The House of Rapp

Learning to Fly — Without An Instructor?

Posted by in Instructing

Just how important is the instructor when it comes to learning to fly? That might be a surprising question for an CFI to ask, but the longer I teach, the more cognizant I become of the many ways in which an instructor can function as a barrier to the student’s progress. And apparently I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Last month, Paul Bertorelli penned (keyed?) an editorial about simulator maven Redbird stepping into the training void created by Cessna’s shift away from the piston market. What caught my eye about the piece was this line:

Breaking the Rules: Teaching Snap Rolls

Posted by in Aerobatics, Instructing

Efficient aerobatic instruction is challenging enough when you’re doing a loop, hammerhead, or Cuban. Those figures last ten or fifteen seconds. A snap roll is over in about one second, and what’s happening is far more involved. So how does one teach the ‘snap’ when this complex maneuver is over almost before it starts? The method I’ve settled upon involves using techniques I normally avoid like the plague.

To Pull or Not to Pull

Posted by in IFR, Instructing

Simulating partial panel used to be so easy: slap a cover over one or two of the instruments and let the fun begin! In an era of integrated glass panel avionics, however, it’s not always so simple. Take the G1000 for example. The FAA doesn’t like us pulling circuit breakers, so they ask instructors and examiners to use a method that’s far less realistic. That might be better for the electronics… but what about the pilot?

Preventing Stall/Spin Accidents

Posted by in Instructing, Safety

Angle-of-bank limitations have been suggested by flight instructors, alphabet groups, pundits, and most recently by Richard Collins of all people. I’ve touched on this subject before (see Aviation Myth #14), but for some reason the idea keeps rearing it’s ugly head that arbitrary bank limits make flying safer. They don’t. What they WILL do is make a stall/spin more likely. Here’s why.

Vintage Flying

Posted by in Aviation, Instructing

Do you ever get the feeling that you were born in the wrong era? I do. It’s ironic because I have a natural affinity for computerized devices and other high-tech elements. Nevertheless, they don’t hold a candle to the mechanical brilliance and timeless design ethos of vintage aircraft like this 1928 Travel Air biplane.