I watched a student's first lesson, was surprised at how it was done.
He was a 17 year old local high school boy, according to his Mom he has been studying the book and really wants to learn to fly.
He had a two hour time block.
The flight was less than 20 minutes. One takeoff, one landing. I don't know what air work if any was done.
They spent about 1 and a half hours on the preflight and start up. Before they ever untied the plane they were inside with the master on and checking the nav lights. It was in the middle of a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. But they gave those nav llights a good checkout.
I don't know if the boy even got to touch the controls.
I do know that when he came back into the FBO he was not smiling, frankly he looked about like he had just been to the dentist.
I am not sure, but as he went out the door I think I heard him tell his Mom that the CFI flew the whole time, the student did not get to fly.
The plane is a old Piper, fixed prop, fixed gear,mechancial flaps, standard engine, standard panel; no glass cockpit or complicated stuff. Almost the same thing I flew 30 years ago when I learned.
I can't comprhend what items one could find to stretch out a preflight that long on this plane. They were not adding fuel or oil or air in the tires or cleaning the window, just checking things.
The senior CFI told me this was the way a lesson should be done, that they had to be thorogh because they were liable.
The actual CFI in the plane is new to this location. I don't know him, but I do know that he is working here because the other location just went out of business. I'll bet those nav lights were working well at the other location, right up unti the time they shut the doors.
Maybe I am out of date, but it seems to me this isn't the way to market a service or sell a hobby, especially in these tough economic times.
It is if a customer came into a bar and asked for a cold beer and they first gave him a lecture on how the hops are grown and harvested.
I think the boy may come back,but I also would not be surprised if he found another hobby, especially with school starting in a few weeks.
We have another CFI here who did a first lesson/discovery flight with a guy I know who has always been afraid to fly. They had a great sightseeing flight over the area, and came back and did 3 landings. My friend did the last two landings himself , the last one without the CFI even touching the controls. He did not mention the nav lights.
He was so excited that he is talking about taking lessons, but has a confict with a busy work demand.
What do other students or CFI s think a first lesson should be?