It might seem tempting to get your instructor rating so that you can get paid for flying rather than it costing you money. Unfortunately the reality is usually a little bit different!
Firstly a good flying instructor spends a lot of time sat in aeroplanes but relatively little time actually flying the aircraft – the student should be doing that. There is (or should be) a lot of time spent on (usually) unpaid activities such as lesson planning, briefings and record keeping. And your mates get to go away to flyins or trips to different airfields while you are stuck bashing around the circuit all day. On the plus side, it is hugely rewarding to watch a student master new skills but the skills you need to be a great instructor would be worth far more money in any other industry.
If this quote (from the instructor who first taught me to fly nearly a quarter of century ago) hasn’t detered you then read on!
The flying instructor course starts in the classroom with Principles and Methods of Instruction. Whilst it may be tempting to view this as just a hurdle to get past before getting stuck into the more interesting stuff that itsn’t the case. PMI is about understanding how people learn in order that we can teach them as effectively as possible. The methods of much flying instruction date back to military pilots of WWI and basically make the student fit the learning process. At Caboolture Microlights we don’t believe that this approach cuts it in the world of modern recreational flight training. With the diversity of students from school age to octagenarians, from cleaners to scientists and sportsmen to office workers it is essential to make the training fit the student and to do this requires understanding them.
Following the PMI element, the course progress through the flight training elements both on the ground and in the air. The Instructor Trainer (IT) demonstrates the briefings for each lesson in the classroom and the instructor trainee practises delivering the briefings. The same occurs in the air with the IT demonstrating the patter used for each flight exercise and helping the trainee to practice. You can also practice this yourself between sessions. Its not easy but, just like learning to fly, persistance will pay off.
Towards the end of the course there is more emphasis on the IT playing the role of a student by asking curveball questions during briefings and making typical student mistakes during the flight exercises so the trainee gets to practise identifying, diagnosing and correcting these faults. Particular emphasis is paid to keeping the flight safe at all times but not intervening unecessarily so the student can learn from their mistakes.
The instructor course also covers, often overlooked topics, such as student record keeping (a skill in itself), lesson planning (how to construct a meaningful and challenging flight around the basic exercise to be practised) and the duties and responsibilites of flight instructors.
At Caboolture Microlights we are passionate about our Instructor Training so if this sounds appealing get in touch with us
“Flying instruction isn’t a job for people who like flying – it’s a job for people who like people”
Mick Shea CFI