Your students go solo in half the time … isn’t that bad for business? 14 July 2018

Your students go solo in half the time … isn’t that bad for business? 14 July 2018

Throughout my 50-year career as an Australian professional pilot (1965-2015), it was considered normal for civilian student pilots to attain the proficiency required to achieve their first solo flight after an average of 10-12 hours’ dual instruction.

More lately, reports indicate that many students haven’t reached solo standard by 30-35  hours! That number happens to be around the minimum required for a restricted Private Pilot Licence and frankly, is just ridiculous.

Are landings that difficult? … Or have conventional landing techniques passed their use-by date?

Do flight instructors really know HOW to teach landings? … Or have they just accepted the conventional wisdom that it takes time for students to ‘get the hang’ of learning how to land a plane. After all, the ‘watch what I do and copy it’ approach has served us well for over 100 years … hasn’t it?

Because the longer it takes a student to solo, the better for business, right?

Or is it?

Many flight training schools and colleges have been established to meet the initially-perceived-but-now-actual shortage of pilots, world-wide. And they are still teaching the old, tired methods, based on trial-and-error and developing judgment by repetition …why? Because we’ve always done it this way.

Well, this head-in-the-sand attitude is going to cost them dearly, because many enter into fixed-price contracts training cadet pilots for customer airlines and, with extended training times to first solo, the income will be quickly consumed. That’s a real cost which could be avoided.

Then, what about the wear and tear on instructors and students, each group with their own frustrations and lack/loss of confidence?

Next, how about the totally unnecessary wear and tear, and damage to airplanes … even loss through accidents? And possible injury and loss of life?

Even at schools where the student base is centred on discretionary spending on a new pastime, how long will they persist, if they are achieving little or slow progress?

Since 1987, a more efficient, simpler, safer and cost-effective universal technique has been available. And since 2014, this technique has been within easy reach. A training technique that employs sound mathematical principles, rather than guesswork, myths and legends will get student pilots solo in half the time …

How can that be bad for business?


Captain David M Jacobson FRAeS MAP

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David Jacobson