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5 Answers

Advice on student

Asked by: 2794 views Flight Instructor, Student Pilot

Student posts the following on his Facebook after his third solo flight:

I have to confess... That I was actually extremely tired after work today.. Full day negotiation... So bad that i took a wrong shuttle to a wrong parking lot.... I wanted to just drop dead in my car when I got there...
But I went flying afterwards instead... My instructor would disapprove if he had known and I probably shouldn't have done that... But i did it anyways... It's my first solo flying out of an airport and practice maneuvers (like stalling...) on my own!! Feel more and more like a pilot now!!!  some of these pics I probably shouldn't share up here (like taking picture while taxiing or at short final...).. But now that i'm back and nothing bad happened.. I cannot resist!!!

He's been instructed in human factors concepts and should be aware about the dangers of fatigue.  I'm a freelance instructor and just instruct as a side job for fun.  If in my situation, would you continue to fly in this student?  I know my answer, but just want to make sure I'm not overreacting.  He's a super fast learner and pretty close to checkride with most of his solo time left though.  I'm a bit mind boggled about how to him it seems perfectly reasonable to post this stuff and I'm not sure I want my name in his logbook anymore, even if we have a talk and he promises to not do any of this again...

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5 Answers



  1. Tom Kelley on Apr 12, 2014

    I understand your concerns, and surely they are valid. At the same time, it would seem such a great opportunity to have a “teachable moment” with this student. You can sit him down, and in a calm manner just be absolutely honest with him. Tell him how concerned you are FOR HIM. It is like running a red light… just because you get away with it once does not mean you can expect to keep doing it without killing yourself, and worse yet, others. Maybe as a flight instructor this will be one of your most valuable lessons to teach someone, and help them to understand what a bit issue it is for them. Just a thought

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  2. Wes Beard on Apr 12, 2014

    I think it’s important to sit down and talk with the student about why he went flying if he knew you would not want him to fly. It really is like teaching a child how to be a good citizen when they grow up and some tough love is necessary as Tom Kelley stated. A good discussion of the boundaries you want him to honor is warranted here as well.

    Again, if this pattern or has occurred before, then it would behoove you to take a next step and tell the student what you are no longer willing to do without a change in their behavior.

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  3. southfloridacfi on Apr 17, 2014

    Make him sit through another ADM ground lesson and be strict with him. I wouldn’t sign another 90 day solo. It isn’t the fatigue that is bothering me in this situation, it’s the taking selfie’s while taxiing that ticks me off. I stress with my students an extreme amount of runway incursion safety and this is just asking for trouble.

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  4. Tom on Apr 18, 2014

    Have him read some NTSB reports on fatal accidents, especially one that involved fatigue, pilot distraction, poor decision making. Maybe he will see the big picture.

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  5. southfloridacfi on Apr 18, 2014

    I agree with Tom, that’s the best answer right there! You’d be surprised how effective watching fatal accidents changes your safety perspective as a pilot.

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