CFI Check Ride - What is it?

WDD

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Don't see that there is an ACS for CFI check ride. The best I can discern is that it is essentially a Commercial check ride from the right seat, combined with demonstrating that you can teach.

The oral part would demonstrate your lesson plan and teaching knowledge in addition to the Commercial aviation knowledge.

How close is that?
 
Its not just enough to know how to fly the maneuvers, but as already stated you have to be able to teach it. Expect the DPE to fly some of the maneuvers with you coaching them through it, and looking for you to catch their "mistakes".

The oral will be long, just because there is so much to cover. I had to write a lesson plan on the spot and teach it, I think mine was crosswind landings. They are looking for your understanding of the principles, and the ability to organize yourself and ability to teach it.

I will add, I didn't find the CFI particularly harder than any other checkride, but it was definitely longer and more thorough. I was whipped by the time it was done.
 
I don’t understand the marathon orals these days. A good examiner should be able to tell whether or not you know your stuff while still covering all the requirements in a lot less time. My friend recently busted his oral 7 hours in. Heck, I’ve been doing this for 40 years and you could find something I don’t know in half the time, if that long. :)
 
Mine was in 2001. The examiner (yes, a DPE, not FAA) did not like my explanation of how a controllable pitch prop works, and he had me revisit that before we flew the ride.
 
As mentioned, it's about teaching. The underlying assumption is, "you know how to do this, but can you teach it?" The oral is a little Q&A but mostly about "how would you explain X to a student," including teaching a maneuver. The flight is a combination of demonstrating a maneuver to the "student" while explaining what you are doing on some and talking the pilot through it on others. Might even include teaching preflight inspection at the airplane.

As an example, my last flight scenario was a 12 hour pilot close to solo, doing a landing. My "student" flew the pattern flawlessly (much better than me) until final where he lost control and was all over the place.
 
I don’t understand the marathon orals these days
It does seem like there's a higher level of CYA 'don't want blood on my hands' type of thing.. wonder if that may have anything to do with it

just because there is so much to cover
yup! You also generally don't want to give the examiner a reason to dig deeper into one of the areas.. IE, have a solid explanation up front. If you start fumbling around that's going to make things that much slower.

My biggest struggle was shifting my mindset from someone being evaluated and examined, to someone teaching. If you come from an education, training, or human resources environment the shift will be easier
 
I don’t understand the marathon orals these days. A good examiner should be able to tell whether or not you know your stuff while still covering all the requirements in a lot less time. My friend recently busted his oral 7 hours in. Heck, I’ve been doing this for 40 years and you could find something I don’t know in half the time, if that long. :)

I agree 7 hours is way too long. I will say though in my experience long orals are usually the result of a candidate struggling. The DPE is trying to give them every chance before they have to pull the plug. The candidates that are nailing it usually result in a shorter oral portion.
 
CFI is still PTS.

I took the CFI ride five years ago. The oral was about four hours plus breaks. At one point the DPE told me to teach a lesson on aerodynamics and weight and balance to a four hour pre-solo student. Caught me a bit by surprise, as all of the training had been teaching to commercial standards. I condensed the two hour lesson plan to 15 minutes of Barney style. The examiner was happy with that. He also asked for ground instruction on crosswind landings, and took on the role of a know-it-all student challenging the CFI and trying to counter everything with “well that’s not what my friend the airline pilot says” and “my previous instructor taught it differently”.

A fair amount of the oral was on risk management, and how to instill good decision-making and safe attitudes in students.

The flight itself was pretty easy. Short field takeoff and landing (no crosswind landings since there was no wind at all), S-turns across a road, lazy 8s, simulated engine failure are what I remember.
 
As mentioned, it's about teaching. The underlying assumption is, "you know how to do this, but can you teach it?" The oral is a little Q&A but mostly about "how would you explain X to a student," including teaching a maneuver. The flight is a combination of demonstrating a maneuver to the "student" while explaining what you are doing on some and talking the pilot through it on others. Might even include teaching preflight inspection at the airplane.

As an example, my last flight scenario was a 12 hour pilot close to solo, doing a landing. My "student" flew the pattern flawlessly (much better than me) until final where he lost control and was all over the place.
Not all the students learn the same. More than once I've had to come up with a different way to teach or explain something so that particular student would "get it".
 
It does seem like there's a higher level of CYA 'don't want blood on my hands' type of thing..

From what my DPE friends say, it is probably more of a CYA so the FSDO doesn't come down on the DPE. It sounds like being a DPE gets more miserable by the year and there are plenty of opportunities for the DPEs to be found in violation of some rule. See the other recent thread about instrument training for the commercial certificate if you want more examples of examiners covering themselves even when they know the applicant meets the requirements.
 
Basically the CFI practical test is an instructional knowledge oral and teaching the commercial maneuvers from the right seat. The experience level required is really too low.
 
I agree 7 hours is way too long. I will say though in my experience long orals are usually the result of a candidate struggling. The DPE is trying to give them every chance before they have to pull the plug. The candidates that are nailing it usually result in a shorter oral portion.
Yup…my 1.5-hour oral occasionally stretches to upwards of 4 hours. 2.5 is probably typical.
 
I agree 7 hours is way too long. I will say though in my experience long orals are usually the result of a candidate struggling. The DPE is trying to give them every chance before they have to pull the plug. The candidates that are nailing it usually result in a shorter oral portion.
:yeahthat:
I have had an examiner come out of the room and (Coffee break) and tell me he was taking a break while the candidate figured out why his something on his navigation log didn't make sense.

Brian
CFIIG/ASEL
 
:yeahthat:
I have had an examiner come out of the room and (Coffee break) and tell me he was taking a break while the candidate figured out why his something on his navigation log didn't make sense.

Brian
CFIIG/ASEL
It’s when they can’t figure out that the CG of their airplane is in the airplane behind them on the ramp that it gets fun.

No problem if you realize there’s a problem, but when someone can’t even get that far… :rolleyes:
 
My initial CFI check ride was done in a glider over 40 years ago with an FAA examiner, not a DPE. But it wasn't actually done "in" the glider. The examiner stayed on the ground, watched me do a few maneuvers and land, then asked me to take his son up for a ride, which I did. :)

Times have changed . . .
 
I get the initial CFI oral can be long; I’m curious whether doing one of the ground instructor ratings and FOI is generally beneficial prior to doing CFI.
 
I get the initial CFI oral can be long; I’m curious whether doing one of the ground instructor ratings and FOI is generally beneficial prior to doing CFI.

I had done FOI, and had my AGI and IGI going into my CFI checkride. I think it helped slightly lower the focus on FOI during my 6-hour oral, but not much. What helped the most was being 50 years old and having 1,000 hours.
 
I get the initial CFI oral can be long; I’m curious whether doing one of the ground instructor ratings and FOI is generally beneficial prior to doing CFI.
As far as the practical test for the initial flight instructor certificate goes, having an AGI or IGI will not get you out of any of the required tasks. What having an AGI or IGI might get you is some teaching confidence if you actually use the ground instructor certificate ahead of doing the flight instructor training/checkride.
 
My biggest struggle was shifting my mindset from someone being evaluated and examined, to someone teaching
When I was working on my CFI, I was working for a company. I used to grab co-workers and teach stuff. Very annoying but their questions really helped.
 
. What helped the most was being 50 years old and having 1,000 hours.
:yeahthat:

Exactly,
things like, explaining a how Carburator ice after you have a dozen or more carburator icing events.
Or Soft Field landings after landing on runways with drifted snow on them.

the person you who has done it is going to be able to explain the how and why a lot better than the persons that has only read about and/or simulated it.

I tend to say my biggest mistake in aviation was not getting my CFI 6 years sooner instead of taking 10 years to get it after my private. But my checkride was a lot easier and I was a much better instructor than I would have been if I would have done it 6 years sooner.

Sorry Guys I might be partially responsible for the FAA no longer doing CFI rides. For my Glider CFI add on, my DPE hit power lines getting current to do my checkride. Delayed my checkride a few weeks while he did desk duty for a while. He was a former weatherman, so he had me cold on weather topics, but I had way more glider experience and knowledge than he did. It was shortly after that the FAA pretty much went to DPE’s exclusively doing CFI checkrides.

Brian
CFIIG/ASEL
 
My experience was a little different from most. I had some 1400 TT and lots of XC at the time. The examiner was FAA. Oral was about 2 hours and I guess I nailed it. I think he had pretty much decided I was going to pass as he forgave some peccadillos. We even stopped at a nearby Class G airport for him to show me his plane. Flight time for the check ride was just over an hour.
 
It was shortly after that the FAA pretty much went to DPE’s exclusively doing CFI checkrides.
I took my CFI checkride in 2001 with a DPE in Minnesota. I was told the FAA did not have enough personnel to continue to ride with CFI candidates.
 
I have been thinking about pursuing the cfi rating…hopefully in the near future as in the new year love these posts and thanks for sharing.


But five-ish hours wow i need to start studying the pts(really its not acs?). I am 46 and have around 600hrs with commercial multi with tailwheel and seaplane thrown in.
 
I’m guessing the 5-6 hour oral is on the high end?
 
If you know your stuff, it should be well under that.

I’m also curious if those long oral times include the welcome/qualification/shoot the breeze stuff.

There was a DPE here recently that had an IFR oral go nearly four hours. The first half was just get to know you and qualification. Quite chatty and loved to tell stories. The actual Q&A probably lasted 90 mins with a break between qualification and q&a.
 
I don’t understand the marathon orals these days. A good examiner should be able to tell whether or not you know your stuff while still covering all the requirements in a lot less time. My friend recently busted his oral 7 hours in. Heck, I’ve been doing this for 40 years and you could find something I don’t know in half the time, if that long. :)
I did mine with the FAA in 1999. It was a six hour oral. It was dumb. When I finished the ride the FAA inspector looked around a little confused and said “well I guess you passed.”

He seemed disappointed.
 
I did mine with the FAA in 1999. It was a six hour oral. It was dumb. When I finished the ride the FAA inspector looked around a little confused and said “well I guess you passed.”

He seemed disappointed.
I did mine in 1988…there wasn’t an FAA inspector qualified to give me the checkride. ;)

I won’t say how long the oral was.
 
I’m also curious if those long oral times include the welcome/qualification/shoot the breeze stuff.

There was a DPE here recently that had an IFR oral go nearly four hours. The first half was just get to know you and qualification. Quite chatty and loved to tell stories. The actual Q&A probably lasted 90 mins with a break between qualification and q&a.
I did the CFI initial last year and the CFI-I a few weeks ago with the same DPE. My CFI initial oral was about 5 1/2 hours from the time the IACRA work was completed. That is when the clock started. I know “I knew my stuff” as referenced in an earlier post but there is so much material to cover it takes a long time to get through.

The DPE has to follow the PTS. You have the FOIs to go through as well as the knowledge elements of the Private and commercial tests. You have to demonstrate instructional knowledge on these topics.
Most of the checkride was conversation and included scenarios. We did take about a five minute break every hour. It gave me a change to stretch my legs, splash some water on my face to go again.
I did not feel like I was getting grilled - it was just a discussion. A little more than an hour into the oral - I knew from the tone of the conversation I knew I was passing - There is just a ton more material they have to cover. I did not get the feeling the DPE wanted to drag this on and I tried to be as brief as possible.

I did not end up flying that day. By the time the oral was done it was getting windy and I deferred the flight portion. The wind was part of a front that caused bad weather for several days and that led to some scheduling conflicts and delays getting the ride portion completed. I eventually got the ride in two weeks later.

If I could get the FAA to make any changes it would be to do the CFI ride in two parts and allow the oral and the flight portion to be scheduled on different days. My understanding is the FAA does not allow this. The ACS for the CFI has been pending for over a year. It is hung up for some reason. I am not sure if that will shorten the checkride up or not.
 
I would hope it was more reasonable than mine. At the time I went through initial the local fsdo would not allow DPE’s to do initial cfi rides.
They didn’t normally allow it when I did mine, but I got special dispensation.

We then trained a couple of Feds.
 
I did mine in 1988…there wasn’t an FAA inspector qualified to give me the checkride. ;)

I won’t say how long the oral was.
I believe I also did mine in 1988.
I can’t recall exactly, but my oral was i think roughly two hours. Flight was about an hour.
Challenging, but not outrageous.
BDL FSDO. (Can’t remember… GADO??)
Of course that was with a fed, as all were during that time.
 
I believe I also did mine in 1988.
I can’t recall exactly, but my oral was i think roughly two hours. Flight was about an hour.
Challenging, but not outrageous.
BDL FSDO. (Can’t remember… GADO??)
Of course that was with a fed, as all were during that time.
I had the same experience at the BDL FSDO in 1990. My inspector’s biggest emphasis was that I would be doing my students a disservice if I only taught them how to land at the 4400’ airport that I was based at, so I had to land the Arrow with no right seat brakes at the nearby 1800’ strip. :)
 
I had the same experience at the BDL FSDO in 1990. My inspector’s biggest emphasis was that I would be doing my students a disservice if I only taught them how to land at the 4400’ airport that I was based at, so I had to land the Arrow with no right seat brakes at the nearby 1800’ strip. :)
I flew out 7B9, Ellington CT. It was 1800’….

ETA… they knew that was my home airport, so perhaps they assumed…
 
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Following. I’ve passed FOI and am working on FIA right now. I’m learning things but how kids actually teach this stuff is still black box to me.
 
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