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Frequent issues trainee pilots face?

Asked by: 831 views , ,
Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, General Aviation, Student Pilot

Hi there, 

I'm hoping that this forum is an acceptable place to ask my question...

As part of some research I am conducting, I would like to find out what are some of the more common issues trainee pilots have/most common mistakes that are made?

This question may be more relevant for flight instructors who see similarities between trainees behaviour. However,  if you are a trainee yourself it would also be helpful to know what areas of flying you find the most difficult, or most time consuming to learn/master. Could perhaps be a certain manoeuvre that must be completed before passing, or just more general cockpit behaviour. 

Any insight would be very helpful,



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1 Answers

  1. Brian on Nov 09, 2016

    By far it’s operation of the seat belt, door, and entering the aircraft. I say that as a joke, but also am quite serious. I often joke with clients that there ought to be a lesson dedicated to using the seat, doors, and seat belts in the aircraft. Especially older ones.

    On a more serious note for your survey; where are they looking. In a car we look into the turn, so they always do this in the airplane. However, in an airplane your best information is directly in front of you, you won’t run into a sign post if you look there and make a coordinated turn.

    During a soft field takeoff they look at the nose of the airplane, which is why they sky rocket to 20 feet in the air a few dozen times till you get them to focus on the horizon in the distance. The only way to fly inches from the ground is to look as far in the distance as the eye can see.

    Same as above for the landing, except they smash into the runway versus rocketing away from it.

    Posture. They always want to sit in my seat when they make left turns! Sit in your own darn seat, your shoulder blades should remain fastened to the seat during all flying except when leaning forward to see around blind spots in your aircraft.

    To expand on the above, you shouldn’t be leaning forward when you’re changing the attitude of the airplane. If an airplanes attitude is changing your eyes should be forward, your head should be straight and you should feel the back of the seat with your shoulder blades.

    When stalling they leave their feet asleep. Instructors often never force pilots to fly a plane in stalled flight and instead just worry about recovering from it. Pilots need to recognize the stall, but they also need to understand how the fly the airplane in it so they can correctly fly themselves out of it.

    Flying a cross country while looking at the map and then trying to figure out where those items are on the ground. Read the map the way it was built: Look outside, digest what you see, visualize it in your head, and then find it on the map.

    Also learn to fly a course line. Walking across a field on the ground you don’t need a map to walk a straight line. So why does the airplane do S turns for 100 mile trip? Because they never looked ahead of them and picked a few points to make a line. Having a line also let’s you see and correct for drift.

    It all boils down to the most common errors arise from the inexperienced instructor who knows how to do just about anything with the instruments and just about nothing with an airplane without any. Learning where to look, the importance of good posture, and what they should feel and hear during each maneuver is what is missing. Combine this with some common sense connections as to what they do on the ground and how it relates, or doesn’t, to flying would take training a long way from where it is today.

    Can you turn 30 degrees accurately without a compass? If they can’t then how can they ever spot traffic at 11 or 1 o’clock…

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