Flight Instructor issues....

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations / Flight Safety / Better Pil' started by MadProfessor8138, Sep 15, 2019.

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  1. Sep 15, 2019 #1

    MadProfessor8138

    MadProfessor8138

    MadProfessor8138

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    Has anyone else ever had issues with their flight instructor ?

    My info :
    I have a few 100 hours in ultralights & light experimentals,quite a few hours in the Mini 500 helicopter and I've flown a few gyros....so I'm not a newbie by any means.
    I've decided to become "legal " and get my PPL....hey,we all have to grow up and be responsible at some point.

    Instructor info :
    Nice guy with a great personality.
    Has ZERO experience with a Piper Tomahawk other than what I'm teaching him.
    He finds my Tomahawk to be weird,funky and crude.
    He has landed her twice and it wasn't pretty either time.
    He's currently driving me crazy !!!

    He signed me off for "Solo" yesterday but instead of being happy about this,well,I'm sorta erked about the situation because he begrudgingly signed me off.

    Here are some issues that have me agitated about the hours that I've flown with him.....

    1. Crabbing into the cross wind....that's a no no in his book....he wants the aileron into the wind approach.
    I apezed him and gave him what he wanted.
    The Tomahawk does not like that approach with its long/ thin wing...its a handful to keep from tip stalling it in gusty conditions.
    It will do it...but you're definitely on your toes the whole time.

    2. No stall landing....he doesn't want to hear the stall horn at all before touching down.
    My typical landing is to bring her in at around 70 knots on final,flare out in ground effect and hold her,let the speed decay and she will touch on the mains with the stall horn going off,hold the nose off until she settles in herself,then roll out.......
    She just got greased in ....
    He doesn't like that and wants me to drive it onto the deck at 75 knots....which is 22 knots over stall speed.
    The Tomahawk gets very weird on the ground at 75 knots.

    3. Go arounds......
    After touching down I get the flaps out and pour the coals to her...then once airborne and climbing out I make my radio call.
    He doesn't like that....he wants me to touch down,roll out for quite a while,clean the flaps up and then put power in.
    We are flying off of a 5k feet paved runway which is acceptable to do this...but my home base is a 2,700 feet grass strip with obstructions at each end...you dont waste momentum unless you like picking trees out of your butt on a hot day.

    4. Full stop landings or runway clearing landings....
    Once I'm down and rolling out I get the flaps pulled out.
    He doesnt like that.
    He wants me to wait until we've come to a full stop or have cleared the active runway before I can clean the flaps up.

    5. Stabilized approach....
    Yesterday, when we flew,the wind was shifting from a 10-15 knot direct cross wind to a 10 - 15 knot direct headwind....fun times.
    On final...airspeed was good,altitude was good,rpm's set,both knotches of flaps and the glideslope was 2 whites / 2 reds.
    Remember,I was fighting a 10-15 knot gusting wind that was changing direction constantly.
    On a few landings I would have to adjust pitch or rpm's to keep speed where it needed to be and keep the glideslope lit properly......not panicked adjustments just graceful adjustments to keep it on track.
    He didn't like that.
    He says that once I'm on final I should be stabilized and be able to bring her in without any adjustments needing to be made.
    I reminded him of the gusting winds and my ability to fly the plane safely by compensating for the changing conditions.

    6. Traffic pattern....
    He wants my downwind,base and final to be so long that there is no possibility of making the runway if we ever had an engine out.
    I'm flying a Tomahawk ,AKA: The flying brick,not a 182 that has a decent glide ratio.
    I typically turn base once the numbers are 45° behind my wing...he says that's too tight a pattern.
    He likes an airliner pattern evidently...

    7. Turns....
    If I bank more than about 10°-15° he constantly comments that I like to fling the plane around and I'm turning too steeply no matter how smoothly I bank.

    8. Traffic avoidance.....
    There is a skydiving business that operates out of the field and they like to fly wherever they want so you have to constantly be watching for them.
    Their jump plane likes to cut into the pattern all the time and not make radio calls so you have to constantly watch for him.
    Birds on the field have been bad the past few weeks so you have to watch for them.
    And there was a fly-in over the weekend so everyone was stopping in for fuel and bathroom breaks all day.
    I broke out of the pattern twice to give time for other aircraft,that weren't making proper radio calls,to clear out of the pattern.
    He didnt like that and said they would probably have been clear by the time I was setting up on final.
    I made a judgment call and will stick by my decision to break out of the pattern to give it time to clear and for me to visually locate the aircraft that were not communicating their locations.

    9. The Tomahawk T-tail.....
    The plane flies different from other aircraft....not weird....just different.
    I can't get it through to him that speed management is your friend in this plane.
    The stabilizer and elevator are not in the prop wash and once that tail quits flying...its done flying...no second chances.


    Am I just being stubborn and need to conform or do I have valid points that I shouldn't ignore ???

    He commented yesterday as he was signing me off for solo that he may be holding me back because he's trying to conform me to a flying style suited to a Cessna 182.
    He said that he wanted to see a little more consistancy on my landings,"stabilized approach", but didnt know if it was me or the airframe that was causing me to make minor pitch and power changes to keep everything in check on the landings.
    He also commented that he knows that I can definitely fly the plane.

    So........how do I take those statements ?

    From my viewpoint....if you become robotic on your landings and are not willing or able to make the adjustments needed to get the plane on the ground safely for the present conditions,that have possibly changed from your last landing,you're setting yourself up for failure in my opinion.
    A good pilot is able to feel it out and adapt.....

    Maybe I'm wrong......

    Kevin
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  2. Sep 15, 2019 #2

    gtae07

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    I think you need to find another instructor. This guy sounds like a real piece of work.

    Crab vs. slip is a preference thing and sometimes depends on the airplane; I used to crab in the C150 but now I slip the RV--the taildragger isn't as tolerant of setting down crooked, and it helped to have that mental decoupling of control input and output. But large aircraft almost exclusively crab; it would be very expensive to try and slip a 747 in a strong crosswind...

    Only place I might sort of agree with him is #4; don't be in a rush to get the flaps up unless you need them up for a touch-and-go or something like that. But full stop or clear of the runway may well be overkill, too. Don't touch them till you've slowed down some and definitely have the airplane under control; last thing you want to do is run off the runway or something just because you were in a rush to get your flaps up.



    One other thing; most people would use "get the flaps out" meaning extend them or lower them, not retracting them/bringing them up... I had to reread your statement a couple of times...
     
  3. Sep 15, 2019 #3

    MadProfessor8138

    MadProfessor8138

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    He's actually a very nice guy with a great personality.....I like him...and I honestly dont like many people in general.
    However,I think that he is extremely conservative and is stuck in the "Cessna 182" mentality.
    The Tomahawk DOES NOT fly anything like a 182.....its just different with the T-tail.

    I prefer to crab into a cross wind because it seems to give me better rudder and elevator authority with the airflow directly on the T-tail...it just seems more solid and controllable.
    Aileron into the wind gets uncomfortable to me because it feeks like the tail is on the edge of losing authority and you really have to get aggressive with the controls to keep it flying.

    You should have seen his face when I slipped her a bit to lose some altitude after he kept yammering that we were a bit high and I kept telling him not to worry that we were fine.
    Slipped her a bit,lost some altitude and greased her in.....no problem.
    He pooped a little on that aporoach...lol.

    The flaps aren't touched until everything is stable and well under control.
    I just dont waste runway length and momentum with rolling out.

    To me ...
    Flaps in : to extend them...dirty
    Flaps out : retract them...clean
    Just a difference in terminology I guess...

    Kevin
     
  4. Sep 15, 2019 #4

    MadProfessor8138

    MadProfessor8138

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    I guess my real issue is whether I am thinking that I know more than I do and should conform to what he's trying to get me to do....or do I know more about the flying characteristics of this plane and should stand my ground since he has zero time in a Tomahawk other than what he's flown with me.

    I dont want to set myself up for failure...

    Kevin
     
  5. Sep 15, 2019 #5

    TFF

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    Depth of experience is relative to experience. If he is not a fan of your airplane he is not a good match. There are people who hate flying P-51s so if it’s not gelling it’s not. It just is. His willing to sign you off also shows less depth. He is signing you off when he is feeling pressure. That’s not good either. Has nothing to do with piloting skill on your part really. He is not gelling. Not adapting himself and does not really want to or he would be interested in his own personal challenge.

    He only knows what he knows. If you just happen to know more it’s hard. I have a lot of time in piston helicopters to the point when the company gets a new hire, I have to help break some habits, and I am the mechanic not the pilot. Only a PPL but cringe and want to slap the pilot and say you going to put us in the dirt if you keep it up. I am no ace; I was taught by one of the best so my grading system is pretty high even if my skill is not. I know where I fit.

    I had an instructor allow me to make a bad judgment call on a night cross country. The weather was terrible but VFR in the strictest sense. We would have probably ended up ifr in a thunderstorm if we kept on. I was a student and he was a kid who had no concept of danger. I learned that 20 years ago not to let the instructor kill you. And even though I would go flying with friends , I had no interest in getting the license for close to that twenty.

    First rule of flying is good judgment. Not a good guy vs bad guy. Judgment of the situation. You have evidence on how it is working. You have to decide if you can put up with it or walk. Changing how the present instructor instructs is not going to happen. Good or bad.
     
  6. Sep 15, 2019 #6

    BJC

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    That is a real possibility, given your limited experience.
    "Standing your ground", whether you are right or not, just sets you up for future issues with him.
    You need to find a different instructor.

    BJC
     
  7. Sep 15, 2019 #7

    Aerowerx

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    +1 on getting a new instructor.

    When I was taking lessons I was working full time and could not have a dual flight as often as I liked. So when I found the time I would call and scheduled a lesson. The CFI was hard to get hold of. He was a young guy building time and waiting for the call from Delta Airlines;). Then one time, after several attempts I got hold of the FBO manager and told him about it. The next dual flight I had, the CFI was real nit-picky. I could tell he was unhappy and he was making me nervous. So I fired him and went someplace else.
     
  8. Sep 15, 2019 #8

    Topaz

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    Find a different instructor, if on no other basis than this one has so little experience in, or respect for, the airplane in which you're training. You're effectively paying his flight time to become familiar with the type, and that's not what you're supposed to be spending your flight-instruction money upon.

    I've got about about 30h in Tomahawks. There's nothing wrong with the airplane. It does have some oddities, but it was designed as a trainer, and it's a pretty good one.

    Go find someone who's flown one a bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  9. Sep 15, 2019 #9

    Bill-Higdon

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    The TH-55 was a good trainer for Army helicopter pilots, if you were slow on the auto-rotation procedures you had a big chance of not surviving.
     
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  10. Sep 15, 2019 #10

    bmcj

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    Try another instructor.

    I think there are advantages (along with the disadvantages) of flying with different (multiple) instructors. It gives you experience with different styles and techniques, it makes sure that you don’t gain permanency with a bad habit if one of your instructors has one, it makes your checkride less stressful because you are already accustomed to making multiple instructors happy, and if you eventually want a single instructor, this can be like a sampler plate.

    Also, sometimes students respond differently to different instructors, and instructors respond differently to different students. When I was instructing, most students progressed well, but I had an occasional student that just wasn’t getting the hang of things. When that happened, I suggested they try one of the other instructors, and that switch often broke the learning stalemate. The others would do the same, so I sometimes inherited some of their students.

    All of that being said, it sounds like your instructor might be a little overcautious or narrowly limited in his experience.
     
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  11. Sep 15, 2019 #11

    jedi

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    Middle ground is a good place to be. I agree you need another CFI. I am not sure how easy that is to get. I am certain that there are things you can learn from him and also that he could learn from you but there is too much conflict here for a good learning environment. In the aircraft the conflict is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Enjoy your freedom to solo but respect the limits of your new legal solo status. The CFI's certificate is now tied to your flying. Start looking for the examiner that will give your practical test and schedule some dual with him to get his take on how you should fly your aircraft. You need to widen your flight envelope also.

    When you do fly with this CFI realize he is attempting to show you other ways to fly your aircraft in order to expand your capabilities not that he is telling you that what you are doing is all wrong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  12. Sep 15, 2019 #12

    Pops

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    Well said. I think the instructor has limited experience in flying different aircraft and is having trouble transitioning into the Tomahawk.
    Takes a teacher to teach. Being nice doesn't mean you can teach. I would try another instructor.
     
  13. Sep 16, 2019 #13

    Rockiedog2

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    Sounds like a Millenial?

    LOL
     
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  14. Sep 16, 2019 #14

    MadProfessor8138

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    I'm a little surprised to see that the opinion of trying a different CFI is pretty much unanimous with everyone that has responded.
    Unfortunately,that's easier said than done around here....CFI's are in short supply.

    I honestly think that he has a lot to teach me when it comes to the rules and regs but think his lack of time in a Tomahawk is a hindrance to the actual flight training.

    There have been many instances during the flying that has left me agitated but I wont go into them,instead I'm going to ask a question to get some opinions from everyone.
    During a "stabilized " approach....is it acceptable to make moderate pitch and power changes to stay on the glideslope and keep your approach stabilized?
    Moderate adjustments not panic adjustments.
    This is the biggest issue that I have with his instruction because my viewpoint is that the pilot flies the aircraft and makes moderate adjustments to keep on track.
    I just cannot fathom the thought of setting up an approach and either coming up short or landing extremely long due to the pilot refusing to take actions that insure a safe landing.
    From my viewpoint....it is good to have a routine for configuring your aircraft for final approach and good to have base numbers to fly your final approach by...but no 2 landings are alike and you may have to adjust power or pitch to stay on your numbers.
    Being robotic and unwilling to make adjustments to keep your approach stabilized will eventually bite you.
    Fly the plane for what it needs on that particular landing.

    Or am I wrong ???

    Kevin
     
  15. Sep 16, 2019 #15

    Voidhawk9

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    Definitely get a different instructor.
    That's a dangerous way to fly a Tomahawk - seriously will it even stay on the ground at 75kts?! I've done a lot of flying in Tomahawks, as a student, and as an instructor. 75kts is a slow cruise, not a landing speed.
    I've also had an instructor (later in my career) that wouldn't accept varying the approach for the conditions. It was stupid, in those winds we spent more time powering down final than the rest of the pattern combined! Incidentally, he is no longer in the business.
    Sounds like a nice guy, but also one that perpetuates faulty thinking that leads to poor airmanship and eventually broken airplanes and pilots.
     
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  16. Sep 16, 2019 #16

    Rockiedog2

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    No you aren’t wrong. Pitch and power adjustments are required as necessary.
    Stabilized approach means on glide path, on speed and configured. The pilot is expected to keep it there by flying the ppane

    Yeh you need a new guy
     
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  17. Sep 16, 2019 #17

    Pops

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    In flying an airplane, you are constantly varying your flying to meet a constantly varying set of conditions.
    In redneck-- You do what it takes.
     
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  18. Sep 16, 2019 #18

    MadProfessor8138

    MadProfessor8138

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    Voidhawk9.....the "Trauma"hawk is definitely a quirky little beast isn't it...lol
    It's not difficult to fly as long as you realize what it is and what it will do and not do....its not good/not bad...just different.

    Since you have some time in one,let me ask your opinion on something.
    The issue that I have is that no 2 landings will play out the same.
    I can stay in the pattern for hours,and I have,shooting landings and no 2 are alike.
    What just worked fine on the last landing 8-10 minutes ago...pitch/power/speed/altitude... is off the table for this landing.
    This landing is different.....
    I've talked to other Tomahawk pilots about this and they chuckle and comment "you noticed that,huh"...then they congratulate me for being a Tomahawk pilot.

    Is this just one of the quirks of the Tomahawk airframe or am I just not doing something right with being able to make the landing just like the last one ?

    Kevin
     
  19. Sep 16, 2019 #19

    MadProfessor8138

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    Voidhawk9......and yes,there have been a few issues that I have stood my ground on, with the instructor ,because the way he was wanting me to fly it would be dangerous.
    T-tails and long thin wings are quirky...
    He has ZERO time in a Tomahawk,other than what he has flown with me,and doesnt realize that this girl will spank our *sses if its flown like a 172-182.
    I let him land her twice and both times I had to jump in to help....it wasnt pretty and I almost didnt save it on one landing.
    I was glad my insurance was paid and extremely glad I didnt need to use it that day....

    Kevin
     
  20. Sep 16, 2019 #20

    BBerson

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    If you can fly the plane then just ask him to sign your solo endorsement and go fly.
    Use the pilot flight manual for operating instructions for that airplane. Don't let him fly it, or at least not till reading the flight manual if you want to teach him. I generally teach the instructors that do my flight review with no prior experience in my aircraft type.
     
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