We Are All On The Same Team

NAFI NOTAMs #19

We Are All On The Same Team~Guest Blogger Randall Williams, CFII/MEI

If I could say anything to new instructors, I would say that (in addition to being super aware and not letting students kill you) our relationships with examiners will determine so many things about what we as instructors are able to accomplish. Finding examiners that we can work with as a team - and nurturing those relationships (i.e. NETWORKING) - is a big piece of doing this job well.

How well do we ACTUALLY know the examiners we’re sending our fledgling flyers to? Can we not just work within their busy schedules, but also understand/anticipate their needs and requirements? How do we meet each other as professional individuals out to accomplish mutual goals albeit through different procedural lenses? Do we know the examiner's priorities? Finally, how do we as flight instructors consciously extend our reach to meet new DPEs and expand our own horizons? It is only through establishing personal relationships that both parties can begin to answer these questions, but this takes time, effort, and primarily starts with the efforts of the instructor themselves.

Of course, every designee follows the ACS/PTS; however, I know one examiner who failed a candidate for landing with a tailwind at a non-towered field, and another who failed an applicant for not reducing a throttle all the way to idle on a Vmc recovery. In conversations with examiners I know, there is a varying degree of agreement with the original DPE in the moment judgement call.

Often, learning a DPE's subjective pet peeves or personal special emphasis areas is only possible because of a working relationship with THAT examiner. Eventually, the examiner and instructor work to a level of comfort to be able to schedule training with students who come from out of town, trust that we can get them a ride, and we are less likely to be surprised by a different interpretation of the ACS.

 

Now I am not saying that any of these examples are right or wrong, or an indictment on any DPE’s judgement, but is there room for more consistency and less subjectivity on a check-ride? Absolutely! Can this consistency be passed on to instructors sending applicants on checks? 100%! Through the effort of networking and teamwork between all parties (instructors, examiners, and students) a positive outcome and achievement of everyone’s mission can be accomplished to a higher degree of success. I wish I had understood that early on; it would have made a big difference in my teaching career.

Randall Williams NOTAMSRandall Williams, CFII/MEI
NAFI# 222907

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments on "We Are All On The Same Team"

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Frank Gallagher - Thursday, May 13, 2021
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I could not agree with Randall more. As a DPE in the Orlando FSDO, I do not test applicants until I have relationship with their CFI. I find that this is the path to success, prevents a number of misunderstandings, and furthers the learning environment. Holding myself to the same standards, I teach my CFI's that anything they do has to be backed up by the many FAA publications. This provides a common frame of understanding and gets everyone in the books. I addition, I have a list of the "weak areas" that are encountered on checkrides, and provide this to the CFI's to use as a guide, besides the ACS/PTS requirements. Those CFI's who take the additional step of reviewing this list have found it to be very successful in their preparation of their students. Fly safe! Frank Gallagher DPE, Orlando FSDO

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