Lesson plans required for checkride?


New Member
I just started working with my first Initial CFI student, and I have a question about preparing lesson plans for the checkride.

I got my Initial CFI back in 2001, after working on it for two years (part-time while working full-time). During those two years, I worked with several instructors. Some insisted that you must have a complete library of written lesson plans for the checkride, while others said you only needed the one for the lesson the examiner wanted you to teach.

This was back when there was the option of taking the initial CFI checkride with a DPE, which I did. He told me in advance which lesson I would be teaching, and that's the lesson plan I prepared. Of course, he expected me to exhibit "instructional knowledge" on every topic we discussed (and we discussed them all), but he only wanted to see the written plan for that one specific lesson.

Of course, things have changed since then, so I want to be sure I prepare my student thoroughly.

I searched the PTS, and could find nothing about requiring a full library of lesson plans. But, I also found the statement, "the examiner shall not tell the applicant in advance which TASKs will be included in the plan of action."

So, does this mean the examiner no longer tells the applicant in advance which lesson they will be teaching? If so, that would imply the need for a full library of lesson plans.

I don't want to debate the merit of preparing numerous lesson plans -- that's a topic best saved for a separate thread. I just want to know what the FAA examiners are expecting when an Initial CFI candidate shows up for the checkride.

Also, my student will be flying with the Atlanta FSDO, in case anyone has any FSDO-specific pre-checkride advice.



Well-Known Member
I just took my CFII last week and was told in advance what lesson to prepare.

However for my CFI ride I was not told so it’s a toss up. I think you should have some type of lesson plan for each technical subject area. You are preparing to teach others and I've found it a GREAT asset to already have detailed lesson plan to look over before a ground lesson and then have it as a reference as well.

Doing the lesson plans aids the CFI applicant because it forces them to look over the information numerous times; once when they study it, then building the lesson plan and then actually typing it out. The retention of info was much higher for me then if I didn’t make them.

It can't hurt but it CAN do a world of good


New Member
I just started working with my first Initial CFI student, and I have a question about preparing lesson plans for the checkride.
All of my CFI candidates have gone with DPE's, the last about two years ago. In each case, the examiner told them in advance what the lesson was going to be on. On my own CFI ride in 2000(?), I didn't have any lessons prepared and I prepared one while the Inspector did some paperwork.

Reading the PTS, it does appear the candidate needs to be able to give a lesson on any of the tasks in Areas of Operation from VII to XIII. It certainly leaves open the possibility that you could prepare it on the fly. There seems to be no requirement for a paper lesson plan, although you might could use the opportunity to demonstrate how you'd construct one.

I'd say the examiner has a bit of discretion here about what he determines to be adequate preparation. If I were you, I'd consider calling the inspector and asking him/her what he/she expects.