Monday, April 19, 2010

CFI Supplies (confession included)

I have no news to report. No good news, that is. I had hoped to write this week's blog entry proclaiming my perfect score on the CFI written, but as I studied the CFI test prep last week it became ever more clear that I was not prepared to take a $150 test that I might fail. Heck, even if I didn't fail (you only need 80% - less than that necessitates another $150 payout), that I would be in the high 90s - where I understand you need to be to give the examiner a good first impression when you go in for the practical test for the CFI rating (which includes an oral portion - friends have said their orals were 8 - 10 hours long!).

So I need to study again this week and get the test done by Thursday since I am going to Columbus to attend the North Central Section Meeting for the local 99s. I again need to get some of this training done before I go off to camp. AcroCamp. As if I needed a reminder of this impending aerobatic training, Steve Tupper, director and organizer extraordinaire, posted this video of some of the maneuvers we'll be doing (they were working on how to best capture the video).

Airspeed Video Episode: Don Weaver's Acro Sequence from Steve Tupper on Vimeo.

So with that incentive in mind, it's back to studying this week (tomorrow at least). Late last week I discovered that an electronic E6b makes some of those test questions much easier - the device made by Sporty's and ASA, which is just a step above a regular calculator, will ask relevant questions to find crosswind components, endurance range, and ground speed calculations, among others. It is really handy, but at $70ish when new, not a purchase to be taken lightly. I found a couple of used ones on eBay for a little less money, so I'm keeping an eye on them. My friend of the previous Mooney posts has let me borrow hers in the interim.

So this little unforeseen expense (I've never used one of these in my 17 years of flying) made me wonder what other items I should be trolling around for on eBay in preparation for becoming an instructor. My unofficial survey, conducted via Facebook, resulted in these suggestions:

Lynda Meeks

Lynda Meeks Remember when I asked everyone to suggest books for my CFI training? I am now looking for more suggestions, but this time for equipment; electronic E6b computer, whiz wheel, plotter, etc? What else do you (or do you not) recommend?

Ana Mendivil
I have the metal E6B that's got some red and green markings, I highly recommend it. I was told the metal ones are more accurate and this one has some color so its easier for me. Also when you get frustrated with training you can sharpen the edges and use it as a ninja star :)

Debi Rodriguez
I know you are asking for other things but I don't remember you asking about books so I'll just give you my suggestion now if that's okay. Jonathon Livingston Seagull. It's not technical or anything like that, and it's not just a kid's book, it's a fantastic book about soaring thru life (for you and all pilots) and never giving up. Enjoy!

Jaclyn Vanderhoef Baker
Oh Debi, that's an excellent book. Also by Richard Bach is a REALLY fun book for pilots, Air Ferrets Aloft. I have read it a few times for light entertainment. It's a great story and fun to share it with older kids. Actually, it could be really great addition to Girls with Wings, as the heroine is a talented female pilot.

Here it is at Amazon... See More:

And, I shouldn't assume, so I'll say that if you haven't already read Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K. Gann, you're missing possibly the SINGLE BEST aviation novel ever written.

Sylvia Fletcher
I started out with a metal E6-B, and understand it's functional abilities, yet I have since been learning how to get the same results with the CX-2 (electronic) and find it simpler and more accurate. Also, I would not have purchased the CX-2 if Transport Canada did not allow it on the exams.

Sarah Tobin
buy a Jiffy IFR hood, better than foggles, esp for students with glasses. (For you nonpilots, this "hood" is a device that you put over your eyes to simulate flying through clouds, i.e., no reference to the horizon. Even if you didn't want to cheat, your peripheral vision gives you many clues.)

Kent Shook
Second the metal E6B. One of those "buy it now or buy it later" things. If you want electronic as well, just get an iPhone app - The purpose-built ones are too expensive for as little as you'll use them. IMHO, mechanical is better anyway for visualization. If u want accuracy, a regular scientific calc or spreadsheet will do the trick.

Kent Shook
As far as hoods - most of them suck. Francis Hood is the only one that'll keep students honest, but they'll have to move their head to scan engine gauges. Viban is very good, especially with a post-it or other shield attached to the left side, and has allowances for glasses as well.

Charlie Morgenstein
Get some of the covers for failed instruments. Once the student has identified the failure, have him or her cover the instrument. Also good for preliminary partial panel work to prepare the student for handling the failure.

Heather Ford
A note book that you can keep in your top shirt pocket with all the key points for each lesson so if you need a reminder you have it. Also with the key speeds on the aircraft you fly. Just make sure you take it out of the shirt before you wash it!!

Christi Yong
A well organized flight bag, know where everything is so you don't have to dig around for it and put everything back in the same spot where you got it. Think like a Private Pilot taking a check-ride again and keep every tool you'll need for your exam.

Kent Shook
Great suggestion, Charlie - Law of Exercise! I'm gonna have to remember that one for myself!

Aren't I fortunate to have such a great pool of pilots to gather information from when I need it? Any other suggestions?

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