Questions about becoming a CFI...

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by SinkorSwim, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. SinkorSwim

    SinkorSwim Pre-takeoff checklist

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    40+ year old father... looking to share my love of aviation with my children..

    1) How many hours of training will it take? I have my Comm. (Flying & Ground)

    2) Besides learning to fly from the right seat, what else is taught?

    I know this sounds like silly questions.. but just looking to nail this down in my head before moving foward...

    Thx
     
  2. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    There is no FAA minimum number of flight training hours for CFI in Part 61, but a Part 141-approved course must be at least 25 hours. Under Part 61, I think most people who are fully proficient at everything in the commercial PTS take 15-25 hours of flight training before they can pass a CFI practical test.

    What's taught besides flying from the right seat is how to teach and evaluate -- everything from how people learn, to planning lessons, to evaluating and critiquing trainees' performance. This includes being able to teach while flying the maneuvers to Commercial standards, not just fly the plane to those standards.

    Note that a significant amount of ground study and training will also be required, although how much usually depends on how much teaching training and experience the prospective CFI has going in.
     
  3. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    But the OP already mentioned he's got either BGI or AGI, so the "how people learn, etc" is already covered.

    Sure. [overly general complaint follows]
    And I believe a brand new 23 yr old CFI can teach me how to teach.
    [end complaint]

    Now where did I put the title to the London Bridge...
     
  4. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    1. for flight training, it will take as many hours as needed until you can fly a complex airplane from the right seat, to commercial standards, while providing instruction (talking through the manuever as you do it in clear unambiguous language), and correcting errors in a student's performance, either verbally or by taking control of the airplane. When I took my CFI ride, I hadn't flown an Arrow, and even though I'd had a couple hundred hours of complex time in other planes, it had been a year or more since the last flight in one. I got 16 hours of dual and another 7 hours of solo practice when I took the ride with an FAA inspector, and I passed on the first time.

    2. The CFI certificate is not about flying much. It's about TEACHING. So you'll study the fundamentals of instruction (boring in FAA-speak, but a good CFI mentor can offer insights into what it really means, and how to use it), and a full review of knowledge through the commercial level. The right seat flying is something that you just have to do until you're comfortable with the new perspective, and then once you have it you'll get comfy in either seat. It's NOT a trivial "3 hours and you're done" thing.

    You should take the CFI written and the AGI written together with the FOI, then go to the FSDO and get your AGI issued. You'll give up the AGI and FOI results. This can (but doesn't always) result in less questioning on FOI stuff on the initial CFI checkride.

    The Instrument was the hardest "new" rating to get for me, but the CFI was absolutely the hardest thing I've done flying wise, in terms of checkride prep.

    I recommend it. I learn a lot from the instructing I do.
     
  5. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    What else is taught is "How to teach aviation". Forming lesson plans, methods for teaching and evaluating as well as all the rules governing your actions as a CFI. At least that's some of the extra stuff you should know.
     
  6. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Since you already have your Ground Instructor, Commercial and assumedly IR, then learning to fly from the right seat and the checkride is what I understand.

    Doc
     
  7. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    From a theoretical standpoint, yes, the FOI is already passed, but from a practical standpoint, the GI tickets don't require any practical training or testing of those abilities. My experience suggests that it is naive to think someone who has merely taken and passed the FOI and GI tests is ready to pass the FOI portion of a CFI practical test including the planning and teaching of a ground lesson. YMMV.

    Also, I didn't see the part about having a GI ticket in the original post -- and still don't.
     
  8. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Exactly. All you need to get a ground instructor certificate is pass the written test and take the results to the FSDO.

    That alone will do very little in the way of prepping you for the oral.

    Some people have reported that the examiner was easier on them in the oral for already having their ground certificates, but that is by no means the norm. Ya still got to learn how to teach the material.
     
  9. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you think you are able, and you think you should, then why procrastinate?

    Just Do it.


    :D
     
  10. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    That's my experience too. And teaching/coaching IN THE AIRCRAFT is another area where what you "think" you know does a face-plant into reality.

    I can't stress enough how important the language you use is. If you tell your student on the take-off roll to "gently pull back", there's a 50/50 chance he'll pull back on the throttle. If you mix up things like "more back pressure" and "lower the nose", he'll get confused if you haven't already established what those terms mean. "more right rudder" is pretty clear, though:rofl:.

    One tip I've found is that we have a redbird sim, and I'll take the first-time student into the sim (with it off) and walk through the controls, and the words I'll use to tell him how to move them:
    "Raise the nose means move the yoke back towards your body"
    "Lower the nose means relax or push the yoke forward away from your body"
    and so on.

    You can do the same thing in the airplane, but on a hot summer day it's nicer to do it in air-conditioned comfort.
     
  11. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Tim, I think that is an excellent use of sim technology (at least in my unqualified opinion).
     
  12. SinkorSwim

    SinkorSwim Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Makes sense...

    Thanks for your replies...
     
  13. shenanigans

    shenanigans Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think it's a good idea too (equally unqualified opinion). I might want to steal that idea if/when I become a CFI.
     
  14. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    You need to be able to do everything in the private and commercial PTS to standards in the right seat. You also need to be able to teach everything in those from the right seat and on the ground.

    You need to have above-average knowledge in everything that is in the private and commercial and CFI pts.

    I didn't fly much in preparation, probably less than 5 hours, but I studied for weeks. I actually took an entire week off work leading up to the check-ride and studied all day every day preparing.

    Getting the CFI wasn't expensive (checkride with FSDO is free) but it sure required a lot of time.

    I'm still studying and learning everyday. I often spend a lot of time writing e-mails to students and writing documents to help them learn something.

    All of that said, it's probably one of the best things I've decided to do in my life.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  15. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Suprised this wasn't caught already. No, a Brand New CFI can not teach you how to teach, or at least sign off on it. Technically, the CFI that signs you off has to have held the certificate for at least 24 calendar months, and given at least 40 hours of ground training. See 61.195(h).

    Ryan
     
  16. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    For the ground training, yes, for the flight training the CFI needs to have had his certificate for 24 months and given 200 hours of dual.
     
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A good CFI mentor will offer the insight that the FAA's idea of educational theory is stupid. There's good reason they exempt teachers from having to take that test. Keeps the real teachers from puking while taking the test.
     
  18. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I thought that back when I took the FOI test in 1972, but the more I instruct, the more truth I see in the Instructor's Handbook. Maybe the FAA's problem is that they aren't very good at applying the Fundamentals of Instruction in their teaching of them. :D In any event, that FOI written test is a requirement you have to get past, so you just gotta learn it and do it.
     
  19. jmcsherry

    jmcsherry Pre-Flight

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    Counting on the 30+ years experience as a classroom teacher, high school & college, I skipped the FOI test and was glad to be able to do so. Still, my training instructor had me explain every chapter to him and give examples of its use in aviation context. That was a good precaution on his part, to make sure I wouldn't stumble in the oral portion.

    In training CFI candidates, I find that every one of them, no matter how many hours in the logbook, will be astounded at the mental overload when they try to explain, in real time, what is being done in even the simple Private maneuvers - - much less a chandelle. A strong background in laboratory instruction, showing Chem students what to do as I demonstrated it, was a BIG asset here.

    I agree with Ron that the more I instruct, the more value I see in the FOI. But the book, even the newer edition, is poorly written and manages to hide the good concepts inside some truly obtuse wording. But then, that what a good teacher is for: to explain the explanation.
     
  20. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    So true... My mentor could tell when I was mentally taxed because I'd go silent. One session went something like:

    Tim: Now, as we enter the downwind from the 45, we make our radio call, look at the runway and the departure area for any airplanes taking the runway, and then....
    <sound of engine going to idle as my mentor pulled out the throttle>
    Tim: Ur...
    Tim: ...
    Tim: ...
    <sound of touchdown>
    Tim: ... and on rollout we maintain the centerline, gently and firmly apply brakes, and look for our exit. Then as we turn off the runway we wait until we are clear to clean up the airplane and make our "clear of the runway" call.

    When you can get through the whole PTS while flying AND teaching at the same time, you're ready for the ride.
     
  21. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Does being a natural motormouth count?
     
  22. jmcsherry

    jmcsherry Pre-Flight

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    It probably won't hurt, or at least not until the time you are contemplating signing the student off for solo. Then, you want to ride around the pattern a few times while watching carefully and saying nothing. The good ones notice this, and start to smile a little. :wink2:
     
  23. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Yep. I always knew when the instructors shut up, I was either getting close to doing it right, or I was scaring the bejeebus of of them. ;)
     
  24. nosehair

    nosehair Cleared for Takeoff

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    Your example is an excellent demonstration of the wrong way we are taught to instruct...to pass checkrides.

    The 'checkride demo', (talking all the time) is definitely not the way to instruct. It is complete overload.
    Doing that is the main reason instructors have to repeat so much.

    When you actually instruct, (meaning the student is actually duplicating your intended transmission) you are not overloading, and you are paying particular attention to that distinct probability.

    But,..our 'checkride model' does not imitate 'instructional ability', it only demonstrates technical knowledge and skill.
     
  25. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    I think you missed the point I was trying to make - which is that it is difficult to perform a proper demonstration until you've gotten used to flying from the right seat and really knowing what to say as you describe a manuever. In my example, I was showing how the simulated engine failure overloaded MY brain into dealing with the engine-out approach and landing and left me NO "cycles" free to verbalize anything. Once the workload went down I was able to speak again.

    I completely agree that constant talking is NOT the way to do it while in the air. I had an experienced CFI as my inspector and we discussed this during the oral. Yes, I had to show that I could demonstrate all the required manuevers, so I did a bit of talking on the ride. But we also did the bit where HE flew the airplane and I corrected his errors, and I was a lot quieter then.

    The way I think of the process is - I TEACH on the ground before the flight. I COACH in the air during the flight. The difference is important.
     
  26. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Perhaps so, but other than as it's done now (the examiner acting as a trainee while the CFI "teaches" the examiner how to do something, and then the CFI evaluates and corrects the examiner's performance of the maneuver), what's the alternative? Putting the CFI applicant in the right seat with a nonpilot in the left and the examiner in the back, and see if the applicant can teach the trainee to fly?
     
  27. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    From stories I've heard, though... frequently the second part - then the CFI evaluates and corrects the examiner's performance of the maneuver - doesn't occur on many checkrides. It did on mine, but at least three other new CFIs told me the inspector never touched the controls, and in one case refused to when asked by the candidate.
     
  28. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I took CFI rides for initial, add-on, renewal, and reinstatement in 1973, 1977, 1981, 1990, 1994, and 1995, and on all six rides (including three with the FAA and three with DPE's), the examiner did some flying and had me critique it. But it's definitely part of a by-the-book ride:
    That "shall" indicates it's not an examiner's option to do so or not. But I think we all know there are examiners out there who think the Practical Test Standards book is still the Practical Test Guide, as it was titled a very long time ago.
     
  29. nosehair

    nosehair Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes, that would be one good way to do it. There are many many ways, as there are in how to reach each individual person.

    Of course, the FAA isn't going to put any effort in increasing the testing and training of CFIs, or of pilot training, in general. Too much politics.

    My point is only that the checkride does not mirror a typical lesson.
    So that other CFI candidates might be aware that teaching is not like a checkride demonstration. ...in most cases. Yeah, there are some Examiners who can act as a student and really evaluate a person's teaching ability.

    But most cannot, so they rely on 'technical knowledge'.
     
  30. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    While the above quote is accurate in the Rotorcraft CFI PTS (FAA-S-8081-7B, page 10), the PTS for Airplane CFI (FAA-S-8081-6C, page 12) the paragraph says:

    During the flight portion of the practical test, the examiner acts as a student during selected maneuvers. This gives the examiner an opportunity to evaluate the flight instructor applicant’s ability to analyze and correct simulated common errors related to these maneuvers. The examiner must place special emphasis on the applicant’s use of visual scanning and collision avoidance procedures, and the applicant’s ability to teach those procedures.

    The word "shall" is clearly not there and does leave the examiner discretion as to how to evaluate the applicant.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  31. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Well, it was that way for a long time in the Airplane version, too, and I guess I missed the recent change. However, I think my 8th grade English teacher would say that if it says "the examiner acts" it gives the examiner no more choice than the old wording. Beyond that, it would take something in writing from AFS-800 to provide a definitive answer as to the official policy on this issue.
     
  32. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    The word "act" could be used in the instance of the examiner telling the applicant "I am a student, and I'm having problems with turns about a point, so I want you to show me how to correctly perform the maneuver".
     
  33. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I think that's a real stretch of the wording, including the part that says "analyze and correct simulated common errors" (how can the error be simulated for analysis other than by the examiner?), but if you want to sign folks off without doing that, I suppose you have the power to do it.
     
  34. bob_albertson

    bob_albertson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I wouldn't take his interpretation as a Stretch.... trust me :wink2:
     
  35. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    It's not just my interpretation. There is a reason that language was changed in the airplane PTS and it will change in the next revision of the Rotorcraft PTS. (that is, unless another someone decides to change it back:rolleyes: )
     
  36. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Regardless the "shall", the examiner can successfully meet the criteria by watching you demonstrate. I agree the discretion on how much further to go is their's.
     
  37. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My CFI checkride was him evaluating me flying from right seat. The 172 pattern work was like a PP checkride, only from the right seat.
     
  38. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    On my ride the examiner had me teach the maneuver in the ground school - oral portion- then when we were flying and then he flew the maneuver, in this case lazy eights, and I was to observe him and correct any errors and make comments regarding his completion of the maeuver. Worked out fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  39. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    That's how most all examiners I've seen over the last four decades do it.