“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow” : The importance of Pilot Standardisation Meetings and how they ensure our students get the most out of their training
The phrase ‘Aviate, navigate, communicate ‘ is commonplace amongst Pilots, recommending that whilst in the air you concentrate on flying the aircraft, with navigation as a secondary focus and then fit in communication when it doesn’t interfere. On the ground, team communication is key to ensuring our students get the best training they can and the most out of the knowledge and experience of our instructors. We are very fortunate to have, along with our head of training, 3 instructors, 2 of whom are examiners. Whilst they come from different backgrounds and have different personalities, they all share some vital common ground; a passion for flying and more specifically training. The joy and satisfaction the instructors get out of seeing a student’s progression is so rewarding and therefore motivating, from the very early days of mastering straight and level flight and climbing and descending, to achieving their Private Pilot Licence and going off to Self Fly Hire to lots of fabulous destinations!
Pilot Standardisation Meetings are vital, as it is a chance for our team of Instructors get together and discuss their different training techniques, experience and knowledge gained and how we can make sure our students get first class training. Harriet, the Student Liaison manager, over sees the meetings as she is an objective chair, meaning that each Pilot can talk freely about techniques they teach, phraseology they use etc. This meeting, along with our anonymous feedback tool ‘Suggestion Ox’ which students can use, mean that Instructors can discuss various things that could/need to be changed/improved. After full and frank discussion, whether it be about the use of carb heat or the advantages or disadvantages regarding the use of Pilot Aware and other additional new technologies, the Head of Training and company founder, Capt Paul White is able to gage the need to stipulate the mandate of certain practices to ensure standardisation in teaching across the board, or to advise where differences are acceptable to allow a student to use the process/ technique that works best for them.
Variety is the spice of life and here at Flying Pig we advocate the benefit of flying with each of our instructors, enabling our students to get a well rounded training, picking up on the strengths of each one to become the best pilot they can be. Whilst here is something to be said for consistency, particularly in the early days, as you work through the training program students will have differing needs and process information slightly differently; so whether it be an injection of confidence needed, an all singing and dancing one to one ground School on a subject that is proving tricky, or even a firm reminder to get some self studying done, the Student Liaison Manager will work alongside the student and discuss what their needs are and which Pilot is the best fit to provide that.