Intentions and teaching

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In the old days your website talked about learning to fly a motor glider. You've obviously
changed direction a bit since then and now I notice you've reached CFII. Obviously you
don't mind being paid to build up experience and hours but, you're not doing it to make
money! I'm guessing you're interested in teaching flying because you're interested in
teaching and knowledge transfer. Is that right?

I did the IR with the Morey clan at Middleton, WI after hearing you mention it. Alas, they're
not running their course any more, though Field (the original Morey who set up the course)
is still doing his one week trip to Alaska for instrument rated pilots. Learning from those
guys was a great experience for me because of their own wealth of experience (Field has
spent 20,000+ hours teaching the IR) and also because of the nature of the training - a
cross country trip with an IR checkride at the end, which is similar to how you did it. Even
with that being as great as it was these guys are pilots, not skilled in the art of teaching.

Most flying instruction I've had, which has most definitely not been from anyone with an
interest in teaching or even that much knowledge/experience in aviation (i.e. wannabe
airline pilots).

Are you building up ideas on how to improve the teaching of pilots?

(Next time I'm in the US I'd be tempted to take an instrument lesson just to see how your
teaching experience translatees in the cockpit. You mentioned teaching a student on your
blog - are you just doing a bit of freelance teaching or are you working with a school?)

-- David Adams, October 5, 2005


I like to go up in the airplane with a purpose, not just to spend $300 on breakfast. Becoming a CFI/CFII is consistent with this goal of being able to go on local flights from Bedford while helping out other pilot. I also like teaching and think that students appreciate flight instructors more than classroom teachers. Sometimes I ask my students at MIT who their instructor was for a particular prerequisite class. Oftentimes they can't recall anything about the teacher and sometimes not even whether the teacher was male or female. Most pilots, however, can remember their instructors vividly, right down to particular words of advice.

I don't think I'm going to improve the teaching of pilots with my ideas. I think that the FAA has some very good ideas on how teaching ought to be done (note that very few public schools or colleges would meet FAA standards due to far too much time being spent in pure lecture format). Maybe I can provide a better curriculum for relatively old relatively rich students here in New England (a bit less focussed on the minimums required for the rating, visiting more airports, more enjoyable).

-- Philip Greenspun, October 5, 2005