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CFI vs FBO owner?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 2nd 15, 07:31 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Teacher
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Posts: 3
Default CFI vs FBO owner?


Wondering if other CFIs would offer insight here.

My solo student was in the pattern at an uncontrolled field. Second solo flight ever, calm day, no pattern traffic. Insurance requires a CFI to monitor solo students. The lookie-loos on the ramp notice a powered ram-air parachute approaching the field.

Student is on downwind; the chute is so distant you cannot observe the clothing of that pilot and it is heading upwind.

The FBO owner grabs a handheld and begins giving traffic calls to the solo student, who responds that they don't see the chute. After two radio calls, one to report the chute position, and one to report that traffic is no factor, I ask that the owner please refrain from talking to the student again.
"Please, just let XXXXX be."

I am rounded on and loudly lectured that I have fewer hours than the 5000 hrs. of instruction than he has, that this was an issue of flight safety, and that he will always act in cases of flight safety. This owner is not a current CFI, and has never flown with this student, nor in that make/model. Several people including other staff were in earshot, and quietly turned away.

I walk away, meet the student after their landing, and complement them on a nice job. They mention not having seen the chute -- even despite the calls. I reply that it is difficult to see something below the horizon when all colors are dark, and not to worry. The chute was so wide versus the downwind that we couldn't see arms/legs/clothing. I reassure the pilot that had the traffic been close -- they would have noticed it.

The chute was so distant, it was never a factor. It never approached the field and never landed where we could see it.

Fifteen minutes later, after securing the machine, I returned to the owner PRIVATELY and asked him to not interfere in the cockpit environment with my solo students. I noted that he did not know the emotional state of the teenage pilot, nor their proficiency, and a distraction at 800 agl with two turns to go was not a good idea.

The response was heated. "You started it, by speaking to me publicly." He fully intends to radio any student at any time, due to his superior experience.

Would any other CFI accept this potential interaction in their employment relationship? I am the one who signs the student's book.
Anyone else come up against this?

Would you care to provide any reply or reference here that I can later share to this fellow?

Teacher




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  #2  
Old December 2nd 15, 02:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Edwin Johnson
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Posts: 31
Default CFI vs FBO owner?

On 2015-12-02, Teacher wrote:

Wondering if other CFIs would offer insight here.


My solo student was in the pattern at an uncontrolled field. Second solo

flight ever, calm day, no pattern traffic. Insurance requires a CFI to

Would you care to provide any reply or reference here that I can later

share to this fellow?

If my reading 'between the lines' of this is correct, you will probably not
gain anything with another confrontational approach to the FBO manager nor
'modify' his behavior in such a matter. I agree that his actions were
probably unwarranted and could be excitable for a student, especially a new
solo.

I would probably approach this from the other side and speak to the student
regarding remaining calm in such a situation, that unofficial people (read
would-be traffic controllers) on the unicom can sometimes be helpful and
other times not very helpful. But the most important thing to remember is to
remain calm and first 'fly the airplane'. I'm sure you have already taught
him about being very observant for traffic, especially near an airport,
visually scanning all the time for such.

....Edwin
__________________________________________________ __________
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes
turned skyward, for there you have been, there you long to
return."-da Vinci http://www.kd5zlb.org
  #3  
Old December 2nd 15, 03:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
John Goerzen
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Posts: 1
Default CFI vs FBO owner?

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 1:31:57 AM UTC-6, Teacher wrote:
Wondering if other CFIs would offer insight here.

My solo student was in the pattern at an uncontrolled field. Second solo flight ever, calm day, no pattern traffic. Insurance requires a CFI to monitor solo students. The lookie-loos on the ramp notice a powered ram-air parachute approaching the field.


I'll add a couple of cents here. You can bear in mind that I passed my private checkride less than a month ago, so your experience is considerably more than mine.

I remember the feeling of insecurity on my first solo. From what I hear, that's a very common thing. You are correct in that the FBO shouldn't be making radio calls for things that are not going to be a factor.

I trained at an airport that could be dead quiet, and other times could be busy with multiple planes in the pattern training, helicopters, people practicing IFR approaches, etc. Sometimes people would say they're southeast when they're really southwest, and on my checkride I had a person training with a malfunctioning radio (I helped them address that, actually).

You're not expecting someone to be competent to fly 200 miles and handle everything from an uncontrolled airstrip to a Bravo with VOR navigation on their first solo. But they should be able to handle common and reasonably uncommon local conditions. At an untowered field, an unexpected aircraft and a couple of radio calls should be expected and hopefully you've seen your student in that situation. At towered field, I'd assume they'd be comfortable talking to ATC.

So I guess I would say that if you sign off the student to solo, you should expect them to be able to handle an overzealous unicom making a couple of extra calls.

Do I make sense?
  #4  
Old December 2nd 15, 07:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
george152
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Posts: 158
Default CFI vs FBO owner?

On 12/2/2015 7:31 PM, Teacher wrote:

Wondering if other CFIs would offer insight here.

My solo student was in the pattern at an uncontrolled field. Second solo flight ever, calm day, no pattern traffic. Insurance requires a CFI to monitor solo students. The lookie-loos on the ramp notice a powered ram-air parachute approaching the field.

Student is on downwind; the chute is so distant you cannot observe the clothing of that pilot and it is heading upwind.

The FBO owner grabs a handheld and begins giving traffic calls to the solo student, who responds that they don't see the chute. After two radio calls, one to report the chute position, and one to report that traffic is no factor, I ask that the owner please refrain from talking to the student again.
"Please, just let XXXXX be."

I am rounded on and loudly lectured that I have fewer hours than the 5000 hrs. of instruction than he has, that this was an issue of flight safety, and that he will always act in cases of flight safety. This owner is not a current CFI, and has never flown with this student, nor in that make/model. Several people including other staff were in earshot, and quietly turned away.

I walk away, meet the student after their landing, and complement them on a nice job. They mention not having seen the chute -- even despite the calls. I reply that it is difficult to see something below the horizon when all colors are dark, and not to worry. The chute was so wide versus the downwind that we couldn't see arms/legs/clothing. I reassure the pilot that had the traffic been close -- they would have noticed it.

The chute was so distant, it was never a factor. It never approached the field and never landed where we could see it.

Fifteen minutes later, after securing the machine, I returned to the owner PRIVATELY and asked him to not interfere in the cockpit environment with my solo students. I noted that he did not know the emotional state of the teenage pilot, nor their proficiency, and a distraction at 800 agl with two turns to go was not a good idea.

The response was heated. "You started it, by speaking to me publicly." He fully intends to radio any student at any time, due to his superior experience.

Would any other CFI accept this potential interaction in their employment relationship? I am the one who signs the student's book.
Anyone else come up against this?

Would you care to provide any reply or reference here that I can later share to this fellow?

Teacher




Had a wee bit to do with such experienced pilots.
Generally in search and recovery when their mouth exceeds their ability.
Had a few forced landings in a Mirage microlight and upon returning to
the strip had a brand new C cat instructor waffle about my flying ability..
Got myself and aircraft through three forced landings (oil fouled plugs)
and back to the strip so I thought I'd done well.
The new c cat killed himself a year later pilot error mouth exceeded
ability
  #5  
Old December 4th 15, 07:18 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Teacher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default CFI vs FBO owner?


Would any other CFI accept this potential interaction in their employment relationship? I am the one who signs the student's book.
Anyone else come up against this?

Would you care to provide any reply or reference here that I can later share to this fellow?

Teacher


Thank you all for your considerate replies.

Yes, my students can generally handle 'extra' radio calls, and typically scan well for traffic. Thanks. I have never had a designee or inspector note my applicants as deficient in scanning.

What I was more interested in was the reaction of other CFIs to the concept that someone who hadn't flown with their student felt they had more ability to interpret what any particular student could 'handle' ....
and did they view this as an appropriate topic for public rebuke
by an employer?
Had anyone ever observed this on any occasion, or how would they react if they were confronted this way?

Thank you.

Teacher
  #6  
Old December 5th 15, 01:56 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
[email protected]
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Posts: 2
Default CFI vs FBO owner?

On Friday, December 4, 2015 at 2:18:17 AM UTC-5, Teacher wrote:
Would any other CFI accept this potential interaction in their employment relationship? I am the one who signs the student's book.
Anyone else come up against this?

Would you care to provide any reply or reference here that I can later share to this fellow?

Teacher


Thank you all for your considerate replies.

Yes, my students can generally handle 'extra' radio calls, and typically scan well for traffic. Thanks. I have never had a designee or inspector note my applicants as deficient in scanning.

What I was more interested in was the reaction of other CFIs to the concept that someone who hadn't flown with their student felt they had more ability to interpret what any particular student could 'handle' ....
and did they view this as an appropriate topic for public rebuke
by an employer?
Had anyone ever observed this on any occasion, or how would they react if they were confronted this way?

Thank you.

Teacher


While your employer was in the wrong, and his behavior was
untenable, the question is, "Was this just a one-time egocentric
brain-fart, or will this continue to be a pattern of behavior?"

It would be a major inconvenience for you to have to change jobs.
If you stay you have only a few tactics with which to deal with
him. #1- Confronting him and telling him he's out of line won't
work, due to the ego/employee dynamic. However you might modify
his behavior by "attrition", that is, wear him down over a period
of time by politely "asking" him questions about his bossy
decisions, wherein the obvious answers will always reveal that
he's wrong. This should always be done with a smile. Remember,
you're pointing out that he's an idiot but maneuvering him into
being the one to say it. Expect multiple applications before
results.

When this starts to work, then back off and concentrate on
restoring an actual friendly relationship. Quite possibly you
can become friends. If it doesn't work, then he's unreasonable
and must be having problems with other folks too. Usually guys
like that get canned.

---
  #7  
Old December 8th 15, 02:57 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Dudley Henriques[_3_]
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Posts: 66
Default CFI vs FBO owner?

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 2:31:57 AM UTC-5, Teacher wrote:
Wondering if other CFIs would offer insight here.

My solo student was in the pattern at an uncontrolled field. Second solo flight ever, calm day, no pattern traffic. Insurance requires a CFI to monitor solo students. The lookie-loos on the ramp notice a powered ram-air parachute approaching the field.

Student is on downwind; the chute is so distant you cannot observe the clothing of that pilot and it is heading upwind.

The FBO owner grabs a handheld and begins giving traffic calls to the solo student, who responds that they don't see the chute. After two radio calls, one to report the chute position, and one to report that traffic is no factor, I ask that the owner please refrain from talking to the student again.

  #8  
Old December 8th 15, 08:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Teacher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default CFI vs FBO owner?


The response was heated. "You started it, by speaking to me publicly." He fully intends to radio any student at any time, due to his superior experience.

Would any other CFI accept this potential interaction in their employment relationship? I am the one who signs the student's book.
Anyone else come up against this?


Thank you Dudley and Sameas...

Yes, the student was solo. I was masking all gender implications. Apologies for the grammatical muddle.

You have both wandered closer to the issue that interests me: Employer/employee protocol versus who has responsibility for the 'training' or flight environment.

The owner has no category of FAA CFI - yet had been a military airman and instructed in a different category of hardware (in the '80s).

The solo student is also a part time employee of the flight school. So there is some significant level of 'response' to the owner's voice beyond the typical Unicom/CTAF traffic call.

Everyone has different perceptions, visual, auditory, reactions based on historic responses and outcomes. I strongly encourage my students to VISUALLY scan their pattern, and reciprocal/mirrored entries, straight-ins, all of which occur at this field by multiple categories of aircraft. They make their own radio call or two or three, but the emphasis is on looking for those many local machines that operate without radios, ie. ultralights, gliders and historic craft. By the time they solo, they ARE looking and do listen for/interpret CTAF calls. They typically have good traffic awareness.

In this case, my estimation was that the powered chute, so slow, so low, so big and so far away that I couldn't discern limbs or clothing, and moving opposite to the downwind leg, was SO wide of the pattern as to be irrelevant. Since the student reported not seeing it before or after any advisory calls, I felt affirmed in that opinion (post event).

Having someone try to direct a pilot's attention 'outside' of the pattern path, because of the novelty of the machinery, under the pretext of 'safety' is a distraction to the student. It offered the owner a 'reason' to talk to the flyer. I asked that he discontinue that, quietly, albeit publicly since we were standing ~ 20 feet apart. No one was standing between he and I.

What was the surprise was the public berating - "I'll speak to any student, anytime, over a matter of flight safety. My 5000 hours flight instructing beats your experience, and I'm responsible for every operation here. You can just expect that I'll talk as long as I need to to keep pilots safe. Don't you tell me who I can't talk to.' At volume, in front of staff and customers.
This - from the guy who is present on fewer than 20% of our flight days?

I am the ONLY CFI on staff - for 18 months. The prior CFI left due to age and inability to enter/exit the machines. I have been flight instructing full-time since 1990. I was hired based on my professional reputation. This is the first time I have been publicly dressed down by an employer.

I was just wondering how other CFIs might react in the same situation. Choke down their ego, and avoid the obvious rebuttal about legal liability? Tell the owner that this passes the bounds of owner participation (into the cockpit)?
Slap down a logbook to show 3500 hours instruction ? I don't know where to find the Emily Post reference on etiquette for this situation. NAFI is silent, I prefer to keep the job, but I don't intend to accept this behavior with no comment on any occasion.

I was imagining that someone else would write in and say -- Whoa there. That's majorly unacceptable..... and I could refer the owner to read the opinions posted. Sameas did that. Regrettably, I found the rec.aviation newsgroups had devolved to a dismal level of participation.... but I appreciate the responses that have been given.

Teacher

  #9  
Old December 8th 15, 10:06 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Dudley Henriques[_3_]
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Posts: 66
Default CFI vs FBO owner?

On Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 3:04:49 PM UTC-5, Teacher wrote:
The response was heated. "You started it, by speaking to me publicly." He fully intends to radio any student at any time, due to his superior experience.

Would any other CFI accept this potential interaction in their employment relationship? I am the one who signs the student's book.
Anyone else come up against this?


Thank you Dudley and Sameas...

Yes, the student was solo. I was masking all gender implications. Apologies for the grammatical muddle.

You have both wandered closer to the issue that interests me: Employer/employee protocol versus who has responsibility for the 'training' or flight environment.

The owner has no category of FAA CFI - yet had been a military airman and instructed in a different category of hardware (in the '80s).

The solo student is also a part time employee of the flight school. So there is some significant level of 'response' to the owner's voice beyond the typical Unicom/CTAF traffic call.

Everyone has different perceptions, visual, auditory, reactions based on historic responses and outcomes. I strongly encourage my students to VISUALLY scan their pattern, and reciprocal/mirrored entries, straight-ins, all of which occur at this field by multiple categories of aircraft. They make their own radio call or two or three, but the emphasis is on looking for those many local machines that operate without radios, ie. ultralights, gliders and historic craft. By the time they solo, they ARE looking and do listen for/interpret CTAF calls. They typically have good traffic awareness.

In this case, my estimation was that the powered chute, so slow, so low, so big and so far away that I couldn't discern limbs or clothing, and moving opposite to the downwind leg, was SO wide of the pattern as to be irrelevant. Since the student reported not seeing it before or after any advisory calls, I felt affirmed in that opinion (post event).

Having someone try to direct a pilot's attention 'outside' of the pattern path, because of the novelty of the machinery, under the pretext of 'safety' is a distraction to the student. It offered the owner a 'reason' to talk to the flyer. I asked that he discontinue that, quietly, albeit publicly since we were standing ~ 20 feet apart. No one was standing between he and I..

What was the surprise was the public berating - "I'll speak to any student, anytime, over a matter of flight safety. My 5000 hours flight instructing beats your experience, and I'm responsible for every operation here. You can just expect that I'll talk as long as I need to to keep pilots safe. Don't you tell me who I can't talk to.' At volume, in front of staff and customers.
This - from the guy who is present on fewer than 20% of our flight days?

I am the ONLY CFI on staff - for 18 months. The prior CFI left due to age and inability to enter/exit the machines. I have been flight instructing full-time since 1990. I was hired based on my professional reputation. This is the first time I have been publicly dressed down by an employer.

I was just wondering how other CFIs might react in the same situation. Choke down their ego, and avoid the obvious rebuttal about legal liability? Tell the owner that this passes the bounds of owner participation (into the cockpit)?
Slap down a logbook to show 3500 hours instruction ? I don't know where to find the Emily Post reference on etiquette for this situation. NAFI is silent, I prefer to keep the job, but I don't intend to accept this behavior with no comment on any occasion.

I was imagining that someone else would write in and say -- Whoa there. That's majorly unacceptable..... and I could refer the owner to read the opinions posted. Sameas did that. Regrettably, I found the rec.aviation newsgroups had devolved to a dismal level of participation.... but I appreciate the responses that have been given.

Teacher


I see two distinct things going on here. First we have the actual situation involving an advisory on a Unicom frequency by the FBO pertaining to a potential traffic conflict. If that transmission was made as an advisory and not a direct request for a specific action by the student I see no problem with that at all with the transmission made by either you or the FBO.
The other thing involves an authority conflict between you as the CFI and the FBO concerning information transmitted to your student. I really see no problem either way with the transmission.
There should never be an "ego" thing going on with a student involved between an FBO and an instructor. BOTH the FBO and the CFI should have the student's interest job one. If details get in the way of this prime responsibility that needs to be settled immediately if not sooner.
Bottom line here is that if there is any conflict between you and this FBO, I would suggest that be settled in private and without the student involved in any way.
Personally I can tell you that had this been me and my student involved I would not have reacted to the FBO's transmission as you did unless the transmission involved an improper instruction to my student.
I'm sure you can deal with this in a timely manner and return the atmosphere between you and the FBO to a normal professional relationship. Just do that and all will be fine.

Dudley Henriques
  #10  
Old December 9th 15, 06:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Hank
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Posts: 2
Default CFI vs FBO owner?

In article ,
Teacher wrote:

The response was heated. "You started it, by speaking to me publicly."

He fully intends to radio any student at any time, due to his superior
experience.

Would any other CFI accept this potential interaction in their

employment relationship? I am the one who signs the student's book.
Anyone else come up against this?


Thank you Dudley and Sameas...

Yes, the student was solo. I was masking all gender implications.
Apologies for the grammatical muddle.

You have both wandered closer to the issue that interests me:
Employer/employee protocol versus who has responsibility for the
'training' or flight environment.

The owner has no category of FAA CFI - yet had been a military airman
and instructed in a different category of hardware (in the '80s).

The solo student is also a part time employee of the flight school. So
there is some significant level of 'response' to the owner's voice
beyond the typical Unicom/CTAF traffic call......

big snip

I've been reading your posts and the responses, and want to comment,
from a slightly different perspective. First solo, 1952, rated from
1954, and flew 100-300 hours/yr for the next 40 years, with much of it
for business travel.

I think you are being a bit up tight here, both about the use of the
Unicom and about gender. He/she should make no difference. Unicom, and
the generally heavy reliance on radio nowadays came long after my
initial training, but it is probably as true today as it was in the 60's
that you can get almost any voice saying almost anything on Unicoms.
And things weren't much better in the early 80's at controlled airports
with trainees in the towers. It would seem to me that if you are
teaching students today, you have to prepare them to evaluate what they
are getting over Unicom/CTAF, and probably as part of the pre-solo
training. In short, there was some good learning for that student
having another voice than yours call a traffic advisory. After all,
what's that student going to do when he/she is doing early
cross-countries if he/she goes to an uncontrolled field, sees aircraft
taking off and landing in different directions, and gets conflicting
comments on the Unicom? Maybe that learning is still ahead for this
student, but it's "real world" flying.

Yes, you signed off the student for solo, which should mean that the
student is ready to make a few circuits and bumps on a calm day; but
also, be prepared for the unusual, at least to some extent. I'll
tell you here that my own first solo landing, I put on a fine
demonstration of a bouncing crow-hopping ragwing Cessna 140 until I
went around for another approach. 50 hours later, I could have salvaged
that first approach, but at least I'd been taught how to go around from a
balked landing before I got turned loose, and it's a good thing I had.

Maybe you evaluated the "traffic" that got the FBO's attention as
immaterial, but that's a judgement call, and the FBO, whom you say is
not a novice, called it differently than you did. Would the FBO have
criticized you if you had made the traffic call and he'd felt the
traffic was not a factor?

Hank
 




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