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21 Instructional Experiences
---On the ADF receiver what does BFO mean? BFO means BEAT FREQUENCY OSCILLATOR. If a low frequency station does not have audio frequencies (voice) but broadcasts in CW or continuous wave then it is necessary to mix this frequency with the BFO frequency to bring it into the frequency of the amplifier stages before audio detection occurs.

---Student asked explanation as to operation of ADF. This was just prior to ground reference review flight. Set ADF to 990  radio station) and asked him to use this as reference for departure request to tower. Flew to 990 while climbing to 4000. Initiated left spiral descent over station. Student got good introduction as to ADF tracking skills and Instructor found that the ADF was an excelled device for teaching wind compensation skills during spiral.

---Departed on local IFR flight with student into known deteriorating weather. Rain and turbulence cause stall warner to stick on constantly so that communications was difficult. Break out of clouds at 4000' and see ground and location. Cancel IFR and descend to make SVFR return to airport. 130 hour instrument student (with another instructor) unaware that IFR can be canceled.

---Depart with two IFR students to shoot practice approaches at nearby airport. On return find that airport is below IFR approach minimums and that all aircraft are failing to make landings. Call tower and request SVFR to another runway. Am advised to remain clear of CZ and expect clearance in five minutes. Receive SVFR clearance and proceed over known visual references to airport in SVFR conditions. Land with no problem. Under certain conditions good SVFR is better than bad IFR.

---Field reported as sky partially obscured and 1 mile. Request SVFR and told to report over field in VFR conditions. Report over field at 1500'. Given SVFR clearance to descend in pattern for landing. No problem since vertical visibility is good and SVFR possible.

---Before dawn preflight. I note pitot cover flag on floor of cockpit. Proceed with rest of preflight. We take off in darkness. Rotate at 60, climb at 60 and cruise at 60. Flashlight shows pitot cover still on. Proceed to use known power, trim, and flap settings to make uneventful landing. Later took pitot flag and cover home to sew together.

---After seeing the problems created by large knee and lap boards I now encourage the use of a long narrow board with permanent data written with felt tip pen. Several clips along the board will hold other papers. I encourage students to write ATIS and radio frequencies on hand held up to window level. Hold folded sectionals up to window as well. Minimize head down in the cockpit time.

---Vertigo can be demonstrated on the ground. Select large open space. Hold a yard-stick to the nose with the head tilted well back. Make about three smooth turns left or right with the eyes focused on the far end of the yardstick. Stop, bend down and place yard-stick on ground, remain bent over as you step across stick and then straighten up quickly. Be prepared to fall.

---The presence of clouds, the absence of a well defined horizon, wind and turbulence have a debilitating effect on the thought and performance processes. The air work that has been in the past satisfactory becomes less so. Both the student and instructor will react with frustration at this deterioration unless the proximate cause can be identified. It is not enough to just discuss this weather effect prior to the flight but it must be pointed out for every maneuver. The change of visual reference needed under low visibility with greater dependence on the cockpit instruments is a new experience. This is a golden opportunity to illustrate the advantage of having indexed the power settings, trim positions. and sounds of the aircraft.

---Found that a large cardboard holding pattern with one side for right patterns and the other for left patterns very helpful as instructional aid. Would place pattern on ground in random positions and require student to select proper entry and verify it by a walk through. Student discovered that where the holding pattern requires a reversal of direction the entries can only be parallel or teardrop. The teardrop is always diagonally through the pattern.  After the checkride I recommend that all arrivals requiring a reversal of direction  be done by course-reversal.  Fly out-bound and make course-reversal to holding side.  Easier and more efficient.

---500 hour instrument student. Lessons months apart. Flies in between with other pilots. Student wants to do approaches. Spend hour helping plan and covering headings, altitudes, fixes, frequencies. Flight a disaster. Headings and altitudes very erratic even with instructor doing radio. Discuss faults and requirement that aircraft control come first. That night student calls and says he wants to do same lesson again instead of planned lessons. Student claims that he never makes mistakes except when with instructor. Second lesson equally disastrous. Next lesson to be on instructors nickel. Instructor will fly new airports (first time in 10 years). Instructor will prepare and fly. Student will observe act as safety pilot and critique. Good flight by instructor. Still don't think student realized his difficulty.

---Another 500 hour instrument student. Recently failed IFR checkride after 130 hours with another instructor. Went flying and practiced aircraft control, VOR tracking, descents, and holding. Pilot has good command of aircraft. Next time we meet aircraft is unusable. We go to have coffee. I ask student to show how he prepares for flight. Student takes charts. Makes a few notes as to headings and frequencies. In about five minutes he says he would be ready to fly. Instructor puts plates away and give student blank paper. Student asked to draw headings, altitudes, fixes, how fixes are located, frequencies, points were frequency changes can be expected. Points where airspeed changes should be made or anticipated. Also asked to note times, DHs and MDAs.

Student immediately recognized that in all the hours with prior instructor he had never been taught how to prepare for an IFR training flight. The prior instructor had been high time and a chief pilot who knew all plates by heart but never realized that his student had to spend so much time studying plates while in flight that he was unable to control aircraft. Student flying relatively fast and complex aircraft. Student in addition noted that by identifying the points at which he must anticipate slowing aircraft he would avoid what had been an ongoing flight problem of being far to fast, high, and unprepared when he arrived for the approach.

---Gave student area chart and asked him to show entry to specific holding pattern at VOR and airway. Unable. Took outside and demonstrated how every stop light intersection gave him the opportunity and time to make eight different holding patterns and entries. Walked through several pattern entries in parking lot. Student left lesson enthused. He indicated that prior instructor had never sat with him to give such instruction. I feel that the instructor failed the student. This student is a capable pilot, intelligent and willing to follow instruction. The student was taken for a "ride" many times by instructor. Most often to far away airports where nearby airports would have sufficed. There ought to be a law.

---After 20-30 minute delay departed IFR into actual IFR conditions. No sooner airborne than student began to have severe heading problems. Student complained that the turn coordinator was either not working or working poorly. We determined that turn coordinator was in process of failing and could not be used. Turned toward VOR and began tracking TO. Student unable to hold aircraft level or to hold heading. On two previous flight no such problem existed. Student had recently failed instrument flight test after three years of extended instruction with another instructor. VFR conditions on top but student unable to fly airplane and make radio changes. Instructor takes over radios. Student having aircraft control problems as we intercept localizer and begin descent into actual conditions at 3000'. Pass fix and descend to 1900 inbound to marker. Instructor changes to tower per ATC instructions. Notes that student in 30 degree bank and 60 degrees off heading required. Instructor takes over and executes missed climb at marker. Climb to VFR and ask ATC for expedited return home.

On landing, instructor leaves to make phone call. Asks student to be prepared to discuss flight on return. On return student says that when turn coordinator became inoperative he was unable to make turns or fly headings. Instructor realized that student had learned to fly, turn, make heading changes, and hold headings ONLY by reference to turn coordinator. Attitude indicator was used for pitch only. Student did not know of airspeed/angle of bank relationships or of how to control aircraft with AI except in pitch.

Lesson: This could have resulted in an unexplained fatality except for the fortuitous failure of this instrument. How the previous instructor never discovered this erroneous dependence on the turn coordinator during partial panel or other training is partially explainable. As the second instructor, concentrating on difficulties more directly related to the previously failed test I was just lucky. This student flew so well that there was never even a suspicion of such a peculiar scan pattern or instrument reliance.

---In prior discussions with examiners I have heard them say that they wish that IFR check rides could be failed for VFR reasons. Have been flying with three 500 hour IFR students who do not have some basic VFR skills. Example. Student did not know aircraft manual prohibited slips with flaps. Student did not know how to make a course reversal. Student did not know how to get reciprocal heading without looking at heading indicator. Student did not know how to hold airspeed during short approach. Student did not know why it was undesirable to give full call-up on every communication to ATC. Student had practice of never wearing shoulder harness. Student never pulled carburetor heat. Student did not know that slowing aircraft would increase sink rate. Student made practice of slowing aircraft (already slow) miles before VFR arrival at airport. Student neither had nor used checklists while preflighting and only occasionally while flying.

---500 hour pilot flunked IFR checkride because of lack of knowledge. Student asked to hold "southeast". Did not know related compass direction to term. Student uses Loran to go from A to B for most of x-country flying. Student could not, from the ramp, point to North or any other direction. When asked to point to cities less than 100 miles from airport and give approximate direction, was unable. Student had fundamental conceptual orientation error typical of California. California is considered as being Northern and Southern. More correctly should be called Eastern and Western. San Francisco Bay is more nearly east to west than otherwise. From the Bay Area we go North to Sacramento and Reno. We go East to Stockton, Southeast to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and Northwest to Seattle. The confusion may be caused by the considerable curvature of the California coast line.

---Long instrument cross country. Student having difficulty getting squawk codes and frequencies. Seems to need to check plates for each digit of frequencies. On ground instructor writes six digits on card and flashes card at student. Student gives all six with no difficulty. Problem seems to be result of habit acquired in manual trades which involves rechecking every digit before doing work that cannot be undone. Instructor has devised program of flash cards with frequencies on one side with name on other side. Wide study area covering ATIS, towers, VORs, etc. Idea is to break single digit habit and give catalog of knowledge to remove pressure.

---IFR flight with VFR return to home field. Did same flight three times with Instructor buying one. Student ten years at home field. Tower approves base entry and student lines up on wrong runway. Instructor salvages arrival via radio. Next arrival tower approves straight in arrival and again student lines up on same wrong runway. Instructor salvages again. Students IFR work improving but VFR and flying techniques VERY deficient. Has flown 25 years. Resents VFR instruction. Turned over to another instructor.

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