Flying any kind of an aircraft is a tremendous responsibility. There is a lot stake in terms of safety. Apart from the pilots’ life there are passengers in the equation, beneath the plane there could be residential homes, malls, schools or a hospital. As a pilot, one is supposed to be sharp and skilled. One of the most crucial ways to get you there is through training which should be administered by a world-class instructor. Although other factors are responsible for upsetting the balance of safety in flying, poor practice could be disastrous.
It’s imperative to choose the most qualified flight instructor to impart the right knowledge and skills to the trainee. A flight instructor should not only know all the dynamics of flying but present them in the best form for the trainee to understand. Having knowledge is one thing but instilling the same knows how to another person and ensuring that they can apply it is a different thing. A good flight instructor should possess both the knowledge and the technique to pass it on effectively.
So, what qualities should you look for in a flight instructor?
The same way experience is valued in other fields of specialization, its paramount in the aviation industry. An experienced instructor should have put in a good number of hours in flying, this makes him more relatable while explaining real flying situations to the student. How many private pilots have the instructor trained? Like the adage practice makes perfect a good flight instructor should have taught a good number of private pilots. In the process of looking for a flight instructor, you can seek to speak to some of the pilots one has trained. His previous trainees can give you a good insight into the kind of learning experience you are likely to have. It’s surprising just how much people are willing to say about their learning experiences if there are any red flags with the instructor in question you will hear it. More positive comments by previous trainees are good indicators that you have found the one.
Before you even set out to look for a flying instructor you have probably thought about the aviation school. The reputation of the flight school says a lot about the kind of instructor you are likely to find. The school should have a good record and alumnae. If it’s known for producing good pilots, you are probably at the right place. A top-flight school will deliver to you the best instructors in the business. The school will also harbour certified instructors as they have a standard to maintain and would not risk their reputation. It is applicable where you decide to join a specific aviation institution.
Availability of the teacher is an essential aspect of any learning process. How available is the instructor? Ask the instructor questions to determine his schedule. Flight training does not come cheap you want to ensure you get the maximum out of your learning time with the instructor. An available instructor will be more focused and have the time to give you the right attention. A busy instructor who is looking forward to meeting the next trainee would not be a good pick. The reason that would lead to this is that if you are not a very good student, the instructor will be eager to finish and move forward to the next one. An instructor who is in a hurry wouldn’t be good no matter how qualified. Patience is an essential virtue in any learning.
Communication skills and personality
A good instructor should communicate clearly and be understood with ease. He will watch you from the ground using a pair of binoculars (read more here) while you fly. How do you identify that? It can only be achieved by having a conversation. By talking to a prospective instructor, you can gauge their communication skills. If they express themselves in an easy to understand manner and respond clearly and patiently, there is a chance you have found one.
Asking a prospective instructor on the possible training organisation from the beginning to the end will assist you to pick one. What exactly are you looking for here? Some instructors will start in a classroom setting and later take it to the field for practice; others will begin on the track. Which technique best suits you? Do you prefer acquainting yourself with the aircraft to make it easier to grasp things in class or the vice versa? These questions will be resourceful in landing the best instructor for you.
Pilot license for recreational purpose or professionalism
There are reasons for taking up training as pilots vary for different people, so do the instruction level. If you want to be a professional pilot, you should consider a flight school. Why? The instructor at a flight school is instructing for professionalism, not a hobby; such instructors will be thorough in unlike what a flight club training will offer. The kind of pilot you want to determine what you want from the instructor.
There are other factors to consider while looking for a flight instructor. A personal budget will come into play, and some instructors charge a lot of money through learning to fly itself is quite expensive. It’s still possible to find a good instructor at a reasonable rate. When looking for a college, the cost is an aspect we examine so is a flight school. Age sometimes translates into the much sought after experience if you examine it right. An older instructor, let’s say 50 years old might be more experienced than a 40-year-old. However, one might be 50 years old having ventured into the flight industry at 40, while the 40-year-old got into it right after high school. Who is more experienced? I will leave that to you. Another angle of looking at experience is exposure. Two instructors might have been in the flying industry for ten years. One may have worked with different airlines in charge of different aircraft while the other has worked for one airline. All these considerations will help you know what to look for in a flight instructor.