Teaching A Lesson in Humility

After a check ride one day, this young lieutenant we had in “O” Flight, came back to the flight room, bitching about a couple grades he had received on specific maneuvers. I listened to him “hold court” in the corner with a few of his buddies, then decided to put a stop to it – right now! One of the things I did not tolerate well at all was, “quibbling.” Either from the students, or the IPs in the flight.

So I walked up to him and asked what the problem was. He then proceeded to tell me that he felt the check pilot was too “picky;” too hard on him. (Awww….). After listening to him for all I could handle, I decided to make this a “teachable moment.” I reminded him that he was a 2nd Lieutenant now, an Officer in the United States Air Force. And as an Officer, when we have an issue with someone or another, we don’t just sit back and bitch about them – we approach them, in a mature, respectful manner, and discuss the issue – Officer to Officer. (What I failed to mention was, this really didn’t apply in a student training environment. My bad.). So I suggested, that if he felt strongly enough – that he had been unfairly graded on the check ride – that he take his grade sheet, along with his grade book, down to Check Section, and discuss the matter with his check pilot. I then headed back to my office and soon saw him heading out the flight room door, with his grade book in hand.

His check pilot was a good guy. He had a reputation for always being fair with the students, and I never had any problems with him. So, I just sat back and waited…

When I saw the young lieutenant return, I grabbed my coffee and walked back to his desk. He seemed a little pale in color. I asked him if he was “okay,” to which he replied, “Well Sir, I won’t be doing that again!”

Lesson learned.

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