Learning Experiences

November 1999 Issue

Right Seat Betrayal

‘I will never break my personal minimums again, regardless of who is in the right seat’

I am a Part 141 commercial student in Southern California. The one person in the world I never would have suspected of unnecessarily risking my life was my flight instructor. I was wrong.

Early in my Commercial training, the syllabus called for a 250 nm solo night flight. (We later found out it was a misprint in the syllabus.) Having very limited night flying experience, I was uncomfortable with a long night solo cross-country. My instructor agreed to accompany me on the flight, as much for moral support as instruction.

Since it was mid-summer and the daylight hours were long, I had to wait until 9 p.m. to take off, after a full day’s work. My instructor had been on duty since early...

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