Your instructor is one essential leg to
the flight-training program. An interview and perhaps
demonstration flight can be very deceptive. Flying with the first person to say
'hello' has a
relatively high element of chance. First select the
airport from which to fly. You are more likely to fly more
often if the field is convenient. What kind of airport and
how busy is not a major consideration. Perhaps the field
selection may be a choice between several airports. If a
simulator is involved, it will be only as good as the
You might want to interview your instructor selections in a
non-flying situation over coffee. Find out where they
trained and from whom. Ask what are they planning with their
flying career and just how their teaching you fits into the
picture. If the instructor is building hours for another
occupation you might look elsewhere. All instructors are
different and changing instructors is always an option you
should hold open. Better to make the changes, once
considered, sooner than later. Ask why is the instructor an
instructor. Is the instructor working for you or for himself
or is another skimming some of his pay? Is the planned
program designed to give you economy and achievement? If the
instructor charges for telling 'war stories', the talking
can become expensive.
What you are looking for is communication skills,
experience, dedication and professionalism. You want an
instructor who is willing to fly you into weather. You are
looking beyond theory for practical knowledge and
applications not always available in textbooks. Basically,
you are looking for a communicator with knowledge,
creativity, discipline, patience with the ability to
determine weaknesses and strengths.
The last major consideration is time. An instructor who is
not available is like not having one at all. As a student,
you must not begin flying unless you have both the money and
time required for learning efficiently. You should demand
that the instructor have both time and available aircraft.
Reliability is essential. Be on time and give the instructor
only two shots at being late. Let him know this during the
interview. Waiting is what makes old age.
50% of students who get medical certificates do not get
their licenses Why are we using the least experienced of our
instructional prospects as the majority of our teachers?
Teachers, regardless of what they teach are on the lowest
rung of the career ladder. A teacher is good who has
enthusiasm for his material and is eager to share it. Look
for such a teacher.