Pilot Proficiency And Instructor Development
The EAA Pilot Proficiency Center (PPC) is now a regular feature of AirVenture, with presentations and simulators available for an hour of free, loggable dual instruction. The 23 different scenarios are posted on eaapilotproficiency.com, with all the briefing materials, so pilots at the show can arrive prepared. Pilots not at the show can download basic resources and a lesson plan to try on their own sim or with an instructor. The National Association of Flight Instructors used AirVenture for the launch of a new professional development program for flight instructors. In addition to talks aimed specifically at instructors, the center has a set of aviation training devices (what most people call simulators) with scenarios targeting human-dynamics skills instructors must deal with but are rarely taught.
While flying the virtual airplane, the CFIs will have to handle sick students, hostile clients and other human dynamics that are a part of flight instruction. “Flight instruction is about getting inside someone’s head and passing on experience and information,” says NAFI Chairman Bob Meder. “But I don’t think we focus enough on the soft skills.” There’s also a lounge area to pair experienced instructors with new ones. NAFI will make all the talks available on FAASTeam TV and hopes to replicate some of the simulator and mentor efforts at other venues. It’s also hoping to reach pilots retiring from flying careers and bring them back into instruction. “Schools are going begging for instructors right now,” says Meder.