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Crashes in the News - Thread

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PagoBay

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I know we have several experienced CFI's here... what do you guys think? Are the practical flying skill requirements that hard to teach nowdays? Do the flight schools have so much power to force an instructor to sign off incompetent new pilots, knowing they might hurt someone? Are the DPE's simply not concerned with a private pilot's ability to fly the airplane safely?
From my experience in flight training and reflecting on the apparent lack of stick and rudder skills demonstrated and discussed in the aftermath of so many crash events, there are two factors.

Not enough old school CFI's is the first problem. Age is not the factor. CFI's teach the way they were taught. Proper instruction is the matter. So the corollary being the pilot mill schools already mentioned.

The other is the nature of real world training. Given the pressure of time and money, how much opportunity is there for a student pilot to make mistakes and the related corrective action? A CFI will often quickly either demand corrective action verbally or correct by direct intervention. Thus, all too possible for a student pilot to never learn until damage is done. For all but the select few, flight is a skill learned through trial and error. Too little error leaves much to be learned the hard way. And as we have seen, lives can be lost.

In the case of the Cessna landing being discussed here, did this student pilot never really get the solid training experience of making this mistake and practicing the correct response. So that the natural response with too much speed on short final is an immediate go around response? All too possible.

Where to lay the blame? Not interested, as that does not help. More importantly, where lies the remedy? I have thoughts on that for later.
 
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Victor Bravo

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Well, the new-age PC police will jump all over me for this, but blame is sometimes a very useful and appropriate tool. Most importantly it prevents whoever or whatever caused the accident from "walking away scot free" and doing the same thing again (with another student).

I'm sorry, but there needs to be consequences for instructors not teaching basic control of the aircraft. If I get three speeding tickets my insurance goes up, and if I get five or six I get my license suspended.

If cost is really such an issue that today's pilots are only trained halfway, then I have a new-age, PC police, participation-trophy-approved suggestion:

Rig up a ground-based flight simulator with loud alarms or the sound of crunching metal, or a 20 amp jolt in the seat cushion. Have some !(#*$# millennial with a Che Guevara T-shirt program the sim to zap the student if he/she can't keep the airplane within a certain distance of the runway centerline.

Have the sim do this with many different images of runways, surrounding terrain, vegetation, water, sand traps, steep cliffs, a roaring T-rex next to the runway, whatever. The student can practice keeping the airplane in the right zip code and learn how to use the mother-(!*#$% rudder pedals, at a very very low cost.

Same for crosswind landings, stalls, engine failure on takeoff, spin entry, and a host of other things that aren't taught as much because of cost or new-age dumbing down.

Now, here's the kicker - When the student gets back in the real airplane with the real instructor, he or she has already developed an instinct and an automatic focus on landing in the center of the runway. The flight time in the airplane serves to allow the student to translate or convert that simulator instinct to 3D seat of the pants feel... but the idea and focus on the task has already been burned into him/her by the sim.
 

PagoBay

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If cost is really such an issue that today's pilots are only trained halfway, then I have a new-age, PC police, participation-trophy-approved suggestion:

Rig up a ground-based flight simulator with loud alarms or the sound of crunching metal, or a 20 amp jolt in the seat cushion. Have some !(#*$# millennial with a Che Guevara T-shirt program the sim to zap the student if he/she can't keep the airplane within a certain distance of the runway centerline.

Have the sim do this with many different images of runways, surrounding terrain, vegetation, water, sand traps, steep cliffs, a roaring T-rex next to the runway, whatever. The student can practice keeping the airplane in the right zip code and learn how to use the mother-(!*#$% rudder pedals, at a very very low cost.
Same for crosswind landings, stalls, engine failure on takeoff, spin entry, and a host of other things that aren't taught as much because of cost or new-age dumbing down.
This was my "for later". Thanks VB !!

I have invested about $3k in my home simulator. The key element was $1k for the YOKO yoke. I also invested in really good rudder pedals (which I use btw) and other key peripherals (TQ/TrimWheel/Flaps) so I don't use a keyboard or mouse at all. AND...I trained many hours with my CFI either beside me or more recently by Skype Screenshare. Lost track of the mistakes that I was allowed to make and learn from.

Many pilots are not aware of the level of precision now available with good hardware in a home simulator. Forget the cheap plastic stuff. However, thinking that 'cause you are in a sim that you don't need a CFI is just plain dumb. Importantly, My CFI/CFII knows the limits of sim based training and orders me back in the real airplane when needed. He rates my home sim at a 9 out of 10 in realistic control inputs.

I remember my first sim-based cross country flight with my CFI as ATC requiring me to fly and put in the correct calls. I broke into a sweat and wasn't breathing enough. Took a 15 minute break on return to starting airport and then jumped right back in for another try. Impossible to do that in a real world lesson.

My simulator pattern work in a short unfamiliar field was terrible. The options out of PGUM are few! He understood the need for basic training in known pitch/airspeed and power settings. So basic, but this had never been covered in all my real world training to that date. After that, my skill and confidence in the real aircraft took a major step up.

Always learning. That's why I am here. Thanks again.
 

jedi

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This was my "for later". Thanks VB !!
...........

However, thinking that 'cause you are in a sim that you don't need a CFI is just plain dumb.

.............
See page 184 post #3673 last paragraph for issues on finding that CFI.

I have had access to a very good sim with a programed in CFI. Problem is the programed CFI did not emphasize proper rudder use and let the student pass with insufficient rudder skills (IMHO) but acceptable under today's industry standards.
 

PagoBay

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See page 184 post #3673 last paragraph for issues on finding that CFI. I have had access to a very good sim with a programed in CFI. Problem is the programed CFI did not emphasize proper rudder use and let the student pass with insufficient rudder skills (IMHO) but acceptable under today's industry standards.
My intention was that "CFI" means a qualified human. Emphasis on "qualified". I would never even consider a digital CFI. So the issue never arose. Cannot imagine relying on a "programed (sic) CFI" and expecting quality training. HBA is really not the place to discuss details about simulation hardware and software. If anyone wants more information, please send me a PM.

I have used, with very good results, both in person and remote instruction using my home sim and a 60" LED TV for life size instruments.....with a real live CFI right there observing and possessing excellent stick and rudder skills and the ability to teach well.

Fortunately, I know what to look for. Many students would not and they just accept their situation. And to also say again...age is not the factor. Flight skills and teaching skills is the matter. Instructors teach the same way they were taught.

Trust this is more clear now. Thanks.
 
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TFF

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Pt 141 schools are not allowed to deviate from the curriculum. It does not allow you to teach a spin until it says teach spin. For someone learning Pt 61 at a school, they are still going to use the approved curriculum as a base. Unless you ask for something different, they are going to truck on by the book.
My boss refused to teach 141. It probably killed 95% of potential students because they can’t get loans without it. Professional students treat it like college. Looking to be trained for a job because of the investment. Not hobby flying. His advantage was he was allowed to take you on jobs. You got experience of what it was like to work not just fly. Fly fifty miles over a Louisiana swamp at 50 ft looking for infrastructure anomalies can’t be taught in school. You can’t pay for it either, not in a normal sense.

Unless you know what to ask a CFI or you get a rare unicorn of one, you will get 141 style training. That is really all that is offered unless you go pay for aerobatic training. One on one buddy CFI is rare. Mostly children of the CFI, and then mom or pop flys the line at FedEx or other carrier.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Simulation has it's place but it can't do everything. The mega million sims at work can't simulate 'g' forces. What would normally be a 3g pull in a plane is 1g in the sim. Motion does provide some proprioceptor input but it's incomplete. Lessens the realism. Sitting fixed to mother earth
becomes even more limiting, i.e., the lowest amount of realism.
 

Victor Bravo

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The key element was $1k for the YOKO yoke.
Yeah but the YOKO yoke broke up my Beatles simulator...

(I couldn't help it... never mind, all you folks under 50)

My comments about using the sim are absolutely limited to certain tasks. I am the very last guy on this forum who would want it completely substituted for actual flight training in an airplane. Ten hours of sim time learning to keep the digital nonexistent airplane on the runway will simply put an idea into the student's head... making it a lot faster/easier/cheaper for the student to be thinking about keeping the 2024-T3 on the runway.

I can understand the regimented and structured nature of Part 141, and keeping the FAA's 141 school approval current, and bank loans, etc. I am not arguing against any of that. But I also don't think students wrecking the 172 for preventable reasons like that is a component of the Part 141 approved curriculum :p

So there exists a "rock and a hard place", where the training is rigid and so freakin' expensive that they can't and won't teach enough stick and rudder, and yet there are people coming out of those schools who cannot keep a 172 on the runway... and they're headed right toward a job flying a regional airliner with Grandma sitting in it.

The idea that I mentioned (and PagoBay and many others probably had long before me) is to find an affordable way to put the right thoughts and thought processes into the student's head, so that the "real training" in the airplane has greater value and better results.

I mean, even truly great pilots like Captain Kirk were made better from the Kobayashi Maru sim...
 

TFF

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Great for IFR. Great for cockpit familiarization. I landed a full motion CRJ 200 sim a week after I soloed a real plane. I have landed an Airbus 300 full motion sim. I am woefully under qualified to fly the real things. Teachable for sure but because I got away with it doesn’t mean I can. I have been jump seat many times on a CRJ. One time I had a check airman test a plane and he brought along a captain candidate and he almost drug a wingtip on landing. He had been FO for at least 4 years. There was some hey stupid you can’t do that. I’m keeping it PG.

Captain Kirk reprogrammed the computer so it couldn’t loose. Sims are fun and educational, but unless you keep it low G, you don’t feel your butt and that is what always surprises pilots. Looks and feel don’t jive.
 

radfordc

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It's hard to argue that sims aren't a valuable teaching tool for pilot training. Even way back when I was a UL BFI, students who had played with Microsoft FS did noticeably better than those with no flight experience at all.
 

Victor Bravo

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Once again, 100% agreement, no G forces, no "real" fear of hitting something, and maybe 1/3 of the total sensory experience for a good sim. Maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the total experience for a big $10 Million full motion sim.

But a textbook doesn't provide G-forces or sensory input either, and I HOPE everybody accepts the value of the textbook (and King videos, and whatever iPhone stuff is out there now) as part of flight training.

The Apollo space program used simulators and mock-ups to great advantage. In their case they couldn't train in the "real environment". In my example, the sim is because we can't afford to use a real aircraft for 150 hours of dual instruction.

So 100 hours of sim for every 50 hours of instruction, with NO REDUCTION in total "actual" air time... how is that not a very cost-effective "upgrade" for training better pilots?

ALSO, I've spouted off about a related concept previously in a different thread... what if the engine failure training lasted all the way to the ground in the sim, 20 times in all different types of terrain, and the actual dual CFI airborne engine-out training remained identical to what is being taught now? Would that not yield better and safer pilots, even though the dead stick in the sim is still not 100% realistic, G-forces, fear, etc?
 

Vigilant1

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I agree on the value of increased sim time to supplement the present air hours. Great for teaching the "rote" pattern procedures, emergency procedures, and, at the right time, instrument flight and navigation.
Use each environment to teach the appropriate stuff. The ability to "stop the action" discuss, absorb, and instantly repeat in the sim can be of great value.
 

PagoBay

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This conversation always includes the G Force issue. Nobody here is trying to say that a sim does everything. But the topic is improving skills and preventing costly mistakes through proper practice with a real live CFI. Saving both time and cost in flight training is where simulators make their mark.

I am volunteering to help the newly formed Guam chapter of Women in Aviation International develop a sim based ground school program for local high school kids. Our first workshop begins soon. Three days of One on One time with each student. Day One - WAI ground school syllabus. Day Two - simulator time with take offs, pattern work, landings, and level turns. Day Three - half hour flight in the real Cessna 172.

The goal is to inspire future aviators and help speed them on their way.

Many pilots have not seen what is possible for home based simulation now. I have read about many airline pilots who use home simulators regularly. Have personally met a few also.

The beauty of home simulation lies in the realistic inputs and visual immersion now available with the right hardware, excellent flight physics if you choose the right software, and substantial cost savings to PPL.

But all that is for naught if the student thinks that a real live CFI is unnecessary. There is a world of difference between game playing and serious sim based training.

Here is a sample of what is possible:

Check out the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center where 14 flight simulators provide scenario based training with assistance from by your side CFI's. EAA Pilot Proficiency Center

Another solid resource is Pilot Edge, where you can fly over huge areas of the USA with actual real world ATC controllers who demand real world radio talk and expect proper taxi and flight performance for VFR and IFR practice. Homepage - PilotEdge.net

Redbird understands and built their business around simulation based training. Redbird Migration 2020

I helped a couple of gentlemen in Minnesota design their 3 screen basement sim based around the new and affordable Honeycomb yoke. Not an easy task, but the result was excellent. These gentlemen are serious PPL students. Their flight school sells block time in an AATD.

Whether at home or at their flight school, I always emphasize the importance of a real live CFI. The home sim provides easy opportunity for practice once the basic concepts are established and the student knows what is demanded in a given maneuver.
 
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Vigilant1

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Rod Machado's article is a good brief overview of how sim training can be effectively incorporated into training for a PPC. It is worth noting that he (and Cypress College) are in Southern California, with a lot of busy airspace. I learned to fly there (Santa Monica, within the LAX Mode C veil), and it is a crummy place to learn about flying skills--but a great place to learn about radio use, ATC, clearing for traffic, etc. A sim with a good instructor can help a student learn the radio stuff, complying with altitude restrictions, pattern procedures, etc so the flight time can be put to best use: learning to handle the airplane.
 

PagoBay

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I learned to fly there (Santa Monica, within the LAX Mode C veil), and it is a crummy place to learn about flying skills--but a great place to learn about radio use, ATC, clearing for traffic, etc. A sim with a good instructor can help a student learn the radio stuff, complying with altitude restrictions, pattern procedures, etc so the flight time can be put to best use: learning to handle the airplane.
I would love to have such "crummy" airspace to fly in. Challenges are good things. That airspace surely made you a better pilot.
 

Victor Bravo

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I also learned to fly at Santa Monica, a thousand years ago (original DC-3 construction hangars still abandoned on the NW corner of the airport). I didn't have anything else to compare it to, but I was very fortunate to have been the last or next-to-last generation of student pilots (solo 12-30-1977) who had to learn the old-school way, spins in the 150, accelerated stalls, an occasional stopped prop glide, etc. etc. It was a looong, booring ten minute flight out to the "practice area" over Malibu, CA, to be able to do my stalls and turns around a point, which we used someone's big house on a hill for. (This is probably prohibited P airspace now because I understand Barbra Streisand or some other high-profile person lives there now).

My point is that even in a city environment, they did manage to teach us brand new junior birdmen a reasonable amount of airmanship, which is (as is being discussed) more than what is taught today. The prop-stop glides were done a little further away, over a little airstrip called Indian Dunes, where they shot the Black Sheep TV show. The big yellow part of the LA sectional chart was a little smaller then :)

The reason we were able to learn this is because the school and te instructors and the FAA wanted us to learn it. It made no difference that it would have been a little easier to teach this stuff somewhere out in the desert. The intent was there and the restrictions against it were not there. that is what has to be changed.
 
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