Stick and Rudder has been an aviation classic for generations of pilots. This book covers basic flying in a more straightforward manner than any other before or since.
If you're a pilot, you probably have this book already. If you're considering learning to fly, start with this book.
Uh oh! This is not the way most flight lessons should start. (Although it may be fun once in a while.) Before you jump in the airplane, you and your instructor should sit down and:
One you're feeling good about your knowledge of the lesson, only then is it time to go fly and work on the skills of the lesson.
I've met students whose instructors "didn't do ground". Unfortunately, these students were figuratively and literally being "taken for a ride" by these lousy instructors. After many wasted hours (and dollars), they were not making progress. When they experienced a properly taught program, the rate at which they learned and developed their skill jumped. A frustrating experience became enjoyable.
So, if your instructor always greets you with "lets go fly!", consider responding with "bye-bye".
Your first book in your aviation library should be an aviation primer—"how to fly". Your second book should be "how to learn". In Redefining Airmanship, Lt. Col. Tony Kern, USAF, teaches you what really makes up the "right stuff". General Chuck Yeager, USAF, says simply "Kern hits the mark".
Kern discusses discipline, skill, proficiency, situational awareness, and judgement, and how you obtain and improve them. He breaks airmanship knowledge into five pillars: self, aircraft, team, environment, and risk, and spends a chapter on each.
Well written, with many fascinating examples of good and poor airmanship. This book belongs on every pilot's bookshelf, from Cessna 150 flyers to 747 captains.
There are many instructors out there. Many can spout back the FAA-approved "catch phrases" for a lesson. Does that actually teach you anything, though? Every part of an aviation course syllabus is there for very good reasons, usually safety-critical reasons. To be a safe pilot, you need to truly understand and apply all these pieces of aviation knowledge. My specialty is helping you do just that.
For example, the Instrument Rating requires you to know how to read six types of weather charts (and various other reports). But, if you can read them, that's just the beginning. There are many other charts, some of which are better sources of information, depending on the type of weather your flight may encounter, and how far in advance you are planning. The difference between answering "what's this mean?" on a specific chart, and seeking out the best charts for your flight is an example of the difference between knowing and applying.
An Instrument rating course consists of a mix of ground, simulation device, and flight instruction. Let's pick "VOR radio navigation" as an example topic. Here is the sequence of how this would be taught by a good CFII (instrument instructor):
This pattern is typical for the main topics in the instrument rating course. Here is a summary of what is covered in the course:
Copyright © 2010, John A. Thywissen. All rights reserved.
Updated 09 Dec 2016 08:57:32 CST