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.