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Inappropriate Relations?

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New member
Jun 19, 2002
Situation: Instructor 31 (male), Student 24 (female).

Student has hots for Instructor.

Instructor decides to take advantage, after every flight lesson they disappear and who knows what happens.

This relationship concerns me in that I'm not so sure this student is getting professional "flight" instruction and I'm curious of what the aviation communities opinion is on Instructor / Student relationships.

Should a professional instructor resist the urge? What if this was you, how would you handle this?

Please, only serious responses. I am concerned that this instructor is crossing the line.
I've seen this kind of thing happen a few times. In the cases I've seen, the quality of instruction didn't appear to be compromised. In one case, the couple tended to make a few more cross countries to lunch spots during the training, but the female student was cool with spending a little bit extra in terms of time, so I didn't see a problem. I mean, everyone is still subject to the requirements in the PTS in the end.

There is one problem, but it usually has to do with the relationship terminating BECAUSE of the instruction. I've seen two cases where the female student gets pissed at the instructor because he didn't pull any punches up there as far as her performance. I think the women (in these cases at least) had a hard time understanding that when in the air, the guy is the CFI - not her boyfriend. I can see that being an issue - I've learned not to EVER make a comment regarding my nonpilot girlfriend's driving. I could only imagine how difficult it'd be when having to 'correct' her in a flight instruction situation! I guess it's just easier to be told that you're doing something wrong when it's not someone you're emotionally attached to.

In both cases, the couple broke it off, and the woman moved to a different instructor.
Well I guess they are both members of the mile high club now!!
Instructor-student "relationships"

Absolutely, the instructor should resist the urge, for the same reason that a doctor shouldn't do it with a patient or an attorney shouldn't do it with a client. Although instructors should maintain cordial and friendly relations with students, instructors are still authority figures and that authority is undermined big time if they enter into personal relationships with students. Students are counting on instructors to give them independent, objective advice. No matter how objective you may believe you are, a personal relationship is bound to compromise your objectivity.

Another reason not to play in the company's sandbox is the instructor-student relationship could terminate because the guy-gal (or whatever) relationship terminates. The student-customer could bring that up to the instructor's boss. I needn't elaborate on the ensuing problems. Did someone mention "blackmail?" One other point: You never know who the other person knows and what his/her acquaintances can do to you.

One other thing that comes to mind is aviation is really a very small community. What if one person or the other shows up on an interview board?? Can happen, folks.

Most flight instructors want to be regarded as professional people in the way attorneys and doctors are regarded as professionals. Attorneys and doctors keep their distance from their clients and patients. Flight instructors must adhere to the same ethics if they are to be taken seriously as professionals. That doesn't mean you can't be friends with your students, during or after training. Just don't be too friendly.

I do realize that some urges are hard to resist. Think about what's more important in terms of the big picture. Remember, too, the gossip factor. It's bad enough when people start speculating about who is going to which airline, who is leaving and who is staying. The gossip to which I am referring is something you really can do without.

I did like the Mile Hi Club comment. :)
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Very interesting and respectful response. Well, this particular female is overpowering, although he may try to be professional, she will get her way. She will use and abuse him and I think this is going to be a test of his professionalism, which I've already observed dropping. The problem with this CFI's boss, they too are entertained by her presence, so they aren't going to want to see this cutie go, half the reason they paired her with this instructor. This particular operation overall, FBO + CFI has really made me think twice about flying here. Although convenient, I've already been discriminated against as they block the rental plane for her so she always has her slot, just in case.

I can tell you this CFI is building hours to someday make the majors. I do remember, and I soon will be in the majors, should I ever see him come to an interview, he will be dropped on the spot if I can say anything. I've seen the way he is now, how is he going to be in the corporate environment, and around coworkers. I wish the FAA had a role, I'd turn him in!

Umm, mile high in the might C-152? Well, I guess it depends on exactly what occurs, but we digress. Seriously, I see this and am very concerned for the reputation of this FBO and flight school based on this guy. I've made the staff aware, they deny, but when they land and see me in the terminal, they run off together knowing I'm keeping an eye! Like cat and mouse! It's sick to watch!
You could just let two consenting adults make their own decisions and not be a busybody. I don't know about you, but my life is complicated enough without getting involved in other peoples affairs.
OK, all of the "PC" , polite, and analytical responses are in. Now I'll go out on a limb and tell you what every guy reading this thread is REALLY thinking........is she hot?, ,If yes, then GO FOR IT DUDE!
A good friend of mine started dating his female student and they were together for close to five years before getting married. She did receive the ratings she was after and things seemed to work out good for them.

BTW - She WAS hot! :)
It's a tough call. What Bobby says makes a lot of sense and I'd like to agree with him. However if I were an instructor and became friends with a female student of mine, and over time we showed a mutual attraction for each other - I'd find it very hard to just suck it up and keep everything bottled inside.

Now, that doesn't mean we can't be professional about it either. I think I'd have to sit down with that person and make sure we both understand that the relationship has to be pretty much left at home, and that I'm not going to treat her any differently than I would any other student. The kind of crap that is going on at Gilligan's FBO cannot be tolerated.

I guess the question is...can a couple realistically fly together in a training environment and leave the romance on the ground? Dunno.

I'd add one more point. Now, after Mr. Stud CFI is through training his squeeze and no more instructor-student relationship exisits, what they do beyond that is up to them. But, during the time the instructor-student relationship exisits, your career, now and in the future, must come first.

We must consider the judgment factor, which, in large measure, is how we as pilots are judged. Consider it from that angle as well. S--t happens, over which we have no control. Things like this we do have control, even if it means having to exercise self-control. Compare it to having "one for the road" and risking a DUI. It doesn't mean that some cop will stop you - but, one could!!

I don't care how strong (or demanding) a personalty this gal has. All you have to do is say "no."
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