I flew with my student and friend Dennis the other day. He has about six hours now and is having the usual trouble relaxing in the cockpit. There were a few low level bumps, which bothered him, but even though the air smoothed out when we reached altitude I could see that he was still a little anxious.
We did steep turns (his first), and they were good, then we had the planned engine failure. "What are you going to do?", I asked. "I forget!", he said, but recovered and set up a good glide and picked a good field.
Then it was time for rectangular courses. I was feeling a little discouraged since there was little or no wind. I toyed with the idea of forgetting the whole thing and going home. But I figured that there would be some training value in the maneuver, so I reluctantly pointed out a farm that took up a whole section, and Dennis started flying a rectangle around it. I was busy pointing out landmarks and turnpoints and the like, and he was busy looking outside the airplane. That's when it struck me: his hand was relaxed on the yoke, and we were flying straight and level effortlessly. Eureka! He can fly.
Labels: flying, learning, relaxing, teaching