Thursday, April 16, 2009

Inauspicious start

My first lesson dedicated to my Instrument Airplane rating got a little derailed today. I arrived a half hour early and got all the new student paperwork out of the way so it wouldn't interfere with training time.

The counter person and another CFI told me that my new instructor was on site with another student but to be prepared to wait because "he's always late" and to "get used to it".

At scheduled plus :10 I told the counter "This is pretty funny especially after the lecture he gave me about being on time because I pay for the scheduled time if I'm late".

At scheduled plus :15 the Chief Flight Instructor showed up: "I've talked to F, and he'll be right down".

5 minutes after that he hadn't shown up or even touched base to say he'd be a while so I left.

You know what... my time is valuable too. I have a family, a job, responsibilities and commitments. Believe it or not, I have to prioritize and schedule my day.

It doesn't sound like much, but making me wait 20 minutes to get started on a 2 hour lesson not only wastes my time but it cuts my available time to more like 1:30 - for pre/post ground and flying. You're lucky to get an hour air time in a 2 hour time commitment because usually the lessons run around 1:50 so you can stop in time for the instructor to take a break and prep for the next student.

So I'm down to 1:30 with likely 50 minutes max in the air, including taxi, takeoff and landing (which I am already pretty experienced in, thank you anyway), unless you're planning to make the next student wait 20 minutes, too? And then what? By the afternoon I'm waiting an hour? It's not like the guy has irreplaceable surgical skills I'm in dire need of.

I don't want to start each lesson pissed off because I've waited 20 or 15 or even 10 minutes for him. And, if he's late every day, I will be pissed off.

So... it set me back a few days but I've got a different instructor lined up.

Of course... I'll probably be REALLY late... :-)

4/29 update: Email from a friend.

Sorry to hear that your first instrument 'lesson' didn't go well. I'm not sure what's wrong with these flight instructors and making people wait. I think I told you about that guy that made me wait 20 minutes and when he finally did show up told me he was going to be another hour or so, but he would give me some things to start studying and I could wait for him. Ha! I haven't been back there since.

Guess what? Turns out to be the SAME GUY! Looks like I made a good decision...

1 comment:

  1. once again; instrument training and checking made interesting, you have a gift my friend. I love it! Your DPE has a quota of failures that he must turn in to keep his ticket and you must know that when you show up. Six foot off the centerline and your OK with that? If your good enough in a 180 and suck in a 172 I'd of flunked you too just out of principal. I love your blog!!! Let's go fly sometime. KLM knows how to find me.