by Chris Findley, CFI
A few months ago I began working on an idea of integrating webinar-styled teaching and ground school for pilots. For those of you who have been gracious enough to follow me on Twitter or who read this blog I wanted to explain a little about the vision of myFlightCoach.com. The idea had its genesis in receiving professional coaching myself. I have been very blessed by the work of Kent Julian, a life & career coach, nationally-known speaker & author, and all around great guy. My work with him has brought more clarity to my life and career goals than anything I have done before now. While working through his process I became intrigued with his method, and the method of “coaching” that has been in use in many training and counseling scenarios. I began to wonder if there might be a way to integrate this type of training to aviation. So I began working on myFlightCoach.com.
I use the term “Flight Coaching” very deliberately because that is part of my philosophy of training– I want to do more than “teach” or “instruct”. I want to “coach”. My goal is to be an encourager, partner, facilitator and trainer…all the things that make up a great coach. I aim to do this whether I’m doing a webinar or am sitting in the cockpit with a student. It is vital to me to add value to your flight training that will make you a more knowledgeable, competent, and safe pilot.
The idea is simple: to provide intensive ground-school training to anyone, anywhere. I want to be a resource that can be utilized by anyone with a PC and a phone line and a willingness to learn. Students and pilots that would otherwise be trying to absorb material in a self-study situation now have an instructor on the phone with them to answer questions, explain concepts and clarify teaching. This is the next step beyond simple book work or watching a video. Those things are great, but how much better to have an instructor on the line with you?
Currently I have set it up to work with Yugma conferencing software. This is a free download, and allows me and the client to see the same screens on our computers as I present material. I also provide an outline of each course and books for the student are shipped directly to them and included with the cost of the sessions.
This is not meant to circumvent the CFI working with the student, but to enhance the student’s absorption of the material. Just as a CFI might ask a student to watch a video or suggest a conference to a student, I’d love to be a resource that partners with the CFI/Student to help them progress to the next level of their training.
Currently I offer 3 different coaching options (but also offer hourly options as well):
Flight101 is geared toward the pilot just getting into training and covers the basics of regulations, requirements, flight instruments and controls. I also seek to answer common questions about cost, process, and even anxiety. Flight101 forms the basis of their knowledge and can be a great jump-start to their training. They can climb in the cockpit of their first lesson thoroughly versed in the fundamentals- they’ll know what the altimeter is and does. They’ll know an aileron from a flap and what they do, etc. If they do not currently have an instructor I offer to do the legwork in helping them find a professional school or instructor that will meet their needs.
Pass that Written is designed to help the student master the material for the Private Pilot Written Exam. I work through the Gleim/ASA software (included in the cost of the sessions) with the student. They email me their practice results and I develop a plan of instruction based on their test results. Again my purpose is to clarify and explain the material in such a way that facilities a faster mastery of the material so they can move forward in their training.
Return to Flight is for those who have been out of flying for a while and are looking for a refresher course. After an initial (and free) short session where I assess the pilot’s background, experience and length of time out of aviation, I develop a personalized plan. This plan will cover material that will help them with any changes in procedures or regulations that may have occurred since they last flew. I also cover the basics to insure they are well prepared to begin flying again.
Other courses are in the works. You can read more detail about these at course section of mfc.com
My charges for the course are at my normal freelance rate of $50/hour plus expenses and shipping for materials. This is roughly in line with the going rate in most places for flight instruction, which is usually between $40 and $60/hour.