student test pilot

All_In

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They look like toys but they are not toys!

They look like toys but they are not toys!

Paul, Thomas....Really?
You guys know me...personally.....Do I seem like the type?
Well I've seen the increases concern in Ben ever since Doug was killed crashing his SportCopter, in front of him, for no good reason at all other than being a new pilot and we have lost several Low Time Pilots.

Seems to us that they are not getting enough training before solo as the high time pilots are not dying in the same ratio in modern gyroplanes.

Ben cares more than the others that is what I see and know because he has talked to me about following all the baby steps and I will because I have seen newbies like me are experiencing some part of the flight envelope they do not have the experience to handle and it is killing them while we watch and there seem to be nothing wrong with they aircraft.

Get Training and sign off for balancing on the mains and crow hops, then follow the Benson course of taxi, balancing on the mains, crow hops, etc and only then solo in front of a CFI with radio contact on the ground.
 
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thomasant

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Paul, Thomas....Really?
You guys know me...personally.....Do I seem like the type?
Ben,

I understand you mean well and have gone through a lot recently. I do not believe that it has anything to do with your ego. I still agree with Paul's statement because there is a may be in the sentence, so I believe it does not include everyone that criticizes harshly. I believe that telling someone in a nicer way will have better results. I am a retired Indian Army Major with four years of formal Academy training and have received and done my own share of harsh criticism; and looking back, I feel I could have criticized my subordinates and peers better.

My take on this aspect of criticism is found in the FAA Aviation Instructor's Handbook which clearly states that if a critique of a student is done in the classroom, the instructor should avoid embarrassing the student in front of the class. In this case, the forum is analogous the class room, and an experienced pilot to the instructor. There have been many folks on the forum who have posted clearly that much useful info is not shared because of the fear of harsh criticism.

If one still chooses to embarrass someone in any manner with harsh criticism, as has been pointed out by others, then that is their personal choice and style, and there could be an underlying reason.
 

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This saying is so true:
Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.
 

04 Marine

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Student Test Pilot

Student Test Pilot

Being a critic of one persons works is not always a bad thing, in fact it can be a very good thing. But poorly thought out and delivered, it will and has been the beginning of the end for one persons dream. For many years I managed one of the largest GA airports in the world, 600 hangars, 800 based aircraft. During those years one of the most despicable things I saw was the group of critics who went from hangar to hangar on Saturday and Sunday to tear someone's project apart, often without merit. Then I would watch other more experienced builder come by and rejuvenate the attitude of the now downtrodden builder. Insidiously so, but you would eventually see these first time builder slowly vacate the hangars, and ultimately store the project or put it up for sale. It was really sad to watch.

I know that some will say, what does he know, he's not even a Gyro pilot. But experience, like history seems to repeat it's self. In some regards I see the same sometimes caustic comments that can be degrading that I saw as an airport manager. What I think the Student Test Pilot was looking for was some advice and perhaps even more so a maintenance mentor. When I built my first airplane, an EAA Bi Plane our EAA chapter had a maintenance advisor (?) I think, that was many, many years ago. When a member had an issue the maintenance advisor helped sort it out. I strongly believe if the student test pilot had been paired up with an experienced builder in his area, that he may have resolved his issues.

Now should he have been doing testing by himself if he did not fully understand the potential cause and affect, probably not. But getting that experienced builder there may have prevented an lesser experienced builder from doing something silly.

At nearly 70 and having flown and built airplanes for 50 years (next year), I'm not immune to this type of caustic comment myself. I recently shared some drawing and early quarter scale mock up's of a design for myself with two forum members. One suggested that I start a thread. I declined that idea and explained how brutal senior member's could sometimes be to those of us that are neophytes. And this is a guy, me, whose Joined the Marine Corps as a Private, flew combat standing behind a .50 cal., been a Drill Instructor, worked LA Center for a year, retired as a Mustang Major with a permanent grade of CWO-4 and the CO of a Marine Support Squadron, Managed ATC Facilities, Managed International and GA airports, owned an FBO and now has a successful equity lending business, and yes I can be thinned skin about harsh comments. Which is exactly why I very likely will not start a build thread.

Conversely, I've found a few great member who I contact on an individual basis and they have been great mentors that have helped me to understand things about gyro's that I had difficulty with. Is my project worth sharing, I thought it was at one time, but at nearly 70 I just don't know if I need the heart ache. I deal with enough ache's and pains just getting out of bed in the morning. Quite frankly, I doubt that I'm the only gyro builder working in the closet. As long as the forum has rude, self serving blow hard's that like to see their words in print, as a means of pounding their literary hairy chests, I suspect many potential gyro pilots will lurk in the shadows, vice grow into the next generation of pilots that will inhabit this facet of aviation. But that's only the opinion of one forum member who has been around airplanes and airports longer than many of these caustic contributors have been enjoying the sunrise.
 
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Resasi

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Anthony and Glen have both articulated very clearly the negative aspects of well meant but badly put criticism, and it's effect on the recipient. Both speak from years of experience in a profession where criticism does not come sugar coated. As Anthony has also pointed out the FAA has specific advice on just this subject.

Positive advice, thoughtful mentoring, leading by example and quiet careful reasoning does an immesaurably better job than loud thoughtless demeaning criticism in front of a crowd.

Advice sought, and constructive critical analysis, together with solutions is a vital function performed by this Forum. It is a worldwide repository of knowledge and of experience. It is also attended by people who are human, who get out of bed on the wrong side, are sometimes in their cups, hung over, or just having a bad day. Some may not have the best way of putting things, and some of us may seriously get up others noses, but all of us love the sport and want the best for others.

I would hope that the author of this thread, will be able to sort the wheat from the chaff, and get what he wants without being too alienated, and also learn that there are good and bad ways of asking for advice.
 

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I think rotoplane stated a good point, he said he decided not to post questions do to the negative replies. It took me a couple of years to join due to the way many on this forum talk to others IE "go off and kill yourself"a person has a very bad landing and is called a "stupid idiot" really is that the way you get new members? it took me 30 years to decide to joint the PRA and the truth is after one year of membership I probably wont renew. a lot of the same people on this forum are members, Ya constantly acting like you do should bring in new members, I probably wont be posting much if any either
 

PW_Plack

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Paul, Thomas....Really?
You guys know me...personally.....Do I seem like the type?
Ben there is no "type" that makes a mistake. We all do. But the fact is, if you want to help someone, criticize him in private. If you want to alienate him and have the message fail, do it in front of a crowd.

This thread is unusual in that the original poster baited the community, essentially slathered himself in au jus and jumped over the fence into the lion exhibit at the zoo. Perhaps he's a drama fan or lonely, and wanted the attention.
 

BEN S

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Paul, that was why I quoted his posts.
my comments mostly were directed at people answering him, not him directly.
Leigh and those others of you who served, are you going to seriously tell me that public chastising ISNT an effective (sometimes) method of instruction? Cause then its amazing I ever learned anything in the military...
khallups, you make your own decisions, you decide what and whose council to listen to, and then you go out and practise to develip your abilities. This forum is but one place to gain info.
Good luck.
 

Vance

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Puzzled by the controversy.

Puzzled by the controversy.

During my experience flying gyroplanes many people have called me stupid and suggested I have a death wish because I fly such a dangerous machine.

I can’t debate them because gyroplanes are dangerous and I sometimes do stupid things.

In the last year we have lost two student pilots to flight testing.

Kelly joined at the end of 2010 so I suspect he knew that when he selected the title for his thread.

He described what he was doing in a way that invited incorrect assumptions.

Some people responded as I would expect.

I feel trying to protect people from poorly thought out criticisms does not prepare them for the world outside this forum.

I looked at Ron’s posts and the response and it seemed to me everyone was very supportive of his solo and yet he feels disenchanted with gyroplanes and the forum.

I had observed from the posts of the pilot in Texas that didn’t seem to understand rotor management and didn’t say anything because I could not figure out a way to get past his perception. He crashed shortly after that. I am sorry I didn’t at least try. I am a slow thinker and thought I had more time.

When I post something on the forum I expect there will be those with negative opinions and it allows me to pause and evaluate my thought process looking through their window.

In my opinion Ben cares about gyroplane pilots and safety a lot and doesn’t want to see people get hurt or give more ammunition to gyroplane detractors. In my opinion he is a smart articulate man that understands risk management on a much higher level than most people here.

Kelly has been around enough to know how Ben feels about things and I feel there would be value in evaluating what he is doing looking through Ben’s window.

Some people here are just ignorant and they try to hide their ignorance with bluster.

Anyone who wants to fly a gyroplane will run into people like that and in my opinion in the gyroplane community they are a small but vocal minority.

I have encountered more blustering in the pilot population as a whole.

Pilots have to have egos in order to imagine they will not die in an inherently risky pastime.

My hope is that people will post their questions and keep in mind that most people here are trying to help.

I had an incident yesterday that I will start a thread about. It will take me a while to figure out how to frame it in such a way that it will not be easy to misinterpret the situation.

It was potentially lethal and a good example of why we are supposed to remain 2,000 feet laterally from clouds and check our waypoints often.

I suspect there will be people that will think I am an idiot for putting myself in that situation.

I feel that sharing it will have more value than keeping it quiet because of my sensitivity to criticism.

Thank you, Vance
 

thomasant

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Leigh and those others of you who served, are you going to seriously tell me that public chastising ISNT an effective (sometimes) method of instruction? Cause then its amazing I ever learned anything in the military...
I think that works better in the Military simply because the recipient of the chastising is usually not able to retaliate, 'cause that could probably amount to insubordination. In civvies street, a person has a choice of responding in an equally nasty way, and we have seen that as well on the forum. There is a lot of research supporting the value of positive reinforcement and constructive criticism as a better choice.
 

Resasi

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ISNT an effective (sometimes)
Ben you answered your own question. Yes, there was carrot and stick. But what worked best on, and for me, was example.

Wingnutt after 30 years you should be able to sort out good from bad, see what seriously good advice and help that can be had on this website, and have a hide thick enough to deflect crap from idiots.

Vance
Pilots have to have egos in order to imagine they will not die in an inherently risky pastime.
Absolutely. I have always felt that pilots have to have confidence in their abilities to function well, and with that comes ego. In some, more harmoniously personified than in others
 

BEN S

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Thank you Vance.
 

BEN S

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Leigh,Thomas,
You have a little kid who is about to run out into a busy street, you don't gently explain that its better to not run out there...you yell at him or grab him....why? To save his life.
My wife and I only spanked our kids when it was a safety issue.

Same here.

You ever see me write argumentative posts that had nothing to do with safety?

I like you both VERY much, but your not going to change my mind on this one. I happen to be very sought after for small team building. I must be doing something right.
 

Wingnutt

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Thanks Resasi for taking the time to address that however most of the good (not all) has come from the Eaa and don't get me wrong a few of the people on this forum are great Tom Milton is one. but I have been able to get help directly from him as a Calumet customer not from here or the pra. and its not a matter of not being able to sort the good from the , its rather is it worth it. Is it worth wading through a septic tank to recover the lost gold ring? I currently fly Challenger airplanes and these things are great but my life long wish is to fly gyros, and I don't need to be a member of the PRA or participate on this forum to do so, this is supposed to be fun, is putting up with self important unmannered individuals fun? not in my book
 

SandL

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Forum is for discussion

Forum is for discussion

Instead of shouting loud on a public forum there is always the option to send a personal message.
sometimes a private word can be more personal and more powerful, using a public forum can be seen as trying to bully, gang up and create a lynch mob against someone. If you are a CFI and you see someone flying dangerously I believe it's better to drag them to one side and have a firm but quiet word with them explaining the errors of their flying. The sandwich approach is generally considered best (good bit, bad bit and consequences of the bad bit and the accidents it can lead to, then end with the good bit). and engage in conversation.
Using the forum is like shouting insults across a hanger or club house. at which point learning is lost as the public humiliation only creates a dislike for the person that shouts (who will get talked about after he has left the room).
If the student disregards the quiet advice then maybe another pilot can take a different approach again explaining why they do not fly dangerously in that way.
Only as a last resort and in a constructive way should the club house shout be made so all can hear that you have done your job.
I think we are talking about people, empathy, instructional technique and character here rather than about flying.
I understand Bens point about shouting at the child crossing the road, but as we say there is often more than one way to skin a cat.

An instructor I know regularly had his 16 year old gliding students in tears through continual public humiliation, he smashed their confidence to zero then gradually built them up to solo, they hated him, but he had some very safe (non paying) students. this would simply not happen in the commercial world. We operate in the commercial world.
We want more to join and enjoy our sport so I think a private PM is the best way to go on some of these matters. and maybe it will encourage more people to post messages and start new threads
safe landing all

Peter
 

BEN S

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Peter,

Peter,

A nice,level headed well thought out post.

HOWEVER, comma,

"If the student disregards the quiet advice then maybe another pilot can take a different approach again explaining why they do not fly dangerously in that way."

From what I have seen so far, the new pilots aren't getting that kind of time to learn. They are dying.
There IS a sense of urgency in my mind when a student pilot says he IS doing something dangerous.If he says "I'm PLANNING to do something dangerous", by all means explain in a calm fashion a better way.

In my industry, we have a saying that covers all things unwritten..."Due diligence"...it means you have done what you can to make things right.

I feel that I have done what I can to "make things right".
If others don't feel that way, fine. I have NEVER pretended to represent ANY group to include the PRA. I'm just a guy who can't stand the thought of another new gyro pilot not getting to the point of total enjoyment of their equipment/abilities.

W26er
 

Resasi

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Ben you and I think a lot the same way, particularly when it comes to kids.

My father raised me in a way that horrified the Uncle I went to when he passed. And my Uncle told me so. My Uncle was a little on the soft side. Good but a little soft compared to what I had had as my father a little more old school.

By the time I had my own boys, I had a little time under my belt, and the time to have considered what had worked and what hadn't. When people told me that they reasoned with their three year old, rather than demand obedience, I went a little bit the way the Marines had gone. Time was short and my kids were a little light on the ability to reason in an adult world when very young. I figured I had a short time to apply as much as I could in a world that is dangerous and not always fair, though we teach and expect fair play.

I figured that in the early stages when foundations are laid they have to be solid and well crafted. Everything else that comes on top will depend on them. Kids, and recruits have but a short time to learn lessons that will either last them through life, or, keep them alive. Kids and recruits quickly learn to follow instructions that are firm and very positive.

Gyro pilots are not kids who don't understand, and they are not recruits who have signed up to a service that requires, and demands immediate obedience. They are adults. Although we want them to understand that these are life and death issues, they are old enough to be advised in an way that will hopefully let them understand, and at the same time not alienate them.

Though they both used different methods, I learned valuable lessons from both my father and my Uncle. Go figure. :)
 

PW_Plack

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...When people told me that they reasoned with their three year old, rather than demand obedience, I went a little bit the way the Marines had gone...
I'm not sure it's an either/or, Leigh. I think you can discipline a three-year-old, and also help him learn why it was needed. As time goes on, he'll start to soak up more of the why, and need less of the external discipline, if he's maturing.

There's a reason why the military traditionally starts training by breaking down your ego through harsh criticism in front of your peers, and it's a valid process to prepare a group of men to respond in unison, without questioning, to orders in battlefield situations.
 

Resasi

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You are right Paul it is not. Anything I taught my kids, or the military me, always came with a reason. That went without saying, even that bit about in a battlefield situation.

As I was doing one of my early periods of extra punishment drill, my course sergeant explained why their was such emphasis on immaculate drill.

'It's so that you do not question the orders that you know will take you into harm's way. You will simply respond, but knowing that there is a reason behind that order.'
 

SandL

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Ben
you say

"There IS a sense of urgency in my mind when a student pilot says he IS doing something dangerous"


if your message is urgent then maybe a PM is better as that will appear in his email inbox and be seen when he next checks his email
I think most people check their email more often that check the rotary wing forum.
You could also contact the nearest CFI and suggest that they look at the thread, may have a new student, may have had contact with the student already and may know other in the hanger who can talk quietly to the student.
You he would then have an urgent email from you, a phone call from a CFI, a guy in the hanger and some wise posts from experienced people here on the forum... all saying the same thing, There is a possibility that he would not like the forum having had a bad experience and choose not to visit the forum again due to his bad experience, this could leave huge gaps in his knowledge which could result in an accident later on (for example knowledge relating to x-wind landings, of fuel issues).
 
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