CFI training or not ?

#1
I started flying again after almost a decade. I took a BFR and I'm now VFR current. That was 6 months ago.
I started the CFI training right after that. I got both written tests out the way and i'm working on the lesson plans and all the required material associated with them.
Problem number one :
I try to devote as much time as I can, home self-studying, but I can only go to the flight school on Sundays. So far I have been doing ground school on the FOI (14 hours) only and then it will be onto the technical subjects. So it seems like it will take forever just to get through the ground portion of it.
Problem number two:
I'm far from being proficient in any of the required maneuvers for the CFI check ride so it will take me a bunch of hours to get ready.
So as you can imagine, it will take much longer and be considerably more expensive than average and I get it.
I have about 360 hours so I'm short 140 hours to get to that magic number, 500 hours, where everyone agrees that doors start to open.
Looking at what I have already spent so far, I will end up spending quite a bit for the CFI ticket.
So the question is :
Should I scrap the idea of the CFI and built time on my own dime and actually enjoy it until I get to 500 hours.
Or should I stick with it because entry level jobs at 500 hours are non existing ?
Fire away,
Any advice will be appreciated.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#2
I started flying again after almost a decade. I took a BFR and I'm now VFR current. That was 6 months ago.
I started the CFI training right after that. I got both written tests out the way and i'm working on the lesson plans and all the required material associated with them.
Problem number one :
I try to devote as much time as I can, home self-studying, but I can only go to the flight school on Sundays. So far I have been doing ground school on the FOI (14 hours) only and then it will be onto the technical subjects. So it seems like it will take forever just to get through the ground portion of it.
Problem number two:
I'm far from being proficient in any of the required maneuvers for the CFI check ride so it will take me a bunch of hours to get ready.
So as you can imagine, it will take much longer and be considerably more expensive than average and I get it.
I have about 360 hours so I'm short 140 hours to get to that magic number, 500 hours, where everyone agrees that doors start to open.
Looking at what I have already spent so far, I will end up spending quite a bit for the CFI ticket.
So the question is :
Should I scrap the idea of the CFI and built time on my own dime and actually enjoy it until I get to 500 hours.
Or should I stick with it because entry level jobs at 500 hours are non existing ?
Fire away,
Any advice will be appreciated.
Both.
 
#3
I try to devote as much time as I can, home self-studying, but I can only go to the flight school on Sundays. So far I have been doing ground school on the FOI (14 hours) only and then it will be onto the technical subjects. So it seems like it will take forever just to get through the ground portion of it.
You don't need to go to a flight school to study any of the ground material, reading it at home should be 95% of your time. A more efficient way to make use of ground instructor time would be to come prepared with questions from you study during the week. Putting together lesson plans yourself is also a fantastic way to prepare, so keep doing that too!

As for the flying an maneuvers, there probably won't be that many. I would expect to teach a short field takeoff, power off 180, steep turn, power off stall, and maybe one more. The oral is in my opinion much harder to prepare for, as it can encompass so much. The flying is limited to a fixed and relatively small number of things.

You are already a lot closer than you think, just keep at it.
 

Flybub

Well-Known Member
#5
I started flying again after almost a decade. I took a BFR and I'm now VFR current. That was 6 months ago.
I started the CFI training right after that. I got both written tests out the way and i'm working on the lesson plans and all the required material associated with them.
Problem number one :
I try to devote as much time as I can, home self-studying, but I can only go to the flight school on Sundays. So far I have been doing ground school on the FOI (14 hours) only and then it will be onto the technical subjects. So it seems like it will take forever just to get through the ground portion of it.
Problem number two:
I'm far from being proficient in any of the required maneuvers for the CFI check ride so it will take me a bunch of hours to get ready.
So as you can imagine, it will take much longer and be considerably more expensive than average and I get it.
I have about 360 hours so I'm short 140 hours to get to that magic number, 500 hours, where everyone agrees that doors start to open.
Looking at what I have already spent so far, I will end up spending quite a bit for the CFI ticket.
So the question is :
Should I scrap the idea of the CFI and built time on my own dime and actually enjoy it until I get to 500 hours.
Or should I stick with it because entry level jobs at 500 hours are non existing ?
Fire away,
Any advice will be appreciated.
I feel your pain because I'm in the same boat. I was out of it for 16 years, but right now I can only fly once a week. The biggest kicker is that I'm learning maneuvers kinda on my own. I'm current, but my school doesn't have any instructors that can teach a CFI for the times I'm available. So I basically have to take vacation from work to meet their schedule which really sucks.

I feel aimless studying at home, like there's no end goal (even though preparing for the checkride is the end goal). But I just feel like I'm wandering around in the material not learning anything. This is where the value of ground school really helped me, because there was structure and a target in place. But there is not ground school this time. Just me, a binder, a few books, and a bunch of note-cards.

Stay with it and keep your head up. We'll get there eventually.....I hope.
BTW, I'm going for my ATP.
 

Low&Slow

Well-Known Member
#6
I have about 360 hours so I'm short 140 hours to get to that magic number, 500 hours, where everyone agrees that doors start to open.]
Looking at what I have already spent so far, I will end up spending quite a bit for the CFI ticket.
I had about a 12 year gap in flying and have over 500 hrs TT, ASEL/AMEL commercial, and an instrument rating. I'm working on my CFI because that's the only way I can build time and be at home every night.
It's expensive because I haven't flown in so long.
I have hired and fired probably 10-12 "flight instructors" because they were HORRIBLE "instructors" who can't teach, and definitely couldn't teach how to teach if their lives depended on it. One guy couldn't stay off of his phone apps and camera, one guy was always 30-45 minutes late, one guy did ALL of the flying, one guy was a dishonest crook, and the list goes on and on. Most didn't care about my problems, progress, or success because they were only there to build time, then go to a Regional.
Maybe I'm just the most unluckiest and/or pickiest student in the world. Good luck finding a worthy CFI though. I did eventually finally find a really good one, so they're out there, but unfortunately you will probably have to clip through a jungle of weeds to get to them.
It will take you longer because you will need to build proficiency back, and learn how to fly from the right seat. You will also need to learn how to calmly and confidently talk and teach while moving at 100+ mph.
As far as magic doors at 500 hrs? I haven't seen any of those, but I will tell you that I am a significantly better pilot due to my training to become a CFI. I seriously doubt that I would have become as smooth, precise, confident, and knowledgeable as I have, as quickly as I have if I went another route.
Keep plugging away at the CFI. It eventually pays off in more ways than one. I'm hoping to be checkride ready by the end of September. My flight instructor thinks I'll be ready before that, but I sure don't share his feelings on that.
 
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#7
I have hired and fired probably 10-12 "flight instructors" because they were HORRIBLE "instructors" who can't teach, and definitely couldn't teach how to teach if their lives depended on it. One guy couldn't stay off of his phone apps and camera, one guy was always 30-45 minutes late, one guy did ALL of the flying, one guy was a dishonest crook, and the list goes on and on. Most didn't care about my problems, progress, or success because they were only there to build time, then go to a Regional.
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA. Just wait until you start teaching students, they are an order of magnitude worse. And mine have all been well above average.

But seriously, CFI's can only do so much. Should someone teaching you to be a CFI do ALL of the flying? Maybe - CFI'ing doesn't involve much actual flying, you know.
 

Low&Slow

Well-Known Member
#8
I agree that CFI'ing doesn't involve much actual hands-on flying, but you will still need to demonstrate the maneuvers and be able to talk about them while flying on the checkride and with a student.
After 12 years of not flying, and then flying from the right seat for the first time ever, I should be doing most of the flying at this point to get comfortable and proficient, and be able to teach while doing. That guy is that way with student pilots too. I've talked with a few of his former students who quit flying because of him.
As far as students being worse than those instructors I had to fire, I don't doubt it. I've heard horror stories about students trying to (accidentally) kill their instructor and some who just never study.
Honestly, I'm kinda glad I had to endure the horrible instructors so I could see what not to do first hand. It makes me more aware of my own professionalism and will help make me a better instructor in the end.
 
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#10
You don't need to go to a flight school to study any of the ground material, reading it at home should be 95% of your time. A more efficient way to make use of ground instructor time would be to come prepared with questions from you study during the week. Putting together lesson plans yourself is also a fantastic way to prepare, so keep doing that too!

As for the flying an maneuvers, there probably won't be that many. I would expect to teach a short field takeoff, power off 180, steep turn, power off stall, and maybe one more. The oral is in my opinion much harder to prepare for, as it can encompass so much. The flying is limited to a fixed and relatively small number of things.

You are already a lot closer than you think, just keep at it.
Should I just focus on relearning the flight maneuvers from the right seat only (dual) or get proficient from the left (solo) and then move to the right ?
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#11
Should I just focus on relearning the flight maneuvers from the right seat only (dual) or get proficient from the left (solo) and then move to the right ?
Stay in the right seat. The sight picture and muscle memory are different and are going to take time. As a CFI, you need to be proficient in BOTH, but I'd focus on doing it from the right seat since that's where you're weakest.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
#12
I feel your pain because I'm in the same boat. I was out of it for 16 years, but right now I can only fly once a week. The biggest kicker is that I'm learning maneuvers kinda on my own. I'm current, but my school doesn't have any instructors that can teach a CFI for the times I'm available. So I basically have to take vacation from work to meet their schedule which really sucks.
This is what a pilot shortage looks like from the low hour side of the pipeline. There is only one CFI at the school I'm a part-timer at who even has the time requirements met to be able to work up a flight instructor. Everyone else gets their 1500 right about the time they hit 24 months as a CFI.

Add to that that working up a CFI involves little flying and is thus not incentivized.

I feel aimless studying at home, like there's no end goal (even though preparing for the checkride is the end goal). But I just feel like I'm wandering around in the material not learning anything. This is where the value of ground school really helped me, because there was structure and a target in place. But there is not ground school this time. Just me, a binder, a few books, and a bunch of note-cards.
Align your studying with the ACS Objectives and Tasks. Then your studying will have perfect structure and a stated end goal. The ACS is basically your syllabus.
 
#15
Yes.


You’re following the -6D for yourself, but the others are germane. And the CFI standard will eventually be ACS.


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That's what i'm doing, gathering and referencing supporting material for each task elements. It is tedious and time consuming but it helps a lot with relearning and it gives me guidance. My binder will be a foot thick though!
 
#16
Should I just focus on relearning the flight maneuvers from the right seat only (dual) or get proficient from the left (solo) and then move to the right ?
Fly from the right seat only. That said, I've never noticed any difference which seat I fly from.

I would find some non-pilot mock students to give fake lessons to. You'll learn more giving them lessons than you will any pilot.
 
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