Sunday, January 9, 2011

In Praise of Dual Controls

I've never been to a CFI awards banquet, but I have a feeling they don't give out an award like this one. The inscription reads "Instructor That's Been In The Most Crashes With A Student". This award was given to one of our driving instructors at the yearly awards banquet for our racing organization. This isn't the first time an instructor's been awarded for being in a lot of incidents with a student or competition license hopeful. Our race license "check ride" instructor got the nickname "Fireball" one season because he was in several roll over / car fires doing check rides for competition licenses.

Some may say that's proof that auto racing is more dangerous than flying. Frankly, I don't think so. I think its proof of the benefit of dual controls in the cockpit. When I'm doing these dual instruction flights, my CFI lets me make mistakes and fix them, but, on occasion he has to take the controls... sometimes I'm just not processing what he's telling me to do. Sometimes its because the recovery from the situation is beyond my skill to do safely so he does it. And sometimes its a situation where he demonstrates then I do it.

I think if aircraft were not equipped with dual controls, you'd see many more awards like these in CFI awards banquets. My personal goal... to NOT help my CFI get this type of award :)

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