Standardized Training & Syllabus

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    • #9745
      Don GrilloDon Grillo

        Hello Sky Soaring Instructors,

        I would like to engage you in a discussion about our training of both new and rated pilots.  As you know, we do not use a training syllabus for either new students or ad-on ratings.  I would like to change that practice and start using a training syllabus for all our students whether new or rated.  In the past, Sky Soaring has used a syllabus.  I’m not sure why the instructors have moved away from not using one.  It is a disservice to our new student members, IMO.

        As your new Flight Committee Chairman, I would like to suggest that we start using Bob Wanders, Learning to Fly Gliders, Flight Training and Syllabus handbook.  I have a copy of it here at home and it is an easy to understand training syllabus that both new students and instructors will find easy to use and follow.  By using this syllabus, I believe, it will make it much easier for instructors to follow along on a students progress.  I believe we can purchase these handbooks directly from Bob Wander possibly at a discounted rate. In any case they shouldn’t cost the student more that around $15.00.

        Other subjects I want to discuss with our instructors:

        1. Chief Instructor Position.
        2. Standardized Training (ie. Traffic Patterns, Square vs Goal Oriented etc…)

        Please visit the Flight Instructors message forum on our website to be sure you see all the messages related to this subject.



        Bob Wander Training Syllabus



      • #9747
        Tim PonsotTim Ponsot

          I’d be happy to standardize. The Bob Wander book is a good choice, very comprehensive and goes a long way toward “avoiding gaps in a student’s learning”…something Ron has begged and pleaded with us to address more seriously.

          The only downside I see with over reliance on this is a one size fits all approach to flight training. As many of us are aware most, if not all students sail through a lot of concepts only to be tripped up on others.

          If we use a more organized and syllabus based system it could help get every CFI on the same page about where a student is at Even more importantly it’s good information for the students themselves, to be shared individually and confidentially of course.

          I don’t know if a Chief Instructor would be good or not…our club is very much an egalitarian society. To have one “benevolent dictator” whose opinion matters more than others could do a lot to hurt the individual CFI’s good professional judgment. If a CFI needs to ask permission from top brass about every little thing and can’t be left well enough alone to teach in his or her individual style…I don’t think it will help our training program one bit.

          Take my opinion valued at every cent you paid for it but I’d go with a standardized syllabus (which is a fantastic idea Ron has been begging for) and would advocate holding off on the Chief Instructor thing unless there is some huge implementation problem with the syllabus. Then and only then (in my humble opinion) should we talk about more oversight.



        • #9819
          Don GrilloDon Grillo

            Hello Flight Instructors,

            I have asked for input on using a training syllabus. Thanks Tim for your positive input and one of our other instructors commented via email to me.

            We will move ahead this spring by incorporating the use of Bob Wanders, Flight Training Handbook and Syllabus.  All new student members will be required to purchase this handbook (the club may purchase copies to have on hand.)  In the back of the book is a syllabus that is filled out by the instructor before and after each section has been completed (see photo). This will help keep track of where the student is in regard to his/her training. This will also make it easier for the CFIG to concentrate on lesson plans that need to be completed by the student as well.

            As shown below is a lesson plan with the corresponding Progress Record.  The Instructor Copy is on hard stock paper and is removable which can then be placed in the students office folder.

            Bob Wanders Handbook & Syllabus

          • #9821
            Dennis BurkeDennis Burke
              On topic, is the same syllabus to be used, or required, for Season checkout or Flight Review ( aka, BFR) for non-student members?I noticed that Bob Wander series includes a BFR-Checkout book.

            • #9832
              Don GrilloDon Grillo

                Denny, thanks for the question. As stated in my message the Bob Wander Flight Training Handbook and syllabus will be used for new student training.  As you mentioned, Bob Wander does make a very nice guide for Flight Review’s and it’s up to each individual instructor whether they would want to use it as a guide.  I do recommend that glider pilots purchase his guide and use it themselves to prepare for their flight review and spring checkouts.

                Bob Wanders books can be purchased through the SSA, Cumulus Soaring and Wings and Wheels websites.

              • #9833
                Mark MallamoMark Mallamo

                  Denny,Specifically regarding Flight Reviews (and WINGS flight activities), you should refer to the appropriate Practical Test Standards (PTS) to see the various tasks and tolerances for the tasks that you might be asked to do on a flight review.  For instance, as a private pilot you would want to refer to the Private Pilot Glider PTS.  A commercial pilot would want to use the commercial PTS.  Links are below…


                  Sent from my iPhone

                • #9835
                  Dennis BurkeDennis Burke
                    Mark and Don,Thanks both for the suggestion tips, and web-links , Denny

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