Five Mile Final | A Flight Instructor's Sandbox

Aviation Instructor's Handbook

The job of an aviation instructor is to teach. Responsibilities for all instructors include:

Helping students learn does not mean making things easy — achieving difficult goals rewards self-enhancement and personal satisfation. Students should find the learning process interesting and be given the opportunity to explore and experiment, building self-confidence.

Instructors must be clear with learning objectives at all phases of the process. Specific actions include devising a plan of action, creating a positive relationship, presenting information efficiently, transfering responsibility to the student as learning occurs, and evaluating the student's progress and teaching effectiveness.

In providing adequate instruction, the instructor must take the time to learn about the student's background, temperament, and way of thinking. Failing to spot a weakness (slow-mindedness vs. timidity) or learning style (passive vs. aggressive) may harm the process. Slow students should be assigned subgoals, separating complex lessons into elements. Fast learners may soon become overconfident.

Standards of performance requires flight instructors to continuously evaluate their own effectiveness. Standards must be mantained, and students will not resent standards that are consistent and fair. Substandard performance is not acceptable and hazardous.

True performance as a professional is based on study and research.

By Emphasizing the positive, instructors encourage students to form a positive image of aviation. The fear of threat impedes the ability to perceive. New students should not be overwhelmed by critical possibilities (stalls, engine failures).

Additional flight instructor responsibilities include:

Evaluation of student piloting ability must be based upon established standards. The student's mastery of elements must be considered, rather than overall performance. Demonstrations of performance apply directly to solo and cross-country endorsements. Students must remain informed of their progress. Correction should not include removing control from the student — when safety allows, a student can be allowed to progress through a mistake and find their way out.

A pretest constructed to measure knowledge and skills necessary to begin a course is referred to as a criterion-referenced test.

Pilot supervision in regards to the guidance and restraint of solo students, is the flight instructor's foremost responsibility.

Practical Test recommendations should be given only after a student has demonstrated the knowledge and skill level required for the rating sought. Instructors are held accountable for substandard students during examinations. FAA inspectors and designated examiners rely on flight instructors to recommend candidates for tests.

When students have completed the necessary requirements for a certificate, FAA form 8710-1: "Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application" is completed by the student and instructor.

Instructors perform flight reviews, which are an opportunity to expand on the instructor's services. This is not an exam or a checkride, but instead a service to pilots. Instructors may also provide instrument proficiency checks, checkouts, and transitions.

Instructors are responsible for maintaining their own pilot proficiency.

Professional elements the instructor should consider include sincerity, acceptance of the student, personal appearance and habits, demeanor, saftey practices/accident prevention, proper language, self-improvement, and minimizing student frustrations. This last element includes:

Flight Instructor Test Questions

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Robert Wederquist   CP-ASEL - AGI - IGI
Commercial Pilot • Instrument Pilot
Advanced Ground Instructor • Instrument Ground Instructor