Transitioning pilots and the planes
Thank you for these useful resources. The last couple of years has been fun transitioning a few pilots into their newly acquired flying RVs, and assisting one with Phase I.
The pilots I flew with chose not to travel to an established transition trainer mostly because they wanted to learn in an aircraft they recently purchased. One person was fresh from his private pilot check ride. Another a builder of an RV-10 who had no experience reading a manifold gauge or using a prop control, let alone taming a 260 hp six cylinder.
In general I get calls from pilots with less than 200 hrs, flight time with little tail wheel experience and usually no complex or technically advanced aircraft time.
We take in this transition training in small chunks. Sending this syllabus to them or even allowing them to see it would scare them. They can lose confidence quickly when presented with so much information.
I humbly recommend RV transition training instructors carefully consider the experience of the pilot they will be teaching. Presenting a simplified overview of the first two lessons in a chronological format, including the prebrief outline, seems to work well for most to get started. Send them the overview so they can follow along. Chair flying over the phone through the first lesson gets them started. Two full lessons a day is about the most the average student can handle. Pre-brief, fly, de-brief. Briefings take longer than the flying at first, but do become equal to or less than the time spent in the air after a few flights.
This is where many times we discover the checklist they’ve inherited from the previous owner is non-existent, unfamiliar, missing items or incorrect. This is unfortunate. Decide if fixing the checklist is a priority and how you will be compensated for your time should you choose to help drafting a new one.
Remember that taking on a transitioning student using his/her newly acquired RV will present a multitude of challenges but can produce the safest and most confident pilot in the end.
Next is the aircraft. No matter how carefully I’ve gone over the logs, weight and balance, panel review, required equipment lists and inspections, there are often surprises.
Transponder checks, pitot/static checks for IFR birds, condition inspections, oil changes, tire rotation, tail wheel and nose gear lube, ELT check and battery replacement requirements, etc all can be a surprise to an unprepared instructor. There are few things more frustrating than showing up and finding out the aircraft isn’t ready to fly.
Remember that many new transitioning pilots are first time aircraft owners, let alone first time RV owners. Aircraft maintenance needs to be discussed. Do they want to learn about maintaining their aircraft? Do I want to teach aircraft maintenance? Make sure to define owner authorized maintenance items in the FARs.
Introduce the new transitioning student to the local EAA chapter. Often times there are knowledgeable and willing people to help with maintenance and teach it “off the clock.”
Other good ground training topics:
Engine performance charts
Airspace and VFR sectionals (Flight Review topics)
Equipment overview and basic use (Autopilot, Nav, Glass, etc)
Similarities and big differences between an RV and what they flew last
Finger tip control pressures
Positive transfer of controls
Break up the ground briefings with shorter flights at the beginning. Instructors don’t hog the stick. Let the newbie fly as much as possible right off the bat.
Lots more to consider. Actual pay per hour of ground and flight instruction along with a ball park estimate should be discussed before flying.
After the transitioning RV pilot earns PIC privileges it might be useful to share a copy of the whole syllabus for future practice and proficiency. I find that Flight Reviews are an excellent time to encourage envelope expansion for an RV pilot that may want guidance in trying a spin or basic aerobatics for the first time.
Launching from SC45
Last edited by FlyinTiger : 10-16-2020 at 10:09 PM.