Follow the five C’s

It looks like Jason might have had a catholic upbringing and is getting a few things a little confused up there at 7,500 feet. I am pretty sure Jason isn’t a bad or dumb student. It’s just that Chuck is potentially a really bad teacher. I can see Chuck rattling off “The 5 C’s” without understanding them himself and probably making up the “C’s” he can’t think of in the moment. Jason never even had a chance.

Very early in my aviation career, still in the single digits flight-hour-wise, I was flying my first approach to landing in a fairly stiff crosswind. I started drifting further and further from the runway center line and managed to get the aircraft all kinds of crooked and sideways trying to wrestle the plane back to where it should be with my limited skills not understanding why nothing I think would work actually did.

My instructor got more and more mad at me until he finally took the controls with a “What in the world are you doing?!?!” Then he followed up with “If you do this when I’m not here, you are going to kill yourself!” (This was in the last millennium, when instructors still yelled at their students. I can’t say I enjoyed that part, but he was making a point and it truly made an impact on me more so than if he had sat me down and held my hand throughout what is now understood as a “proper critique”).

A little distraught I yelled out “I really don’t know what I am doing! I have never done a crosswind landing before!” as we are going around. “You don’t? Have I not showed you how to do a crosswind landing yet?”, he said perplexed. Turns out he hadn’t and I knew so little about the whole flying thing, I had no idea there was a lot to know about it either. In other words, I still didn’t even know enough to ask the right questions. After we all calmed down and he went and showed me a few great techniques, I eventually got a hold of these approaches which is not a surprise. Learning how to fly works a lot better with proper instruction. I feel this one-time incident in my early career is what Jason must go through with Chuck during every lesson. One might wonder why he still sticks it out with Chuck. I guess Jason just isn’t a quitter … 😉


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2 comments on “Follow the five C’s
  1. Bruce says:

    Did my training in the 60’s. My instructor had been an Army Air Corp. instructor during WW-II. When you got in the plane with him, you were back in the Army. He could yell, swear, and everything else (didn’t need an intercom to hear him). He also was a friend – he and my Dad grew up together, and his two sons and I were good friends. I put up with him because I thought if I could satisfy him, I’d be a pretty good pilot. Knowing his demeanor, I just let it run off like water. Now, 55 years later, I can still hear him when I do something wrong. Guess I’m an OK pilot – never put a scratch on an airplane and never had to report to the “tower” or the FAA. May he RIP!

  2. Dick says:

    First flight with another FI, he is permanently critizising:
    – Keep the stick calm!
    – Airspeed!
    – Woolen thead not centered!

    But suddenly he is calm, silent, quiet. I am seriously concerned: “Are you OK? You stopped talking!”
    He responded: “If I don’t say anything, consider as a nonverbal compliment.”

    From then, it was a nice and relaxed flight…

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