Just days after returning from the helicopter trip, Brian jumped into training again and started working toward his helicopter flight instructor certificate. He has held an airplane instructor certificate for most of his flying career but needed to add helicopters to the license.
It was a very challenging course full of role-playing. The concept is quite simple. As an instructor in a helicopter (or airplane) you just assume the guy next to you (the student) is going to try to kill you several times during your flight. The goal is to anticipate it, and prevent it thereby saving the day. Once things are under control again you have to calmly and gently affirm the student and help them learn from their mistakes without leaving emotional scars.
Aside from rescuing maneuvers that have gone wrong, there is a lot of teaching that goes on. It’s not enough to just do the maneuvers, but you have to be able to teach them and explain them as they are happening.
Also, in the classroom, the depth of understanding goes to a new level as Brian was responsible to write lesson plans and teach a class of his coworkers all the ground lessons to a commercial helicopter pilot level. This instructor course was a great way for Brian to take his helicopter flying and knowledge much deeper.