Randy, a Certified Flight Instructor from Florida, writes: Hey, Wildman, you teach CFIs right? I’m hoping you can help me out. I’m already a CFI, but I’m at a loss for how to go about teaching my students… er… learners… aeronautical decision making (ADM). The Aviation Instructor’s Handbook tells me: “The importance of teaching learners effective ADM skills cannot be overemphasized,” but then it doesn’t tell me how to go about doing that. What guidance do you give your fledgling instructors in this regard?
For perspective, know that ADM is a somewhat new thing. Back in the Old Days when I was coming up, your first cert was considered your license to learn. I think the examiner even told me as much when he handed me my private pilot certificate. That was a shock. I thought I’d learned everything I needed to know during flight training!
Yes, in those days, it was go forth and get smart or die. And my peers did both, in about equal numbers.
The world has changed, for the better, thank goodness.
Now, instead of just teaching stick and rudder skills, a few rules and regs, and turning our learners loose, we attempt to teach our up-and-coming aviators how to think about flight — ADM — as well as how to fly.
Of course, what we are really attempting to do is to teach experience without experience, no small thing.
And making it harder, I believe that much of what we teach — well, more properly, how we teach much of what we teach — doesn’t encourage thinking, which is what ADM is all about.
So what advice do I give my instructor candidates?
A barrel roll, as viewed from the side.
I suggest that they do a half
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