Ground Instructor (AGI/IGI) Certificate Credibility

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by TopDollar, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. TopDollar

    TopDollar Filing Flight Plan

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    I'll preface by saying that I am currently only a private pilot with aspirations of getting an instrument rating. No current plans to change careers, however I may also go for commercial and CFI in the future.

    That being said, I was recently looking into ground instructor ratings and was curious what sort of credability the aviation community would give a ground instructor that doesn't have commercial nor CFI ratings. More or less wondering if anyone would take me seriously enough to teach ground school. I'm always looking to challenge myself and if there was a chance to take on a bit of a ground instructor roll, that would be pretty cool.

    With an educational background and degree in Aeronautical Engineering, current job as a Mechanical Engineer, and about 4 years of mentoring/teaching experience (was a teaching assistant for a computer programming class 4 out of 5 years of my college career), I feel as if my experience is more than adequate to provide ground instruction; but whether or not anyone agrees is the more important question.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  2. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How are you going to explain that a wing works like half a venturi and keep a straight face?
     
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  3. TopDollar

    TopDollar Filing Flight Plan

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    If I wear sunglasses while teaching, they won't be able to see my eyes roll out of their socket.
     
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  4. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Evidently if you somehow exude instructional ability, they won’t care.

    At least, that’s what I get from @Ravioli . ;)
     
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  5. TopDollar

    TopDollar Filing Flight Plan

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    True. Being able to teach should be the more important factor. I suppose there's always going to be the crowd that thinks having the flight experience of a CFI is more important than actually being a good teacher; but those people probably wouldn't be worth working for regardless.
     
  6. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You're over qualified...(*chortle*)

    15+ years ago I took the Aerodynamics course at the local university. It's target audience is (are?) those planning to fly for the majors. Obviously I don't belong in that category. At the time, Physics for Aviation was a prereq. I'm sitting in again for review (yes, I find the topic fun! and I don't want to drive the 70 miles to CU Boulder to take the course in the Aeronautical Eng dept.) The physics requirement has been removed. Now, the only prereq is algebra and a bit of trig & geometry. I seriously doubt most of the other students have anything past these topics, and probably no physics in high school, either.

    Started the semester with a review of vectors - complete blanks on the student faces. Next topic - forces, weight, torque, etc. One of the cartoons (problems) was how much force needed to move a C172 on dry asphalt 50 ft. using a tow bar. I assume the towbar because there was a stick figure person holding onto a red line from the wheel (remember, this is a cartoon). Instructor solved the problem on the board and I asked about the difference between using the tow bar and pulling the prop at the root. Urp....he knew exactly where I was going but pointed out we're not going to deal with those situations. In other words, let's not go over the heads of the rest of the students. So, I'm not going to ask too many questions in class.

    I'm working on my AGI only because I've been asked to teach CAP ground, which is part of the cadet programs for PPL sign offs.

    Remember, you need to teach to the level of the course, not necessarily your level of knowledge. If you're REALLY lucky, you'll have one or two students that really want to know the reasons. Most just want to know what's needed on the FAA exams.
     
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  7. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Cleared for Takeoff

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    Pure ground-instruction jobs that I've seen tend to be at university programs. I assume they're adjunct and pay poorly.

    I have mine "because they was there", but I can't say they have benefited me in any way. I just took certain of my CFI exams twice in the same sitting if i recall rightly, and voila, another green card in my wallet. :D
     
  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I assume they don't go into solving the Navier-Stokes equations. (You can have them, I don't want them, too much math for me.( I like being just a dumb old mechanical engineer.))
     
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  9. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Nor Bernoulli's equations, or Venturi or.....at this school, those topics are for the Aerospace/Aeronautical engineers, not the Professional Pilot track. But it's the only course interesting other than the Spacecraft Design course, which is at a very inconvenient time. Altho I think it would be more fun.
     
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  10. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Jeebus. When I took that course it had enough calculus in it that I found it challenging because I was never good at calc. Concepts weren’t hard for the physics stuff, I just sucked at doing the math.

    Holding down three jobs to pay for it and flying probably didn’t help much. But I wasn’t coming out of a commuter school with loan debt into the 90s airline disaster world.

    They removed the course?! That place has gone more downhill than I thought from the rumor mill comments around town.

    Sad. Oh well. I regularly thank my lucky epaulets I never followed that path back then. Different times, different hiring runs, different numbers of airline businesses going under regularly, it would have worked out better. But not the early 90s.

    Bummer they never made that place and curriculum into something better, but they can’t charge what the ripoff schools charge.
     
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  11. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Editorial comment on the school - seems the entire school is being dumbed-down other than the Business College. Our CS majors are taking 5 years because we don't have enough faculty to teach all the sections needed. Nor classroom space. Yet the university (and I use that term *very loosely*) keeps hiring non-academic administrators. Half the CS dept is retirement age, and they are getting more and more frustrated at the entire admin chain of command, starting with the dept chair and going up.

    Hence I'm looking for a real job again....I got in trouble for NOT failing a student last spring! And causing trouble with the IT dept. And charging two students with cheating. And....well, you get the idea.
     
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  12. Cici

    Cici Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think there are some benefits to ground instructor certs. Namely, it locks in your foi written test for the rest of your life and it lacks some record keeping requirements. I don't think you can make a living wage or do more than buy a couple hours of flight time with a ground cert. You could do a local school's ground school at night, but my guess is they would want either a flight instructor or someone with a bazillion hours.

    I have a few buddies thinking of getting into flying and i would endorse them for their written. Free of charge of course.
     
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  13. TopDollar

    TopDollar Filing Flight Plan

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    Guess that really ruins my idea of having students solve potential flow problems over a flat plate :(. Although I'm not even sure I could do that anymore now that I'm a Mechanical Engineer working with pipe design in steam plant systems.

    I'm more or less of the opinion that you don't need too much aerodynamics theory to be a good pilot (other than air pushed down make airplane go up and airspeed make plane fly). Aeronautical decision making, risk management, and systems knowledge is probably way more important. I'm pretty ok with the way the FAA teaches the aerodynamics section (at the private level at least). The way they bring up Bernoulli is a little misleading, but at least they don't advertise the abomination that is "equal transit theory."

    Yeah, I think the only real good way to make a living at it would be to start my own dedicated ground school, and even then, the market is already pretty saturated with well known high quality online ground schools (King, Gleim, Gold Seal, etc.). I'd probably be more interested in doing something like test prep or tutoring students in areas they are having trouble with to supplement their self-study. In turn teaching it would also improve areas where I'm weak and keep my knowledge up to date with the latest guidence.
     
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I knew one person, a dentist, who was a private pilot / ground instructor. He was asked by the FBO to get the certificate and teach Part 61. I do not remember an issues. The secret you don’t know is a lot of CFIs do not want to teach ground school because they have to go back and bring their knowledge up to a ground school instructional level, which most never had.
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Or it just pays so poorly it doesn’t cover the cost of gas to and from the airport and eats up an unholy amount of time.

    Which is why I’ve considered offering to help a local club! LOL.

    Oh yeah, half the students never even make it into an airplane. LOL. That too. Ugh.
     
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  16. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like most of my first year computer science students.....they decide to change majors because CS is hard! Duh!
     
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  17. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I average $70 an hour teaching ground school. It at least buys the gas.
     
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  18. TopDollar

    TopDollar Filing Flight Plan

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    Reminds me of freshman year of engineering school. All the upperclassmen gathered outside the science building before the first physics exam and handed out change in major and dropout forms.
     
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  19. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Since I can audit classes for free at the local community college, I take the instrument ground school course every few years just for a shot at the sims they have in the facility and are used as part of the syllabus. Kind of a periodic check ride for free.

    The instructors have varied from power point slide readers to excellent instructors who give some real world experiences to provide more meat than just giving a review of the FAA Knowledge Test. No clue what they get paid but it must be worth the time to them that they spend over a semester.

    One of these days I might even take the Fundamentals of Instruction test and get the IGI rating myself.

    Cheers
     
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  20. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Sort of like the 8 hour of algebra and trig class for those who did poorly on the engineering math admission test given prior to start of school. Widely known as “Pre-Business Math”. IIRC, only one other guy and myself out of the 100 or so in that class made it thru to graduation as engineers. I claim my assignment to that particular torture test was caused by a semi severe hangover on test day.

    Cheers
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Do you have the glut of starry eyed new CFIs headed for the airlines where you live?

    Around here most of the clubs would just make them do it at $25/hr. Which is what they pay them in the air, too.

    Just too many of them around. Some good, some not. At least one club I’m aware of, maybe two, their chief pilots do ride herd on the never ending rotation of instructors in the hiring frenzy and try to keep the quality level of the course up. One place is also a certified Cirrus whatever they call those, and I assume all their instructors pay the big money to Cirrus to be all Cirrus’ed up. Don’t really know.

    Someone could probably make a go of a ground school that was BETTER but the market would probably speak and the students would go to the cheap one. Also would have a hard time finding a place to teach it, other than perhaps paying for a conference room at the 2 out of 5 stars hotel on the airport property.
     
  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    You say that like it’s a bad thing. LOL.

    Please change majors. Please. Hahahaha.
     
  23. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You do remember my standard recommendation after the first exam.....Have you considered Art History as a major? I have the highest drop/failure rate in the dept.
     
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  24. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The ground instructor road is usually an exercise in improving yourself and checks the box for FOI should you go on to become a CFI. You might be able to pickup some work with individuals who flunk a written and need a signoff to try again or folks who really want to learn. You might be able to make a few bucks but I've never met anyone who was able to really make a viable business of it.

    Good luck!

    PS-For me the hardest written was Instrument Ground Instructor. The ATP and CFII did not hold a candle to IGI. It opened up a whole crate of whupass on me and spit me out like a watermelon seed coming out of a cannon! Several other folks have had similar experience.
     
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  25. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Are you still interested in getting your instrument rating? I am available for ground work now but cannot return to in flight work until late November.

    Have a great week,

    Jon
     
  26. PW_Plack

    PW_Plack Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Tim O'Connor, the VP of the Popular Rotorcraft Association, offers an annual online ground school for Sport/Gyroplane each January for 12 weeks. Because there are so few gyro CFIs, and because getting ground school from a CFI an hour at a time is generally unstructured and inefficient, Tim now fills all 30+ spots in his class at $250 per student. It's a good deal for both sides.

    Tim started as an AGI, and went on to become a CFI.

    If you picked some specialized area in which good ground instruction is hard to find, doing ground instruction using Webex or similar tools could certainly be worthwhile financially.
     
  27. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Personally I find it silly for a PP to teach, regardless of teaching skills.
    You just can’t teach what you don’t know.
    You may know the rules and regs, but you just don’t know....
     
  28. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    While I don’t disagree entirely, he exceeds the minimum standard become an LSA instructor.

    61.183(c) Hold at least a sport pilot certificate with category and class ratings or privileges, as applicable, that are appropriate to the flight instructor privileges sought.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  29. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Hang on there Kritchlow!

    To be a good instructor you need knowledge and the ability to communicate said knowledge to another person. A person's licenses and ratings tells us little or nothing about either. Example close friend retired Navy reconnaissance pilot with thousands of hours in EC-130, EP-3, and the King Air used for multi-engine training. But he does not hold any civilian licenses or ratings. Because his career path was in technology he did not request FAA certification within a year of leaving active duty so he did not take advantage of a huge freebie. By the way he is an incredible speaker, manager and true leader. But by your logic he can't teach?

    At the risk of being boorish, dude you need a rectal craineotomy or do you enjoy going shirtless so you can see out through your bellybutton?

    Man go park yarh carh in Harvard yhard o_O
     
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  30. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Goes for you too there Clip4 sheesh what is it with youse guys and gals?
     
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  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Could argue this both ways really. I’ve met some CFIs who can’t teach what’s clearly published in FAA docs. And some PPs who could teach anything handed to them in any book format with a modicum of prep and some questions asked of experts.

    The entire aviation industry rests on the shoulders of 250+10 hour “instructors” so the knee jerk the whole industry has is that we’re all quite paranoid of poor instruction.

    Most professional jobs don’t hire “low timers” to teach anything in classroom settings. If anything they hire pro teachers and spin up their knowledge level for that particular industry.

    (And I’m specifically talking about ground training. Flight training is a different thing.)

    I took a ground course in my industry about a topic and it was taught by a 30 year retired NSA guy with more experience doing what the course was about than anyone in the room by two decades, but they weren’t paying him $25/hr.

    Aviation is very specifically hampered by this weird cultural and economic problem. Still stuck in a military training model designed in the 50s.

    If I know I need staff to be trained on a topic in other businesses, I can find real experts with 30 years of training experience to do it at a week’s notice, if I have the budget to fly them in. They’ll have them up to speed QUICK.

    So... it probably depends on the PP and what they teach or do outside of aviation and our weird little training system.

    Back when our tech group had two full time trainers, I bet I could hand them the FAA materials and they could put on a better ground school than some significant percentage of them out there. They wouldn’t be able to keep up with a 30 year instructor or like pilot with anecdotes and things not in the material, but their students would get the material and easily pass their evaluations, which would make the FAA test a piece of cake.

    It’s one of the reasons venerable old Sheppard is so popular. You won’t RETAIN most of what was drilled by them, but you will pass. Modern adult learning theory. If it’s followed up by continued exposure and repeat testing, it’d stick. But that’s not how it’s typically utilized by students.
     
  32. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pre-takeoff checklist

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    First of all, that's not what Kritchlow was saying. Here's the exact quote:

    Your "friend" the ex navy pilot does not apply to this example. And BTW, any ex military aviator can obtain their civilian ratings with no time limit on when they exited the service. That changed several years ago.

    There was absolutely no reason to throw this in.
     
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  33. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I did part of ground school with a private pilot/AGI who was a baptist preacher.

    As my nephew who works in education puts it: 'You just have to remain two lessons ahead of the students'.
     
  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Hopefully that’s not how he prepped sermons! :) ;) :)
     
  35. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Apologies for snark! My old guy reflexes sometimes kick in before the old guy brain governor engages.

    Thanks for update on former military pilots! Mike probably is not interested but with him you never know. We worked together in the reserves and at Martin-Marietta where he was a breath of fresh air and always full of fun surprises.
     
  36. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Fire & Brimstone vs. the FAA. Take your pick.

    Point is, you don't need to be the expert on all things aviation to teach a private pilot ground school. Being able to teach and speak before a room of people is more important than depth of book knowledge.

    As for how 'respected' the AGI ticket is: about zero.
    If you have a local school and they need someone to teach ground school, not a bad idea to do the test and teach. Other than that, it's a way to get your FOI exam result 'locked in' if you don't know when you are going to get around to get your CFI.