Methods and Lesson Structure
In the flight training industry, there are two "extremes" practiced in flight training. The first, more traditional method is to follow a rigid syllabus with much of the flight training spent on rote memorization of aircraft handling and maneuvering to prepare to pass the maneuver-intensive flight test. We will refer to this as the 'Traditional Method.' The other extreme is the FAA/Industry Standard (FITS) training method which emphasizes scenario-based training to develop aeronautical decision-making (ADM) skills in Pilot Candidates, as poor decisions aloft cause more accidents than any other factor. We will refer to this as the 'FITS Method.'
The Problem: Applying one-size-fits-all methods to diverse student pilots
The Traditional Method emphasizes aircraft maneuvering skills, as precision flying skills are necessary for passing the requisite FAA practical test. However, this method alone can result in pilots that lack critical decision-making skills that determine the outcome of a flight when challenging conditions such as poor weather, mechanical issues, or Air Traffic Control Delays arise. Traditionally, after a pilot receives their license, they are left to respond to variables not encountered in training and, unfortunately, learn many lessons the hard way.
The FITS method attempts to correct for the shortcomings in the Traditional Method, however falls short if used unwisely. We have seen students subjected to nearly FITS-only training with very poor results. Although with enough time and money this method alone can create a highly competent pilot, too much time is spent hopping from airport to airport too early in training. There is very little value in cross-country type training early in the process before the pilot in training has a handle on the basics of aircraft control. While the instructor is trying to explain to a student a complex situation on such a flight, they are often left struggling just to keep the airplane going in a straight line! The FITS method is heavily implemented in Military and Airline training programs (and quite successfully), where students already have a handle on the basics, and sometimes much more.
The Solution: THE "CLEAR AIR" METHOD!
At Clear Air Aviation LLC, we don't subscribe to a 'one size fits all' philosophy in our training methods. You will enjoy a healthy mix of both methods; a best of both worlds approach. At Clear Air Aviation LLC, we also recognize that each student's background, aptitudes and motivations vary significantly, so no two students are held to the same lesson structure. We do what works for each individual student. You can be assured that you will know how to actually fly the airplane before you are thrown into complex scenarios. In other words, we don't subject the freshman to graduate-level work! A house must be built on a SOLID FOUNDATION. Don't worry though, your ADM skills will gradually be developed with scenarios being brought on with gradually increasing difficulty.