Another consideration in this phase is the language used. Instructors should attempt to avoid unnecessary jargon and technical terms that their students do not know. Instructors should also take care to clearly describe the actions students are expected to perform. Communication is the key. It is neither appropriate nor effective for instructors to try to impress students with their expertise by using language that is unnecessarily complicated.
As an example, a level turn might be demonstrated and described by the instructor in the following way:
- Use outside visual references and monitor the flight instruments.
- After clearing the airspace around the aircraft, add power slightly, turn the aircraft in the desired direction, and apply a slight amount of back pressure on the yoke to maintain altitude. Maintain coordinated flight by applying rudder in the direction of the turn.
- Remember, the ailerons control the roll rate, as well as the angle of bank. The rate at which the aircraft rolls depends on how much aileron deflection is used. How far the aircraft rolls (steepness of the bank) depends on how long the ailerons are deflected, since the aircraft continues to roll as long as the ailerons are deflected. When the desired angle of bank is reached, neutralize the ailerons, and trim as appropriate.
- Lead the roll-out by approximately one-half the number of degrees of the angle of bank. Use coordinated aileron and rudder control pressures. Simultaneously begin releasing the back pressure so aileron, rudder, and elevator pressures are neutralized when the aircraft reaches the wings-level position.
- Leading the roll-out heading by one-half the bank angle is a good rule of thumb for initial training. However, keep in mind that the required amount of lead really depends on the type of turn, turn rate, and roll-out rate. As a pilot gains experience, he or she will develop a consistent roll-in and roll-out technique for various types of turns. Upon reaching a wings-level attitude, reduce power and trim to remove control pressures.
Student Tells—Instructor Does
Second, the student tells as the instructor does. In this step, the student actually plays the role of instructor, telling the instructor what to do and how to do it. Two benefits accrue from this step: the student, being freed from the need to concentrate on performance of the maneuver and from concern about its outcome, is able to organize his or her thoughts regarding the steps involved and the techniques to be used. In the process of explaining the maneuver as the instructor performs it, perceptions begin to develop into insights. Mental habits begin to form with repetition of the instructions previously received. Plus, the instructor is able to evaluate the student’s understanding of the factors involved in performance of the maneuver.
According to the principle of primacy, it is important for the instructor to make sure the student gets it right the first time. The student should also understand the correct sequence and be aware of safety precautions for each procedure or maneuver. If a misunderstanding exists, it can be corrected before the student becomes absorbed in controlling the aircraft.
Student Tells—Student Does
Application is the third step in this method. This is where learning takes place and where performance habits are formed. If the student has been adequately prepared and the procedure or maneuver fully explained and demonstrated, meaningful learning occurs. The instructor should be alert during the student’s practice to detect any errors in technique and to prevent the formation of faulty habits.
At the same time, the student should be encouraged to think about what to do during the performance of a maneuver, until it becomes habitual. In this step, the thinking is done verbally. This focuses concentration on the task to be accomplished, so that total involvement in the maneuver is fostered. All of the student’s physical and mental faculties are brought into play. The instructor should be aware of the student’s thought processes. It is easy to determine whether an error is induced by a misconception or by a simple lack of motor skills. Therefore, in addition to forcing total concentration on the part of the student, this method provides a means for keeping the instructor aware of what the student is thinking. The student is not only learning to do something, but he or she is also learning a self-teaching process that is highly desirable in development of a skill.
The exact procedures that the instructor should use during student practice depends on factors such as the student’s proficiency level, the type of maneuver, and the stage of training. The instructor must exercise good judgment to decide how much control to use. With potentially hazardous or difficult maneuvers, the instructor should be alert and ready to take control at any time. This is especially true during a student’s first attempt at a particular maneuver. On the other hand, if a student is progressing normally, the instructor should avoid unnecessary interruptions or too much assistance.
A typical test of how much control is needed often occurs during a student’s first few attempts to land an aircraft. The instructor must quickly evaluate the student’s need for help, and not hesitate to take control, if required. At the same time, the student should be allowed to practice the entire maneuver often enough to achieve the level of proficiency established in the lesson objectives. Since this is a learning phase rather than an evaluation phase of the training, errors or unsafe practices should be identified and corrected in a positive and timely way. In some cases, the student is not able to meet the proficiency level specified in the lesson objectives within the allotted time. When this occurs, the instructor should be prepared to schedule additional training.