Took me two months for find a CFI

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Chrisgoesflying, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    Just wanted to see if you had a similar experience finding a CFI. In October I finally decided to take up flight lessons towards my PPL. I live in a mid sized town of about 100,000 people in Texas. I figured it shouldn't be too hard to find a CFI. Boy was I wrong.

    Like most would, I tried Google first. Nothing came up. Nearest instructor was 15 miles away which didn't sound too bad. I emailed her to schedule my intro flight and received an automated message that the email address is invalid. Called her -> No answer, no voicemail.

    I did know a pilot in town but he got his ticket 20 years ago in Arkansas, before he moved to TX. I asked if he knew any CFIs in town. He gave me the number of the "flight school" at our local airport. I called and while the guy was super nice, he did say that all of his planes are currently down and is uncertain for how much longer. So, that didn't work out.

    During my search, flight schools in some bigger cities nearby kept popping up in ads. I scheduled a discovery flight with a school two hours from where I live. On that day, I got there, the CFI tried to start the plane and -> Nothing. Wouldn't start no matter how hard he tried. All other planes were booked that afternoon so that didn't work out neither.

    I found a few directories (on Gleim and iFlightplanner) but also had no luck getting in touch with anyone. I then got the contact details of a CFI who used to live here but moved away 10 years ago. He's based about 2 hours away now. I called him and finally things worked out. He's an independent CFI (not part of a school) with his own planes and lets students use their own planes if they have one. Rates are way more reasonable than any flight school I encountered and I'm now about 15 hours into my PPL training.

    Long story short: According to the FAA, there are over 100,000 CFIs in the US. Where are they hiding? Why is it so difficult to find an independent CFI? Flight schools are a pain more often than not, at least the ones I had considered due to scheduling conflicts and they're pricy. I'm guessing if I found an independent CFI at a reasonable rate who has a flexible schedule, there must be others. Maybe if it wasn't as hard to find these individuals, more young people would actually get into GA.

    I'm building a directory for independent CFIs. If you're a CFI and want to be listed in that directory, send me a PM. Won't cost you a dime to get listed, your email address will be spam protected and hopefully we can save some future student pilots this hassle by building a comprehensive CFI directory.
     
  2. RussR

    RussR Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not to seem snarky, but the best way to find somewhere to learn to fly is the low-tech method - just go to the local airports and ask around.

    There are many CFIs who don't advertise, either because they don't care to, or don't need to. Especially in these days, since there's such a demand for pilot training, many CFIs can keep fully occupied just by word of mouth.

    But that pilot shortage is also a reason it's hard to find a CFI right now. CFIs, of course, are also pilots and are being hired for piloting work (whether airlines or other) pretty quickly. Heck, even I am trimming down my instructional work this year in favor of more contract piloting.

    AOPA has a flight instructor listing.
    NAFI (nafinet.org) has one as well.

    But, of course, any online directory is only good if the CFIs are keeping it updated. Where in Texas? Asking on here usually results in good recommendations.

    However, I am glad you were able to find a CFI eventually. Two hours away though? Wow.
     
  3. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    Good point but I do have to say I tried the local airport route. That's how I found the one "flight school" we have in town, without flying planes. Maybe it's just the area and this is a completely different story elsewhere. Or maybe this is part of the reason why we have a pilot shortage. I'm not sure how many potential student pilots will try for 2+ months trying to find a CFI.

    Oh, I did try the Nafinet directory which links to instructair. I didn't even mention that one as the directory didn't have any updated listings and you could only communicate with CFIs through them. I gave up on that one pretty quickly.

    South Texas. Won't say exactly where as I don't want to step on anybody's foot in regards to the two options that didn't work out for me.

    Yeah, two hours away is kind of a pain but I usually go Fridays and spend the weekend there getting two or three lessons per weekend and I get along well with the CFI. At least this gives me another incentive to finish quicker I guess :)
     
  4. DonJinIA

    DonJinIA Filing Flight Plan

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    Same experience here in the Midwest.
     
  5. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    Good to know that it's not just here. Where in the Midwest (general area, no need to be specific)? I used to live in St. Louis but don't have any experience with CFIs there.
     
  6. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Knowing what I know now

    If you’re already have ties in aviation it’s easy, just ask around

    Otherwise, if you’re outside the industry, well it can be hard
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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  7. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Most CFI's don't need to advertise, so they don't. Websites and contact info are frequently out of date.

    I had a guy contact me in March, I waitlisted him and got him started in July. I have stopped waitlisting people, others around the KC area are the same way.
     
  8. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    Well, I get they don't need to "advertise", as in paying to get their contact details published, but keeping up a simple online directory with up-to-date contact details, to make it easier for future student pilots to find a CFI shouldn't be all that hard. I will put up a directory, nothing flashy, just something simple where independent CFIs can create a profile. The system will follow up with each CFI every so often (every quarter or so) to make sure contact details are still current & accurate. I mean, this can all be automated these days to a great extend yet none of the "directories" out there do this.

    On another note: If the demand for CFIs is so high that flight schools can't save themselves from the constant flood of new students (which should mean they're not doing bad with $$$), why are most school's planes so old, worn and filthy? Again, I can only speak for those that I have seen but it sure didn't look glorious what I saw. My current CFI, who is not part of a school, charges nearly half of what schools quoted (his rate + wet rental of his C-172) and his planes are in much better shape.

    In 2017, there were just under 150,000 student pilots in the US and just over 100,000 CFIs. That's 1.5 students per CFI on average. That doesn't look like a high demand, low supply situation to me. None of the schools I reached out to said they were "too busy" and were able to take on me as a student in a heartbeat. None of the independent CFIs said they were too busy for me (the two other ones I talked to were less conveniently located compared to my current CFI e.g. no decent hotels around to stay for a few days each week). Once again, this situation could just be down here where I'm at, but I read about a similar situation in Iowa right here on this thread, another very similar situation in New Jersey (posted a few months ago) on POA and another similar story up in Michigan on a different forum. And that's just from me causally looking through older posts.

    It looks more like the smaller, independent CFIs are underrepresented. Larger schools take on the majority of new student pilots. The ones who can't afford the larger schools, or don't want to shell out that much for larger schools, or don't feel like putting up with the service level, schedule conflicts, etc. of larger schools simply put flying on ice. And then, very few keep looking harder to find the few independent CFIs who truly just want to teach kids/young adults how to fly, earn an honest living while doing so, but sure as heck wouldn't mind having a few more students coming their way.
     
  9. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    I agree it isn't hard, would this directory allow CFI's that are not able to accept more students to remove themselves to people would stop calling when necessary?

    Most CFI's don't teach a lot, they keep it current so it doesn't expire.. In case they want to teach in the future. This of all those airline guys that have a CFI license, and keep it current but can't teach outside of their day job.

    Flight school planes are old because learning to fly is rough on airplanes, and those beat up planes are what their clients are willing to pay for. Do you know what a new 172 costs these days, and how many are actually purchased? There of course are exceptions, but airplanes need to keep flying a lot if they are going to be around in a year $$$$ Normally the nicer planes are the more expensive ones you'll fly after you get your license.
     
  10. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    By the way, if you are going to add people to the DB by having them PM you here. Your database isn't going to be very big.
     
  11. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I love it when near zero time students post on a public forum with their opinions on how to improve flight instruction. I highly encourage you to drop $30,000 to become a CFI and another 25,000 for a training aircraft so you can make an honest living teaching those who can’t or don’t want pay much while you provide a high level of service with no schedule conflicts.
     
  12. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :(

    We, in aviation, really suck at business. So many people start an aviation business because they love to fly, not because they have any clue how to run a business. Some of them don't even have a web site yet. Nearly all kind of suck at marketing, especially to Millenials. Unfortunately, the majority are pretty bad with customer service as well, but those that aren't bad are usually REALLY good, so the average is OK...

    Airline and corporate cockpits. This is an effect of the "pilot shortage"... Which would you rather do, fly a jet and go home in the evening, or bump around in a 172 with a student? Unfortunately, many would rather not teach at all, and so they endure it as long as they have to before going to bigger and better things.

    Did you try AOPA or NAFI? Those would be the places I would expect to already have a reasonably up-to-date directory.

    Unfortunately, if we can't get high tech enough to attract Millenials, aviation is toast. Can't find a CFI on Facebook? Ah, forget it, I'll just get a boat.

    Unfortunately, there's not exactly a huge market in NW IA. If you're more specific, maybe someone here can help? I don't know any CFIs, but I do visit Spencer and Emmettsburg now and then since my in-laws have a place north of Ruthven. @James_Dean is based in the area, hopefully he can help connect you with someone.
     
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  13. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    The way I'm laying out the infrastructure is to not publish CFIs direct email address or phone number to avoid spam and bots scraping personal data. Instead, it's a form potential students can fill out with their contact details and the CFIs can then directly email the students from their own personal email address or call them if the student provided a phone number. Yeah, taking down a listing won't be a problem and I'll have auto removed every CFI's listing whose email bounces during the quarterly check in.

    I know. I'm looking for more ways to reach independent CFIs - but it's notoriously hard. This is a start I guess. I could advertise in AOPA and elsewhere but again, I won't charge anyone for getting listed so it's hard to justify spending the $1,000+ on that vs. more time in the air ;-)

    I'm not posting an opinion on "how to improve fight instruction". I just know there are some CFIs who don't have the marketing budget to spend to find more students but would love to have more students. Them using their own planes, being away from the major FBOs, etc. they can and usually do charge less. I also know there are a ton of possible students who simply don't want to work with larger schools. I mean, I tried two schools - both having issues with their planes before I even started training. Why would I want to keep up with that for 4+ months? If the level of service was high - great. But it didn't seem like it is during my few and limited interactions with them.
     
  14. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    I turn down 5-10 students a week, I try to direct them to CFI's that have time. But at this point everyone is booked and the are getting waitlisted. If they aren't willing to be waitlisted, well then I'm not sure if they are in for the long haul anyway? Maybe they are, but it makes me ask.
     
  15. 3rdgenaviator

    3rdgenaviator Filing Flight Plan

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    If your in NW Iowa I highly recommend Riggin Flight Service in Madison SD. I’m from California and went through Commercial Multi with them and am currently studying for my CFI/CFII. I’m considering returning to South Dakota to instruct as I prefer flying in the Midwest over flying in California. They do all of their training in Cessna 140s and Piper Apaches.
     
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  16. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    I guess that's true for many. I did notice the customer service part and if that doesn't improve over time, it doesn't look good for GA. There aren't many industries where "customers" pay $10,000+ for a service and receive crappy customer service. Just doesn't make sense.


    Yeah, heard that before and it does make sense. Wonder if we'll see more airline sponsored training with small schools and independent CFIs disappearing over time. Would suck for those who just want to get into GA for themselves with no intention to do this commercially.

    Can't locate the AOPA one. Do you have a direct link to it? I know they have a directory for schools but I can't seem to find one for independent CFIs. I did try the NAFI one and it was neither up to date, nor in any way user friendly.

    LOL
     
  17. Chrisgoesflying

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    That's crazy. I didn't get turned down by a single instructor I actually managed to get in touch with. School 1 where the planes are down suggested to get my own plane and they will teach me in it. School 2 called and emailed me for days after their plane didn't start on the day of my discovery flight trying to book me in for another discovery flight. Two independent CFIs I got in touch with were ready to take me on as a student. One, as mentioned before, was located in the middle of nowhere two hours away and the other one (also about two hours away) wouldn't be able to instruct on weekends, which is basically when I'm available but he was open Monday thru Friday.

    Here are some states where the student pilot to CFI ratio is nearly 1:1 or even in favor of students (e.g. more CFIs than student pilots). Anyone in those states on here who can share their experiences?

    Tennessee, New Hampshire, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, Alabama, Georgia, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada
     
  18. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    The CFI number is useless, that is just where the people that have the cert live. You have no idea if they actually instruct, or in what. I do notice that MEM, ORD, MSN, DEN and ATL are well represented. But it is an interesting exercise.
     
  19. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

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    South coast of Oregon... two hours minimum in any direction to anything remotely like a flight school. Local FBO seems only interested in bizjets carrying golfers in. Oh yeah, county owned airport charges landing fees for doing touch and goes I hear, lol. Idjits. Not really looking for the lone wolf guy, probably have to do the day or two at a time like the OP. It helps that I am sorta self employed, I can pick week days when I have some slack time.
     
  20. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    @ja_user : By the way, do you ask the 5-10 students you are turning down every week how they found you? There are several flight schools in KC that don't seem to be getting those kind of numbers of serious online requests every week based on some quick market research. What kind of people are they if you don't mind me asking? I would imagine that if they're younger (my age and below) there should be a good amount of online footprint about this, but there isn't. My CFI told me that he recently had a surge of 60+ year olds going for their PPL. In that case it makes sense that there isn't much of an online footprint. Nothing wrong with pursuing a dream at any age, but boy oh boy are we in trouble if this age group makes up a large number of our student pilot population :)
     
  21. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Actually you don’t know anything and are just spouting off on a forum.
     
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  22. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I know a local (DFW) guy that does not do discovery flights at all. His conversion rate to real student was so low it wasn't worth the time.

    When you think about it... scheduling, setting up the person in their accounting, losing the rental to an existing student, tying up a CFI. The opportunity cost is more than the revenue of the discovery flight. And then a remarkably low conversion rate?
     
  23. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Sorta wish you would answer the "where are you" question more specifically than "south Texas".

    While toes do get trod on with regularity here, many are wearing steel toed flip flops and are quite willing to share information and resources.

    To get the specific answer you want, you must supply the correct specific information to us. Otherwise, GIGO.

    And bless your heart on your search. [snark] Your argumentative tone is an excellent way to start your participation here [/snark]
     
  24. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    LOL

    Good to know. When I go through sites like, let's say, Groupon, it seems like this isn't the case for all. Groupon is littered with "special offer intro flights". Admittedly, not so much in Dallas but there are a few even there advertising their intro flights. The thing is, it's easy to say "oh, this doesn't convert so I'll stop it". Maybe the reason their intro flights didn't convert was on them. I don't know which school you're talking about so I don't want to accuse them of anything, but just saying, this might be a possibility. I'm in marketing and business development and usually look at deeper reasons why something doesn't convert. Bad customer experience is often the main culprit. Look at my story. I signed up for an intro flight, had a bad experience and sure as heck didn't convert. They can now say "oh, screw those intro flights, they don't work". Well, it didn't work on me because of the way they handled the situation. I was ready to start training and actually did a few weeks later... with someone else.

    Haha, well I know of at least one guy or girl on here who does not wear steel toed flip flops ;-)

    I didn't really ask a question or for recommendations in my original post. Later I asked if other students had similar experiences elsewhere. So, my exact location doesn't really matter to get an answer. I described an experience and asked if others had a similar one and I actually did get a few replies from others with similar experiences. I wouldn't call my tone "argumentative" but I can see how some might interpret it as argumentative instead of critical or outside of the box ;-) There clearly is a problem and I am just trying to see if there is a solution which often requires critical thinking.
     
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  25. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Good question. They are mostly in 1 of two camps, and yes most are guys.

    Younger (18-25yo) guys with career aspirations of some type, looking to add a rating or get PPL.
    Middle aged (35-60 YO) guys that now have the means and the time to learn to fly, add a rating etc.

    Almost all get my info from the FBO or word of mouth from another CFI.
    The problem with the FBO's list of instructors (allowed to train, not employees), is that about 2-3 of them train during the weekdays only full time. These guys can take on several students at a time. The vast majority have a full time job and various schedules, and may have 1 or 4-5 students depending on what they are doing and how busy they want to be.

    I have no idea how busy the other FBO's are, other than if I see their planes flying a lot or parked. But I do know that several of the good CFI's that I would normally send them too, are full and have waitlists.
     
  26. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Yep. They should allow those who don't want to teach have their names removed from the CFI list; I'll be there's closer to 20K, maybe fewer, active CFIs. That will likely be my retirement job.
     
  27. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That would be a NOPE. It isn't on them. I know a dozen people that have done primary, multi, IR, commercial, and some endorsements along the way. The groupon and intro flight types are genuine tire kickers. I know I used groupon for my 1 rotorcraft lesson.

    So, in your marketing study, ask those people what they think their conversion rates are. And don't forget about confirmation bias while asking.
     
  28. dmspilot

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    A flight school around here did the Groupon thing, sold 100 discovery flights. Their conversion rate was 0%. If that was their fault, they wouldn't have any customers and wouldn't be in business.
     
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  29. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    While S Texas is not a small area (I live in the greater San Antonio area), it is sparse in population.

    Check your local(ish) community college/technical college/university to see if they have an aviation program.

    All the demand in the area may be supplied by that one operation.
     
  30. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah. Groupon is terrible for this sort of thing. Discovery flights are generally already operated at a bit of a loss, or break-even at best, in an effort to get students who will "convert" (IE go through the entire process and get their PP-ASEL). Then, Groupon comes in and wants a discount off the already-not-profitable price, in exchange for bringing in a whole lot of new people.

    However, those people aren't really that interested in aviation, they're just interested in getting a deal on an experience and then moving on to the next thing they can get a deal on. They aren't even thinking about "converting" being a possibility. They go in, they take their intro flight, they move on with their life as was always their plan.

    Meanwhile, the flight school takes a bath on the whole thing. It's happened over and over again, enough that there are plenty of articles advising all kinds of small businesses to avoid Groupon.
     
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  31. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    And if I advertise, even by just having business cards, I have to register with the state as a small business and pay corporate taxes. Nope. Not gonna happen.
     
  32. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Really? If so, Michigan is weird. What kind of "corporate taxes"?

    Federally, you should be reporting income from flight instruction, in theory. Doubt any of your students are going to issue a 1099, though. ;) But even if you did, it can be a sole proprietorship and just go on your personal taxes, no extra forms necessary.

    In Wisconsin, same deal WRT income taxes. There are no property taxes on airplanes here, and services are exempt from sales tax when not part of the sale of something else that is taxable. For example, if you offer flight instruction in someone else's airplane, it's not subject to sales tax. If you're a flight school and you're renting the plane AND providing the instructor, it is taxable.
     
  33. RussR

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    @Chrisgoesflying , you really seem caught up on the "number" of CFI certificates out there. You've mentioned it a couple of times, even researching the "ratio" of CFIs to students in each state.

    What I don't think you fully understand is that a CFI is still a pilot. So, all those airline pilots? Most of them are CFIs too. All those corporate jet pilots? Similar. So you may have 100 pilots in a city but if they are all employed as "pilots", you have effectively zero "instructors" in that city.

    Further, it seems like you're thinking that a CFI is necessarily in it as a full-time, or at least significant-time, business, but that isn't so. Some examples:

    - I know a guy who got his CFI certificate. Has never given a single minute of instruction, and as far as I can tell doesn't plan to. He did it just for the education and training.
    - I know another CFI who is a full-time corporate jet pilot. He no longer does any instruction, he just doesn't have the time (and the scheduling would be awful).
    - I know a CFI who keeps his CFI certificate current (for old time's sake I suppose) but health issues prevent him from really doing any instructing.
    - I am a CFI with a full-time desk job. I am willing to take on one student at a time - that's it. I like to see my family. There just aren't enough hours in the week. Additionally, I am transitioning to do more contract pilot work, so pretty soon I will be accepting NO "students". I will likely still do flight reviews and other small things.

    You may think that these examples are the exception, but they're really not. They are pretty common scenarios.

    Yes, GA has a marketing problem - always has. But don't think that there are tons of CFIs out there just hiding. We're not - we're just otherwise occupied or employed.
     
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  34. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks, that was super insightful. Just out of curiosity, in the CFI industry, what would be considered a "good CFI"? Is that based on pass rate (if so, aren't all CFIs required to maintain 80%)? Is it based on average time it takes to get a student pilot to pass a check ride (if so, what if someone overwhelmingly has older students or students who just want to learn to fly for fun with no career goal in aviation - sure they take a little longer)? My CFI for example said that a lot of the older folks he's teaching (60+ years) just take a little longer to "get" some concepts which makes sense just because of how the human brain works. I'm new to all of this but really want to learn about the aviation industry as I see huge potential in it (any industry with big problems has huge potential but at least with aviation, you get to have some fun and an excuse to fly every now and then). Hope someone can answer this question.

    I'm not going to quote all the Groupon related answers. I wasn't saying it's right or wrong to offer intro flights on Groupon. I also didn't say that the school is crappy and that's why they didn't convert. I'm just saying that it's a possibility. I run a lot of marketing campaigns (totally different industry) and some campaigns fail horribly. Often times, making a small adjustment can turn around the entire campaign and conversion goes up. Yeah, they might be great with the students who are fully into aviation but maybe, if they did something slightly different, they could entice someone who just has some initial curiosity about aviation to get hooked on it. It's all about how you sell it.

    Thanks Russ. It's good to hear about real life examples of why y'all hiding ;-) I know I do look at numbers as that's the only verifiable source we really have. It would be good to know what's the % of CFI certificate holders who actually do CFI work. Let's go with the national average for now. At the raw numbers, each CFI certificate holder would have 1.5 students per year. Let's say only 50% of CFI certificate holders are actively teaching, so we're now at 3 students per CFI. Let's go even further and say only 25% are teaching, we're now at 6 students per CFI. Still not that much if you ask me. Now, if we say only about 5% are actively teaching, then the numbers start to make sense but I highly doubt that the % is that low (but I could be wrong). On the other hand, we also only look at total numbers of student pilot certificates. There are a whole lot of student pilots who get their student pilot license and quit after 10 hours or put flying on the back burner for a few years, or drag out their training just taking two lessons per month (I know a guy who's been training for his PPL for 15 years). What I'm saying is, yeah, the total number of CFIs is much lower than the raw stats suggest. But so is the total number of active student pilots. It would be interesting to know what % of CFIs actually do CFI work. Maybe I can find some numbers about that. Maybe not.
     
  35. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    I agree. Dry as a bone in NW Iowa (KFOD). My CFII passed away and I'm having a heck of a time finding someone that's willing to help me finish my IFR. So far in my search I've had 3 cancellations and the latest guy (50 miles away) said he's on baby watch and might be gone for a while.
     
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  36. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    That's because there's nothing in NW Iowa. NE Iowa isn't any better, and I'd guess the entire state is in much the same condition outside of the larger cities.

    It's the price we pay for living in more rural areas. There just isn't enough work to make flight instructing at these county airports worthwhile so people don't stick around and do it.
     
  37. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    I would also note that I haven’t seen a detailed breakdown on the CFIs. Not all of them are airplane single engine, although that’s likely the largest number.

    A “good” Cfi is harder to describe than a bad one. After you’ve seen consistent output from a Cfi though, you get a pretty good idea as to the quality of the instruction.
     
  38. kath

    kath Line Up and Wait

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    I'm also a "side-hustle"-type CFI. I just got my CFI recently, so I'm still pretty unknown around town. But I'm happy to keep it that way, because I have a day job as an academic and can only fly evenings, weekends, and summers.
    Students are all different as well, with different life schedules and needs and limitations. Students and instructors, both, lie somewhere on a spectrum between "full-time" and "inactive".
    So it's more a matter of "matchmaking" than balancing or optimizing some sort of students-per-CFI equation. (No way I could take 6 students!)

    I have a 172 that I can teach students in, but in order to offer instruction in it, we had to splash out on some pretty expensive insurance. This is another reason there isn't as much of a vibrant "independent-CFI industry" as you might think there should be.
     
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  39. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It seems to me the whole industry has been pyramid shaped since inception basically. And the insane cost increases all around in terms of aircraft, parts, maintenance, fuel, insurance, hangars, etc. just compound it. When you have to buy your way in, spend years getting to the point of making an entry level wage working crazy hours that the average burger flipper would laugh at. Take a pretty special and dedicated person to plow through that and end up in the six figures plus altitude. The industry has always enjoyed a pretty much endless supply of people willing to pay for their own training and time building, then standing in line at the airline altar hoping to be blessed with a fingernail on the bottom rung. CFI's are supposed to be grateful to clear lunch money because after all the next lowest form of life, the students have to pay for the log book time they're building. Hopefully you younger folks are getting a bit of a sea change in the industry, but these things take painfully long times to sort out because of the resistance to change and higher costs. Same holds true for the AP's, maybe more so, I don't think there's the same vertical path to high salaries for them, and the work certainly can't compare with flying for a living. My rant for the day, lol
     
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  40. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Local FBO is always looking for A&Ps, good point.