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Worst/best instructor experience?

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Aug 24, 2020
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My wife and I were talking last night about how some teachers are better than others and I shared with her the below stories. I thought it would be fun, a little trip down memory lane for some, to share good and bad instructor experiences. So here are two of mine as a student. I will keep the instructor ones for now (haven't recovered lol j/k).

Engine failure on Approach:

I was doing a 172SP/G1000/IFR/Night combined checkout flight at a local 141 school so I could rent after having moved into the area. I was maybe 200 hours TT back then. The instructor I got made it clear he was only there until he could find a new job having just gotten in his words "forced out of a 1st officers slot at Southwest". This concerned me but being young and dumb I went up with him anyway. We get in the plane and he pushes his seat all the way back. Doesnt put his belt on. I refuse to start the engine until he does - he grumbles something about testing me. I get everything going and as I taxi he starts the XM music - loudly. Im getting annoyed at this point but this was the only time I could do before a flight I had planned with some friends. So I tough it out. Throughout the flight he does absolutely nothing but mutter the name of a maneuver. He is so far back I doubt he could reach the controls if I screwed up anyway. After a bit he says lets do one ILS missed and then come back around and call it a night. We hadn't really covered everything (imo) but whatever I was done with him. So there I am under the hood lining up for the ILS when I see the RPM's start to fluctuate rapidly and hear some thumping noises up front. I say "we better make this one a full stop I think we have engine issues" when he starts swearing and crying. Yes actually crying. I flip the hood up and the windshield is covered in...something. I would later find out we flew through a flock of birds of some sort or bats I dont know there wasn't much that could identify them. The engine then decided it had enough and promptly died. Instructor continues to cry and swears are dead. I just keep flying the plane and trying to calm him down saying Im on the ILS and its all good. He cries we cant really see out the window so I cant possibly flare. I just ignored him and landed the plane. We get down and he hops out and leaves. Never signed my logbook. Never showed up at said school again. Me, being new there, had to get out the tow bar and haul the plane off the runway and back to parking by myself. At least I didnt have to pay the idiot.

Flat Tire on Touchdown

Same school, a few months later, new instructor who is actually competent but a bit impatient overall. Not a huge deal. Doing a 182 checkout late in the day. Guy comments on how he is impressed with how I am doing but asks me to "pick up the pace a little bit because he wants to get home early." Ok no problem if he feels I am good then lets go back. So we decide to go back to the airport and do a few quick landings as the sun sets and call it a day. I line up and do probably one of the smoothest landings Ive ever done. Then I start to feel something is wrong...the aircraft is pulling to the right. The instructor doesnt notice my hesitation and grabs the throttle and says "lets go" and slams it forward. I slap his hand and grab it and pull it back right away and say "no somethings wrong." As I gently try to break. He then wises up to the fact that we are now significantly leaning right and heading towards the edge of the pavement. He helps me get it stopped safely and looks at me and says "sorry...you landed so smoothly I didn't notice anything wrong. My fault for being impatient." We then spent the next two hours on the runway waiting for maint to come tow us off. Fun stuff because its got very dark and we had to waive off a few planes doing instrument approaches who had failed to check notams or listen to awos. I now carry a portable strobe light and radio to help in situations like this as our battery died after about 1.5 hours so we had no lights or radios. After that I had a reputation as a "smooth lander" at that school. Not a bad thing but I was amused.

I look forward to reading everyone else's!

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