April 23, 2017 Ground School Solo


The FlightSafety process for getting instructors online in equipment new to them is to train them as a client; have them observe the training of other clients (see the material a second time and watch for instructor technique); practice teach either on your own or with another instructor watching; and finally to conduct your own class with clients while an experienced instructor supervises.

This process of attend, observe, practice, and supervised instruction must be completed for both the longer initial and recurrent course content, and you must be evaluated as proficient in each along the way.

While all this learning and practice is going on, there are additional man-days of mandatory e-learning that you must successfully complete. These courses were all very well done, and the work was far from insignificant.

The Live Learning experiences are web-casts being conducted by a live instructor over the internet. There is usually one instructor and maybe fi e other teammates at FlightSafety facilities across the globe. Teammates is the term we use for employees here at FSI.  Got all this?

Here is my list so far:

  • Warm Weather Ops
  • Weather Radar
  • RVSM Operations
  • Runway Analysis
  • MNPS and North Atlantic HLA
  • Understanding RNAV (GPS) Localizer (LP) minima
  • VNAV procedures using MDA as a DA
  • Cold Weather Ops
  • Transport Canada Familiarization
  • Human Factors / CRM General Concepts
  • ePodium Familiarization
  • 61.58 Consecutive checks
  • ATC Climb Via and Descend  Via
  • iPad Air Setup (duh!)
  • Safety Management System (SMS) in Action
  • LiveLearning made easy (duh!)
  • TSA Security Awareness training
  • FAA Employee Drug and Alcohol Awareness
  • Information Security Awareness
  • Unlawful Harassment Prevention

Live Learning

  • PRM Ops – Parallel Runway
  • High Altitude Training
  • Trade Compliance for Instructors

Professional Instructor Course (March ’17): This class was conducted in Dallas, and I headed down knowing I’d be bored out of my mind for a solid week. As it turned out, I had the chance to work with 10 or so other people that had vastly different experiences than my own (mostly deeper). The course was definitely worth the experience, and I came away better prepared to do this job.

One element of the PIC course is to demonstrate how facilitation and client participation yields better results than direct lecturing techniques. I wholeheartedly agree, but implementing that technique successfully in the field is not natural.

Pre-requisite coursework included Management by Strengths (Similar to Birkman personality studies), and the Principles of Service Excellence course relating to FSI values.

All this learning and preparation consumed the first quarter of 2017 handily.

Ground Instructor certification for both initial and recurrent was achieved earlier this month. Within a week of being signed off, I was schedule to run a recurrent ground school in the WestWind 1124 on my own, which wrapped up this afternoon. It will be interesting to see their comments on the class, as I continue to develop my style.

There was a check-ride type anxiety going into this, and a tendency to over-prepare. Developing summaries I’d never use had been the order of the day leading up to this experience. Program managers are giving me all the time and freedom I need to develop my teaching style, so there really is no pressure at the moment. The goal is to educate, entertain, and maintain an enthusiasm for the mission.

Self-evaluating my initial foray, I’d say that I talk too much and rely on a lecture style of teaching over facilitation. Lecturing is more familiar and allows me to get more detail into a recurrent session, but I know I need to move toward facilitating. I have seen some folks in my utility days who really knew how to do this. Using scenarios and ensuring the clients stay engaged is the way to go.

My next post will address an update on my airplane. Looks like the engineering repairs to the gear boxes is finally getting underway.

Fly safe – and thanks for all the positive feedback I am getting on this blog. It helps make it all worth doing.