7.5 hr CFI-a oral WTH

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
7.5 hours is no where near enough time to determine what you know and what you don't know during a CFI oral. I personally think it should be at least 40 hours. There are so many CFIs out there trying to build time and getting Santa Claus examiners giving away the certificate like toilet paper. The general public is suffering from it. I've seen the products produced by time builder CFIs and it is absolutely disgusting.

So quit your complaining. Either you know your stuff, or you don't. Get studying.
40 hours?????
 
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mrivc211

Well-Known Member
Me
What a douchee
he’s not a douchee. A lot of DPEs lose touch and perspective. A friendly reminder these future CFIs are going to be teaching basic 172s not the space shuttle. Whether the candidate has a 2 hour oral or a 40 hour oral won’t make a bit of difference. It’s what happens after that makes a difference.

And to add to the DPEs defense, a lot of them are following marching orders from the FSDOs. Problem is the DPEs interpretation of what the FSDO expects/wants differs vastly from DPE to DPE and that’s where you have some giving 18 hour orals vs 2 hours
 

Rex_CC

Well-Known Member
My “Initial CFI Helicopter” was 7 hours and 20-40 minutes, with a DPE, and without interruptions. I did not want to take a break hoping the DPE would make it shorter... it did not happen.

As far as I was told, it was rather standard back in the year 2015.
 
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ClearedForOption

French Computer Programmer and Systems Monitor
I'm stretching my brain to remember 15+ years ago, but I think that my ride was around 4-5 hours total. A few hours of oral, maybe 3, then a ride in the 172.

I had a fully prepared lesson binder and what saved me was my "TA" experiences in college... since I used to teach very technical subjects and had a fantastic mentor back in my college days. (Since passed away, but prior to teaching at my alma mater he was a UCLA film prof during the 60's/70's when a lot of big names were coming through the UCLA/USC pipeline) He taught me things such as a 'sit on your hands' technique while trying to teach technical subjects - camera loading, editing, all sorts of film-related things. (i.e. don't touch the buttons, make the students get the muscle memory of touching the buttons) Since I had full toolbox of teaching strategy I was able to engage with the DPE during the ride as he played the role of 'confused student.' Honestly, that helped much more than the aviation knowledge. I want to think that the DPE saw both the base knowledge and the potential to be a good teacher.

I walked out with my ticket, but I actually became a good CFI while teaching my first few students. I'm glad they gave me the opportunity to refine my lessons on them and looking back I'm glad for the experience.

The important thing to take away from the experience is how you handle the unsat and what you learned from it that you can take to the next step in your career. And being able to tell the story, if asked, during an interview. No one is perfect, I trapped my errors, and it made me a better pilot and a better teacher... and it ensured that my students were that much more well prepared when I sent them to the DPE. Or something like that.
 

LostComm

Well-Known Member
Washington FSDO had me clocking in at about 6 hours for an oral exam. I learned after the ride this ASI had a zero percent first time pass rate and the school's CFI's were high fiving one another as we walked to the airplane.

I then busted on climbout. The tower asked for an early turn on course, and I complied, but was more than 200' from pattern altitude...

Another ASI came and said words to the effect of, "Yeah, she never passes anyone. It's stupid. I know your reputation. Let's go make you a CFI. I want to be home for dinner."

The oral was comprehensive, guess that's all I have to say. We didn't go over anything twice. I think it depends on the ASI. Hang in there, and don't quit!

LC
 

Bamaaviator

Well-Known Member
Washington FSDO had me clocking in at about 6 hours for an oral exam. I learned after the ride this ASI had a zero percent first time pass rate and the school's CFI's were high fiving one another as we walked to the airplane.

I then busted on climbout. The tower asked for an early turn on course, and I complied, but was more than 200' from pattern altitude...

Another ASI came and said words to the effect of, "Yeah, she never passes anyone. It's stupid. I know your reputation. Let's go make you a CFI. I want to be home for dinner."

The oral was comprehensive, guess that's all I have to say. We didn't go over anything twice. I think it depends on the ASI. Hang in there, and don't quit!

LC
Jeeze, it amazes me that some DPE’s/ASI’s are still continuing to do this. They think they’re God’s gift to aviation, with their ultra superior God complex, as if they could never make any mistakes as a pilot/CFI. Those types of people usually commit more errors in the cockpit and with students than others, from my own observations.

I really just don’t get it. Why do some have to make the CFI checkride hard for the sake of being hard? It seems like for some that’s what it ultimately boils down to. There’s no real world application or transfer of knowledge to students regarding it, it’s just gotta be freaking impossibly hard for the sake of being freaking impossibly hard. Then the ASI/DPE’s go back to their offices the next morning and brag about failing another CFI applicant, like it’s the ‘impossible to pass’ checkride. I really don’t get it.

I don’t know how true it is, but I once heard a story on a different message board where an applicant talked about how the examiner asked him during the preflight under the engine cowling “which electrical component do these wires run to?” The applicant said the checkride went pretty well up till that point. He looked very carefully under the cowling at those wires, and could not determine which component the wires went to. Then when he said, “I honestly don’t know, but let me go ask a mechanic...” then said the examiner promptly failed him right there. Now, again, I wasn’t there, and don’t know how well prepared the applicant in fact was, but when I hear stuff like that it makes me think maybe there are more CFI’s that fail the checkride than there should be. Makes me think the FAA wants to maintain a certain pass/fail rate for bragging rights purposes. I heard another story of someone who ‘almost failed’ the oral because they couldn’t recite a regulation pertaining to CFI limitations almost word for word. How does reciting stuff like regs make anyone a better pilot/instructor?

Now, apart of me knows there’s always 2 sides to the story. I have to keep reminding myself “I wasn’t there,” when I hear these crazy stories of ASI’s/DPE’s who power trip on their applicants by conducting a 7-10 hour, or longer, oral. If they’re that deficient in knowledge and teaching abilities, then just fail them in the first 30 minutes. But then I hear of applicants that were very well prepared, and the examiner was still doing a marathon oral exam. I prepared very well for mine, and the oral was only 3 hours, passed on first attempt. The way I understood it, and this gave me a lot of reassurance, I was told from experienced CFI’s that generally, the more prepared you are the shorter your oral will be. But I don’t always hear that, like the example from the OP, and other, similar experiences.

I read online once that this was more common ‘back in the day.’ That ASI’s in particular, had a poor reputation and relationship with the GA community and with flight schools and instructors. That some were ‘hard nosed,’ and would brag about ‘never passing anyone,’ on the first attempt. I lost so much sleep at night during the days of working on my CFI initial in 2016, 2017, and much of that ‘paranoia’ had to do with worrying excessively about failing my CFI ride, due to reading and listening to all the ‘horror stories’ like this one. It really angers me that I went through that self torture, based on reading too much into. But with some of the experiences I heard, it was sometimes hard not to read into it too much.

I don’t know, I’ve learned so much in just 3 years since getting my CFI. I’ve learned that CFI’s, myself included, are NEVER perfect, and never will be. Some days we aren’t very good at teaching and conveying information to students, other days we are great at it. Sometimes we just have a down day. Might be due to burn out or other reasons. There’s plenty of times when you will forget information and may have to go look it up for your students, even experienced CFI’s. I’ve seen it and experienced it myself numerous times. But whenever I hear of an ASI or DPE trying to pull a fast one like that, I can almost guarantee you that if you were to reverse the roles, and place that same DPE in a similar position, and ask them some bogus, off the chart question that even other examiners wouldn’t even know the answer to, that they couldn’t answer it. At that point you don’t need to be conducting checkrides. You’re just power tripping. You’re not evaluating, you’re moving the goal post to a place where it can’t be reached by even the most prepared applicants. I’m ALL for conducting thorough checkrides, but it unnerves me when I hear about 100 hour orals and bogus trick questions.
 
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Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
Washington FSDO had me clocking in at about 6 hours for an oral exam. I learned after the ride this ASI had a zero percent first time pass rate and the school's CFI's were high fiving one another as we walked to the airplane.

I then busted on climbout. The tower asked for an early turn on course, and I complied, but was more than 200' from pattern altitude...

Another ASI came and said words to the effect of, "Yeah, she never passes anyone. It's stupid. I know your reputation. Let's go make you a CFI. I want to be home for dinner."

The oral was comprehensive, guess that's all I have to say. We didn't go over anything twice. I think it depends on the ASI. Hang in there, and don't quit!

LC
Just curious who this was. I also had my initial CFI ride with a Washington FSDO employee, and she also had a low rate of first-time passes.
 

LostComm

Well-Known Member
Just curious who this was. I also had my initial CFI ride with a Washington FSDO employee, and she also had a low rate of first-time passes.
I believe it was Mary Pat. I should have expected a fail when she arrived in a skirt. Ha!
LC
 
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