Flight students can get complacent. They have a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) sitting next to them—able to save the helicopter, have the correct frequencies, and keep the flight legal. Sometimes instructors can get complacent themselves and not realize that they are actually enabling their student pilot during flight training. For example, we might find ourselves constantly taking over the radio in a specific area to “make things easy” for the flight, when we should suffer with the student to have them become proficient enough to handle it. In this article, we will address the student as the one needing attention with regards to combating complacency.
I’m a Rotorcraft-Helicopter Certified Flight Instructor (CFI/I) that started flying nearly twenty years ago, and currently work as lead pilot for one of several bases owned by a large commercial operator in the United States. Looking back at the training I received for my first rating—Private Airplane Single-Engine Land (ASEL)—I found many subjects I understood incorrectly or not at all. Some of my first flights as a rated Pilot-In-Command (PIC) were successful by mere luck from a regulatory and planning standpoint. Fortunately, I recognized this early on.