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Question for CFIs

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For you CFIs out there - is there ever a point when training students that you don't have your hands and feet on the controls? I don't mean during maneuvers at altitude - mostly approaches, hover taxiing etc. I realize that there are some exercises like auto rotations where you might not feel comfortable being totally off the controls, but when you're on, how do you avoid giving the student the sense that you're doing some of the controlling? I'm talking after you've gotten to the 70+ hours mark.

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Pick Up, Set Down, Hover Work, Take off, Landing, I am always gaurding the controls. Always have your feet gaurding the pedals as well. Our chief pilot said if he ever sees us hovering with our feet on the floor, we're fired :). Doens't mean I am applying pressure (this would degrade the students ability to learn), but I am close enough to help when needed. Some CFI's gaurd heavily, while others are more relaxed.

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Even when your working on a CFII rating...I just passed my check ride Friday.., my instructor was always close to the controls during critical phases of flight such as mentioned above.

 

I know I am a good pilot, rated now the same as he is....but my hours are still very few, so the experience level is much less. I am cautious anyway, but if something were to surprise me...as a rookie would I be reactive fast enough? Who knows, but having two sets of hands, feet, eyes ready makes for better odds.

 

Best way to cover this issue if it is one as it seems.... Communicate.... Its important to clarify who is flying the bird.

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I only guard the controls when I think there is a reason to guard them. As a student I had an instructor that was so "heavy" on the controls he would literally be flying the aircraft. With me, there is never a question who is flying.

 

Basically, most of the time I am flying with someone, I let them do their thing and if they try to kill me, then I stop them from succeeding.

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As an instructor, if you're on the controls you should be as light as humanly possible if you want the student to continue to control the aircraft. If you're going to come on the controls to "help" but not to take over, voice that as it happens. As a CFI you should slowly get monster leg muscles from hovering your feet over the pedals without actually touching them.

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Guard the controls when it’s necessary to guard the controls and, it’s also highly dependent where the individual student is in the training program. Short of that, it’s a fact; students will not progress as quickly as they could when the instructor is guarding the controls. For the student, it becomes a mental roadblock diminishing confidence. And, when a student can’t progress as fast as they could, it becomes a disservice because the more time it takes the more money it will cost the student (customer)…..

Flight schools should have confidence in their instructors. That confidence translates form the CFI to the student. If the school takes away that confidence by instituting a “guarding” policy, they are no longer acting in the best interest of the customer but rather feeding into paranoia, which again, translates to the student…..

When I was instructing, if you were seen guarding the controls, you were counseled by the CP and if it continued you were done.

Edited by Spike

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For you CFIs out there - is there ever a point when training students that you don't have your hands and feet on the controls? I don't mean during maneuvers at altitude - mostly approaches, hover taxiing etc. I realize that there are some exercises like auto rotations where you might not feel comfortable being totally off the controls, but when you're on, how do you avoid giving the student the sense that you're doing some of the controlling? I'm talking after you've gotten to the 70+ hours mark.

Is your instructor crowding you?

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When I was working on my commercial, I already had a few hundred hours. This was in a 300C. My instructor always stayed on the controls. One day during a normal approach I just stopped flying but left my hands on the controls. Guess what....

We flew a perfect normal Approach without me doing a thing and the instructor saying "that's it, looks good, looks good." I was really just there to get a sign off to do my check ride. Got my commercial and went back to the 500.

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Appreciate the times you have left with your CFI! Learn all you can from this person who trained very hard to learn what they know about helicopters inclusive, proving it to the local FAA/FSDO that they can teach our future pilots safe flying habits. There will be times my friend when you'll wishing you had this person next to you giving you the advise you seek.

 

Now, given that you feel you don't want your CFI to be on the controls because you have so many number of hours! If you roll up that helicopter in "any" maneuver while your CFI is on board, it is his license that will be at stake! Not yours! And one guaranteed question that will be asked by the FAA Flight Safety Inspector... Was the CFI monitoring the student's maneuver? Was his/her hands away from the controls or lightly on the controls? Just watching will not cut it with the FAA!

 

I personally, will only relinquish full control of the aircraft to my students when it is their time to "solo!"

 

And when the time comes, I'll tell the student to land the helicopter at the airport and I will get out of the aircraft. I'll then strap in my seat a stuffed Teddy Bear named "Roscoe." I'll then instruct the student to bring Roscoe back home safe back to me! The student's smile is usually a gleaming one. RP

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The key is to be very close or have such a light touch that it is imperceptible to the student. They need to know that they are the person flying and should almost never feel that you are there. Follow the inputs they make so that you aren't getting in the way. You can give higher hour students more room to wiggle but new students are like teaching cavemen so be ready for them to do the absolute worst thing possible.

 

I always try to keep my hand lightly touching or close to the collective in all phases of flight. I like to feel the small throttle changes as they happen. Once you are cruising with a competent student you can relax the cyclic and pedals but assume the position once on approach or near the ground.

 

On a robbie, the left throttle has a little bit of play in it so keep the movement up against the right side so that any increasing throttle rotation will be felt as it happens if your governor or student is trying to overspeed the engine.

 

On the cyclic, figure out which input would be the worst and block it. For instance, guard aft cyclic in an auto or forward cyclic when leveling from a climb. All other inputs are free to occur except the bad one. I used to just put pressure on the cyclic with my thumb in an auto flare if RPM was building but your thumb can slip off so watch for that too.

 

I also had one guy spazz and let go of the cyclic in a low flare . I had my thumb there but the stick went left and I didn't have my hand there to block it. I snatched it out of thin air as it moved across my field of vision but it was damn close to rolling the blades into the ground.

 

Another instructor had one guy wave to someone while flying. With his cyclic hand. Cavemen are unpredictable. Be ready for anything.

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There are extremes and I would imagine the majority are more conservative than need be. Especially with students approaching solo of course come of the controls where applicable to build their confidence. I always start a flight conservative with someone I don't know by being close on pickup and then as I see how things stabilize and their control technique I relax. Most the time hiding my collective hand from their view that I'm close or feeling it. Hovering my feet off the pedals once we approach 10 to 20' from the ground or so and mostly relaxing my right hand to be on my right knee always in position to come onto the cyclic from the front incase it gets away from the individual. With all emergency procedures obviously on the controls but as the individual gets better I ride the auto down to just above flare hight purposefully talking with my hands once in steady state autorotation to build their confidence that they have it.

Every scenario requires common sense but typical new instructors take some time to learn their envelopes of the aircraft/student and tend to ride the controls too much. We all must learn and gain that experience but consciously make an effort to teach confidence safely by not touching/riding on controls when appropriate per the individual and given conditions.

 

Also the student can't learn if they don't make mistakes- I love primary flight training- lots of twisting and twirling and getting the students to learn to bring the aircraft back under control (provided I have a 1/2 square mile from other aircraft). Remember to let them make mistakes that are within your envelope of recovery and limits of the aircraft.

Edited by Retreating Brain Stall
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Appreciate the times you have left with your CFI! Learn all you can from this person who trained very hard to learn what they know about helicopters inclusive, proving it to the local FAA/FSDO that they can teach our future pilots safe flying habits. There will be times my friend when you'll wishing you had this person next to you giving you the advise you seek.

 

 

 

I took some time off after my private to just enjoy being a pilot and in over 400 solo hours not once did I wish I had a CFI sitting next to me. ;)

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Also the student can't learn if they don't make mistakes- I love primary flight training- lots of twisting and twirling and getting the students to learn to bring the aircraft back under control (provided I have a 1/2 square mile from other aircraft). Remember to let them make mistakes that are within your envelope of recovery and limits of the aircraft.

I'm with you on this thought. One of the quickest ways to let students learn and build confidence is from mistakes... And having them fix the mistakes themselves. Letting(or making) the students fix their own mistakes can be the difference between a 50 hour private and an 80 hour private.

 

It's amazing how fast students learn confidence when they try to give you controls and you say, "no, you fix it"

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As a pro-CFI, if you can’t “snatch” the controls at any given moment, you have no business teaching. A good CFI will communicate verbally what needs to be done. A good CFI will be able to predict what the specific student will likely do and be prepared, and no, this is not meant to say the CFI will be able to predict everything. Either way, a good CFI will develop communication skills and methods to “hint” to an appropriate corrective action without the need to grab the controls. A “hint” can be tapping a peddle with the toe of one foot rather than putting both feet up and pushing the peddle. Or, if a R22 student is slow to recognize a cyclic input even when you TELL him, you can nudge the cyclic center post out of view of the student rather than putting you hand up and grabbing the cyclic grip. If the student constantly sees out the corner of his/her eyes your hand or feet are near the controls, they will come to rely on the CFI to make the corrective action and save-the-day (and save-the-day in this case does not mean a near death event but rather just to stay on a specific approach angle for example)….

The “super CFI’s” who’ve graduated beyond ab-initio training and become stage-check or pre-check-ride pilots have seen this time-and-time again. That is, a student who basically is freaking-out because your hands and feet are nowhere near the controls and is somewhat apprehensive just because over the last umpteen hours the primary instructor has been shadowing the controls. When this happens it becomes a lack of confidence in the CFI issue and not a safety issue. There is a difference and it shouldn’t be confused……

And, please let’s not get into the “what-if” factor simply because the internet doesn’t have the terabits for such a discussion…….

Edited by Spike
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You guys pretty much all hit the nail on the head. I've flown with three CFIs to date and they're all different - not so much in what they teach, but how they go about it. My first CFI was the most thorough and was quick to take over the controls if I was having difficulty with the basics e.g. lifting up, setting down, hover taxiing, hovering etc. But at some magic point, she gave me the opportunity to fight it and get her back into position by myself. I felt like I really started getting the hang of it from that point on.

 

My current CFI is on the controls way more often than I'd prefer. I can tell when he's on the controls and as soon as I detect that he's overriding me - I'm out of the zone - if only for that few seconds. Run on landings are a great example. Too many times I've asked "was that me or you?" It's hard for me to polish my technique when I can feel overriding corrections on the controls.

 

Spike, you said it well. Confidence on the part of the CFI is huge. I've already gone through my check ride and passed everything except my run on landing - and the DPE didn't have his hands on the controls.

 

Cburg - "crowded" is a good term. I've got some time scheduled with the top guy tomorrow - 13,000 hrs in a 22. Tuesday is the big day for my retest. Too much riding on it to be anything but polished.

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Good luck and have a safe flight!

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When I was a low timer I tolerated being "helped" on the controls. Now if I feel a CFI or training pilot or what have you one the controls, I announce "you have the controls". It's downright dangerous for more than 1 pilot to have their hands on the controls.

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I should caveat my statements with the understanding that guarding the collective is necessary -as already mentioned. However, as a CFI, it’s important to show your left hand while instructing so the student believes you’re not on the collective. It’s more important to remember, when in doubt, get the collective down. I say again, when in doubt, get the collective down…. My one and only in-flight engine failure occurred during a stage check while the student was flying….. When in doubt, get the collective down…..

Edited by Spike

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At the conclusion of my my unit training, my instructor ( who had about 24,000hrs) had me do a 1-skid to a rock in the middle of the south fork of the Kings River in white water rafting season. The river was raging! We are flying up the river and he points to a rock that is just sticking up in the middle of the rapids and says "Put me right there." I think to myself, "Ok, no problem." We had been doing rescue training as part of my unit quals. So I do a tight turn to come back, nice approach, and hold the right skid on the rock which was his side (MD500) I expect him to say "OK, good, lets get out of here." As I was holding it, he started to unbuckle and said "OK, Im climbing out, you go down the canyon, turn around and come back and get me." I said "uhhh.... really?" He says "Yeah... you understand you cant F-this up right? You have to be able to come back and get me." So he climbs out and I flew off and came back, held the 1-skid to the rock and he climbed back in. "He plugged in his helmet and said "Wheeeew.... Im really glad you were able to pull that off." So I respond "Man... what if I wasn't able to do it you would have been stuck on that rock" he said "Well, after I got rescued by someone else, and after you got kicked out for failing training, I would probably just retire because I haven't been wrong about one of my students yet."

 

Someday Im going to fess up to him about how scared I was! :)

Edited by Flying Pig
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FP, that makes landing on a trailer look like child's play! I'm just happy to look like I know what I'm doing when taxiing back to the ramp.

 

I'm really glad that I spent my hour with the owner yesterday morning. He's really a great instructor (IMHO). When we were done, I really felt prepared for today's check ride retest. It came off without a hitch. I feel like I've covered a lot of ground during the past ten months and today I can honestly say - it was well worth it.

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Congratulations tradford.

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13,000 hrs in a 22.

 

How can this exist? That sounds more like a punishment than a job.

 

Who is this guy? Tim Tucker?

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Tradford, congrats.

 

Now what? How about the factory built XET right in your neck of the woods? I am absolutlely delighted with mine...I LOVE IT!!!!

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"Now what?" is a great question. I've been deferring that subject for the day I could finally say "I made it". Now that I'm there, I've got to decide. I think I have my Cobra sold and that's significant. I am torn between a very used R22 (co-ownership) and the Mosquito/Helicycle Turbine. I keep tabs on what's available in the market, but I'm not aware of one close by. There's the black Mosquito (don't remember where) and the silver one down in Trenton. A Helicycle jumps on the market once in a while and don't seem to stay long.

 

Airhead - I qualified my earlier statement and stand corrected. He only has 8,000 hours in a 22 and another 5 in a 44.

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"Now what?" is a great question. I've been deferring that subject for the day I could finally say "I made it". Now that I'm there, I've got to decide. I think I have my Cobra sold and that's significant. I am torn between a very used R22 (co-ownership) and the Mosquito/Helicycle Turbine. I keep tabs on what's available in the market, but I'm not aware of one close by. There's the black Mosquito (don't remember where) and the silver one down in Trenton. A Helicycle jumps on the market once in a while and don't seem to stay long.

 

Airhead - I qualified my earlier statement and stand corrected. He only has 8,000 hours in a 22 and another 5 in a 44.

I had an offer to trade my Hughes for a high time R22 or the XET...it was an easy decision...one which I am very glad I made the one I did. I flew all last evening and still can't wipe the smile off my face...it's simply a joy to fly. Way more fun than the Hughes or R22 IMO.

 

Here you go:

 

MOSQUITO XET HELICOPTER • $65,500 • FOR SALE • I am a private seller. My unit is brand new, factory-assist built, still at the factory, finished and ready to go. Only flown for factory test flights. Time in this helicopter is legally recognized as turbine helicopter time. Build turbine helicopter time for $50-$75 per hour! Only a private FIXED wing pilots license is required. Stratomaster Enigma Glass Panel EFIS / GPS. Included: - Collective friction lock - Ground handling wheels - Vertical fin - Strobe - Aux fuel tank - VHF comm and transponder antennas and wiring (ready for radios) - New David Clark K10 helmet with headset • Contact Dan Frist, Owner - located Simpsonville, SC USA • Telephone: 864-906-0300 . • Posted May 17, 2014 • Display Specs Page Show all Ads posted by this AdvertiserRecommend This Ad to a FriendEmail AdvertiserSave to WatchlistReport This AdView Larger Pictures

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