FAA Certificated Flight Instructors (CFIs) play a critical role in aviation safety. They teach new pilots to fly as well as help current pilots maintain or advance their skills. Flight instructors are authorized within the limitations of their flight instructor certificate and ratings to train and issue endorsements that are required for:
- Student pilot certificates
- Pilot certificates
- Flight instructor certificates
- Ground instructor certificates
- Aircraft ratings
- Instrument ratings
- Flight reviews, operating privileges, or recency of experience requirements
- Practical tests
- Knowledge tests
Flight instructor training has two main goals: ensure the candidate has solid knowledge and flight proficiency, and ensure the candidate knows how to teach.
Flight instructors are eligible to get paid for their services. Flight instructors find employment with local flight schools, colleges and universities, flight academies, the military, or self-employment. Some work full-time while others work part-time, often on a flexible schedule.
If you obtain your flight certificates and ratings with us at Northway you are guaranteed a CFI job with us!
Flight Instructor Ground Training
CFI candidates are expected to have a wealth of knowledge. During training, candidates review knowledge subject areas for the private and commercial pilot certificates.
The FAA requires CFI candidates to learn the fundamentals of instruction. Candidates must be familiiar with topics such as teaching methods, human needs, types of learners, lesson planning, and evaluation. Candidates will practice applying the fundamentals of instruction during simulated ground training lessons and flight lessons.
Prior to the flight instructor practical test, CFI candidates need to prepare or have access to detailed lesson plans for any private or commercial pilot topic, and need to be prepared to simulate teaching the subject.
You may accomplish the ground training requirements for the flight instructor certificate through one-on-one ground instruction, a home study course, a ground school class, or a combination of the above. In-person training is more important with the flight instructor certificate than with any other certificate or rating, because you will benefit from practicing teaching simulated or real students.
More than with any other certificate or rating, CFI candidates need to use and be familiar with several official FAA publications. Northway Aviation offers both FAA materials and supplemental materials that will help you in flight instructor training.
Flight Instructor Flight Training
In flight training, CFI candidates learn to fly maneuvers from the instructor’s seat, which may be awkward at first after many hours spent in the pilot’s seat. Candidates practice flying and explaining maneuvers. Then they allow their instructor to simulate being a student, and they must recognize and correct errors.
CFI candidates who are current and proficient pilots will have an advantage in training. Less time will need to be spent on polishing flight skills and knowledge, so training will progress more quickly. CFI candidates are expected to meet at least commercial pilot flying standards.
An initial flight instructor certificate may be earned in either a single-engine or multiengine aircraft. The traditional route is to take training in a single-engine aircraft.
Flight instructor certificate training requirements are outlined in the FAA regulations. Northway Aviation conducts flight instructor training under Part 141 and Part 61 of the regulations.
Eligibility for a Flight Instructor Certificate:
To be eligible for a flight instructor certificate or rating a person must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the FAA may issue a certificate with operating limitations
- Hold either a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate with appropriate aircraft category and class rating
- Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the fundamentals of instructing
- Pass the fundamentals of instruction knowledge test (unless the candidate is already a flight or ground instructor, or teaches at the level of 7th grade or higher)
- Pass the flight instructor aeronautical knowledge test
- Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the flight proficiency areas of operation
- Pass the required practical test
- Receive a logbook endorsement for training and proficiency in spins, or demonstrate proficiency during the practical test
- Log at least 15 hours as pilot in command in the category and class of aircraft that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought
- Comply with the appropriate sections of Part 61 that apply to the flight instructor rating sought
(See 14 CFR Part 61.183 for complete details)