Safe?

3

350DRIVER

I am rather curious about how other CFII's feel about giving Instrument Prof checks to pilots who are not the "sharpest" of the crop.- I really only instruct in privately owned airplanes due to my flight schedule and have found that a few of the pilots I have flown with have a lot to be desired regarding their Instrument "skills" and overall knowledge of the IFR enviroment.
I attempted to give a guy a IPC the other day and the flight went seriously wrong when he had NO clue what a no-gyro approach was and his partial panel flying was very very sloppy so needless to say I would not sign his logbook as a IPC to make him "current" again instead I signed his book as a "training" flight which did not make him very happy at all- BUT I am in no way shape or form going to be "responsible" if an incident/accident were to happen the FAA would come right after me for signing his logbook...At 23 years of age I don't want my tickets on the line if he were to go do something unsafe or stupid in an airplane- He was hot when we got back on the ground and said I "tested" more of his ability than I should have and that I was wrong for doing this....

He was extremely upset and felt that I was "unfair" by using the PTS but in my mind I will not deviate from what the FAA requires CFII's to accomplish during the IPC- I am curious if any other CFII has had similiar problems and how they handled the situation.- I suggested that he take a few flights with a CFII to get competant again to act SAFELY as an Instrument pilot but he did not want to hear any of it and said he would just use another CFII and he would get the required signature to be "legally current" again and said since he had over 2000TT and he was more than twice my age that I was in no position to "judge" his skills.....Sad thing is he is an attorney who can and probably will get another CFII to get him "current" again but I don't think this is safe.- I could not believe his lack of flying ability while under the hood and I didn't feel that it was in anyone's best interest to call our flight the IPC....-

I am curious what other CFII's would have done and if I was "incorrect" by not giving him the go ahead to be "current" again??


thx
 

bigD

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Posts
2,020
Total Time
4.9e17
Well 350, I doubt anyone here is going to think you did the wrong thing by being cautious. I'm not a cfii, but no way would I let some arrogant dude bully me into signing his logbook if I didn't feel comfortable with him.

People have their own comfort levels. My cfii had a policy of never flying in actual with a student she hadn't previously flown with before. I needed some IFR practice for currency a few months ago, and flew a night IFR cross country in a twin with an instructor that had never flown with me. He didn't seem to have a problem launching into IMC at night without first knowing my skills (or lack thereof!), and he has about half the experience that my cfii does. To each his own, I guess. It'll be interesting to see where I set MY limits when I begin instructing.
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
You do what you feel is best, no if's, and's, or but's. Use your judgement.

You asked what others do. Often instructors sign people off as ready to go, and often they do it in error. There are instructors and there are teachers. Instructors pass on a syllabus, teachers enter the student's mind and open it to understanding. They help the student teach themself. A teacher is not satisfied with mediocraty. A teacher trains to proficiency, and looks beyond the end of the flight. A teacher considers the nature of the student, rather than the nature of the paycheck.

I've given proficiency checks and flight reviews that took five hours or more. I let the individual know up front that I will fly with them as long as it takes. Sometimes it goes quickly, sometimes not. I'm not so much looking for a student to meet a standard per se, as I am for judgement and basic competence. Awareness.

You are correct that a pilot should at a minimum level be able to perform to the standards set forth in the PTS for their certification. Thus, a private pilot must be able to perform to private pilot standards. This isn't clearly spelled out in the FAR, but it's a reasonable minimum standard to expect.

The pilot to whom the flight review is being administered should be made to understand that the flight review is not a test, but a training program. It's a review. It isn't pass or fail. You will train to proficiency, and the period of time it requires really depends on the student. Ample time should be allowed for briefing and debriefing to ensure that you're on the same page with the student, and that the student doesn't feel that he or she has been taken advantage of.

You indicated that the student was unable to perform certain tasks. The student should understand that failure to perform a task indicates a deficiency, and should be shown the danger of flying when not fully proficient. Ideally, the student should be lead to draw the conclusion himself or herself that more training is warranted; allow the student to see the need, rather than being told of the need. The student must realize that his or her actions are not up to par, and that good judgement on their part will be receiving additional training.

On your own end, however, never forget that the review is NOT a test. It's not pass or fail, either. It's intended to be training toward improvement. Don't necessarily expect the level of sharpeness that someone who is in the system every day or week will have; look at the bare minimum of six approaches every six months permitted by the FAR, and then determine how the student's ability fits into the grand scheme of things. Certainly push for proficiency, but if a student can't shoot a no-gyro inverted ILS to minimums with nothing but a wiskey jug and a pet monkey (long story, with no point), don't hold it against the student. Instead, show the student that it's wise to avoid situations that might call for that event, and move on.

The bottom line is that is IS your certificate, and it IS your judgement. Let no one tell you otherwise. You do what you feel is best, and you are committing no crime by requiring an acceptable level of performance from a student. Instructors who give a **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** are hard to find, so don't lose that. Good luck!


You know, I am not a profane person, but **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** that sensor, anyway...
 

ILLINI

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
495
Total Time
++++
I think you probably made the correct decision to not sign off his IPC and to recommend further instruction in the deficient areas. The purpose of an IPC is to make sure a pilot is proficient, not to get him current. When I used to do these or BFRs, insurance checks, etc. I would always explain the objective, goals, and skill level that I was looking for in order to complete the IPC, or whatever it was. I would also explain that the FAA has certain minimums that were required to complete the IPC or BFR, but that these were ONLY MINIMUMS and that it may take more than an hour of ground or one flight to satisfactorily complete all areas. This way they knew what to expect going into the lesson and they knew what I was looking for. I didn't have many complaints on unsatisfactory performances because they knew that they didn't perform to the standards I had already told them about.

Also, remember that for an IPC you don't have to use the PTS in the same manner that you would for an instrument check ride. I try to make the IPC as practical as possible, which means that I won't "fail" the guy if he is 15 knots fast on an approach, or 150 feet high on altitude once in a while, or forgets to time an ILS approach. An IPC is not like a check ride, it's a learning experience - you can give the guy dual and instruct him while you are doing the IPC. In most cases, a pilot getting an IPC has not recieved instruction from an instructor in quite a while and may have forgotten quite a bit of stuff. A good majority of the people that I have given an IPC to didn't know what to do in case of comm failure, ie. routes and altitudes to fly. I didn't fail them because of this, but we did spend a good 20 minutes talking about it until he understood. Now if he is unable to maintain altitude, and can't fly partial panel to save his life, then it is your responsibility as an instructor to either continue to work with him until you feel comfortable that he is safe, or to recommend he recieve further training elsewhere before going for the IPC again.

A big part of keeping the student from getting angry because you didn't sign them off is the way you explain it. Don't just tell them that they $uck and send them on their way. Explain to them that there are areas that they could use a little more practice with and the reason that these areas are very important and must not be overlooked. Basically, be gentle on their ego. I have had doctors, lawyers, company presidents, etc for students in the past. These type of people are not used to being told what to do, especially from a young instructor. Be respectful and try to establish at least a professional relationship from the very beginning. I usually took 5-10 minutes to just chat before getting started so we could get to know each other a little bit first.

Most of the time this will work, but unfortunately there are times that no matter what you do, they will b!tch and moan like a little baby. I guess that's when you just have to tell yourself that you did the right thing and hope the next instructor doesn't fall for this guys childish anticts.

I'm glad you did the right thing, and weren't pressured into signing this person off just because they threw a fit. Good job!
 
3

350DRIVER

Thanks Av for the post-
kind of backed up my mindset but just wanted to get more "experienced" aviators opinions like yours since he used the "age" issue as a determining factor that I was "incorrect" in my technique since in his opinion I was not from the "old school" of aviation's hard knocks...- was kind of dissaponited he turned it into many personal attacks towards me but took it for what it was worth-

thx
 

bigD

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Posts
2,020
Total Time
4.9e17
Okay avbug - you can't spit out phrases like "whiskey jug" and "pet monkey" without people like me being curious. I mean, any time booze and monkeys are involved - hyjinx are bound to ensue! :D
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
With all due respect to John Deakin, I preach and practice timing the ILS, along with all other approaches. I'm more inclined to be lazy about it compared to any other type of approach, but I believe that timing the approach is good standardization. I've also used it to transition to a localizer only approach before, despite the reservations of others on that subject.

In many cases, I pre-brief the loc proceedure along with the full ILS. In many cases, I'll go missed if there are any problems with the approach. However, in some cases, especially in cases where vectored to intercept the localizer quite a way out, transition to the localizer-only is a very simple affair if one is prepared to do so.

One must remember to start the time over the appropriate fix, rather than at glide slope intercept altitude as published (or later, if vectored in at a lesser altitutde), and one must remember that the FAF for the loc-only and the full glide slope proceedures differ.

Certain proceedures do not identify the MAP except by altitude. Starting time enables an aircraft flying the missed proceedure after a glide slope failure to locate the missed approach point. As a turn may not be commenced until reaching this point, anything which may enhance the ability to locate this point is a plus. While we can certainly accomplish this using other equipment in many cases (such as GPS, FMS, etc), why not use every resource available? When flying with GPS, I tune and identify using VHF, and when flying VHF, I back it up with the box. And so on. Including the clock only makes sense.

As far as monkeys and wiskey bottles, the time honored use of the wiskey bottle involves duct taping it to the panel as an ad hoc attitude indicator. The actual attitude is determined by one's ability to keep the airplane coordinated, tempered by the amount relieved from the bottle in order to produce a readable indication. Technically, one must drink half the bottle in order to get an accurate horizon line. At that point, reading the bottle may be difficult, even using the traditional lipstick demarcation to represent the horizon.

Here, the monkey comes into play. I mean no disrespect for the stinky little primates; I'm perhaps more closely aligned with them by nature and upbringing than those on this side of the jungle fence. However, the inherent clinginess of monkeys in general can be useful. The monkey will tend to hang from things, and this serves for properly coordinating the aircraft by keeping the mokey dangling on a line tangential to the point of attachment to the airframe.

In the event of heavy precip or ice, (monkey fur being non electrostatic by nature) the monkey may be used alternately to wipe the window externally (in aircraft having a Vne of less than 180 knots), or to simply beat the ice accumulation free using the monkey via it's tail.

In the event of failure of auxilliary alerting systems such as the radar altimeter, the PNF may give firm yanks to the monkey's tail to cause a high pitched screetch to ensue, thus marking the transition in hundreds of feet during the final phase of the approach. If the monkey suddenly begins to screetch of it's own volition, it's probably scared to death, or is sensing death. In either case, one should execute a missed approach without delay.

Given time and enough wire, one can use two monkeys to fashion a rudimentary approach device, by wiring voltage through the localizer sensor individual monkeys on each side of the cockpit. When passing left of course, the left monkey receives voltage (locate desired vocal range by attaching wire to various appendages experimentally; do this in VFR conditions if possible before actually shooting an approach), and begins to screech. This effectively provides a "fly right" indication, which is further enhanced by the monkey attempting to remove your face with the wiskey bottle if you don't make a sincere effort to get back on course. The monkey on the right side of the cockpit works the same, but in reverse.

The added advantage of the two-monkey system (referred to as DualMonk in Advisory Circular AC-945-53A) is that during a back course approach, one need only swap the monkeys from right to left to maintain proper orientation. The same is true while flying an inverted front course approach, although every effort to physically tack or bolt the monkeys in their respective position using either velcro or roofing nails should be made, to preclude changes during the approach.

Assuming the approach is successful, monkeys can be trained to gather tips from passengers, or phone numbers from female passengers. The only drawback to monkey backup systems are security screeners, who may not subject the monkey to adequate pat-downs due to nepotism issues. You may also find yourself, along with being asked to drink water and sew on a button while passing security, asked to pet your monkey, in order to demonstrate that it is indeed a genuine monkey. Refusal can be bad news.

You can bet you'll never be asked to drink from the wiskey bottle to prove that it's really wiskey. You're much safer to say it's full of piss-colored hydrochloric acid, or pureed salmon eggs. Anything but something truly drinkable. But I digress. It's late. In fact, it's time to put the monkey to bed (it's been modeling for a slot in the next Microsoft Flight Simulator). Good night.
 

Snakum

How's your marmott?
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Posts
2,090
Total Time
Little
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks Avbug :D

Minh
 

ksu_aviator

GO CATS
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Posts
1,327
Total Time
4100
Bluestreak--

Don't trust what you read on Avweb. They are very organized and look very professional, but they'll publish an article from anyone that sends in their opinion. The article you referenced was more of an editorial than a technical publication. It was opinion not fact.

The best reason I know of to time an ILS approach is for executing a missed approach. Our airline requires you go missed if you loose the glide slope inside the FAF. The procedure for going missed in this case is to level off, fly to the MAP then follow the missed approach procedure. So how do you identify the MAP if you haven't timed the approach? Granted many ILS plates don't have times listed, but they do have the distance, and you should have a reasonable estimate of your ground speed. From that you can come up with an estimated time and go from there. Sure you can kind of come up with a reasonably close MAP just by flying until the LOC needle is too sensitive to maintain, but that really is poor technique. Time the approach.
 

Bluestreak

Fitty-Six F100's rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
375
Total Time
Miller
As you wish.I've flown for two airlines,neither of which advocated timing an ILS.The MM is the MAP-if you have a failure,fly the miss and then figure it out.Honestly,how many times have you lost the GS at just the "right" time ? How can you know if it's your equipment or the GS transmitter that's failed ? Maybe the LOC transmitter will soon follow-then what ? I'm in Deak's camp.
 

na265

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
272
Total Time
4300
350driver you did the absolute correct thing. I once had been given the opportunity to deliver a 172 to a guy who had bought from the flight school I worked at after it closed. He had no business flying by himself. After 5 days of flying my a$$ off, it was time to go home. He was very upset with me when I would not sign him on a BFR. I stuck to my guns and went home. I also flew with a doctor who was trying to get a sign-off in a school Cherokee 6, I explained to him and the owner of the shool that after 3 flights with him I would not sign him off. They were not happy. That was 3 years ago, and no other Instructor would sign him off since then either. Remember, you maybe saving yourself some legal problems by not doing that sign-off, but, hopefully you saved them from an accident and making the evening news. Keep up the good work!
 

ILLINI

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
495
Total Time
++++
Thanks Avbug, I couldn't agree with you more about timing an ILS.

I loved the monkey and whiskey bottles technique!:D
 

COOPERVANE

Member since 1967
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Posts
2,167
Total Time
<8000
Sign offs

I am constantly amazed at people who get upset when I won't sign them off for a high performance/complex/BFR in a 3 hour flight.

I once had a 63 year old who hadn't flown since his last BFR, and the time before that was his previous BFR. TWO flights in 4 years!!!
We flew in a 152 (a plane he had never flown), and he then
proceeded to tell me he was building a Bede-5 (flying coffin). Now is this someone whose logbook you want your name in?

Congrats for doing the right thing, mostly for their safety, but also for your future
 

Rvrrat

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 5, 2002
Posts
139
Total Time
401
Hooray AvBug!!! He who is prepared for systems/equipment failure will not find himself forced to push a bad position.

IPCs & BFRs: It is true that these are not check rides however, I'm more than a little dismayed to see that the PTS theme was not picked up on more than it was besides AvBug & 350. Let's hope there aren't going to be a rash of 609 rides.

All the best,
Rvr
 

Fixin2Lnd

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2002
Posts
24
Total Time
4200
Hey 350Drvr,

I think you should do what you really want to do and that's go to Gulfstream International Training Academy. You sound like the type of candidate they are looking for. You would do well as a PFT copilot there. They would help you feel better about yourself and maybe you would gain some CONFIDENCE in your flying. Maybe they would even let you stick around after your 250hrs. Maybe for another $20k, they'd let you wash Cooper's car.
Admit it dude, you really want to go there but mommy and daddy won't kick up...
 

tarp

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Posts
539
Total Time
Lots
350,

You did it right. I'm twice your age and pretty gray so I don't get any of those "you're too young" comments anymore - I just get sheepish looks and "Yes,sirs".

1.) Safety is always job #1.

2.) The PTS, which is regulatory in nature, requires us to test the items noted in the preamble as IPC objectives. There is no "discretion" like in the old days. We must use the PTS to administer IPC's. Now I make sure that I ONLY use those items noted with the IPC tag and not ALL the PTS items. If I get a sharp guy/gal, then I might ask them if they want to have some fun.

3.) Any endorsement is a reflection of your judgement. You are under no obligation to endorse anybody that you don't feel comfortable with. In fact, you are doing the rest of us a big favor by NOT endorsing someone who does not meet your minimum level of proficiency.

Personally, I live by the three-strike rule. You're doing an IPC with a stranger. Get in the plane after checking all the paperwork and making sure it is legal for IFR. The student takes off and heads for a neighboring VOR, but never identifies the station (strike one). The person flies an adequate VOR approach but gets completely turned around on the missed approach and needs help to re-orient (strike two). At this point, there are two directions for the ride to go - I will usually talk to the person about not being nervous, about how this is nothing but a demonstration of skills, that IFR is So-o-o easy (not true, but we're trying to relax). The student goes on to nail everything else or continues the string of minor but potentially dangerous actions. I can't let a "potentially" dangerous person back in the system with my endorsement.

When considering your endorsement, break the entire ride into categories: For me, I think in terms of:

Excellence - a commanding authority over the airplane and situations.

Minimums - doing what the PTS says.

Borderline - stretches my personal safety to the limits

Unsafe- just outright unsafe at any speed.

The top two get immediate signoffs.
 

Timebuilder

Entrepreneur
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
4,625
Total Time
1634
I was asked to give an IPC last week, and there were many items I took into account:

1) He was an older, experienced pilot who was not arrogant. He showed a willingness to learn during the preflight briefing, and didn't mind when I "clarified" the procedure for lost comm.

2) He had already spent thousands of hours finishing a Wheeler Express kit, with a 260hp engine, and did a nice job. I took his attention to detail into account.

3) He approached the ride as a learning experience. As stated above, the ride isn't a test so much as a chance to improve. I instructed, and he learned (definition: change of behavior) to be a better instrument pilot.

4) As I signed his logbook, I recommended that he come by every month for a short ride to shoot an approach or two, to make these IPC's easier, or even unecessary if he can stay current.

You have to feel your comfort level in these matters. The fact that your IPC client blew his stack indicates that you probably did the right thing, and maybe even saved the life of him and his family. He might go out and get a signature. On the other hand, he might go get some more training somewhere, after he calms down and looks at the experience. Sometimes, after the adrenalin subsides, an attorney can take a logical look at the experience and decide on appropriate action.

So, take all these posts into consideration for your next IPC.

I'll bet it will go a lot better.
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Signing off ICCs and BFRs

Oops, sorry, IPCs and Flight Reviews.

You have to use some judgment and take your trainee's needs into account. While at ERAU, I gave IPCs regularly to a senior flight line faculty member. This man gave me my new-hire standardization training. I respected him and he respected me. He knew all the rules and AIM intimately. He didn't always fly to standards for me, but I felt that he was safe, so I'd sign him off. I knew and he knew he was not going to launch into hard IFR.

Riddle instructors would sign off each other for IPCs and flight reviews. We expected nothing less of each other than Commercial-Instrument PTS standards. That was not unreasonable at all because (1) we were current; (2) we were setting the examples for our students, (3) we should be proficient; we were demonstrating maneuvers to students to standards and (4) we indeed were taking our students into real IMC conditions. The aeronautical knowledge was an obvious given.

In Civil Air Patrol each pilot has to take an annual Form 5 checkride. CAP regulations required that pilots had to fly to Private Pilot PTS standards or better to pass their Form 5s. Most people only needed 1.0 to 1.5. I always signed off a biennial for my folks because I felt they had exhibited the requrements of 14 CFR 61.56 if they met PTS standards.

I had one older member come to me every year for his Form 5. This was a retired AF general who had been flying for years, but did not fly much each year. I never really looked forward to giving him his Form 5 because his flights took hours. Once he got the rust off and flew to PTS standards, I signed him off.

Having said all this, I agree 100% with 350 Driver's decision and rationale. I would have done the exact same thing. I assume his trainee was not a regular customer but someone off the street. If it is someone you know and whose abilities you know, you should keep these considerations in mind. Use some judgment. But, if it is a stranger, you have every right to satisfy yourself that the person is safe. 14 CFR 61.57(d) states that an IPC consists of "a representative number of tasks required by the instrument rating practical test." Therefore, it is not unreasonable to apply PTS standards as a yardstick of the person's abilities. Moreover, this attorney should try reading the law (the FARs). He'd see that 14 CFR 61.193 and 61.195 vests flight instructors with the authority, i.e. the "position," to judge his skills, age notwithstanding. I work for attorneys and am not surprised by this guy's attitude. Attorneys typically can't stand it if someone whom they regard as a lesser person tells them what to do.

Good decision on 350 Driver's part. That's my two cents.
 
Last edited:
Top