Flight Instructor Seminar 2007 Feedback


Home again, after attending the Instructor Seminar in Hamilton. The previous CAA sponsored effort I attended rammed home to me the quite extraordinary differences in people, what they consider significant and just how blind we can be to their values compared to ours. The speaker you obtained was brilliant, knowledgeable and entertaining. This time you found Colin Cox to front up and discuss further traits that must be considered when trying to impart knowledge in our aspirants. It was evident that he has a passion for education and a depth of understanding that could not be tapped in the time we had available. My admiration and thanks go out to you guys for finding such a skilled speaker. It is nice to discover that what we do instinctively is appropriate. Screaming hysterically at the student is not on, this does disappoint me somewhat since it removes 50% of my technique.

As in the past, your (CAA) presentations were instructive, educative and captured the attention of those present. The short video clips you showed us were cause for reflection.

These seminars are expensive to produce and a great deal of planning needs to go into them, but I feel that the knowledge and awareness that comes out of them for those receptive enough to take it all on board is incalculable.

I think that actually getting together with other instructors and sharing our experiences and discussing the things we have just been subjected to in the lecture room, not only confirms that what we are doing is appropriate, but it suggests that some of our methods are not.

Actually meeting with you guys in CAA is a really important part of the seminars, querying new initiatives and putting faces to the names cannot be stressed highly enough. New Zealand is mercifully small enough for us all to do these things. It keeps us strong and intimate. Chatting to several of you this time round gave me some invaluable insights to new rules and promulgations. What I might previously consider as bureaucratic nonsense becomes a sensible way forward.

You are all to be congratulated. I would like to thank your long- suffering sponsors who donate money to enable these valuable venues to continue though they may see little financial benefit for their contributions. I can assure them they are noticed.

It will take a little time to formulate changes in instructional techniques as a result of this seminar. But it has made me aware of even more subtleties required in imparting what I require of my pilots. When they don’t get it and I become exasperated with myself, there will be alternative ways to present the information. What can be better than that?

Well Done Guys


A quick note to thank you and the rest of the CAA guys for a real good 2 days.

Colin Cox presented some good stuff on how to recognise the best learning modes for each student, and the responsibility of the instructor to present the material in such a way that the student 'gets it'- which is the aim of the game.

There is also considerable value in the informal 'bull sessions' with instructors from the many different organisations and disciplines sharing experiences. These help to fill in the gaps and build a strong professional attitude.

We encouraged all RAANZ Instructors to attend one of these seminars, and I am pleased that many took the opportunity. As an organisation we value these seminars and appreciate the cost and effort that CAA puts into it.

Cheers, Stuart Parker, RAANZ Admin


I would like to thank you for organising the CAA Flight Instructors Seminar held in Masterton on 9th & 10th August 2007. During the two days I was impressed by the skill and expertise of the presenters with each one demonstrating a real depth in their area(s) of expertise.  The quality of the seminar hinged on the credibility of the presenters and each one communicated effectively and in a professional manner.  All CAA staff were helpful, friendly and professional.  Key points were carefully delivered and we all learnt a great deal, especially from Carlton Campbell who played a major role on the first day.

Colin Cox was a highly effective presenter and was a positive role-model.  He challenged us with deliberately provocative statements and he encouraged us to reflect on current practices in each of our workplaces.  As a result of his presentation we have set specific criteria for improvement.

Thank you to Steve Douglas for his opening address, to CAA for hosting such a high quality seminar and for the generosity shown by CAA and the other sponsors.  I am looking forward to the next Seminar in two years from now and the possibility of sending more staff from Nelson Aviation College in the future.

Kind regards, Giles Witney, IT/Marketing Manager, Nelson Aviation College


On behalf of the crew that travelled down from RT to the subject course  -  myself, Tony Denhaan, Mike Small and Ross Marfell, I would like to say how much we enjoyed what proved to be a very rewarding experience.

We had a good de-brief among ourselves on the way back yesterday and recognised many areas in our instructional technique that we will execute somewhat differently now.

We learned something from all of you, but special mention must be made of Colin Cox. He handled a complex subject with ease and humour and dismantled it to such an extent, that even I could begin to understand it!  A job well done!


Again, I say a big thankyou to yourself and the team you had presenting the Instructor's Seminar here in Ashburton this week.  I enjoyed the event and the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones too but most importantly, I am confident I picked up on many ideas and themes which will help me to be a better flight instructor.

I am really grateful too to the several sponsors by whose contributions the whole seminar along with the opportunity to stay over and mix and talk with those of similar interest and persuasion came to be so successful.  Thankyou to you guys and girls from CAA and the generous sponsors.

Sincere regards, Les. Vincent


Thank you for being part of the very successful Instructors seminar at Ashburton, I personally came away armed with some more teaching skills that can be used across all areas of life not just teaching students. From the opening address from the Director to the very end all sessions were very well presented and had has all reflecting on how we present aviation to those interested in becoming part of this fantastic way of life.

The interaction with CAA staff and other instructors added to the whole two days, the format is excellent. Thank you to all the staff involved, Colin for his presentations and the sponsors

Evan Belworthy


I would like to congratulate you and your team on the instructor seminar we attended recently in Masterton. The content, and everything about the seminar was great. It was good to take along the 5 C Cats I had just trained, feedback from them was most favourable.

Thank you John. We look forward to future seminars.

Russell Rickards, Massey University School of Aviation.


Having recently attended the flight instructor seminar at Masterton I wish to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the CAA and those involved with the organisation of the seminar.

I have attended several instructor seminars over the years I can confirm that these are a very worthwhile and effective way of improving instructional standards and getting the safety message across to those in the front line of pilot training. It is the type of support that the industry needs particularly during times of rapid staff turnover such as we are experiencing at the moment, with the airline aggressively recruiting experienced instructors from the flight training providers.

On this occasion we were able to send our five newly graduated C category instructors. Attendance at this seminar no doubt enhanced the training that they had already received at Massey.

Special thanks to John Parker, Rex Kenney and Carlton Campbell for presenting a first class seminar.

Ritchie de Montalk, Manager Aviation Safety, Massey School of Aviation.


Article from New Zealand Aviation News, reproduced with permission:

Instructor Seminars Well Attended

Michael Norton reports

The recent CAA Flight Instructor seminars were very well attended this year with an average of 50 participants at each of the Hamilton, Masterton and Ashburton locations. A great variety of experience was represented from trike to airline pilots and everything in between. CAA Director Steve Douglas attended part of each seminar, expressing his support for the initiative which grew from the Toward 2005 safety seminar in Wellington.

Attitudes to safety are inherited from instructors and it is regrettable that pay is often too poor to keep good instructors in employment. Fortunately, many return to the scene at the end of their careers and are to be applauded for the contribution they make.

Following sessions from Rex Kenny and Carlton Campbell on regulatory changes and BFR considerations, the central part of each two day seminar was presented by Colin Cox, Director of Ignition Training Systems and a Master Trainer in Neuro Semantics.

Colin began with the basic techniques for creating a positive learning environment and avoiding the pitfalls that inhibit learning. Much of this content was familiar to the audience who were likely to have been attracted to the seminars because they were already naturally good at instructing and interested in developing their skills further. The benefit to these attendees came in the following sessions where Colin elaborated extensively on using multi sensory language to capture the attention of a student or audience regardless of their particular learning style. In the case of individual students, it is seldom the student’s fault if he or she “doesn’t get it”. More often than not, the instructor will be inadvertently teaching in their own learning style rather than that of the student. Colin went on to demonstrate several techniques for identifying and teaching to different learning styles.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Colin’s presentations was near the end when he facilitated a review of his own multi-sensory teaching techniques throughout the seminar. It became obvious that all of his presentations were tightly scripted to appeal to the widest possible cross section of learning styles, although at the time his approach seemed entirely natural and unscripted.

Later in the sessions, recipients of the 2005 and 2006 CAA awards for flight instruction, Mark Scott and Mark Carter respectively, provided an informative and entertaining session on teaching airmanship. Their presentation promoted role modelling as the key to teaching airmanship and reminded all present to do the job as though the ideal observer was watching.

As with any such seminar, there were parts that served to remind one of what they know already. However there were very many parts which added to the knowledge of those present. Combined with the networking and social opportunity created by gathering so many like minded people together, these seminars are very well worth attending whenever they are held. CAA are to be congratulated for providing the entire event including meals and accommodation at a negligible token charge to participants.

(Michael Norton holds a Commercial Pilot Licence (H), is a correspondent for NZ Aviation News and an NZ Autogyro Association instructor.)