What's in the briefings?

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Flight_Student
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What's in the briefings?

Post by Flight_Student »

Hello,

Just new here and looking into getting a PPL license.
I'm noticing in all the cost schedules that 10 hours of briefings are included.

What's in those briefings? Is it the time spent on the ground talking about the flight? Then is 10 hours enough? I imagine you might chat quite a bit before and after you get off the plane.

Thanks!
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780Pilot
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by 780Pilot »

You brief before every flight. If its a new item for a decent time to fully understand the air item. Good briefs on the ground translate to good performance in the air. Your gonna find the first few flights you spend a good chunk of the time on the ground and as you go on that time on the ground gets less and less. Once you get to the solo flight portions you typically just get asked a few questions about what your gonna do out there so the instructor knows your safe and ready to go. Some may disagree with me but 10 seems a little bit light. However if its included does that imply anything over is on them anyway? Good question to ask.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Flight_Student »

Thanks. I would have expected it to be the other way around, less to talk about at the beginning, info getting more complex as you advance.
But sure, it makes sense this way as well.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Justjohn »

Flight_student think of the briefing as the lesson and the flying as lab time to prove the lesson. First you do the theory and then the practical.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Flight_Student »

That's a good comparison. But then how many hours of briefing should I budget for realistically? 10 sounds too little.
And yes, I will be asking this the flight schools as well, but it helps to hear other people's experience with it.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by 780Pilot »

Flight_Student wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:12 pm That's a good comparison. But then how many hours of briefing should I budget for realistically? 10 sounds too little.
And yes, I will be asking this the flight schools as well, but it helps to hear other people's experience with it.
On our FTUs member forms we say around 20-25 hrs of breif. Thats pretty hefty. But if you boil your training down to 30 lessons plans (what TC outlines for a PPL) it makes sense. Most I would say most are around 20. That is a solid number. Bit more or less, varies for all kinds of reasons. Redo lessons, etc.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Flight_Student »

Thanks, that's a good estimate indeed. And, just to understand, this is all apart from the hours spent on ground school?
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by 780Pilot »

Flight_Student wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:26 pm Thanks, that's a good estimate indeed. And, just to understand, this is all apart from the hours spent on ground school?
Yes. Typically Ground Schools are flat rate. FYI. Ground Breif for flights isn't. At least at the school I teach at.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Flight_Student »

Thanks, all good to keep in mind.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by PilotDAR »

Well Flight Student, consider a few realities:

Everyone who responds to your request to provide a service should feel compensated for what they provide to you. Indeed, when you sit a restaurant, you usually voluntarily pay more than the stated price for your meal. So paying the asking price for an instructor should be fair. One of the few services you will receive free, are the posts you read here. So as we agree that FTU's and instructors are certainly entitled to willing payment for their time, it's up to you how much of it you'd like to purchase - at least the minimums, of course.

When you read around here, you'll find tens of thousands of posts about safe piloting - some have value. Some are really valuable. But, it's hard to tell which are which sometimes - the imperfection of free stuff! But, in realizing that you could read for many days here, and only digest a fraction of the information, you can see that there's a lot to know. I learn when I read here, and I've been flying for a while. So, you can understand that pre and post lesson briefings are a sliver of the information available about being a safe and competent pilot - but, they are the sliver which are required for that lesson - there's so much more! I can remember being issued a wet ink PPL, and having a hint of how much about piloting had not even been mentioned during my training, and that was decades before the internet was a resource, I just hung around the flying club a lot! I know how nervous I've felt when I sent a student off "trained", thinking to myself how much more I would like to have taught them - but my family wants me home for dinner that day.

So, your FTU and instructor will offer you the minimum briefings, plus what they may determine you need in specific skills development. Whatever that is, it's the minimum, and for sure, it'll not be able to include many facets of pilot wisdom. So hopefully, you'll be as trusting on the ground, as you are in flight that you're being well trained. And, if that training is on the ground, you're not paying to operate a plane just then - a saving to you. I can think back to a few times sitting at the controls of a helicopter I was paying $10 a minute for, to listen to my instructor, asking myself if this could wait 'till we shut down and it was zero $ per minute. Generally, it should not have, but that's the instructor's decision.

I hope that students will begin to realize that seeking out much more in briefings would be immensely useful for their skills development. For many of the individual lesson topics, I, and many here, could give a student several hours of pre and post briefing on topic, and background, to the point where the student would be saturated. So, 10 - 20 hours of briefings in the total of PPL training is a minimum, eagerly accept it, and ask for as much more as you can manage! And, read here, some of it has value, or at least should prompt you to seek out wisdom beyond the PPL curriculum!
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by 780Pilot »

PilotDAR wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:28 pm Well Flight Student, consider a few realities:

Everyone who responds to your request to provide a service should feel compensated for what they provide to you. Indeed, when you sit a restaurant, you usually voluntarily pay more than the stated price for your meal. So paying the asking price for an instructor should be fair. One of the few services you will receive free, are the posts you read here. So as we agree that FTU's and instructors are certainly entitled to willing payment for their time, it's up to you how much of it you'd like to purchase - at least the minimums, of course.


When you read around here, you'll find tens of thousands of posts about safe piloting - some have value. Some are really valuable. But, it's hard to tell which are which sometimes - the imperfection of free stuff! But, in realizing that you could read for many days here, and only digest a fraction of the information, you can see that there's a lot to know. I learn when I read here, and I've been flying for a while. So, you can understand that pre and post lesson briefings are a sliver of the information available about being a safe and competent pilot - but, they are the sliver which are required for that lesson - there's so much more! I can remember being issued a wet ink PPL, and having a hint of how much about piloting had not even been mentioned during my training, and that was decades before the internet was a resource, I just hung around the flying club a lot! I know how nervous I've felt when I sent a student off "trained", thinking to myself how much more I would like to have taught them - but my family wants me home for dinner that day.

So, your FTU and instructor will offer you the minimum briefings, plus what they may determine you need in specific skills development. Whatever that is, it's the minimum, and for sure, it'll not be able to include many facets of pilot wisdom. So hopefully, you'll be as trusting on the ground, as you are in flight that you're being well trained. And, if that training is on the ground, you're not paying to operate a plane just then - a saving to you. I can think back to a few times sitting at the controls of a helicopter I was paying $10 a minute for, to listen to my instructor, asking myself if this could wait 'till we shut down and it was zero $ per minute. Generally, it should not have, but that's the instructor's decision.

I hope that students will begin to realize that seeking out much more in briefings would be immensely useful for their skills development. For many of the individual lesson topics, I, and many here, could give a student several hours of pre and post briefing on topic, and background, to the point where the student would be saturated. So, 10 - 20 hours of briefings in the total of PPL training is a minimum, eagerly accept it, and ask for as much more as you can manage! And, read here, some of it has value, or at least should prompt you to seek out wisdom beyond the PPL curriculum!
+1. Excellent advice. Sums up what everyone has been saying in this forum bit by bit. Thx DAR
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

The airplane is not where you should be exposed to new information, it is where you apply the theory into practice. Each air exercise should be preceded by a ground briefing. The official name for this is “Preparatory Ground Instruction “ . This is a very accurate description of what you are getting, The idea is while in a quiet place on the ground you get explained what you are going to do and how you are going to do it.

When you are in the airplane clutching the controls in a dynamic and unfamiliar environment, your ability to assimilate new information is very limited that is why it is important that you already understand what the purpose of the flight is and how to conduct the manoeuvre(s) that encompass that days lesson

If you are in the airplane and you are trying to do something that had not already been explained to you, then your instructor has failed you
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by trey kule »

I was always under the impression that The prep ground instruction and a preflight briefing were two distinct things.
What bpf described was what I thought a preflight briefing was.

It takes about
15 minutes pre flight, and another 20:post flight, each lesson to go over the flight and get prepared for the next one ( ie. what to study etc). Now x country flights , for example, will take more as it requires some checking and more time.This all in a perfect world.

Where a student is not prepared, the instructor has two choices. Cancel the lesson or do some prepatory ground instruction. Most instructors only get paid billable hours, so I would not expect a lot of lesson cancelations if students are unprepared.

Full disclosure.been decades since I held an instructor rating.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

The preflight briefing is like what you would do in a 2 crew operation before an IFR departure. You want to make sure both of you understand what is going to happen and how you are going to execute the procedures necessary to complete the flight. There is no learning of new information.

The Preparatory Ground Instruction exist in a training environment and is where you teach new information. Every training flight should have a pre flight briefing but only flights where new exercises are introduced, rather then already briefed exercises are being practiced, should have preparatory ground instruction.

This is not limited to initial instruction for the private pilot license. Training to fly a new type of aircraft for a working trained professIona pilot will have preparatory ground instruction on new procedures specific to the type before getting into the airplane.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by 455tt »

Big Pistons Forever wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:04 pm The airplane is not where you should be exposed to new information, it is where you apply the theory into practice. Each air exercise should be preceded by a ground briefing. The official name for this is “Preparatory Ground Instruction “ . This is a very accurate description of what you are getting, The idea is while in a quiet place on the ground you get explained what you are going to do and how you are going to do it.
Edit: Your additional comments make mine un-necessary.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Flight_Student »

Big Pistons Forever wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:01 pm The preflight briefing is like what you would do in a 2 crew operation before an IFR departure. You want to make sure both of you understand what is going to happen and how you are going to execute the procedures necessary to complete the flight. There is no learning of new information.

The Preparatory Ground Instruction exist in a training environment and is where you teach new information. Every training flight should have a pre flight briefing but only flights where new exercises are introduced, rather then already briefed exercises are being practiced, should have preparatory ground instruction.

This is not limited to initial instruction for the private pilot license. Training to fly a new type of aircraft for a working trained professIona pilot will have preparatory ground instruction on new procedures specific to the type before getting into the airplane.
That's a great breakdown between briefing and preparatory ground instruction, and I know what to expect now from the lessons.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Flight_Student »

trey kule wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:26 pm I was always under the impression that The prep ground instruction and a preflight briefing were two distinct things.
What bpf described was what I thought a preflight briefing was.

It takes about
15 minutes pre flight, and another 20:post flight, each lesson to go over the flight and get prepared for the next one ( ie. what to study etc). Now x country flights , for example, will take more as it requires some checking and more time.This all in a perfect world.

Where a student is not prepared, the instructor has two choices. Cancel the lesson or do some prepatory ground instruction. Most instructors only get paid billable hours, so I would not expect a lot of lesson cancelations if students are unprepared.

Full disclosure.been decades since I held an instructor rating.
Thanks for the 15 min/20 min rule of thumb. Knowing myself, I'd be wondering if I'm getting too little or too much every lesson.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by FreelanceInstructor »

As an instructor who has worked within the FTU environment as well as freelancing, I can say a lot of this information presented is valid and brings up some good points. However, I wouldn't necessarily say there is a "minimum" or "maximum" amount of briefing to get done.

The PGI is to be provided any time there is new information to be presented. Often this new information is linked to the theory behind a new skill or concept that you will be practicing. A good example is when you are taught how to fly within the Slow Flight envelope aka. the back end of the power curve aka. area of reverse command. Arguably, being able to confidently fly the plane near the stall is a fundamental skill that serves as a building block to the stall, the approach to landing, flare, and missed approach. I've personally been in a situation which had I not been taught properly how to fly within the slow flight envelope would have ended up in having me seriously injured or killed many years ago. An aircraft is a VERY poor classroom, and is not the place to be presented new information. This can be done preferably to a maximum of 24 hours before the intended flight. The length of this briefing is entirely up to the student. It's the instructors job to ensure all of the information presented has been retained and understood. If you've done your research and reading assigned to you by your instructor, the PGI should really be no more than 15-20 minutes/new exercise. If you didn't prepare or need clarification on some things, that PGI would be obviously longer.

The Preflight Briefing(PFB) should be provided nearly immediately prior to any flight. It should be a maximum of 5 minutes. The purpose of this is to ensure the Cole's notes of the theory is covered and NO new information presented. It's also an opportunity to briefly discuss minor but very important details such as the when where and what. Oil/fuel levels, weather briefing, NOTAMs, walkaround etc become a majority of the discussion.

Finally, you have the post flight debrief. It's an opportunity to discuss strengths and weaknesses of the flight with your instructor, clarify questions and present a "future-forward" plan, often done by homework/reading assignments etc. This debrief should really only last about 10 mins.

In the beginning, all forms of the briefing are going to be a bit longer, while shortening considerably around the solo part of your license. My rule is always nothing more than 45 minutes worth of total briefing time before and after each new item flight. If it's longer than that, you are running into something people famously refer to as "death by briefing". It's a delicate balance between theory and practical the instructor will run you through. However, be mindful of the expectations. If you work your ass off and are still spending copious amounts of time on the ground, be aware that there are FTUs and instructors that like to take advantage of this fact.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by co-joe »

PGI - Prepratory Ground Instruction consists of; What are we going to do? how are we going to do it? and What are the safety considerations? and Do you have any questions?

Post flight debrief should consist of what you did well, what you need to improve on, and what is the one thing that if changed, would make the biggest difference to your progression? Lastly, we talk about what to study and review for the next flight.
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Re: What's in the briefings?

Post by Aviatard »

co-joe wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:09 pm PGI - Prepratory Ground Instruction consists of; What are we going to do? how are we going to do it? and What are the safety considerations? and Do you have any questions?
No, that is a pre-flight briefing.
From the FIG:

Preparatory Ground Instruction Definition
1. Classroom type instruction, normally on a one-to-one basis, but not excluding group instruction, covering the steps necessary to fly an air exercise. While basic theory of flight,
where applicable, would previously have been covered in ground school, some theory may be necessary to explain a point related to the conduct of the air exercise. Essentially Preparatory
Ground Instruction should cover the "how to do an air exercise".
2. This is a presentation given by the instructor when introducing a new exercise. Ideally it should be given within 24 hours prior to the related training flight.

Pre-flight Briefing Definition
1. Discussion on a one-to-one basis just prior to the conduct of an air exercise to ensure that the student understands exactly what will take place. This is essentially a practical briefing on
the Air Instruction in Part II of this guide, avoiding theory but including the important aspects:
(a) What are we going to do;
(b) How are we going to do it; and,
(c) Safety Considerations.
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