not making progress?
It is doubtful that there is a pilot flying
who has not at one time or another felt the twinge of doubt
that his learning curve is not going well. The emotions
involved can run the gamut, self-doubt, blame, resentment,
and anger. Quit, seek support, change instructors, and kick
the dog are typical initial reactions.
We begin expecting that flying will be much as we have seen
it in the media and read in books. We often assume that our
prior experience and even expertise in another field will
transfer into flying and expedite the learning process. Not
so. A very important part of learning to fly is to unlearn
all the preconceptions we have acquired since childhood. It
is very difficult to overcome first learned ideas. We are
very used to adding power to go faster. Yet, just adding
power to an airborne airplane makes it go slower. Pointing
an airplane up does not mean that it is going or will go up.
Instinctive reactions can be very dangerous when applied to
flying airplanes. Illusions exist and will be believed by
even the best of pilots.
Much of the difficulty in giving flight instruction arises
from communication problems. The instructor has acquired an
experience 'bank' from his own training and teaching. The
instructor's problem is to fit his knowledge and
presentation of it into your learning requirements. The
student is not a blank slate. As the previous paragraph
indicates the student is loaded with flying information. The
student doesn't know what he doesn't know. What he knows he
knows may be all the way from totally correct in concept and
application to just the opposite and anywhere in between.
This is the 'playing field' of flight instruction. The
student and instructor must communicate information and
understanding back and forth. This communication can be
verbal, demonstration, emotional and even extra-sensory.
Instructors want every student to be a successful student.
Every student wants to succeed. When it doesn't work out it
is most often a failure to communicate