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Feature Article: Designing Lessons
Giving flying lessons is much like building a tissue and
balsa flying model of an airplane of your own design. The plane
must be of your own design because the raw material of the student
is going to require unique approaches and adaptation to situations
At the present time, I am instructing a unique such flight program.
I have a student who is the most well read and prepared I have
ever taught. Yet my lessons seldom achieve the proficiency level
I expect or seek. My student has an airsickness problem. It comes
and goes and gets better the more frequency we fly. However,
due to the flu season we have not flown frequently. Progress
has been slow and erratic. At one point we did not fly for three
weeks. The review flight ended in less than half an hour due
The student senses the lack of progress, as I do. I press because
the student early on set time and economic limits for the lessons.
I bypass those maneuvers that seem to cause illness but are so
basic that weaknesses shine through. It is obvious that avoidance
is not the answer. It is apparent that certain skills must be
acquired to reasonable proficiency and absence of stress before
they can be blended into the instructional program.
A previous student told me that his tendency toward illness was
caused by an unexpressed fear of crashing. One the fear faded
so did the sickness. It is difficult to surmise the problem of
my present student. It is almost as though we must start over
to reduce the stresses that once existed in previously learned
material. The presence of independent skills in flying are very
few I cannot right now even think of one. Prerequisite or subordinate
skills dominate the learning to fly program. This particular
student gets ill doing ground reference. The latest review flight
consisted of little more than left and right level turns before
illness struck. I have not
been able to organize lesson sequences that will hold together
long enough for connection to another sequence.
Under a normal progression we would have gone through the four
basics, slow flight and stalls, radio procedures, airport departures
and arrivals, and proceeded into landing preliminaries of go-around
and patterns. We have not been able to fly often enough or long
enough the link the required skills together. The relevance of
basic skills is so obvious as not to require explanation or demonstration.
Each of these areas has prerequisites that once met, must be
maintained. Because of the superior preparation done by this
student in utilizing study materials, I have tried to keep my
student well. The result has been vacancies in his skills and
procedures. The student has suffered because I failed to tie
the required skills into sequences that would produce success.
A lesson learned.
Last Modified February 21, ©2018 TAGE.COM