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Hmm, I think thats good insight Rosco.


I myself am from a farm background, so it was expected that we know alot of stuff and be responsible at an early age. Does it make me a better pilot, well, I do understand the mechanics of the plane well.


I guess then maybe the issue is that today students don''t bring as much relevant, transferable experience with them. How do video games and computers help you to fly? Be interesting to look at the stats for hrs vs. background.


Given my background, I did beat the 75 hr average, not by a whole lot, but I did switch instructors in there too.

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For me, I finished in 45 hours and took a year off between hours 13 and 14 to go to university in another province. Once i came back, i focused and finished my PPL in the minimum time and passed with all fives and one four. I dont say this to say that i am better or anything like that. My instructor taught me everything i know. Since then i have done my CPL and have had a lot of time to make friends and aquaintences at the school. A lot of them are like me and pretty young (university student). I think that University is a bit of a barrier. I have had to work very hard to do 5 classes a semester and do flying in my sparetime with homework squeezed in between. So, could it be that many of the flying students simply live a busier life than before? If this is the case, we could have part of the answer as to us not completing as fast (long breaks in between bookings, not doing as well with the groundwork due to other priorities, etc...). I think the onus is part on the instructor (maybe 25%) and part of the students responsibility (maybe 75%).

I dont know, those are just my ramblings...take them for what theyre worth.



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Well, I guess it''s my turn to kick in Two Cents worth (that''s one cent US).


After six years instructing (over 3000 hrs.in the air and about 5000 on the ground), I feel that I have an opinion.


My experience has been that I have instructed students at the Recreational, Private, Commercial and Flight Instructor levels. These students have come to me at the beginning of their training and from other instructors and schools. I can''t say that the number of hours that a student has during his training has much to do with the number of hours his instructor had, because I have Commercial students who received their Private training from instructor with twice the hours I have and I have found that they are amazed at how much they still had to learn once they started flying with me. Nearly all of the students I have worked with have plans to fly Commercially and I feel that it is my duty to teach them more than the minimum required to pass a test.


As any flight instructor would do, I am, from time to time, asked to do currency checks with customers, or upgrades to more advanced aircraft. These customers range in experience from 100 hours to 7000 hours. I have found that the number of hours these folks have cannot be taken as a given when trying to predict how they will perform on the flight. Where then is the relationship drawn that a low time instructor will not be able to teach as well as a high time instructor.


When choosing a flight school with low time Class 4 instructors it may be a good idea to ask about the supervision arrangements for the instructors. Who, how frequent, etc.


For the record, I had 49 hours when I got my private licence in 1974, and that included about 6 hours of just leasurely flying out over a lake where my family had property (not practicing any particular skill). At that time all hours leading up to your licence were Tax deductable so the extra hours were cheaper then than they would have been after I got my licence. You might say that I would have done it in 43 hours. Still more than the minimum required at that time, but my very low time instructor taught me things back then that some of my Class 4 students still can''t get through their heads (well lets say that they are starting to).


I do strongly believe that back then students were not as distracted and therefore learned more and better. There was also less included in the Transport Canada requirements (start with 5 hours of basic instrument training and a check list requirement that adds about .1 or more to every flight [we used to do it all from memory]). If you are keeping score, so far that would add 10 hours or more to the basic course without even considering the students'' attention span.


Quality in instruction is not measured in quantity, it is measured in content. Many instructors today were trained from the beginning by instructors who were trainned by instructors who didn''t know what they were doing. Some of the students I have had to "train" did their Private and Commercial training with an instructor who was more concerned with the 45 hours than the content of the course.


Charles (hello), why does a commercial pilot who was trained by a Class 1, 5000 hour instructor not understand attitude flying, and only flares because he knows that any later and it''s going to bounce hard. One might assume that the instructor knows how to judge the flare (maybe). It''s scary to think that this Class 1 is also "training" instructors.


A local school boasts that they are one of the top ranked schools in Canada. This is based on the fact that their students have higher average marks than the rest. The CFI is the DFTE, and most of the students have from 45 to 55 hours at flight test time. I have trained several of their graduates on basic attitude flying during their commercial course.


Our school does not boast about the high marks our students "achieve", we boast about the quality of their training. Our DFTE is our CFI as well, but he is not very lenient with the marks (fact is our students show below national average on the marking scale, but not on the ability scale). One of my students recently was tested by an outside DFTE and came up with well above national average marks.


The sum of all this rambling is that the number of hours at flight test time does not, in my opinion have much to do with the number of hours the instructor has, but in fact, has a lot to do with the quality of instruction that went into the instructors training and his/her dedication to producing a good product.




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Very good post.


I would like to make some comments on what you wrote.


I agree that TC has added more and more to the PPL course which can add to the instructional time, two you mentioned would be better taken out of the course.




The five hours of instrument training is in my opinion detrimental to safety, how can you have instructors with no idea whatsoever about instrument flying teach instrument flying to a private student.


All this does is expose the ignorant to the false impression that they can fly themselves out of an inadvertent loss of outside visual reference. That is just setting these people up for a loss of control when they suddenly "HAVE" to fly by reference to instruments only.




The long complicated written check lists that students are forced to stumble through have only one real advantage and that is to the school as a time builder.


Now of course we could go on and examine the inability of a great many pilots to figure out how to properly land an airplane.


It just amazes me to watch some of the light twin drivers rocket down the runway and burn up the brakes near the end of a five thousand foot runway because some misguided instructor did not have a clue about how approach and land a simple basic light twin.


To day we were pre flighting and I watched a Navajo come screaming in at high speed and gradually flare about two thousand feet from the threshold then with lots of power on finally got the thing on the runway all three wheels at once and use the whole five thousand feet of runway to get it stopped.


And it happens all the time, thank God they are not flying anyting that I own.


Cat Driver:


The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no.

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Two other points to consider:


1) Our airport has seen a large increase in traffic. Our wait times for take off can and have been up to 0.3 on the taxiway.


2) Our local practise areas are 10 to 15 mins of flight time from our airport. That's a total of 20 to 30 mins of travel time.



Not to mention the focus it demands to account for all of this traffic! And yes we have seen a mid air in our area.


If you took a busy day here, that could be an extra 0.8 simply in waiting and flying to the practise area. Never mind the days that the student gets out to the practise area and finds it too busy to focus on their airwork (1.0 flight down the tube)


Is this starting to make sense now?


This may not apply to other areas but it has made a big difference in ours and therefore greatly affects the "National Average".

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