that experience (long lining, pipeline patrol, tours, etc...) it would help when getting jobs beyond the school.

 

It's not the school's job to get you your next job. It's yours.

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It seems to me like you are kind of dreading being an instructor. It's really quite challenging and fun. Of course, YOUR mindset is what is going to determine how much you enjoy your job.

 

Oh not at all. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I'm actually more excited to fly than my student. He only wants to fly twice a week. That is going to take some getting used to. I've been making lesson plans for SBT's, going through the syllabus, trying to figure out a good way to train him and still adhere to it. I'm very excited.

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I'm waiting on money for my instrument (glitch in VA funding), so I haven't been flying and I miss it. So I'm really excited to get up again, and to do that in a instructing capacity is very exciting. I'm honored that they gave me a student without my CFII, which is usually the policy for our school.

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I know of a few schools that either have their own 135 operation or make arangements for ride alongs and such with other companies. I think it is a good idea to have experienced pilots mentor newer guys, there is alot of knowledge out there that isn't in the flight training books. As long as it doesn't take away from your focus on your students or your current job. This goes for the school also, I want to go to a school that is truely focussed providing the best training and safety of course. I couldn't imagine training at a place where 135 was the mission and training was a side gig.

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Correct, but CFI's don't long line, bail hay, transport sick people, provide tours.....

 

What's your point? Aeromedical flights don't bail hay, either. Electronic news gathering flights don't generally provide tours. Yada, yada. Instructors instruct. It's still a service that requires a commercial pilot certificate to obtain certification, although it's a teaching job.

 

We are providing flight instruction, and if you consider flight instruction commercial work, shouldn't it require a second class medical?

 

The FAA considers flight instruction to be commercial work, which is why an instructor requires a commercial pilot certificate.

 

A medical certificate is only required when acting as pilot in command, which is always the case when providing primary instruction to a pilot who is not rated in the aircraft. A third class medical is required, not a second.

 

When performing duties as an instructor, one is performing work for hire.

 

If I fly for a Part 135 operation, I am limited to a given number of commercial flight hours in a given period of time. Those hours do not all need to be for the Part 135 company. Providing flight instruction also counts against those commercial hours, and limit the amount of time I could fly under Part 135.

 

All of that aside, flight instruction is most definitely a critical, central aviation service. It's not a fringe activity that's not real flying. It's certainly real flying: as real as it gets. I've done most of the other kind of flying; corporate, utility, charter, fractional, and so on. I don't see where any of that is any different than flight instruction. It's all a job, it's all a different function.

 

I've done a lot of my instructing on the job while flying for some of those "real" flight operations, where the operator desired or required my possession of a current flight instructor certificate.

 

Flight instruction is most definitely real flying.

 

If you come to work flying one job, you're not being trained for another. Your'e being trained for that specific job. If you want experience in a different avenue, then you'll need to get employed in a vein of the industry that does that function. You're not likely to be learning long line work while flying aero medical, for example, nor while flying news gathering. If you want to do long line, you're going to need to go do forestry or firefighting, or construction, or other such functions, or attend a facility that teaches long line work.

 

Simply because you don't come away from a particular job (and this includes instruction) having experienced every function in the world does not invalidate that job. It simply means you did that one job. If you're tired of that job, it's very simple. Go do a different job.

 

A flight school doesn't owe you training for every job, though you can probably find a place that will offer you the training for a price.

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I understand it's real flying. I understand you're getting paid to do it. I understand that as a HEMS pilot you don't bail hay. What I'm saying is that if your school had a 135 operation (not set in place for instructors to build hours in different operating areas, but to make money, as is the goal with any business) and you got some experience doing pipe line patrol, then it will look good on the resume for later if you apply for a company who does pipe line patrol. Does this make sense, or am I wrong again?

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I understand it's real flying. I understand you're getting paid to do it. I understand that as a HEMS pilot you don't bail hay. What I'm saying is that if your school had a 135 operation (not set in place for instructors to build hours in different operating areas, but to make money, as is the goal with any business) and you got some experience doing pipe line patrol, then it will look good on the resume for later if you apply for a company who does pipe line patrol. Does this make sense, or am I wrong again?

 

JJ,

 

I chose to reply because you know I do not hate you! You are full of enthusiasm.

 

I ask what will you place on your resume?

 

[i rode along on a 135 flight and could not touch the controls (are the controls even in that pilot position) because I was not PIC qualified on the Certificate. I did not go through the Basic Indoc, EP, Haz Mat, airframe specific training and I am not familiar with Ops Specs or the company GOM.]

 

[i was not the PIC running the pipe line survey (I did not complete all aspects of the flight planning, w&b, pax control & briefing, perform on going RM) but was an observer and did not get specific training by the PIC that did not want me to be a distraction during the flight. I did not understand that this pipeline flight was not a 135 flight.]

 

I made this look as bad/ridiculous as I could to show how any of this on a resume to an employer would not matter.

 

On the other hand, any exposure or experience that you can get in career development and knowledge is good but not for a resume. Bring all that you can forward for yourself but know that as an employer, I consider the listing of all of this stuff on a resume as showing a lack of experience as PIC. Plus as an employer, I want to train you to our operational procedures and not have you bring forth what you think you know from manipulating the controls for a short period of time in an unfamiliar airframe while not receiving detailed mission specific instruction which takes place on the ground.

 

Concentrate on the task at hand and providing the best instruction that you can. You will grow in that position as a PIC. The "Real World" is where you are right now. Climb out of the helo after an auto gone bad and ask yourself what is the real world for the CFI and student?

 

For up and coming pilots, the session on resumes at Heli Success will clarify what is important to employers and what info gets your resume discarded quickly.

 

Mike

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For those of us who can't go, don't leave us hangin',...what WILL get our resume discarded quickly?

 

https://www.justhelicopters.com/tabid/228/Default.aspx

 

Scroll down and purchase the resume material.

 

A one hour presentation by Lyn can not be answered so simply here.

 

Mike

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Too little experience will get your resume discarded. Too many jobs. Too much non-flying employment or irrelevant employment (non-flying employment that shows you gained other valuable skills is okay). More than one page. Difficult to read (busy). Doesn't show what's important quickly, first. Makes it difficult for the employer to immediately see what he or she needs to see. Addressed to wrong party. Not addressed to anyone. Spelling errors. Grammatical errors. Poor formatting. Hype.

 

Those are a few of the things that will get your resume to the round file the fastest.

 

The employer wants to see that you're qualified. The employer prefers to see that you've got experience in something relevant. Helicopters, for example. Five former employers in the fast food industry doesn't do much to bolster your case, unless any of the jobs do show a rapid upward progression in leadership.

 

The resume should be addressed to the specific employer. Under your initial obligatory heading "Career Objective," if you put "To be a Pilot," you don't get much Mileage. If you put instead "Long Term Employment as AS350 Employment for Mountain Aire Aviation" you've got something. The employer knows you're customized your resume just for them. It shows interest, rather than simply sending the resume out to anyone. Be sure you spell the company name correctly, and include the "Inc." or "LLC" as required.

 

Your flight time breakdown should be simple and straight-forward. Start with the biggest time first:

2800 Total Time

2500 Pilot in Command

1800 Mountain

1700 Turbine

300 Long Line

250 Night

220 Second in Command

110 Instrument

 

...and do on. It's easiest to round off the times. Everyone knows that if you're employed in the industry, your'e easier to hire (gotta be flying to get a flying job, most of the time), and your times will be changing. They're easier to read and sort through if they're "8300 hours" rather than "8271 hours." Don't make the employer struggle to see your experience. Don't try to impress. Your experience is what it is.

 

Generally begin with an objective. Then below that list your professional certification. If you have more than one FAA certificate, list then in descending order, bullet point, with the certificate name, and the ratings on that certificate. Include your medical, and at the bottom of that, any other relevant certification. It's also a good place to add additional, if it's germane: an unrestricted passport, commercial driver, etc. Where you list your medical, also note it's class and it's issue date. It's a good practice to do the same with your CFI in parenthesis.

 

List your work experience. Too little (an exceptionally short work history, for example) doesn't look very good, as your resume should fill the paper. If you've worked a job after high school, gone to school, trained, and the instructed, list all of those. You're doing several things. You're showing a time-line and a progression (show the date first), or you're showing relevant experience (list the company first, then the date), or both. You're also giving a very brief description of each time period and job that shows your qualifications. This resume is a taste: it's not a life history. It's only purpose for being written up and sent is to get the employer to grant an interview. Don't put lengthy descriptions there, or waste the employer's time with information that ins't relevant. He doesn't care if you belong to the NRA, and doesn't care what church you attend. Shee doesn't care that you have six cats or that your interest is checkers, your star sign is Libra, or that you drive a honda. Frankly, unless you're filling space and have nothing else to put down, he doesn't care what school you attended...with the caveat that if the school has an agreement with his company or has sent a lot of students there, or it's a particularly impressive school or one that would lower his or her insurance, then the prospective employer does care. List it.

 

If you've no experience with resumes, then going with a professional service is a good idea. I didn't; I learned all about resume's by formatting and submitting thousands of them, seeing what worked and what didn't, talking to others, viewing others, and learning from the school of hard knocks. I made big mistakes. I did multi-page resumes. I did special papers, and even had a portfolio with a table of contents, photocopies of certificates and so on. I once did a huge resume, poster board size...there are a handfull of companies that might respond to that, but most wouldn't.

 

Understand from the get-go that pilots are a dime a dozen. Employers see hundreds, sometimes thousands of resumes on a regular basis. Seldom does anything stand out or impress. High time isn't impressive. Relevant experience isn't impressive. Advanced education isn't impressive. Let's face it; a doctorate might sound good to some, but does anyone care if you have a doctorate when delivering a patient to an emergency room, or slinging a bucket over a fire? Not really. All the resume is doing is showing that you're qualified for the job, have a good track record, and that you're not different in a bad way. Three pages of month-long jobs might be one of those bad ways.

 

Pilots are generally pretty much alike. In the airline world, it's extreme; pilots show up to mass interviews, job fairs, and so forth with nearly identical suits, nearly identical resumes, and go well out of their way not to stand out. Standing out is seen as bad. I disagree, however, and I think that kind of proverbial cookie-cutter image really isn't helpful in most situations. I show up looking professional, but I wear a sports jacket, clean slacks, a white shirt, and a conservative tie. I try to look understated and professional. My resume doesn't look like it was spun off the same machine as everyone else's either. It's simple, easy to read, not cluttered, and presents the most important information up front. Anything else that they need to know, they can ask in the interview. After all, what I'm really after is a chance to talk in front of an interviewer, right?

 

I attended an interview for a government operation once, held over several weeks in a hotel, and arrived in the lobby in the morning wearing a suit. It was the first day, and I noted that nobody else was wearing anything close. Not even ties. The person in charge, whom it turned out was the Chief Pilot, noted my attire and ordered me back to my room. "if I see you in a tie again, you're fired. Is that clear?" Consider your audience, and dress and write accordingly.

 

I've been to job fairs, where a dozen or two dozen employers were attending, and interviewing. I had a resume and cover letter printed up for each employer, uniquely customized to their operation by name, type of equipment, etc, as well as my own relevant experience tailored to their specific company. When I approached each employer, I opened a file that had only their cover letter and resume. No others. They didn't see a stack of resumes to competitors. Only to them. I made sure we had eye contact, a firm handshake, and that the resume was provided at the appropriate time.

 

I was interested to watch other interviewees at the job fairs, and surprised to note some of the dress; outdated cordoroy suits, poor hair cuts, bad posture, and many of the things that one would have hoped would have been eliminated in preparation to attend. Certainly they'd have been more on the ball if they'd taken some preparation courses, paid for proper coaching, or even been in the business long enought to see what works and what doesn't. Don't go unprepared, or be unprofessional. Being young or inexperienced isn't an excuse, and it won't serve to get you hired. Being professional will. Looking prepared will. Be and look like someone that that employer wants to hire.

 

I recently worked with a very inexperienced individual who was flying some challenging, expensive equipment. I helped him transition from very little experience to doing the same thing I was doing. I never had a chance like that, and most people never will. He did, and it was largely due to his attitude, professionalism, preparation, and of course, his skill. He was good at what he did. He was pleasant to work with. I'd work with him again, and probably will.

 

Applicants who seem arrogant, distant, cold, difficult to talk with, awkward or any other form of obstacle, won't get hired in most cases.

 

You also need to look at timing. Often it's not the stack of resumes on the desk that get hired. It's the person standing in front of the Chief Pilot's desk on the day they need a pilot, hat in hand and helmet in the bag, that is ready to go, that gets plucked off the street and put in a cockpit.

 

When I was living and working in Saudi Arabia, I sent out several thousand resumes, preparatory to returning state-side. Not a single bite. A couple that responded, but overwhelmingly, most didn't show interest if I wasn't available to come to work, and I wasn't available to come to work for many months. They were interested in here, now. What good was a pilot locked away in the Kingdom? Not much good. (one of the ones that did respond did end up bringing me in for screening and evaluation when I got back, but I didn't go to work for them).

 

The type of work you're doing or that you list will also affect your ability to be hired. I'm interested in hiring someone who is flying, not someone who is selling cars or putting on a roof. The person who's flying is current, but most important is the fact that they've already been vetted by the other employer. They've shown that they're worthy of being hired, and that they can stay employed in aviation. That's important to an employer. Someone who's been washed through several other companies and who can show a good track record of experience at each of those companies shows that others have found him or her a valuable asset, and kept him or her on board. It shows that the pilot has been tested and tried, and found worthy of hire. It tells me something.

 

I'll add that if the pilot didn't get his job by competing with others, by showing what he or she could do, by being the best choice for the job, then I'm not particularly interested. If the employee bought his or her job (there are a few places in the industry that do this), almost certainly I'm not going to entertain that resume. Immediately I begin to wonder, as would most looking at that resume, what's wrong with the pilot that he or she couldn't get hired like everyone else. Why did he or she go pay money to buy a job, rather than compete and get hired? Quick ticket to the round file.

 

It's a topic that could go on and on for a long time, and does, and is presented by professionals who will train and prepare you for the job market. It's not my place to do so, but you can see that a resume and a professional presentation is more than just tacking your basic qualifications on paper and sending it out. Books abound on the subject, as do seminars, lessons, coaches, services, and so on. Take advantage of them. If you're living on Top Ramen and stale water and can't afford a printer, get a book to start, and read that. Then move up.

 

I'll add in closing that you ought not wait until you've gained the experience you need, and are ready to move on, to begin preparing your resume and preparing for your interview(s). Start today. Update and revise your resume as you move along, adding experience, hours, and changing the format as you see fit. Keep a copy on file of your old resumes; it will show a clear progression over time in style, experience, and learning, and it may help you make decisions later (based on looking back at what worked and what didn't). A printed business card is a good investment. I save business cards. They're easy to keep, and I remember them. They help me remember people. They're an under-appreciated marketing item for a pilot. Use them as an instructor, as a professional, as a job seeker. Don't wait until you've been instructing for a year or two. Begin getting prepared now.

 

If you're instructing, make the choice to be a consummate professional now. I've seen a lot of instructors who look slovenly, and who act as though they're entry-level. You're perceived as you appear and as you act. Begin today, with the way you present yourself, carry yourself, interact. If you're not a people-person (I'm not), become one. Nobody hires a robot. Look closely at others, see what you like and don't like, and use a critical eye. Imagine yourself as the employer, think about whether you'd hire them or not, and why. Talk to employers. Talk to employees. It's perfectly okay to walk into your bosses office, with permission, and interview them on how they look for employees. It's okay to visit other companies, explain what you're doing, and get the skinny and low-down on hiring practices. Learn. Ask. Do it now, and keep doing it. You're going to interview many more times than once, and you're going to send out more than a few resumes. It's a life-long skill, and there's no time like the present to begin.

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