How to Make Your Instructor Nervous
Having been taking flying lessons all summer (or at least trying to
get in the air on a given weekend) and getting to the point where
every little thing no longer induces sheer gibbering terror in me
I'm beginning to notice that occassionaly the *instructor* shows
small signs of unease.
Now, I don't suggest scaring the crap out of the guy teaching you
how to fly - this is intended more as a list of things you probably
*shouldn't* do without good reason. (Although in some cases if
some of this stuff really IS happening you probably should say
something) Nonetheless, I couldn't resist... If anyone has
anything to add to list, feel free.
During pre-flight stare fixedly at one particular spot for a
l*o*n*g time. Get real close. Poke at it with your finger. Stare
some more. This is particularly effective if you found something
major wrong the week before. Other fun things to do one pre-flight
are things like inspecting the prop and saying "Is this a crack or
what?", "Is that a leak in the fuel line?", "Is that hole supposed
to be in the wing?", "Is this supposed to wiggle like this?"
As you taxi over to the runway look down and say "Did we just run
As you take off, say something like "I think this is the spot where
"Joe" cracked up last week - isn't it?" or as you fly over various
local landmarks "Look - see that dent? - that's where "Joe"
crunched" or "Isn't that the field where "Joe" flew his ultralight
unside-down?" Actually, dwelling extenstively on crashes and
snafus before taking off is a sure-fire way to make *you* nervous
if not your instructor.
As you take off say "Did you hear about "Joe" bending "X" on this
Attempting to fly through trees during take-off is definately a no-
Letting out a blood-curdling scream during your first stall is
definately a good way to get the adrenalin pumping in the guy next
to you. Particuarly if you've been real cool, calm, and collected
up to that point. Flailing your limbs wildly about in sheer panic
will also help achieve the desired effect.
While flying along, sniff the air, turn to your instructor and say
"I smell smoke - do you smell anything burning?" This is also a
quick way to learn how to inspect your plane in mid-flight.
While flying along, turn to your instructor and say "What's that
noise? Is that the engine?"
While flying along, whip your head around real quick toward the
back of the plane then turn to your instructor and say "What was
that that just went by? Did it hit us?" (Actually, it was the
*instructor* who said that to me, not vice versa. Great for the
confidence, let me tell you.)
When he congratulates you on doing a manuver well look at him and
say - "I didn't do anything - weren't *you* flying the plane?"
While flying over a fairly extensive stand of trees become confused
about up and down elevator and get yourself into a screaming
powerdive. Pull up less than 200 feet ATL (above tree level).
During your landing approach say "If we come in real low can we go
*under* those power lines? You think there's enough room?"
During your landing approach look down and say "Do we need to worry
about those kids on that go-kart on the runway?" This is
particuarly effective if there really ARE kids in a go-kart on the
And, oh yes, a late addition from last week: nothing gets the
attention of bystanders at the end of the day the way saying "By
the way, be sure and tell the owner something fell off the plane
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