Question on exams for CFI

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Daz, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. Daz

    Daz Filing Flight Plan

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    Daz
    Can someone help me understand how many exams I have to pass to be a CFI? I’m hearing FOI and FIA but some websites reference FII also. Appreciate the help!

    Darren
     
  2. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    FII would only be if you want an instrument rating on your instructor certificate. If you don't want to teach instrument students you don't have to get one.
     
  3. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    An important part of becoming a CFI is learning how to find the answers, from the official sources, of such questions. As a CFI, never teach 'tribal knowledge'. That is, things that you 'know' but have no idea where it comes from or why it is done. Students will ask questions, and you'll have answers that 'you've been told' or 'the way you've done it', but you don't know why. When you are asked such questions, find the source documents and show your student how the answer is found so that they will be able to find answers when they are studying for their rating and, later, when they are out flying on their own.

    For your question, the first place to look is 14 CFR 61 - CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS. Easy to find by searching "far 61".

    Look through the index and you'll find a Subpart H - Flight Instructors Other than Flight Instructors With a Sport Pilot Rating.

    The second item in Subpart H is 61.183 - Eligibility requirements. (I actually looked first in 61.185 - Aeronautical knowledge but that didn't have the information on knowledge tests)

    61.183 (e) & (f) say,

    (e) Pass a knowledge test on the areas listed in § 61.185(a)(1) of this part, unless the applicant:
    (1) Holds a flight instructor certificate or ground instructor certificate issued under this part;
    (2) Holds a teacher's certificate issued by a State, county, city, or municipality that authorizes the person to teach at an educational level of the 7th grade or higher; or
    (3) Is employed as a teacher at an accredited college or university.

    (f) Pass a knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in § 61.185(a)(2) and (a)(3) of this part that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;

    So (e) requires the FOI knowlege test unless the applicant meets (e)(2) or (e)(3).

    (f) referrs us back to 61.185(a)(2) and (a)(3) which say,

    (2) The aeronautical knowledge areas for a recreational, private, and commercial pilot certificate applicable to the aircraft category for which flight instructor privileges are sought; and

    (3) The aeronautical knowledge areas for the instrument rating applicable to the category for which instrument flight instructor privileges are sought.

    (f)(2) requires the FIA for those seeking flight instructor privileges in category 'airplane'. (f)(3) requires the FII for those seeking instrument instructor privileges.

    Please excuse the long reply. I wanted to demonstrate the process which I am recommending to adopt for both studying to become a CFI and for when you are working as a CFI.
     
    schmookeeg, Martin Pauly and dmspilot like this.
  4. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Agree 100%. Unfortunately, some people see looking up answers as a weakness.
     
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  5. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Light and Sporty Guy
    So, the key would be to get my CFI (or ground instructor) before I retire from the university.
     
  6. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    I counsel students to ask their instructor "Where can I find that in writing?" Far too many instructors know only what their instructors told them as they climbed the ratings/certificate ladder; a lot of Old Wive's Tales are perpetuated in this way.
     
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  7. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    It will only save you from a $160 FOI written test. You still need to know the material, and you can expect to be asked about it on the checkride. But yes, being a teacher has a small benefit.
     
  8. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    But sometimes answers aren’t all that easy to discern, especially when you have to look in several places to come up with a complete answer.
     
  9. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    problem with is quite a few CFIs just go onto forums and ask the question. It’s a sad situation with a good percentage of CFIs don’t know what they should know, and don’t want to actually go to the sources of information that are acceptable.
     
  10. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Pattern Altitude

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    While it would never happen, I think passing a written exam on "Fedspeak" would be a better prerequisite to CFI than, say, FOI or the FIA rehash of an already-passed commercial written.
     
    AggieMike88 likes this.