Notice The ZLA Forums are discontinued and kept in a locked state for archival purposes. New accounts, posts, and replies cannot be created, but you may sign into your existing account if you wish.
User avatar
Wayne Conrad
Posts: 1494
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:24 am
Location: Phoenix, Aridzona

How To Be a Good Test Pilot for Controllers in Training

Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:45 am

How to be a good test pilot

* Ask the examiner.
* Have a heart
* Tailor your activity to the student
* Tailor your activity to the traffic
* Be patient

When showing up for a session, ask the examiner what kind of traffic is needed. Some examiners will be very specific, and tell you what they want for every flight or clearance. "Give me a VFR departure South, no FF." "Now a TEC route, flight plan, wrong altitude." Others will be more general: "VFR please." A few will give you carte blanch: "Anything at all." However, anything at all does not mean you should ignore the student's knowledge level and the traffic level. See below.

Have a heart. You should not be flying to help the student fail, you should be flying to help the student succeed. If you delight in seeing the student fail or flounder, then find another hobby. It is not unusual for test pilots to, with the examiner's approval, set up situations that may result in a deal if the student does not handle things properly. However, any pleasure the pilot takes in it must be from a "job well done," and not in seeing the student get in trouble. If you get to see the student avert the deal, that should be your ultimate payoff.

Tailor your activity to the student. If the student talks slowly and hesitantly, then you should speak slowly and enunciate more clearly than normal. If the student is brand new, then file only perfect flight plans (unless requested or authorized by the examiner).

Tailor your activity to the traffic load. For example, if the airport is getting slammed with traffic, do not request pattern work, unless requested or authorized by the examiner.

Be patient. When things get busy, let the examiner and/or student know that you will be happy for your clearance to go last. Volunteer to go to the end of the line when things get busy: The "paying customers" should go first, since they did not sign up to help train the controller.

The nastier or more out-of-norm a clearance or flight you are thinking of doing, the more you ought to clear it with the examiner.

The student's first session or two should focus on normal procedures and flight plans. If the student is doing really well, you can start with the abnormal stuff (wrong flight plans, or unusual procedures) early. Always ask the examiner if you are unsure.

Pre-OTS sessions are the right time to show the student everything unusual (TEC routes without flight plans, helo operations, even that cool military overhead break). Just not on the first session.

For OTS sessions, it's important that your primary purpose for flying is to help the student succeed. As mentioned above, your pleasure should come from seeing the controller do a good job with whatever you throw at him. Make sure you're fair on an OTS. If you have a strange or unusual thing you would like to request from the controller during an OTS, get it approved by the instructor first.
Last edited by Wayne Conrad on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:49 am, edited 4 times in total.

Return to “ZOTSOT”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest