Be a CFI in my old age?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by SC777, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. SC777

    SC777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is a ways down the road (10+ yrs) for me but would anyone recommend or has become a CFI after they’re done climbing the Corp ladder? Have you found it rewarding (not talking financially), as a way of giving back, being involved in the aviation community?
     
  2. edo2000

    edo2000 Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I was considering this myself. I worked as a flight instructor for a while when I was in my 20's and enjoyed it. I thought of reinstating my CFI/CFII credentials and doing some instructing when I retire in the next year or two. But the extremely litigious environment in our country may very well discourage me, as I look into insurance coverage...
     
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  3. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I was 38 and retired from the military when I began instructing (by that time I had my commercial and CFI). It is a very rewarding second career. I never bought liability insurance, but I joined AOPA and NAFI early on and might have had some coverage through them. I re-retired in 1988 and began writing aviation textbooks. Check my signature block.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  4. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I feel like the liability is overstated - it's always talked about on message boards, but nobody seems to be able to point to all these cases where CFIs are sued for students crashing airplanes years later.

    If you want to be a CFI, I say go for it. Lord knows we need folks doing it because they actually *want* to.
     
  5. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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  6. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    My cfii is in his 80's...retired airline capt. Go for it !
     
  7. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I enjoy doing it whenever it makes sense.
     
  8. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

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    Here are a few...

    https://apnews.com/dc212b51fa4c4784b2ccb2a93c52899c

    https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/features/plane_crashes/plane-crash-lawsuits-settlements.html

    https://www.kxan.com/news/local/tra...s-after-childrens-father-dies-in-fiery-crash/

    It may not happen all the time, but it does happen...
     
  9. Htaylor

    Htaylor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Picked up the CFI ticket at 55 yrs old. Now 66 and really enjoy teaching flying. Gives me a little pocket $ too. Go for it if you're so inclined.
     
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  10. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    Why would it not necessarily be financially rewarding? There are CFIs out there making day rates of $1000+ doing things like TBM transition training, or being a mentor pilot for other advanced aircraft. There are CFIs making $100+ an hour doing aerobatic or upset or other specialized training. John and Martha King seem to have done okay.

    Being a CFI isn't limited to the local flight school. It all depends on your background and what you want to do as a CFI.
     
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  11. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you like to teach go for it.
     
  12. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    But in those cases the instructor was onboard at the time of the accident. We all assume that risk when we fly with passengers, CFI or not. I'm talking about a CFI being found liable for 'inadequate instruction' if a former student does something stupid down the road. And so far, I haven't been convinced there's enough additional risk to avoid instructing altogether if it's something I decide to do.
     
  13. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

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    I will say as a student I greatly valued having wisened old sky-gods as instructors. I was very fortunate to get my PPLs in my teens and learned a lot about more than just flying - all from ladies and gentleman retired or nearing retirement. It is something I look forward to doing when my time comes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  14. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    At minimum keep your CFI rating current. Do the course every 2 years and you never have to worry about redoing the checkride.
     
  15. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    You know - you've got me thinking. I might be retiring - depending on if the markets smile on my IRA's - in 3 years or so. Early 60's. I have a brand new PPL for ASEL non IFR. So, maybe in 5 years get the Instrument, Commercial, and then CFI. Sounds like a lot.

    But teaching would get me out of the house, something productive to do in retirement. Maybe make a few dollar to pay for a little gas. Maybe do something with STEM, Young Eagles, etc. Maybe Missionary Pilot training.

    Thanks for posting the idea.
     
  16. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I 100% plan on going the CFI route as a side gig after military retirement in about 10 years. I'll be in my mid-40's at that time and should be financially able to put as little or as much time as I want into the CFI job.

    My big question is do I go ahead and get, say, my AGI/IGI now while I'm doing my IR studying and keep at least that current for 10 years or just kick it all down the road and re-study and get smart on instructing later when I get serious about it...
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Take all the test now and get the testing over with.
     
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  18. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's what I'm realizing and I think getting my head around. Only question (which I haven't looked up yet) is whether I can do that for the actual flight instructor portion? I MIGHT get my commercial in the next two years but it'll be more than 2 years before I take a CFI or CFII checkride, at least I'm 99% sure, and that's without any deployments or other military life issues getting in the way.

    I know I can at least finish up ground instructor stuff, though, without worrying about any tests expiring.
     
  19. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I understand checkride stress, but I’ve always thought that a flight instructor who sends people up for checkrides really shouldn’t worry about taking them himself.
     
  20. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I understand the CFI checkride is a notch or two up from the usual private pilot or instrument rating checkride CFIs send their students to.
    The growing costs of exams (DPE fee, and the required FOI and FIA knowledge tests) would also be worth considering.

    - Martin
     
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  21. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    No one wants to do a CFI checkride twice, average oral of 5 to 6 hours minimum and going rate of $1200.00.
     
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  22. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Nope!
    The days leading up to my CFI ride were like psychological warfare with myself.
    I had a discontinuance after my 8-hour oral, and had about 4 days' break before the flight portion. I asked my CFI to come fly with me during one of those days and practice things, just to help me calm down.
     
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  23. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    8 hour oral? Hope that’s an outlier. What can you talk about for 8 hours?
     
  24. edo2000

    edo2000 Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I definitely wish I would have kept my CFI/II certs current. I have always been an active pilot but after I quit instructing, I got busy and ended up letting them go. Before internet training was available....working in remote parts of Alaska...it just wasn't "convenient". And I was young and dumb. :)
     
  25. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    it is so easy now, there should be no one that can’t get on a computer and do the course. Years back it was a pain in the,
     
  26. red4golf

    red4golf Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That is what I was told to expect about 2 years ago when I was taking a ground school for CFI. One of the students made it in about 6 hours before he received his walking papers...

    I won't lie, I was kind of glad that I had to stop because I didn't feel close to being ready for that experience even though I was going for it almost immediately after my Commercial ride.
     
  27. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I’d expect 4-8 hours. My CFI oral was 5 years ago and it was 2 hours with a DPE. That was certainly an outlier. It’s not uncommon for a CFI rides to be 2 days
     
  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I’m talking about renewal/reinstatement rides for active instructors, not initial certification.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
  29. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

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    I'm not coming from the perspective you're looking for....not being an instructor and all...but seems to me that it could be a great thing to do. You could take on as many or few students as you want, and it seems like a great way to have a purpose to go to the airport.
    ....And as a long time student through the years, I generally prefer an instructor who's not in it just to build time and doesn't really want to be there.

    I'm 53 now, but about 20 years ago I had found myself as a rusty pilot having moved and gotten busy with work. A small part of it had been that I didn't have a purpose. The airport where I trained (JGG) was very active, and very "airport bum" friendly. I'd find myself there many times just to sit on the patio and watch the activity or to talk with other airport bums. Where I had moved to the airports were not that way at all....and since I was no longer working on ratings or anything there was no purpose. Anyway about 20 years ago I started working on my commercial with my sights set on CFI, just to do part time. Well I moved again and that fell apart....
    but as I'm now older and really dreaming hard about early "semi-retirement", I'm really wishing I wasn't so rusty......I'm thinking I'd probably like to go down that path
     
  30. neilki

    neilki Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was near 50 when I did the CFI, then the regionals And now at a LCC. If you enjoyed your training, and like the mental challenge of teaching -do it. I keep current and involved. No one wants to work with a CFI counting hours towards an RJ job..
     
  31. Tom Nunamaker

    Tom Nunamaker Filing Flight Plan

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    The Aero Club at Peterson AFB chief pilot is in his 80s. He was a T-37 and T-38 IP like i was. He's still going strong. If that's your passion, go for it.
     
  32. Cogito

    Cogito Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I earned a CFI this year, something I've wanted to do but didn't have the time until the 2020 Covid vacation. A friend asked me this week to do his BFR, but both my financial advisor and my aviation insurance broker talked me out of it, said the only safe way to flight instruct, from a liability pov, is to be poor (and maybe teach at a flight school with good insurance.) Now I'm second guessing, it'd be fun to break in the certificate.
     
  33. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    You can be safer sitting on a couch.

    I’m not a CFI, but my next step is Comm and I’ll do the CFI almost concurrently. I think about the same things as you with finances and all, but as I get older, I care less about some of the “what ifs” of life, as long as the what-ifs won’t kill me...
     
  34. Cogito

    Cogito Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I agree with your sentiment, and as much as I've made peace with the possibility of an accident when I fly, I'd prefer my wife doesn't lose the house and our investments if the worst should happen. I appreciate your perspective, I may be the opposite though: when I was younger I'd race motorcycles and felt invincible, now I'm way more cautious, though I do fly Lancairs.
     
  35. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    I would recommend you talk to an litigation attorney. My amateur understanding is all you should really do is make sure you have enough insurance to cover your assets minus your primary house and 401K. You just need to make it more practical for anyone that might have cause to sue you to take the insurance money rather than sue you for your assets. May vary from state to state.


    Brian
     
  36. Marshall Alexander

    Marshall Alexander Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm 62 years old now, had my PPL since I was 18, currently have about 1200 hrs tt.

    I just recently (took the FOI test in June) started working on my CFI-S rating. The sport pilot instructor rating doesn't require a commercial or instrument rating.
    I got the" CFI bug" when I started flying with a young lady that literally fell in love with flying when I took her for her first airplane ride 4 years ago, her Junior year in HS. My wife had this girl in her 4 yo pre-k class in school, then taught her brother in her 4th grade class.

    I started "teaching" her, in my C-150, the way I was taught. I found I really enjoyed it. I don't need the money, and most instructors don't want to teach for free. She has about 40 hrs. left seat time in the 150. She can do the basic SP flight maneuvers, take off and land, and does a great job with the 150. My brother & I just recently bought a Rans S6S. My "girl" flew it for the first time last Wednesday and did a fantastic job flying it doing the same maneuvers, including take offs and landings. She learned what adverse yaw is, lol. She & I both know she'll be limited with the SP rating, but she'll at least get to fly. When she gets out of college, she can go on to get her PPL.
    I'm taking the SIA written nest Tuesday (the 8th).

    Kathryn isn't the only reason I'm doing the instructor "thing", but certainly the inspiration for it. My 31 yo daughter is a corp. pilot, CFI, CFII, she's taking her ATP checkride next week. She Doesn't want to instruct, and is GREEN with envy that I'm flying with Kathryn. I've found that a lot of instructors want to teach the world to fly. They get a few students, get a couple/few hours with them then abandon them. I won't do that.
     
  37. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    If you want a nice post-retirement gig and you have a somewhat diverse flying background, apply to become a DPE.
     
  38. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    What are the qualifications? Lazy to look it up.
     
  39. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    I'm 47 and I've thought about becoming a CFI. I have a full time job and it would be as you mentioned, a way of giving back. I've had a lot of friends that I've helped get comfortable flying who beg me to become a CFI.

    I've got almost 10K hours, but I'm a VFR pilot. So adding it up, I've heard anywhere from $4K to $8K to get through my Commercial, IFR, and CFI training. My girlfriend will start training this week and the instructor is charging her $30/hour. So 133 hours to recoup the money on the low end, 267 on the high end. In other words, I might never get my investment back, but I would be giving back to the aviation community... still thinking it over.
     
  40. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    I know a few folks who only do instrument instruction and/or type-specific (think BPP or CSIP) checkouts to limit their liability.