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Feature Article: Utilizing Hood Training

The FAA integrated mix of VFR and IFR instruction is a violation of the very instructional precepts considered basic to flight instruction. The purpose of the IFR instruction to a VFR student was an emergency process. As such, it focused on the attitude indicator and the making of a 180- degree turn out of IFR conditions. The basis of this instruction was upon the inability of a VFR pilot to maintain control in IFR conditions for much over a minute.

The basic 1959 survival turn was performed by reference to the needle with any descent initiated by a slight reduction in power as by applying carburetor heat. The yoke was released and a quarter-needle turn initiated and stopped by rudder alone. Over the years this was changed into a coordinated attitude indicator shallow bank along with turn coordinator rate turn for one minute. Any time devoted to this detracted from the use of VFR references outside the cockpit.

I, along with others, have minimized hood time until giving a concentrated emphasis just prior to the practical test. In my VFR instruction emphasize a light smooth control touch, selected power settings, and attitudes referenced with the nose and horizon set by trim. The transition from such VFR flying to IFR instrument control is a seamless smooth one.

My students learn, early on, to index the throttle position by sound and confirm only with the tachometer. Sound is also indexed for selected speeds and configurations. The student proceeds from a known condition in VFR to an instrument condition directly related and confirmed by the instruments. In years past my students have usually commented on how seamless the VFR to IFR training has been.

There is no way that future flight instruction can permanently reconstruct the problems created by poor initial instruction. The importance of proper initial instruction has been proven many times. Poor coordination, trim techniques, attention to headings and altitudes will never be what they should be if not taught from the beginning.


Last Modified July 29, ©2016 TAGE.COM

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