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WOULD I HAVE A BETTER CHANCE AT GETTING A JOB AS A LOW-HOUR PILOT IF I GET MY INSTRUMENT RATING?


July 11, 2007
By Leanne Schmidt

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Q: WOULD I HAVE A BETTER CHANCE AT GETTING A JOB AS A LOW-HOUR PILOT IF
I GET MY INSTRUMENT RATING?

A:
When I was searching for work after I got my licence, I spoke to a lot
of employers and asked several of them this question. The general
consensus was no, it won’t likely help you to have an instrument rating
this early. Most of them told me it would be a waste of time and money.
Nobody wants new pilots who have IFR because they still lack the
experience they would need to fly an IFR job. Most IFR jobs require a
pilot to have over 1,000 logged hours.

Also, it would cost you a
lot to obtain an IFR and if you aren’t going to use it right away, it
would no longer be current once you gain the experience to make use of
it. You would have to pay a fair bit of cash every year to maintain it.

One
instructor told me that when you have just newly acquired the basic
skills to fly, it isn’t the best time to introduce something else.
First develop the ability to fly well; learn for a while, then consider
getting more ratings.

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Q: SHOULD I FLY WITH ONLY ONE INSTRUCTOR DURING MY FLIGHT TRAINING OR IS IT BETTER TO HAVE SEVERAL?

A:
It really depends on how you learn and what makes you most comfortable.
There are benefits either way. I asked several instructors how much
importance they placed on being the sole teacher for a student and they
mostly favoured spending most of your training with one instructor if
possible.

This gives your training some continuity, and you are
likely to save money too. Each time you fly with a different teacher
there is an adjustment period while they gauge your skills and you
gauge their reactions and try to get comfortable with their flying
techniques. There could also be a lot of unnecessary repetition of
different lessons just to get the new instructor up to speed on what
you can do.

I think it is important for students to be able to
access what they require from their instructors. If you are a confident
person who learns easily and isn’t nervous flying with a different
person every day, then obviously this situation is fine. If you are
having trouble learnng certain skills and your confidence is at a low
point, it isn’t going to do you much good to be nervous having a
certain instructor. There are enough things to be thinking about while
you are learning to fly without being worried about the personality of
your instructor.

If your instructor makes you nervous, tell him
or her! That is the easiest way to fix the problem. I flew primarily
with two instructors during my training, but occasionally I flew with a
different one. He made me nervous and I couldn’t figure out why. I told
him that, and simply by addressing the problem things smoothed over and
I became comfortable flying with him.

There can be benefits from
flying with different pilots. Each instructor has a different
background, different strengths and different ways of doing things
which can be passed on to you. My two primary instructors taught in two
very different ways, but by having both of them teach me using their
methods, I felt that they were able to offer me a really nice balance.
One instructor strictly emphasized flying on the numbers and being as
precise as possible in every move I made. He would make me repeat
everything until I had a really good grasp of it and felt good doing
it. The other instructor I flew with more during the last half of my
training and he taught me how to fly in the working world – how to land
as though we were on buttered wheels and, in his words, “how to fly the
way that will get you a turkey and a bottle of scotch from your boss at
Christmas.” I consider being taught by both of them a huge asset.

The
main thing is to determine what makes you comfortable. What works for
one pilot may be devastating to another. Personality conflicts should
be dealt with. As the student, you do have the right to speak up. You
are paying for your training and as the customer you should get what
you need out the experience. There are a lot of schools out there, so
shop around and find the right instructor for you.


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