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The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

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The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

Unread postby jjbaker » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:57 am

The Training Mix
January 10, 2013

by Robert A. Wright
Aviation Safety Magazine


Advances in technologies and regulations mean the best mix of airplanes, simulators and other resources also is changing and will enhance your training.
In recent years, the general aviation community has complained our activity has grown too complicated and, as a result, applicants for the private pilot certificate now average about 70 or so hours before passing a checkride. Yes, aviation has gotten more complicated, but we should question the notion it takes that many hours in an airplane to become a competent private pilot. A corollary is that existing practices also can be improved to benefit existing pilots and enhance their recurrent training experience.

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Thankfully, many are taking positive steps to redesign curricula and learning methods to see if that number can be reduced. These steps involve leveraging regulatory changes along with advances in technology and training practices to flatten and shorten the learning curve. Along the way, we also need to improve the quality and quantity of new private pilots. How can these seemingly mutually exclusive goals be realized?

A Bold Assertion

I will cut to the chase and assert it's possible to develop a private pilot curriculum in which 90 percent of applicants can obtain the certificate in the minimum flight time specified in the regulations: 37.5 hours under Part 61 or 35 hours in an approved Part 141 curriculum. The key to accomplishing this is designing training content with the right mix of media, including airplanes, simulation, and online or other knowledge delivery methods and, perhaps most important, delivering this improved product with more professional flight instruction.

Full Article: http://www.avweb.com/news/safety/207989-1.html
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Re: The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

Unread postby RKittine » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:36 am

Much of that is also dictated by weather and length of time between flight lessons. Full time immersion in training with the correct tools in a fair climate has always averaged quicker completion times with less hours. Remember the PIC Instrument program. The instructor showed up with a desk top simulator and in 40 hours / usually in 7 to 9 days you had an instrument rating. When I was at ATI / FIT, students regularly had their private in under40 hours.

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Re: The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

Unread postby CFII » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:08 pm

I've had a number of students complete private pilot in the minimum FAA hours. Assuming average or slightly above CFI that is not trying to pad their own airtime, it comes down to student motivation and of course Wx.

I never push flight students time wise, because they each have their own agenda. Personally for my own primary training, I chose more hours with more varied experiences, such as some mountain flying and more long cross country flights, in order to have a stronger rating. Other ratings were done on an accelerated format for time and financial reasons.

The time motivated, sharp flight students will always show up for any type of lesson well read and alert, the other types not so much but that's OK, if they're not in a rush, they get a more leisurely experience and more overall experience.
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Re: The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

Unread postby CFII » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:25 pm

I also sought out additional hours in primary flight training in MVFR in both reduced visability and high crosswinds which was optional but, highly valuable and took extra time.
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Re: The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:02 pm

There is a big difference between passing the check ride and being proficient also. Someone who studies hard, has the basic ability and flies over a shorter period of time (weather permitting) can pass in the 35 or 37.5 hours, which is why so many of the big schools can get people through quickly. A once a week flier has to relearn each lesson some of what was in the last lesson and if a few weekends are rained out, it exaserbates the problem.

Some people are also naturals and I have had one person with about 300 hours of Microsoft Flight Simulator X ONLY I could have possibly soloed after his first flight and he was only 15. The only thing I had to get him comfortable with was taxi.

After about 50 - Fixed Price Multi-Engine Ratings, I started doing a 13 hours Part 141 Program Only for the Multi-Engine Commercial Instrument Add On. Easier on me and my airplanes as well as produced pilots that could actually do more than pass a check ride.
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Re: The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

Unread postby CFII » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:13 pm

Probably the best way to ensure the best, most proficient primary flight students is for them all to do a pre-checkride phase check flight with either Bob or me....
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Re: The Training Mix (Article by R.A. Wright)

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:23 pm

Sounds like a plan. Now if we could only make a living at it.

When I started instructing I was getting $9.00 per hour of what the FBO charged. Now I instruct on my own and get $50.00 which sound OK until you see how many hours you can actually get in and in a glider it pays less.
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