Can the New CFI-S rules be used to (help) alleviate a Flying Club's CFI shortage?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by MarkH, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. MarkH

    MarkH Filing Flight Plan

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    In my area smaller, independent clubs have a hard time maintaining access to CFIs. The large flight schools around are sucking up all of the dedicated CFIs, and regional airlines are hiring anyone with the hours. As a result, most of the clubs in my area are using CFIs who are regional airline pilots (often low seniority), which makes consistent scheduling difficult. Personally, I'm glad for the CFIs, but this environment is making recreational flying a difficult hobby to enter into.

    Since reading this a couple months ago on the EAA website:
    https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/eaa-news...sport-pilot-commercial-and-simulator-training

    I have begun to wonder if CFI-S is a solution for flying clubs who have at least one LSA eligible aircraft.

    My logic here is:
    CFI-S certificate is easier to obtain by non-professional pilots, due to lower time requirements (100h TT) and medical requirements (does not require a CPL to obtain CFI-S, therefore never needs a Class 2).
    CFI-S time can be credited to PPL time, allowing part-time CFI-S to work with a part-time CFI for a student working toward PPL.
    Give students an option of pursuing a Sport Pilot Certificate, which many clubs do not currently offer.

    (This all goes double if new LSA rules give Cessna 150s LSA eligibility)

    I don't know if this is the intent of the rules, but it seems like a good solution to a serious CFI shortage that many clubs seem to be facing. Would this work? Would this be legal? What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Do you really want to dumb down the entry requirements to become a CFI?

    Frankly I’d think having a somewhat hard time booking flights isn’t a bad trade for a ATP/CFI whos been there done that.

    The biggest factor in training is the CFI, and looking to get less experienced ones is NOT a good idea. How much are you paying your CFIs (as in take home) now?
     
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  3. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    There would have to be a big untapped pool of private pilots who really want to teach primary students at a discount rate, but don't want to bother getting the commercial and having an extra 100 hours. It seems to me that the type who want to become CFI's would rather just get the commercial and become a full-fledged instructor.
     
  4. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    The full fledged CFI certificate is easy enough to get and the bar has already been set sufficiently low. There are plenty of part time CFIs out there that instruct for fun and will help out the flying clubs and other students seeking a certificate for fun.

    Also, FYI, a CFI does not need to hold a second class medical. So this is not a concern.
     
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  5. Nsconductor

    Nsconductor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You never have to hold a 2nd class medical to get a CP certificate or CFI.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  6. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    I think the OP is correct, finding those people is more difficult. A lot of our club's "for fun" instructors went pro... we even lost a low-hour CFI to a pilot farm teaching foreign students, apparently the pay was too good to pass up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  7. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A minimalist approach to minimum standards.
     
  8. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Some clubs require a CFI to be a member. Drop that requirement and you may open up your club to more CFIs. Or not, and then whine about a shortage of CFIs. Just saying.
     
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  9. MarkH

    MarkH Filing Flight Plan

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    That's exactly what is happening, I don't blame them for chasing the money, but clubs cannot compete with 141 schools flight time or regional pay.
     
  10. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    The basic stick and rudder skill standards are the same for SP and PP.
    Having a hard time booking flights is a major problem in some areas. I have a friend who's spent years trying to get his private... lessons keep getting cancelled because his CFI suddenly has to take a charter, or quits because he got an airline job so the student has to come up to speed with a new instructor, etc. And many CFIs are just doing their time until they get that airline offer, and aren't particularly interested (or good at) teaching. I think I'd rather work with a sport CFI who's in it because that's what he wants to do.

    But a full CFI requires commercial and instrument ratings, which is a much higher (and much more expensive) bar than a Private.

    I'll likely work on getting my CFI-SP certificate in the not too distant future. I have absolutely no desire to get (or pay for!) my commercial and instrument ratings. A couple of years ago, I did some informal instruction checking out a pilot in his new LSA Quicksilver (unpaid, not logged as instruction, legal, thanks 6PC) and found I really enjoyed it.

    To the original question, definitely legal, whether it would work depends on the particular setup and how well the CFI and CFI-SP can work together. But I think it's a great idea, and I also believe that a student who starts out in a LSA with a good instructor will develop better basic stick and rudder skills.
     
  11. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’d love to do some more CFIing, I think there are lots of professional who enjoy GA who would help out, probably going to take $50hr cash, depending on where you live and all.

    Also what type of plane?
    Might be harder to get established guys to CFI in a 172 vs a AA5 or J3 or something.
     
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  12. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Instrument is a bit onerous because of that 40 hour requirement. And that really does not apply if you are teaching someone in a cub..
     
  13. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    I had 4 instructors en route to my SP certificate. By far the best was the one who had a CFI-SP. the others, full CFIs, were marking time to get to the airlines.

    OP, it might be a worthwhile approach if your club will get an LSA. I haven’t read the exact rule yet, though. Would the student have to actually get his SPL for the hours to become applicable? If not, I like the idea. Vintage LSAs can be had fairly inexpensively (Ercoupe, Cub, Luscombe...). I believe the sport CFI can get the students through everything except night work.
     
  14. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    It’s just the opposite here. I don’t think there is a full time instructor within about a 75 mile radius of me. But there are a few flight schools closer to me that operate with a staff of part timers.

    I’ve had no trouble finding part time instructors over the years to get my ratings.
     
  15. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Clearly, anyone who doesn't have a medical will not be a good teacher.
     
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  16. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    Those wanting to take shortcuts won’t get much sympathy from me. 250 hours, and earning instrument and commercial ratings isn’t what I would consider to be a “much higher” bar.

    People on this board (and others) often whine about the “know nothing 250 hour wonder CFIs” and now we’re having a discussion about further lowering the bar and getting CFIs with less experience? It seems ridiculous to me.
     
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  17. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    I don't see how this is "further lowering the bar." SPLs have been trained and tested to the same standards as PPLs since inception of the sport pilot rule, and SP CFIs have been certified to teach those skills to those standards the entire time. The rule change this summer merely acknowledged that fact; it did not reduce any standards.

    In fact, it is the PPL standards that have been reduced recently. Compare the standard for slow flight between PPL and SPL. A sport pilot must demonstrate flight at minimum controllable airspeed, but not a private pilot.
     
  18. kmacht

    kmacht Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You are like looking at the worst case scenario. What about the 500 hour private pilot who would like to do BFRs in simple airplanes on the weekend but doesn’t want to get an instirment and commercial license because they will never use them for the type of flying they do. I have a SP cfi who I used to get my tail wheel endorsement and a few bfrs in a cub. He is one of the better cfis who I have come across because he likes teaching and isn’t just building hours. No need for a commercial or instrument rating to do any of the things above.

    Keith
     
  19. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    If they’re truly dedicated to the trade, I would think they would want go through the work of bettering themselves and earning the ratings required rather than looking for a way around them.

    I could easily fall into your description too. I don’t instruct to build hours, I prefer stick and rudder type flying and only fly instruments when I have to. Despite this, I still feel the minimum standards for earning a CFI certificate are sufficiently low and that the additional training required is a good thing, regardless of the number of hours someone has in their logbooks.
     
  20. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Although there will be exceptions, I don't think that all CFIs
    I think you overestimate how many competent pilots view those ratings as "bettering themselves." The number of CFIs who are dedicated to the trade is relatively small compared to the number who view it as a path to build hours towards transport jobs.

    And, quite frankly, those ratings do very little to make you a better teacher.
     
  21. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yea, those lazy ass geezers looking for a way around not having a medical instead of bettering themselves. They should be ashamed.
     
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  22. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    With basic med there are minimal roadblocks these days.
     
  23. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yea, right. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Here is why I would not instruct in your club:
    1. I would have to buy CFI liability insurance because your club policy is likely to specifically exclude CFIs giving instruction even if they are a member.
    2. Many require the CFI be a member and pay dues.
    3. Most clubs do not have 100 hour inspections on their aircraft, which is required when the club maintains an approved instructor list. A lot of club aircraft are not maintained well.
    4. Club members have an unrealistic low expectation of contractor CFI compensation.
    5. Unrealistic training expectations. The average club member flys 2 hours a month and expects a flight review and an IPC with an hour on the meter. I have had club members schedule IPCs who couldn’t even land.
     
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  25. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    OK, so I have around a thousand hours, a quarter of that in assorted ultralights and most of the rest in small two or single seat airplanes, strictly VFR. I have no desire to fly IFR, and zero desire to pay for the hours in the expensive rental airplane required to get an instrument rating, and the complex time neccessary to get a commercial rating. Neither of those would make me better at the kind of flying I do. But I bet I could do a much better job putting a Cub or T-Craft down in a gusty crosswind (and teaching a student to do it!) than your 250 hour CFI with the ink still wet on his commercial, IFR, and CFI certificates... or, for that matter, a 5000 hour private pilot who spends most of his time on autopilot, and the rest of the time trying to fly like one. Of course I wouldn't be very good at flying his plane, either.

    Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great pilots and instructors who can fly and instruct in both big and little planes... but ratings and skill handling big planes don't automatically translate into making a better pilot or instructor in smaller planes.
     
  26. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    You're correct, more flight ratings isn't necessarily an absolute indicator of a pilot's skill nor will it automatically make someone a better instructor. Experience might however. Particularly a broader experience base.

    What really is needing to be discussed here is not your 1000 hours, it is the minimum requirements to be a flight instructor. The FAA sets the rules and minimums where they do for reasons that make sense to them. There are many people who scrape by doing the bare minimum, and if the FAA elects to lower the bar further the new minimums will be what everyone shoots for. I feel that the 250 hours of experience needed to earn a full fledged CFI certificate is an absolute minimum to be teaching someone else to learn to fly because even at that point, the learning curve will be steep for both the student and the instructor. The CFI-S would cut the minimum number of hours down to 150 for airplanes and slash the aeronautical experience required by a large margin.

    At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter much anyway. I haven't seen an overwhelming demand for sport pilot training. In fact, I've never been asked about training for earning a sport pilot certificate nor given any dual for a sport pilot certificate nor for a CFI-S. I have however helped a few people convert a sport certificate to a private.
     
  27. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It’s not about the medical, if you read many of my posts on here I think much of the medical is a joke and just there to make the mouth breathing masses feel “safe” as is evidenced in having a mandatory retirement age.

    Personally if you have a drivers license that should qualify you up to a second class, for a first class they should use the basic med requirements to keep the masses feeling “safe”.

    I digress


    That said, teaching is a LARGE responsibility, I’d go as far to say it one of the hardest jobs in aviation to do correctly and requires much of the CFI.

    For one not requiring a instrument is not good, not requiring the CPL level of experience via cross countries, night, etc, is not good
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  28. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Well, James, it’s been working for about 14 years now. Sport pilots are trained to the same standards as PPLs. I have had both sport and regular CFIs and I see neither superior skill nor an aura of greater care and responsibility in full CFIs. If anything, they haven’t been as good and were in a rush to the airlines.
     
  29. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The requirements are not the same, instrument and night are a good example.

    And for a CFI I’d want them the have much more than 100hrs, I’d want them to have waaaay more than just sport/PPL experience.
     
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  30. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    But a sport CFI can teach everything else (takeoffs and landings, stalls, ground reference maneuvers, etc.) to the same standards. Then a student can finish up instruments and night work with the full CFI, thus addressing the problem in the OP by reducing the CFI workload.

    What actual problems have you seen from the instruction of sport CFIs? Not speculation; we have 14 years of history now. What isn’t working?
     
  31. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It’s the experience of the CFI, a fair weather day VFR CFI just isn’t going to bring the same experience level to the table as someone who has flown in weather, has a bunch of night experience, major airspace, etc etc

    Frankly a 250hr IFR/CPL getting a CFI is green enough
     
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  32. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Sport instruction has been working well for 14 years now. I get what you’re saying, but I haven’t yet seen any evidence that there’s a problem.
     
  33. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A problem no, a inferior product yes
     
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  34. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Any proof that sport pilots are inferior products?
     
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  35. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Less capability

    Can you fly through a cloud? Night? Bravo? Etc?
     
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  36. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    That’s not the point. (And yes, I can fly through a bravo, and yes, I have had the same hood training as PPL.)

    The point is that sport pilots, and sport pilot CFIs, are equally capable for day VFR, and no one is suggesting having sport CFIs teach anything else.

    The OP’sidea is to use sport CFIs to teach the daytime VFR portions and then have a full CFI finish up the rest. I see no problem with that and, so far, you have not offered a fact-based opinion in opposition.
     
  37. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    CFI-Seaplane? Definitely wouldn't want to skimp on hours for that one. Took me like 7 hours to get my sea-plane rating.
     
  38. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    The experience of some flight schools requiring extended checkouts for private pilots in lightly loaded sport aircraft which are more subject to crosswinds may suggest the opposite.
     
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  39. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    There is no such thing. Ask to see an instructor certificate and see what it says. A hint: the type of surface one operates off of is not designated.
     
  40. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A CFI with mkre experience is always better, full stop.

    A CPL or ATP CFI will 9.9 times out of 10 have more experience to pass on.

    Wanting to lower the bar is always a bad idea.
     
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