Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Constructive Criticism or Negative Attitude?

I am trying to critique my performance after every flight. I don't know if I am being too harsh on myself. 

This week I started to record the audio from the cockpit. Listening back has made me realise that I am forgetting key information about the manoeuvres I am supposed to be flying. As a result of this, I sat down this evening and listened to the  entire hour of the recorded audio. I made bullet point notes for each manoeuvre performed during the up and coming stage 1 check ride. 

When I recommenced my JAA training back in Ireland in July, I had a much more positive attitude towards reviewing my lessons.

Maybe it's time to focus more on the positive? Let the fact I made these notes today be the start of a more positive attitude towards analysing my performance. 


  1. Critiquing yourself is not being negative. Don't beat yourself up when you make mistakes, but definitely always strive to be the best possible. Never accept mediocre. Nobody is perfect, and your checkride will not be perfect either. But, we learn from evaluating our performance.
    If you critiqued yourself and said, "I'm such an idiot I missed this again!" = bad critique. If you said, "I missed this maneuver again, I'm going to keep practicing until I get it right." = Good critique. There will be a point you have to accept you're ready for your ride, (because you're safe and know what you're doing.) But always evaluate. I always do that after every flight. That's how you always get better.
    And don't be hard on yourself! Be kind, understanding and patient, knowing you are doing the best you can. Which makes you a winner.

  2. There's a difference between analyzing your performance and destructive criticism. I used cockpit audio a lot while training for my PPL; it helped a bunch. But there were points when I was simply over-thinking it (landings in particular). Recognizing the line is important.

    I still analyze every flight I do in an effort to improve. I know I'll never have a perfect flight, but hopefully I can ward off an accident.

  3. I'm sure you are being too hard on yourself. I listen to my recordings and some time laugh and some times want to smack myself for the silly mistakes, but that's all they are are mistakes. We are baby pilots learning how to crawl, use your recordings as a learning tool.

    After I've listened some times I'll talk to our CFI about what I heard and did or didn't do. He's been good about helping evaluate the performances. Use him! ;)