CFI Gift on Solo, Check Ride Pass

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by 86Aviator, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. 86Aviator

    86Aviator Pre-Flight

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    What are appropriate gifts for a primary student's CFI upon certain milestones, such as a successful solo and a passed checkride?

    I was thinking champagne (something nice, but not like Dom or Krug) after solo and scotch (Walker Blue?) after checkride, but I don't have a sense of what the common practice is. If I've missed any major milestones where a gift is appropriate, please let me know - I don't want to be "that guy"!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    Pay the CFI for his services. Nothing more need be paid or given.
     
  3. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think 90$/hr shows plenty of gratitude. Plus, he or she will probably wreck a perfectly good shirt of yours after your first solo.


    Totally tongue in cheek. Expressions of gratitude are always a nice thing to do if one feels moved to do so. I don't think, in this case, it's a necessity. I've never liked the expression "tip to ensure good service." I tip, and tip very well, after receiving good service. It the service is truly awful (and it very rarely is anywhere) I have left little or no tip, but that's been less than a handful of times in over four decades of tipping as an adult. I know... Thread drift. Just opining that your CFI doesn't automatically require a nice bottle of something because you reached a milestone. If he went above and beyond, or his rates are unusually low, or you just want to express your gratitude, definitely do so.
     
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  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Any alcohol would probably be appreciated. Veuve Clicqout is decent for the price. You don’t have to get any gift though.
     
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  5. 86Aviator

    86Aviator Pre-Flight

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    Thanks for the quick perspectives. My CFI routinely goes above and beyond while "off the clock" for me, so I do want to show a little love. If there's not a common practice, it sounds as though that will be fairly easily accomplished.
     
  6. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    A good bourbon that is often out of my price range works.
     
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  7. 86Aviator

    86Aviator Pre-Flight

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    This. The man spends more time thinking about our flight lessons than I do, and that's saying something.
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    (Tongue firmly planted in cheek) I would hope so. Else your next flight will be pretty boring.

    “Just fly.... that away. Do a few maneuvers while you’re at it. Don’t crash. Don’t spill my beer. Wake me when you’re done.”
     
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  9. Htaylor

    Htaylor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In spite of risking life and limb on an almost daily basis due to student and certificated pilots alike, there are many CFIs that don't drink. I fly part 135 as well as teach, so I just stay away from booze. I would suggest a gift card to a local restaurant where he/she can take a significant other for something better than ramen noodles. But most if not all CFIs are just happy when a student passes the checkride. I know I am.
     
  10. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    I’ve got a CFI friend who, like me, is a tea-totaller. No alcohol. His students give him bottles of champagne and wine for these sorts of milestones. He doesn’t want to seem ungrateful, so he always graciously says thank you. Then he throws the bottles away, unopened. Know your audience.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  11. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    After my PPL checkride I gave my CFI a gift card for a good steakhouse, and I brought in a couple of cases of nice beer for the flight school.
     
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  12. 86Aviator

    86Aviator Pre-Flight

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    That's a great idea. Thanks!
     
  13. 86Aviator

    86Aviator Pre-Flight

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    Thanks, I really like these ideas. I feel that it is helpful to mention that my CFI retired as an executive from a fairly large company and, consequently, is reasonably wealthy. There's not a gift I could give him that he couldn't buy himself several times over, but I'm looking to make a polite gesture. Again, I'm very appreciative of the helpful perspectives offered. The responses have been very useful.
     
  14. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It is recommended that you buy them a Rolex.
     
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  15. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Bourbon and a cigar.
     
  16. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    As a CFI, I’ve occasionally received small gifts. I appreciate them all, though I don’t expect anything - it is truly a surprise when I receive anything.

    To be honest, the best gift someone can give me is to come back often for refresher training. That means you are serious about flight safety and improving your skills, and of course if you’re coming back regularly that’s good for my wallet too, so we both win.
     
  17. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Heck.... take the guy out and buy him a beer.
     
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  18. Nsconductor

    Nsconductor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Rolex? You must be a heathen....Breitling


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  19. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Pikers.

    Omega moon watch.
     
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  20. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    In that instance, a dime bag of California weed left discretely in the CFI’s flight bag might be a good alternative.
     
  21. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I painted a watercolor of a Mustang for him.
     
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  22. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We have a winner!
     
  23. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    I couldn't agree more.
    I don't drink or smoke, so anything like that will most likely sit on my shelf and get re-gifted.
     
  24. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Well, you could learn, couldn't you? A good pilot is always learning!
     
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  25. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    I never specifically bought any gifts, but I always paid for meals out, hotels on longer XCs (work trips during various phases of training), etc. You spend enough time with a CFI to know about the things they like - drinks, treats, etc. If you have artistic talent, it's always nice to give a little something.
     
  26. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

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    One of my instructors was one of my high school teachers, and a great mentor all throughout and outside of flying. Everything from heavily discounted to free flight training in his plane if I put gas in it, to helping me get scholarships, to bringing me a coffee at work one day cause he was driving past.

    I buy that man coffee, lunch, and dinner whenever I see him even though we live thousands of miles apart from each other now.
     
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  27. Lon Stratton

    Lon Stratton Filing Flight Plan

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    When I was instructing in the 80's, it was the exact opposite of this. I was poor and my students were wealthy.
     
  28. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    One of my past students owned a Honeybake ham store so he was generous enough to hook me up with hams, ribs, etc. around the holidays.

    Honestly, there is no right answer. Whatever you think is appropriate. Amazon Gift cards are always nice when you're not sure what to get someone, and it won't go wasted. RussR's suggestion is great too...make a commitment to go back to him for periodic refresher training.
     
  29. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Same with mine (retired USMC Aviator and University Professor) - I gave him a framed print of a TA-4 that he flew on an exchange tour with the Australian Navy (he had one crappy picture on his office wall). He gave me a copy of Wind Sand and Stars with a congratulatory note.

    Then 6 months later we started in on getting the instrument rating done.
     
  30. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    You should know your CFI well enough to know what he would appreciate. But cash is always good.