Help training for CFI

Goldmember

Well-Known Member
Hey all, I've been studying for my initial CFI. Here's the deal, I spent the last year working overseas to save cash for my Instrument, Com, and CFI. My instructor and I worked out a plan and a budget to get everything done. So, fast forward, I have my instrument and com and am now just cramming for my CFI and trying to teach everything. We had originally scheduled for CFI training 2 flights in the Arrow from the right seat, and 2 ground sessions and then the plane for the checkride to come out to $800-$1000. We did it this way to save money by building time in the 152 to 240 hours, then after the 10 hours in the Arrow I would get my com and CFI right after. However, I had to do my Com training as if I was training for my CFI so I wouldn't "pass" a maneuver unless I could also teach it. Again, we did this to save money. So now here we are and I walk into the FBO yesterday and my CFI starts talking about a 5-day program, 9-5 for 5 days of ground with 8 hours of Arrow time mixed in. I was like, WHAT??? I don't have that kind of cash because I only saved enough for the budget and I'm not throwing 4k on a credit card I can tell you that, not with the way the economy is today.

So I guess I need help in understanding how other people got their rating. I was under the impression I would study myself, do several ground checks, the two flights in the Arrow and do the ride. Is that legit or am I fooling myself here? My CFI said this is the way he did it but I think what's behind all this is the fact that the last 10 or so people this school has sent to the FAA have failed their initial and the FAA is getting pretty upset about the preparedness of the students. Also, this school is trying to do a 141 thing but their numbers are awfully low right now so it may be a combo of the FAA coming down on them and the school trying to get more cash.

I don't know, It just really took the wind out of my sails and I can't even study today knowing I don't have the cash to finish when I'm so close. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks
 

Number1atNumber2

Tries to keep it fun.
You're only planning on doing 2 flights from the right seat before you do the checkride? Umm, that seems a bit low to me. Learning to fly from the right side can take a bit of getting used to. Also teaching while you are flying at the same time isn't as easy as it may sound. I know you're trying to save money and get things done quickly, but unfortunatly that doesn't often go hand in hand with flight training. Getting your CFI often involves a TON of book work.

The ride itself can take quite some time. I don't know how long it is at your school, but the people that got theirs under part 61 had the whole process take 1/2 a day or longer. That ammount of info can't really be crammed for IMO.

I think what you were told: 5 days 9-5 and 8 hours of Arrow time would be the MINIMUM. I think I needed about 15 hours of flight time, however I can be a dumbass at times, so I struggled with it. ;) I was pretty well prepared for my ride when I took it, but even then it wasn't easy.
 

ILS37R

Well-Known Member
You may have to bite the bullet on this one.

When it comes to your CFI ride, your flying skills aren't the primary concern. You only have to demonstrate skills at commercial PTS and, hey, you've already got that ticket. There's a couple new maneuvers which you'll need to be able to "demo," but they have no numerical PTS. No, the CFI ride is all about its much-lamented oral. That said, while two flights in the Arrow from the right seat isn't necessarily fooling yourself, it is setting a very high bar. See how that first set of steep turns goes.

Are you prepared without the additional ground training? I have no idea. Your instructor might. Honestly, the FOI training--which requires a specific endorsement saying it's been done--can easily take more than two sessions. And that says nothing of vast store of knowledge you should already have accumulated, the new material (what are all the student cross-country endorsements?), and any practical teaching experience.

If, indeed, the school's pass rate is currently flagging and its applicants have targets painted on their back with FAA Examiners, do you really want to be going into the ride with a bare minimum of training--a fact which won't be lost when they look in your logbook at the beginning of the oral? If you get a pink slip you'll end up paying for the additional training, anyhow, and get to answer everyone's favorite question at every pilot job interview for the rest of your career (not a problem, perse, but certainly tedious).

The final and, of course, most intractable issue is that you're not going on your checkride without your CFI's endorsement. You have long odds of finding another instructor--who isn't familiar with you--that will put his name on your 8710 without at least as much training as is being proposed. You have some bargaining strength in that he's the one deviating from the plan--maybe some of that ground time should be at a reduced charge or even gratis--but, at the end of the day, he (or she) has the pen.

I know, I know, not really what you wanted to hear. As I understand it, this new plan is changing your flight time that much (10 hours in the Arrow on the old plan vs. 8 + checkride for the new one), so talk to your instructor about what has to happen in the ground work to get you ready within budget. Maybe you can sit in on his sessions with other students (or even teach them under supervision). A lot of instructors I know are willing to be taken to lunch or dinner in lieu of their hourly rate. If you have to, play a little hardball--they have the pen, but you have the money.
 

Goldmember

Well-Known Member
You guys are right. I've slept on it and feel better about it today as yesterday was "vent" day so to speak. I just get so angry because it seems everything you do in aviation, you set a plan and it never works out that way, EVER. In this case, I should have just built to 230 hours, then done 10 in the Arrow for Comm, then 10 for CFI and done the checkrides back to back and saved the cash but what can you do? I'm not one to be underprepared, I hate that feeling! So I think I will do this thing hour by hour and feel out how much time we'll need and go from there. The more I think about it, those extra hours will make me more confident in the ride and I hear that's what they want to see. Thanks for the help.

Cheers
 

cfii2007

New Member
I spent about a month working on the lesson plans alone, roughly 20 hours of ground with my instructor, and maybe 15 hours flight from the right seat, in both 172 and Arrow.
 

Grabo172

Well-Known Member
I don't remember the hours it took me, but it was somewhere around 2 months and around 15 hours of right seat flying to get ALL the maneuvers to standards and be able to teach them at the same time...

Had to give several lectures and studying like mad for the writtens and the oral (which lasted 6 hours).. The flights were quick for the test, I think 1.2 in a 152 and .6 in the 172RG...

a week of 9-5s sounds reasonable... to me at least.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
You guys are right. I've slept on it and feel better about it today as yesterday was "vent" day so to speak. I just get so angry because it seems everything you do in aviation, you set a plan and it never works out that way, EVER. In this case, I should have just built to 230 hours, then done 10 in the Arrow for Comm, then 10 for CFI and done the checkrides back to back and saved the cash but what can you do? I'm not one to be underprepared, I hate that feeling! So I think I will do this thing hour by hour and feel out how much time we'll need and go from there. The more I think about it, those extra hours will make me more confident in the ride and I hear that's what they want to see.
Consider this your first CFI lesson in managing student expectations.

I've gotten to the point where I won't tell a pilot how many flight hours it will take to do any stage of training. For example, I used to tell certified pilots they could get an airplane checkout in 1-2 hrs. Most people can, but I've had a commercial pilot who took 12 hrs and a private pilot who took .9 hrs. When guys take longer for a stage of training than I told them to expect, I felt responsible for the error even though it was normally beyond my control (normally poor consistency or poor skills). Now when guys ask me how long it will take for a checkout, I tell them about my high and low guy and they should expect to fall out somewhere in between depending on their skills and comfort level.

You will probably get a student like you who shows up with a budget for training. What would you tell that student now? In my experience, I've always had to go back and repeat lessons either because the objectives weren't met, or they were met so long ago that I feel it's important to review them before going on to the next lesson. It's hard to say how much excess a person should budget, but there definitely should be some. A guy who only flies once a week will need to repeat lessons more often than a guy who flies every day, but both guys need to have a reserve built into their budget.

The other thing I'd point out to you is to try to divorce your training from the cost of it in your own mind. You should be looking to invest quality training into your chosen profession. You made a plan to get as much training done prior to accumulating 250 hrs as possible, and I commend you for that. But don't stress about having 260 hrs when you take your CFI ride. You didn’t waste money on 10 extra hours of flying. All flight time will make you a better pilot if you spend it wisely.

If you have been flying from the right seat and doing your CFI training at the same time as your commercial training, then 2 more flights may be enough. If you are just now moving to the right seat then I suspect you will need a lot more to be comfortable and proficient--how much more is hard to say. When I started CFI lessons I had about 800 hours TT and I spent about 1.2-1.5 flight and 3-4 hrs ground every Sat for about 6 months. Even so, I nearly failed my CFI initial when I landed a bit long in the Arrow I had rented for part of the test, and the examiner asked me, “What did you think of that landing?” I knew it was out of PTS limits, but I decided I wasn’t going to do her job for her, so I said, “It was a bit long, but I think I landed within 200 feet of the point you gave me.” She didn’t say another word about it and I went on to pass my test.

Be a proponent of training, not of budgeting.
 

CoffeeIcePapers

Well-Hung Member
I found some on the internet, tailored them to my needs, and printed them out. Only opened them once for my checkride, and that was just to pull a diagram out. Big waste of time.
 

KLB

Well-Known Member
I found some on the internet, tailored them to my needs, and printed them out. Only opened them once for my checkride, and that was just to pull a diagram out. Big waste of time.
:yeahthat:

I just got mines off the internet. The examiner liked them.
 

juskl

Well-Known Member
I took about 4 months to get my CFI. About 20 or so hours in the air, a ton of ground and numerous hours writting out my lesson plans on the computer. Don't jump into the finding someone else's lesson plans. You learn a lot by going through the books and writting them out yourself. I hated it too, but the learning that came from it was invauable.

Alot depends on your examiner about how much you will use your lesson plans. The examiner I had went through them and wanted to see which ones I had. I had over 30. He was very impressed by that. Then he started asking questions from random lesson plans to guage if I in fact did them. So you may want to take that into account.

The FAA has been and will continue to crack down on shotty teaching and early signoffs for the CFI. Some FSDO's are sending CFI's whom signoff someone with out a clue, a 709 ride... Which puts the whole thing to light.

Don't rush it. The cost sucks, but that is just the way it is.

Good luck.
 
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