Define the aims and objectives of the GFA training syllabus.
To produce glider pilots with a high degree of ability, understanding, initiative and safety consciousness, leading to safe, efficient and competent cross-country gliding
What are the two most important factors in ensuring that information is passed from the short-term memory into the long-term memory?
Continuous attention and rehearsal, but while this process is going on, a person has very limited ability to accept any new information. Time is therefore needed to balance the conflicting needs of ensuring that information "sticks" in the person's mind, yet feeding new information into the person in order to effect some progress through flying training.
What happens to information lost from the short-term memory?
It is lost forever
What is the "law of primacy"?
The concept that an item learned first is the most likely one to stick in the mind. An example of this is the principle of instilling safety as a prime concept - if safe habits are not learned at the outset, they will not be acquired later.
Name two successful learning reinforcement techniques.
Repetition; recency effect
Name three typical human reactions to becoming overloaded.
Error. Omission. Approximation
What is "underload" and what is its main effect on a gliding instructor?
A "laid back" state of mind, which can cause an instructor to lack concentration when he needs it most
What three general points need to be taken into account in a preflight briefing in addition to the specific point being covered?
Define the objective of the flight, describe briefly what the objective consists of, allocate responsibility for who does what
What is a "communication block" and what is the most effective way to prevent one occurring?
Usually arises where an instructor has mistakenly conducted a "one-way" flow of communication, which results in boredom, resentment and a "block" to further successful communication. Encourage student to participate.
Although most training emphasises flexibility and encourages pilots to think for themselves, what aspect of training stresses the opposite principle?
Habits of safety (e.g. careful lookout at all times, safe speed near the ground) which should be regarded as inflexible and unbreakable principles
For effective instruction, who sets the pace of learning, the student or the instructor?
Generally the student, but an instructor needs to manage the training in such a way that the right balance is achieved between getting bogged down and forcing the pace too hard
Define all the steps necessary to meet the requirements of correct methods of gliding instruction.
Pre-flight briefing, airborne demonstrations and patter, handover/takeover procedure, student practice and feedback, fault analysis and prompting, post-flight debriefing
Name the four stages of carrying out an airborne demonstration.
Name the exercise, describe effect to be observed, stabilise the glider, demonstrate clearly and in a manner synchronised with the patter
Before allowing the student to take control of the glider, name the essential step which must be taken to eliminate confusion and reduce the danger of not knowing who has control.
Positive handover/takeover procedure
After handing over to the student, what is the next step to be followed by the instructor?
Feedback, depending on what the instructor sees from the student. Then fault analysis and prompting, as necessary
What is the most reliable aid to a satisfactory post-flight debriefing?
A notebook, to aid "recency effect"
What are the four points to be considered when planning the management of an instructional flight?
What other "management" exercise is an instructor responsible for in flight?
Name the four points in instructor/student relations which are essential to satisfactory training progress.
Criticism, praise, respect, progress
About what percentage of gliding accidents are caused primarily through lack of flying discipline?
As a Level 1 Instructor, what action would you be likely to take if you observe a gross breach of airmanship and/or flying discipline on the part of a solo pilot, if the Level 2 Instructor on duty was in the air at the time?
Firstly, let the pilot know that you saw what had occurred and you had some concerns about it. Remembering that you are not in charge of the day's operations, you may at your discretion invite the pilot to give you his/her side of the story. It might be that the occurrence had a perfectly feasible explanation. If not, and you are concerned that the pilot should not fly until further counselling has taken place, advise the pilot that you wish to consult with the duty Level 2 instructor and to remain on the ground until you have done so
Describe how you would carry out a stability demonstration in flight.
Establish correct nose attitude for level flight and trim the glider accurately. Show student your hands, to establish confidence in the glider's stability. Gently raise the nose and let the stick go - point out to student that the nose tries to get back to its previous position. It may oscillate a bit in this attempt, but it will eventually get there. Keep everything smooth and gentle.
In your opinion, what is the most common error in delivering instructional "patter" in flight?
Talking too much
What is the most important point to be remembered in carrying out a post-flight debriefing?
Remember recency effect. The student will have maximum recall of the last things that happened on the flight. Work back through the flight to find the bits you wish to comment upon, helping the student to remember as you go. This is where a notebook comes in handy; don't forget to carry one.
What is the secondary effect of elevator?
There is no secondary effect of elevator
What is the "billy-cart" syndrome?
Confusion about which way to move the rudder-pedals to get the desired effect, the student possibly remembering his billy-cart days, when he pushed right to swing left and vice-versa
What is the objective of "rolling on a point" and what is the most important point to remember to achieve a good demonstration?
To develop aileron/rudder coordination. Make all movements smooth and keep bank angles small
What is the most likely cause of a wavering nose attitude in level flight or in turns and what is the remedy?
Student is watching the ASI instead of monitoring the nose attitude. Cover up the ASI - a rubber soap-holder with multiple suction pads is a useful addition to an instructor's armoury and is just the right size to cover a glider instrument
What is the most important airmanship point to emphasise right from the start?
Why is it difficult to demonstrate the use of the elevator trim?
Because there is nothing to see if the glider is properly trimmed.
What strategy should be adopted to counter the difficulty of demonstrating elevator trim?
Hand over an out-of trim glider (be sure to warn the student that it is out-of-trim!) and coach the student to maintain a constant nose attitude despite the out-of-trim force, then make a positive movement of the trimmer so as to make its effect clearly apparent.
What is the most important message to emerge from teaching the use of elevator trim?
The important thing is that the student must realise that the trim control only relieves loads - it must not be used as a "mini-elevator"
What action would you take if a student failed to look out before turning?
Stop the student turning immediately, in order to drive the message home
What does the memory-jog "ARE" mean in relation to turning?
Aileron, Rudder, Elevator, to be monitored during the turn in that order
When coming out of a turn, if the rate of turn increases momentarily before recovery to level and the intended heading is overshot, what is the most likely fault?
Lack of aileron/rudder coordination
If you are instructing in a glider which has airbrakes having very high operating loads and/or a tendency to "suck out" when unlocked, what training strategy would you adopt to teach the use of these devices safely?
Ensure the airbrakes are taught initially at height, rather than give the student a nasty surprise in the high-workload environment on the approach
If converting a pilot from a glider with airbrakes to one with spoilers, what briefing points would you isolate?
Spoilers are less effective than airbrakes and will cause a nose-down trim which must be counteracted. This is in contrast with the high drag of airbrakes, which need a positive lowering of the nose in order to maintain speed, thus giving a steeper glide-path. The trim change is in a nose-up sense when the spoilers are retracted
Define the two purposes of stall training.
To learn recognition of the symptoms, with a view to prevention. If a stall should occur, to take the necessary recovery action
Apart from careful and thoughtful handling of the glider, what is the most effective way to counter any discomfort which might be felt by the student during stall training?
Ensure that the student looks outside the cockpit at the horizon, rather than inside at the instrument panel
What is meant by the "low-G syndrome" and how can its effects be minimised?
A sensitivity to less than 1G (not negative G) May occur in turbulence. Its effects can be minimised by looking outside the cockpit, to allow the strong visual impact of outside scenery to suppress the feelings of discomfort
What causes wing-drop at the stall and what is the most effective way to arrest it?
One wing stalling before the other. Wing-drop is fixed by forward movement of the stick
Name the symptoms of a developing stall.
Nose higher than normal. Possible buffeting. Less effective controls. Lower sound level. Increasing back-pressure on stick. Possible wing-drop. Nose drop in spite of stick coming back, or high descent rate with nose-high attitude
Where should the student be instructed to concentrate his/her attention during stall exercises, in order to minimise discomfort and possible onset of the "low-G" syndrome?
What is the key point in incipient spin training?
The nose is not particularly high when the glider departs into the manoeuvre
What part of the incipient spin recovery action must become a conditioned response?
Move stick smoothly and progressively forward, using only sufficient rudder to counteract any yaw which may be present
The rotation of the glider around a stalled wing, created initially by loss of lateral damping
Describe how you would demonstrate a realistic departure into a spin, simulating what happens to pilots who spin accidentally
From a turn. Allow the glider to enter the early stages of a spin from a badly executed turn. Assume low in the circuit therefore we tend to fly slowly and not use very much bank in the turn.
For the purpose of practical spin awareness, list the sequence of events which, if not broken, will lead to a spin developing.
Glider is turning; attitude is constant; bank slowly increasing; stick coming continuously back
What are the most common student faults in spin recovery?
Insufficient opposite rudder. Failure to move stick forward, believing that opposite rudder alone stops rotation. Disorientation.
What are the two things which cannot be adequately simulated during spin training?
Ground-rush, which is believed to be a factor in inhibiting pilots from attempting recovery from low-level spins. Stress, which is almost certainly why pilots progressively apply excessive rudder during a turn at low-level. At the very least, instructors must ensure pilots are acquainted with the likelihood of stress and to keep it within manageable limits
What are the parameters which define the "working speed band" on a winch/auto launch?
Lower limit 1.3Vs; upper limit as placarded
Name the four stages of a winch/auto launch.
Ground-run and separation; initial climb; full climb; release
What cues do you offer the student to help judge the correct nose attitude during a winch/auto launch?
Look to the side to see the angle between the wing and the horizon
Define the non-manoeuvring area.
The area of sky which, if a launch fails, a glider is too high to land ahead in the space available, but too low to carry out a circuit
What is the first priority following a winch/auto launch failure of any kind?
Attain a safe speed near the ground, 1.5Vs
What is the approximate time between a launch failure in the full climb of a winch/auto launch and the speed settling at a safe value after lowering of the nose?
About 5 seconds
What are the two vital responses to a winch/ auto launch failure?
Regain and maintain safe speed; operate the cable-release twice
What is the primary reference for establishing the correct towing position on aerotow?
What do you think is the most common reason for students having difficulties learning to aerotow?
Introduced to aerotowing too early, before acquiring proper coordination and before acquiring anticipation
What should always be demonstrated on aerotow, with the object of building confidence?
Trim the glider and demonstrate the hands-off "stable platform" on tow
What important quality should a student have acquired before handing over control to him/her on aerotow?
What little jingle should be understood by the student before operating the cable release for the first time?
Locate - identify - operate
Name the three parts of the pre-flight briefing for an aerotow take-off.
Glider and tug on ground. Glider airborne, tug on ground. Both glider and tug airborne
State the procedure for carrying out launch ground signals following "clear above and behind".
Pilot gives thumb up sign and says "pilot ready". Wingtip holder raises wing and repeats signal to signaller. When rope tight, wingtip holder gives "all out" ("full power") signal
What is the "break-off point"?
The point at which all previous exercises are terminated and a commitment made to prepare the glider for landing
What is the object of flying a circuit?
To establish a suitable landing area. To select a landing direction. To establish a final approach path with a safe margin over obstacles
What "safe habits" must be cultivated in a student when joining a circuit for landing?
Safe speed near the ground (1.5Vs), other traffic, wind strength and direction, landing area obstructions
What factors determine the decision to turn from the downwind leg onto the base leg?
To intersect the final approach path at a suitable position, taking into account wind strength and other weather-related factors
What is a "modified circuit"?
A circuit in which the original plan cannot be maintained (usually because of running out of height) and a changed plan must be implemented
What would you instruct the student to do if strong sink is met at or around the base-leg turn?
If turn has not commenced, turn immediately. Once turn has been completed, assess whether it is necessary to make further modifications to angle the base leg in toward the field and shorten the final approach. In an extreme case, make final approach at an angle, direct from base turn
If the glider is too steep or too shallow on base-leg, what can be done to fix the problem?
Angle base leg in or out to join the final approach either shorter or longer
What three things should an instructor teach a student to check after completing the final turn?
Check direction, speed and rate of descent
Why should an overshoot situation be established before using the airbrakes on final approach?
To prevent undershooting. An undershoot is much more difficult to detect early than an overshoot
What danger is there in allowing a student to develop a habit of making consistent high approaches and always using full airbrake?
Risk of developing a habit of "automatic" use of full airbrake without assessment of what is actually required. This can lead to undershoot accidents. The principle of checking direction, speed and rate of descent, after completion of the final turn, applies to all approaches and airbrake should not be used until an overshoot is detected, and then should be used progressively, starting with a small amount and increasing the amount if necessary
What should be the minimum duration of a final approach to allow adjustments in direction and glide-path?
About 30 seconds
Define "Check 1" and "Check 2".
Check 1 is the initial stick movement to change from the approach path to level flight just above the ground ("flare"). Check 2 is the resumption of backward stick movement to "fly the speed off" ("hold-off")
What is the "instructor's defensive posture"?
The right hand loosely around the bottom of the stick, the left hand behind the spoiler/airbrake lever
How do you know whether a student is going to carry out Check 1 or not?
How would you protect yourself against a student failing to carry out check 1 (flare)?
The best initial defence is a clear briefing and advice to the student to make Check 1 early rather than late. This gives the instructor valuable time to correct the situation. This is backed up by cueing the student, at the appropriate moment, to look well ahead, rather than stare fixedly at the aiming point. Remember that a student must be allowed to make mistakes, but not serious ones!
If the student loses directional control early in the approach, what should the instructor do?
Talk. If not successful, take over early and correct the directional problem. Then hand the glider back to the student, so as not to waste a landing
What is the most common cause of "ballooning" near the ground?
Either (a) Student not applying correct "Check 1, check 2" technique (maybe not pausing) or (b) Student using correct technique but overdoing it a bit at Check 1
What action would you take if the student carries out Check 1 too early?
Talk student into looking ahead, closing airbrakes, establishing fixed nose attitude on the horizon and wait for the glider to start to sink again before carrying out another landing. If talking not immediately successful, take over and do it yourself
What is the most common pitfall near the ground in converting hang-glider pilots to gliders?
Hang-glider pilots are used to pushing a bar forward to raise the nose prior to touchdown. They might try the same technique with the stick in a glider. It has happened a number of times. Watch it!
What is the most common pitfall near the ground in converting power pilots to gliders?
Power pilots are used to closing the throttle immediately prior to touchdown. For throttle, read "airbrake" and they might extend the airbrakes fully near the ground, the throttle habit being ingrained. A further problem with power pilots which may be apparent is that they are used to applying full flap at some stage during the final approach and leaving it there all the way to touchdown. If not adequately briefed that spoilers/airbrakes may be adjusted as required during the approach, and we expect pilots to do so, an ingrained power pilot may select full airbrake and leave it untouched right to the ground, regardless of any undershoot that might be developing.
How would you teach a pilot to search for thermals?
On a cloudy day, search under the thickest part of the cumulus clouds. On a blue day, it is rather random at height, but lower down the pilot must be taught to use ground features as thermal sources, such as various coloured paddocks, etc.
Having found a thermal, how would you teach a pilot to locate the core and centre on it?
The easiest way for a student to initially learn the feel of thermalling is the "straighten on the surge" method, in which the glider is straightened when a surge is felt, then a turn in the same direction as before is resumed and the situation monitored again. This method is quite successful for well-defined thermals. There are other methods to assist in locating the centre of a thermal. These may be found in the GFA document "Better Thermalling" produced by the High-Performance Coach.
When introducing a pilot to cross-country flying, at what height AGL would you teach that pilot to (a) choose a generally suitable outlanding area, (b) select a suitable paddock, and (c) commit to a circuit?
(a) 2,000 feet. (b) 1,500 feet. (c) 1,000 feet.
How would you teach a pilot to assess the surface wind during cross-country flying?
Wind on dams (calm surface area immediately in the lee of the bank around the dam). Dust from cars on dirt roads. Smoke from farmers burning off stubble
What are likely effects of praise on a student's progress? What kind of praise should be avoided?
The effect of well-judged praise is generally entirely positive. False praise must be avoided at all costs
Define the objectives of a pre-flight briefing.
DEFINE the objectives of the flight. DESCRIBE briefly what the objectives consist of. ALLOCATE RESPONSIBILITY for who does what
What instrument is desirable as a training aid for the teaching of aerobatics?
A "G" meter (accelerometer). This is a useful educational aid, to show the pilot what G loads are being applied to the glider. It is not mandatory, unless specified in the glider's flight manual as minimum equipment for aerobatics
What action would you take if you feared a tailslide was about to occur in mishandled aerobatics?
Take hold of the stick firmly with both hands and place both feet firmly on the rudder pedals. Ensure all controls are held firmly in the CENTRAL position. The forces trying to slam the control surfaces against their stops are extremely high when the glider is flying backwards
If the "proof" load factor of a glider is known to be 5G, what in-flight limit is permitted?
The same value, 5G. The proof load factor is the same thing as the in-flight permitted load factor. In modern gliders, there is a safety factor of 1.5 before reaching the ultimate load factor, at which damage or failure is likely to occur
What precautions are required if performing aerobatics at a speed higher than the manoeuvre speed (Va)?
Ensure all controls are used gently. Ailerons and rudder should be used progressively less and less as speed is increased beyond Va, until they should not be deflected by more than one-third at Vne. The elevator should be used in such a way as to keep G loadings within permissible limits
What is "rolling G" and what problems is it likely to produce?
Rolling G is the result of applying G loads while ailerons are being applied at the same time. This results in an asymmetric G loading across the wing structure, which could result in some parts of the wing reaching or exceeding their structural limit when the overall G loading seems to be within limits. Always reduce or centralise ailerons before applying significant amounts of G
What is G-LOC?
G-induced Loss Of Consciousness. Loss of consciousness WITHOUT passing through a "greying-out" or "blacking-out" phase. It occurs entirely without warning
Based on the law of primacy, what two things, if not successfully instilled in a student pilot, have an above-average potential to cause a fatal accident?