Purpose of CPL/IFR Seminars

Bonjour à tous,

Je voudrais vous dire que vous êtes tous de bons pilotes.

Vous avez chacun, dans l’imagination, une idée de comment vous faites la bonne exécution que vous faites. Ce n’est pas ma place de critiquer ou de vous dire que votre façon d’y penser n’est pas bien fondé. Au contraire – je vous félicite.

Instead, my role is to help you expand the range of tools you already have. I know from my experience (I first soloed in 1966) that while hours are important, they are not a guarantee that a pilot is still learning. And when I look back, I am frankly embarrassed by how much I have learned since I retired from Air Canada in 2004. Put another way, that is how much I didn’t know back then. It is a long list. It still is.

En pilotant en équipe avec d’autres pilotes, comme premier officier, commandant, ou instructeur, je suis toujours impressionné par la quantité et la variété des façons d’y penser. Ça devient évident très vite qu’il y ont bien de façons d’y penser. Mon rôle est de partager ce que j’ai appris des autres pilotes.

The questions in what to share are – is this useful? Does it work consistently? Have you had any success thus far in passing this along?

There is another question: is this true? That’s a much more difficult question. For that we have philosophy and the Scientific Method. Even there, though, truth is elusive. If you examine the Scientific Method, you might come away with the idea that it proves not what is true, but rather what works.

Let me give you an example from ground school – the textbooks give us four explanations for why we need right rudder in a climb in a single-engine airplane:

  • Torque

  • Gyroscopic effect

  • Spiral slipstream

  • P-factor

Are these all true? Are they all phenomena that exist?

Yes. But it is worth it to go back to those diagrams and ask some questions, paying particular attention to:

  • This would cause movement about which axis?

  • Is this a useful model for a pilot (does it predict exactly when I will need right rudder and how much?)

You will find that these explanations are all nice to know about. But they are not all equally useful. Gyroscopic effect, for example, is something you need to keep in mind if you are in a tailwheel aircraft and lifting the tail during the takeoff roll. With clockwise prop rotation the airplane will take a dart to the left – especially so if the prop is big and heavy, like on a WW2 fighter. This gyroscopic effect is the result of changing the axis of rotation of the prop, and is in addition to other factors doing the same thing, like a left crosswind or P-factor.

So your job as a pilot is to look through these diverse explanations to find what is useful for you, and in what situation it will be useful for you.

Donc mon rôle dans ces séminaires CPL/IFR est d’étendre et d’élargir votre répertoire d’outils et d’idées. Mon critère est toujours es-ce utile? Es-ce que ça me donne le moyens de faire plus précis mon pilotage?

Je vous remercie tous de votre participation et de vos contributions.

À vendredi !