Institutional denial

The SSSA is one of many ARO 's which represent the fixed wing gliding and sailplane fraternity

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Institutional denial

Unread post by mikev » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:13 pm

I had attended both RAASA seminars, AP and Instr, at Rand this past weekend in my personal capacity to develop my own skills and to support my and EAA chapters Klerksdorp and Kroonstad efforts on Young Eagles projects to come.

During the Instr seminar on Saturday, a very informative session dealt with amongst others, the effect of specific personality traits and their eventual undesirable consequences specifically in aviation.

After most of the discussions had dealt primarily with these traits prevalent amongst students only, I offered the opinion that it was also to be found amongst instructors. .” In my opinion I had sufficiently qualified my question (to follow) to the professional interest of all present, as well as the professional environment at the time.

The question was illustrated by my rendering of a verbal report by a student to me about four weeks ago. It was included to illustrate my point, and not as a mudslinging exercise, this point I CLEARLY mentioned.

I never mentioned any names or clubs, or made any reference that can be specifically tied to any individual.
The incident entailed the following:
The student is a former weight shift microlight pilot of some several hundred hours whom are now flying a Motorfalke to sharpen his stick and rudder skills for transitioning to his recently completed Bushbaby, currently in the test flight phase. He is due for solo flights.
The exercise entailed an EFATO recovery of a Motorfalke. The technique revolves around a specific take off profile which allows the aircraft to safely turn 180° and land back on the take off runway from a minimum of 150’.
The student had apparently already performed several of these exercises to a satisfactory degree.
The instructor and student both weigh in excess of 100kg each, and it was midsummer.
In this exercise, the student related, power was reduced to flight idle, BEFORE THEY REACHED 100’ AGL.
The student assessed the situation, in his words to me: “I knew if I turned, I would have put the wing into the trees”. He then reached forward, fully opened up the throttle and flew out on full power.
The instructor informed him that he had failed the exercise, for had he acted “..A SECOND SOONER, he would have made the turn.” He was therefore not yet on solo standard.

My question was to the presiding panel, “What avenue of address does this student have, if the peer review processes of the governing body fail his reasonable expectations
Neil de Lange quite correctly, expertly and to my complete satisfaction answered my question with a very professional: “ ....eventually, should the organization’s peer review systems fail this student, we as the authorities will become involved” He did mention that after conclusion we shall take up specifics to address any additional issues. This was the professional way of dealing with it, and I was satisfied. I would NOT have shared any specifics, and wanted to make that known, but the discussion moved on, quite rightly. I am of the opinion that the student does not qualify yet to bump his concerns anywhere beyond his club CFI at this stage.

Suddenly, somewhere behind me a SSSA member jumped up, (addressing the head of RAASA)quipping: “... you must remember there are personal issues at stake here!!”

Sir, I hereby challenge you, in this SSSA forum, to step up to the plate and clarify some points, as follows:
Which club was I referring to, and how did you deduce that?
Whom has the personal issues you referred to?
What exactly are these issues?
How can any personal issue ever allow a SSSA instructor to willingly place any student in marginal conditions on any occasion, let alone during training?
Is it part of the SSSA MOP to perform this exercise within these very marginal conditions, or in a cleverly designed “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation?
Exactly how will you address the students concerns?
Why did this student feel compelled to discuss the issue with me, and not the instructor concerned, or the club CFI?
Why or how did you decide that my question (if the personal issues you referred to were on my part) warranted you to a personal attack on me or my bona fides?

Is it possible that this constant ubiquitous denial is an institutional quality?

More worryingly, at the break, I was approached by another instructor not familiar to me, and his question was: “The club you referred to, was it *****? And was the CFI involved?” As it turns out he says, he was in a similar manner treated, and in his own words, was “set back two years in my flying career”
I did NOT name the first club to this person, nor will I name the other club as was mentioned.
It would seem I have touched on a very raw nerve here!

To tie it in to my initial statements of personality traits, as presented very well earlier in the day at the seminar, of always offering explanations to serious problems, however implausible, and the eventual effect it has in the aviation environment. A classic example!

I also do have to state here that I had moved on, completely from my earlier run-ins with SSSA. I had sold my cottage at the gliding club, this was where the student regaled me with his training woes. I have no interest but to wish SSSA and their pilots good thermals and safe flying.

I can unfortunately not let the insult above stand unchallenged, as one thing that I had learned during my altercations with some people, if their statements go unchallenged, they very rapidly fabricate it as seemingly truthful.
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Re: Institutional denial

Unread post by 117 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:25 pm

Hello Mike

Yet again it seems as though people in SSSA wish to piss on your battery. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the seminar so I cannot comment on whom the person attacking your comments was.

But, as we all know, this is a common trait of older SSSA members (older i mean people in positions of power trips, not aged). Many a member in the past was duuped into giving this same kind of verbal outcry at many meetings, where you and I were both present.

Unfortunately, it is not going to end until the older (read above) members change their ways. Old school is no longer cool in my books, as with many other members through out the country.

I not sure what else to say, other than ignore the verbal drivel shouted out at meetings/seminars or alternatively, confront that person in public there and then.

I take it you have made your peace and moved on, but obviously the chirp ralleyed you up again. Best advice I can give is above, or if you seriously think there is a problem with instruction or any other safety related issue, report it to the authorities or the country CFI. (The country CFI is of good standing, and is a very reasonable, level headed, approachable person - pm me for his details is so required)

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Re: Institutional denial

Unread post by Dougie » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:15 pm

Sounds like the SSSA needs o introduce (Single pilot) CRM.

Those attitudes of "I'm always right" lead to accidents and discourages people from joining (an already declining) industry.
ok now what do we do

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Re: Institutional denial

Unread post by 117 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:38 am

Hi Dougie

I'm not sure what single pilot CRM's have to do with this topic. But be that as it may, gliding world wide focuses intently on single pilot CRM's as this is where most of a pilot's flying career is driven towards (single pilot status I mean)

Whilst the "I'm always right" attitude is a problem, it is not only inherent to gliding, but any form of flying and ancillary services related to aviation. Gliding in general is probably the safest form of aviation in SA at the moment, so I tend to disagree with you that this attitude creates accidents in gliding. Gliding is a pier review sport, and safety is of the utmost concern amoungst members and pilots alike.
Unfortunately, gliding is in decline at the moment in SA, but not for the reasons you claim. Economy, time, travel, and many other similar reasons play to this decline. The new board and exco is working extremely hard in this department to correct the decline and grow the sport amoungst all the clubs and flying fraternity.

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