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Can we do polls here? It would be interesting to see what the majority of people feel...


An instructor with lots of experience


A fresh instructor with all the knowledge


Well, to me, both sound professional enough. I suppose I can speak from experience. My PPL was taught by two main instructors at the good old victoria flying club in YYJ BC. One of the instructors was English just like me, and I was his FIRST student, EVER! I felt very comfortable with him. He knew everything, and I did not have any quarms against him.


Then, when I flew with my other instructor who had been and still is an instructor, for a few years before me, he treated me exactly the same, and ran the same "program" during my 2 hour daily slots.


Come to think of it, the more experienced one was more "lenient", and would be a little less "by the book" although that is said in the lightest of ways. Someone above said "do W&B only if absolutely neccersary". Well, tell that to the English first time new guy instructor and he might lecture you by the book and tell you to do a re-test! Where, the more experienced would be less likely to have a heart attack if you told him that, and come to an agreement that that is probably quite true.


IMO (in my opinion), I think both types, through experience, are perfectly up to the job, and I admire any professional pilot for getting where they are today


Smooth skies



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Well even if an instructor had many hours of flying most experience with a pilot comes from experience flying. A 5000 hr instructor and a 230 hr instructor cant teach you more about flying then what is required to fly.

Most knowledge comes from hearing things or experiencing them yourself. Recurrecny in training is also a good thing as well. Since it is fresh off the top of there heads.

Secondly where is a pilot gonna start earning his experience? Through instructing right? So if its your perogative to gain experience from a 5000hr instructor, then go ahead, no ones to argue. But a 230 hr instructor can do the same job and everyone must start out somewhere so i dont see the point in argueing how "every job" in avaition is for high timed pilots. Next thing you know someone is gonna say that a ramp rat should have 1000hr''s.

Point being what else do you want out of an instructor? They are there to teach you how to fly, if you want to learn more about flying, obviously more hours will do the trick. I got my training from a low time instructor and never had to go to the extremes of 75hours.

If an instructor has a good teaching outline to follow on every flight, then learning the required curve shouldnt take as many hours!

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Well, I remember asking my instructor one time about taking a buddy up and having him take the control column to see what its like. Could I do it? Should I do it? That sort of thing. He response was "Well, you can fly a plane, so why can''t you teach someone how to fly?" He was a young instructor, and a very very talented pilot.


Okay, now obviously I''m taking the devils adovocate position. But my point is more that its not about the hours an instructor has, its about their abilities. There are also some students who all they want is a PPL so they can ''blast off'' across the country in the plane they just bought.


In the end, I hate it when people start to put hours and years of experience ahead of ability. They seem to think that their hours and age out weight talent and common sense. I have always felt in any industry that this is just a way for older average people to justify why a younger more talented person isn''t worth the same money as they are.

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Of course experience means very little, that is why low time pilots just jump into complex airplanes and teach, its because of their superior natural abilities.


After all who needs experience when you are talented.


Speaking of experience how many instructors are qualified to teach on something really basic like tailwheel airplanes.


Chas W.

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I didn''t say that experience counts for nothing, just that its value is variable and is balanced against talent. Haven''t you ever seen another individual that you admitted, even secretly, that they are better than you? (If you haven''t, well, age will teach you humility.)


"Of course experience means very little, that is why low time pilots just jump into complex airplanes and teach, its because of their superior natural abilities."


Could very well be. Surely you must conceed that there are people out there who are just as better at something. Would you rather take your training with a CFI who took 500 hrs just to get the lisence and 3 times at the flight test? (He''s experienced after all.) Or would you rather take the 230 hr CFI who aced his exam, and people find him highly skilled and a good teacher?


In the end, I do think experience adds value. But don''t assume its the only factor. To prejudge an instructor because they have 230 hrs and no tail dragger experience is wrong.


If you same you want to have students to get a license in 45 hrs instead of 75, aren''t you promoting student talent instead of just experience? That same student may become the CFI too, so where you wrong to encourage him to use talent to get there faster?

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I am sorry I can''t follow your thoughts on instructing.


Good instructors require the talent to teach, however to be a good instructor you must understand the subject.


There are just to many poor instructors in flying schools to day, poor because their instructors did not understand the subject as they both have no experience in having actually flown commercially.


And I must point out the subject is not writing exams, rather it is understanding how to fly the airplane.


Now once again lets take my simple question about tailwheel airplanes.


These are basic machines yet few instructors understand how to fly them, does that not give some indication of the quality of instructors availiable.


Or is it your opinion that a talented instructor can just teach him /her self how to fly one?


Chas W.

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My original response was to whether a 230 tt, new inked CFI should actully teach. My response is on that is: sure, if they are skilled. The fact that they have 230 hours is not a good indication of their skills and capabilities. Nor does a high tt by default make you a great instructor. Yes, experience is valuable, but some experiences contribute less than others and ability/talent can compensate for lack of experience.


Could a talented pilot teach himself to fly a tail dragger? Lots of people can teach themselves to do anything. We teach ourselves every day if we are open to new experiences and trying something new or in a different way. Thats not to say that we won''t make mistakes, we learn from mistakes. Often the more talented (and to your point) more experienced will make less. So yeah, they could teach themselves to fly a tail dragger. Someone had to teach themselves to fly tail draggers in the first place. Is it unsafe, well, its certainly not as safe as learning from an experienced pilot such as yourself.


Could I teach myself to fly tail draggers: well, to be honest, I don''t think of myself as a talented pilot. I''m told that I''m above average in some things. On others, I need experience to get me through, no shame in admitting that. I have read books on the subject, and want the opportunity to fly em, planning on doing trying one this summer.


Does a CFI need tail dragger experience? Would it make them a better instructor? Hmm, likely, but I don''t think its required, UNLESS they are planning to teach in them. (Its like saying should a CFI have aerobatic experience. Be great if they did, but not required for the job unless that is the job.)


I guess I feel for the thread because low timers often get dumped on for being low timers with little other consideration. I had a CFI who was talented, he took an opportunity to fly whatever he could. He used to show me how to read winds on water. He used to talk about how to control the aircraft in the event of aileron failure and/or rudder failure and/or elevator failure. He offered a wealth of knowledge. He was one of the companies top light aircraft charter pilots. Might suprise you to know he was also a low timer. (... and now you know the rest of the story...)


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So what is the answer to getting the student through the course in 45 hours?


As far as the cost difference between 45 hours and 75 hours that would pay the instructor quite nicely wouldn''t it?


Here is a question for you.


There was a time when the private license was 30 hours, all the airplanes were tailwheel and most students received their licenses in around the 30 hour time frame.


Why could it be done then and not now with more simple airplanes to train on?


Why 75 hours now and 30 hours then?


Chas W.

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On 3/12/2003 9:54:13 PM Charles W. wrote:


Maybe more experienced instructors would get the student through in 45 hours instead of 75 hours?


Charles W.




This may indeed be true, but since anyone with the type of experience level you seem to be talking about would demand at least 4 times what the average instructor is paid today, the cost of that 45 hours would be far more than 75 hours at the present rates.


Also, lets face it, the items taught in the PPL and CPL are not overly complex. The number of hours that it takes to get the licence has very little to do with the instructor. Most of the extension in time is due to weather, sporadic student flying and failure of a student to grasp one element (ie. landings). None of these problems can be solved with experience.


This is not to say that there are not poor instructors - I''m sure that there are. The number of unemployed instructors, however, serves to regulate the level of instruction. If you needed 3000 hrs to instruct how many surplus instructors do you think there would be? HOw do you think the level of instructing would change if the instructors new they were literally irreplaceable?

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I don't know the answer, but I have a guess. The sporadic student bookings which I mentioned are, in large part, due to monetary constraints. A PPL costs in the $6000 range - if it's done in 45 hours. There is also less government financial help to get your licence than in the past. People run out of money. Simple as that. I had to take 13 months off when doing my PPL because I ran out of money - of course that extended my time.


Granted, wages, etc. have also increased, but I'm sure that the cost of training has gone up at a far faster rate.


For example - an aquaintance of mine got his licence in the late 40's. It cost him $300 - and when he got his licence the government gave him back $100 and gave the flying club $100.


So since the 40's, the cost of flight training has increased 3000%, based on a $200 cost to the student.

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