Questions to ask perspective CFII???

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by azpilot, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. azpilot

    azpilot Line Up and Wait

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    I've found a few candidate CFII's and I'm going to meet with all of them to decide who I want to work with to get my IR. What are some questions I should ask?

    How many hours of CFII instruction do you have?
    How many of your students have passed their IR check-ride?
    What is the pass rate?
    What is your hourly rate?

    Can you all think of some more good questions to ask?
     
  2. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    I have no idea how many hours of CFII instruction I have - I could piece together an approximate number, but it would take a while. It's not a number I track for any reason. So that's probably not a reasonable question.

    The others are good to know, but not really the meat of the interview.

    What I'd want to know is how long they've been flying (not teaching) IFR. How often are they actively flying "in the system". Are they flying (or have they previously flown) as a professional pilot, where you have pressure to fly in less-than-ideal conditions, therefore getting real experience? Or have they only taught instruments since becoming a CFII, and have minimal real experience?

    If you're in Arizona like your username implies, it's a fair bet that most CFIIs working at busy schools may have never seen the inside of a cloud. Given the option, I'd want someone with a lot more experience than that.
     
  3. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What kind of real world/real weather experience do they have?
    You could certainly find a good instrument instructor who has not had much real experience, and in Arizona, real IMC weather may be rare, but, it's one more thing to add to the list of questions.

    Edit: Ooops....RussR beat me to the post, and said exactly what I was thinking!
     
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  4. azpilot

    azpilot Line Up and Wait

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    Great feedback, thank you both. I am indeed in AZ.
     
  5. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    How about tell me about yourself and explain the process we will go through for the rating?

    You are looking for the best coach.
     
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  6. jbarrass

    jbarrass Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Actual much?

    Availability, Can they adapt to your times.

    Are going to be around long (enough), or off to the airlines

    and, a bunch of general "do we have compatible personalities" questions. You might as well get along over lunch.
     
  7. Pugs

    Pugs Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    What aspects of IFR do you enjoy teaching the most and the least?

    Might give you some ideas of where you want to be ready to be aware of places you may need to augment.
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    “Can you provide me a copy of your syllabus?”

    something that lays out what activities and training objectives happen each flight
     
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  9. IK04

    IK04 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Prospective.
     
  10. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Hopefully with a completion standard.
     
  11. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    How much actual IMC should I expect to have prior to the check ride?
    Many such as myself log our first actual alone after getting rated. Not optimal I believe.
     
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  12. k9medic

    k9medic Line Up and Wait

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    I have said this before - Some instructors teach you. Others you will learn from.

    Typically the ones that you actually learn from have BTDT when it comes to the subject you are trying to understand.
     
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  13. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    What will you accept in trade.
     
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  14. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Go get the a topic from the ACS.
    Ask the CFII to spend 10 to 15 minutes teaching you about that topic.
    Pick the CFI that you felt you learned the most from in that 15 minutes.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
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  15. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    How do you plan for me to become proficient to ACS standards?
    - not just the flying portion, either
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  16. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Edit: my reading comprehension is horrible. I thought you were wanting to do a cfii add on. Whoops.
     
  17. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    Have them explain "secondary minimums" per the Wagner method. :D
     
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  18. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For a prospective CFII, I might ask some questions. But, if you are just looking for a perspective, maybe only one question?
     
  19. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What are your future plans? If you get someone who has 1450 hours toward the 1500 required for an airline job, you may be looking for another instructor before you are done training.

    What are your minimums for a lesson? If you hear vfr only, get another instructor. AZ has it's peculiarities for IMC flight, high elevations, icing issues when there is IMC. But ideally, as others have said, it is better to fly in actual than spend all your training under the hood.

    Others have pretty much covered everything else. My last point is that you want to be comfortable at the end of your training. I was not an ace at IFR and it took extra time. During that time I logged lots of different actual approaches, got into many situation that really aren't covered by the ACS. I actually told my instructor that my goal was to be comfortable flying in the clouds and shooting approaches at the end of the training. I know pilots who have gotten their tickets and not been comfortable out of the box.

    When you get your IFR ticket, keep current and most importantly proficient. Rust sets in faster than you would suspect.
     
  20. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What’s the last cool thing you learned about flying IFR?
     
  21. masloki

    masloki Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Syllabus, what other responsibilities/potential conflicts, general availability, and the stuff above.
     
  22. azpilot

    azpilot Line Up and Wait

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    Unfortunately, we can’t edit titles…
     
  23. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    To me just two things. First, do you get the sense you're going to get along well with them? As pointed out above, you're looking for a coach as much as teacher. Second, are we going to do actual instrument flight? Because I think it's good to learn that way, and because I don't think it makes sense to learn from someone that isn't flying it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  24. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    Do they teach to the ACS requirements, or do they do beyond? Me as a CFII, I go way beyond the ACS.

    will you stick to the same airport for approaches, or will you be using different airports? The more you do the same approaches, you more if just becomes a routine. Ou should go out to other airports, even if you gotta fly 20 minutes away.
     
  25. k9medic

    k9medic Line Up and Wait

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    My personal thoughts are that a majority of the flight time required for the rating should be dedicated to getting out there and putting things to practice in the real world. You don't typically file just to go in circles at your local airport so you might as well get "in the system" and go somewhere.

    Out of 40 hours, I break it down like this:
    • First 5 hours - understanding instruments (I also fly the A and B patterns with them)
    • Hours 6-10 - instrument approaches - a lot of them
    • Hours 11-30 - real world experience - several long cross countries to someplace interesting (the Keys, the Bahamas.) Exposure to all types of controllers, airspace and that type of stuff.
    • Hours 31-40 - checkride prep with them applying everything they have learned
     
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  26. saracelica

    saracelica Pattern Altitude

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    What is your training style. If I am making a mistake will you fix it before I notice the error?

    For example when I was training one cfi would constantly adjust trim for me. Not alot just enough to"help" the instructor I had help more let me take off on a touch and go with full flaps.
     
  27. k9medic

    k9medic Line Up and Wait

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    That's a good question to ask any instructor! I'll let you scare the crap out of yourself. My job is to protect the aircraft and my own butt so I won't let it go too far but I will let you think you are going to die...

    The first time I went into the clouds in a helicopter (Agusta 109E) I thought I was doing fine right up until I missed the fact that I had selected altitude hold instead of approach. The autopilot captured and I couldn't figure out why I was still above the GS so I started to lower the collective. What I missed in my scan was that the aircraft was just slowing down, not descending. The nose was actually pitching up! The IP saw this and was watching closely. As the airspeed came through the back side of 50kts. I realized what was happening and made an immediate recovery. In the AAR the IP said he saw what I was doing and was just about to recover the aircraft when I recognized the issue. He let me take it to the point that I scared myself and it has stuck with me for 20 years.
     
  28. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Hopefully something different than an arm, leg, and left testicle.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
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  29. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Thank you for this…. I’ve been trying to come up with a game plan and syllabus for teaching instruments (haven’t had a student yet). Your hour layout would fit my style and way to do it really good.
     
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  30. Nathan Miller

    Nathan Miller Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I only thought those were applicable to Harrison Ford :eek:
     
  31. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    depends on the commodity being acquired
    upload_2021-11-24_8-52-7.jpeg
     
  32. Nathan Miller

    Nathan Miller Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I wish I had this road map. I didn't have a good scan down, though I "thought" I did and maybe I did well enough to fool my instructor. Turns out, I wasn't placing nearly as much emphasis on my AH as I should have been and my heading and altitude control, while good enough to pass the ACS, left a lot to be desired.

    Master the basics, then when stuff hits the fan, it won't snowball into an unacceptable situation.
     
  33. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    I'm not certain. It might be a particular club you have to join ...
     
  34. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Instead of asking how much actual they have, ask them if they have any issues providing you instruction in actual if the opportunity presents itself. During my own training, hands down the best hours I spent in the cockpit were the 5-6 hours of actual that we got to fly in--absolutely invaluable. It made my first flight into actual after receiving my rating a non-event.
     
  35. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

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    I completely agree with others...
    I'd want to get a feel for how much IMC time they have. I've found that a lot of CFII's even with high time, and very willing to fly in IMC when it's ideal conditions (high and smooth), are maybe a bit too conservative with real world judgement and won't launch when you really could....
    The other important things to find out, IMO...
    personality compatibility/teaching style/ how well I can understand and get a long with them
    and if they are on their way out the door to an airline job any day now.....
     
  36. flybill

    flybill Pre-Flight

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    Ask them how they start out with introduction to IFR flying? Do they just throw you in an airplane and expect you to learn everything or do you spend lots of time hangar flying and doing some ground school also? Flying IFR is not just about shooting approaches. There is a lot of method and structure to the IFR system. Expecting you to just learn it by burning avgas and flying around is a waste of time and money. Find someone who has a true method to teaching IFR flying.
     
  37. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    They could ask, but I don’t present for pre instruction interviews or certainly am not giving a ground lesson.

    A 10-15 phone call is more than adequate for the student and instructor to exchange some information and questions. If the student decides that is inadequate, oh well.
     
  38. BryanAV8R

    BryanAV8R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The instructional balancing act: how far do you let the student go...your phraseology says it perfectly. Far enough that YOU get the vivid point, but not so far that I'm trying to duck tape sections of the fuselage back together while our hair is on fire and the VSI is pegged at -5K FPM. Sometimes the most vivid example is what will come back when it's all going sideways...and you figure it out quickly.

    We have to be sure enough of OUR skills as pilots, too. Which makes it even more important to broach the topic "how often do YOU go up with a fellow CFI and work out some crinkles in YOUR skills?" That will give you some indication as to their approach and understanding of their own limitations/issues. We all have them...working through them is a sign of professionalism.
     
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  39. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    Is Rick Koril on your list?
     
  40. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    T&B or TC? :eek:

    (if he says TC, find somebody else)