Question for those who got their CFI at an FBO


BirchJet CA
I'm trying to estimate the cost of getting an CFI rating at an FBO. Most FBOs seem to be quoting 40 hours of ground for an Initial CFI rating. So my question to those of you who got your CFI at an FBO is: how many hours of ground instruction did you need?

Thanks for any answers,
First off I haven't taken my checkride yet, but I've been signed off and am waiting around for the plane to return from maintenance. That said I logged about 20 hours of ground school during my CFI training. 10 hours over the FOI stuff and 10 hours reviewing FAR's, teaching maneuvers, etc. I spent about 30 hours in flight mastering the right seat, most of that solo and the rest giving mock lessons to my instructor.

During your CFI training, you get to a point where you're almost at the same level of understanding as your instructor regarding the FAR's and aerodynamics. Continuing to pay for ground school at that point has rapidly diminishing returns.

Find the people who had the same examiner you're going to have for your initial CFI checkride and pay those people for a few hours of ground. Since just about any question is fair game on the CFI oral is fair game, it really helps to know what specfic questions outside of the PTS that your examiner is fond of asking.

For instance, I found out that I need to know a lot about the equations for lift and drag, coefficients of lift and drag, etc for my oral. Unless I had spoken with people who had my examiner before I did, there's no way I would be able to explain, much less teach those topics during my CFI oral. I also heard that he failed someone for not being able to say from memory the diameter of the prop on the plane he was flying. I'm making sure to memorize that spec....
You can see my entire experience at Checkride Central, but excerpt here to your question:
By the time I was ready to submit my application, I had received about 110 hours of Instruction, including about 20 hours in flight. An important part of the ground instruction I received was actually “career counseling” and introductions. My instructor and I met for training most weekdays in a pilot lounge of the building that also housed the on-field Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), the NTSB, and several flight schools. This provided a stream of interesting informal meetings with FAA employees, inspectors, pilots, mechanics, and instructors and their students.
10.1 hours of ground, and about 5 hours of dual for my initial (CFII).

I will admit that I never had to learn to teach - former school-trained Naval "group-paced instructor, 3 years on "the stick".
I had about 30 hours of ground for both the CFI and CFII. The flight portion was not as demanding since I only spent about 4 hours flying for my CFII and 1.1 for CFI. I think it all depends on who you take your ride with since most FBO's i've done training w/train the student according to who's giving the check ride (FSDO or DE).
Didn't really keep track, since I did the Comm and CFI together.

I will say that you can drastically reduce ground time by doing it on your own. Pretend to teach at home with the whiteboard, etc. and you'll speed through the training.
Didn't really keep track, since I did the Comm and CFI together.

I will say that you can drastically reduce ground time by doing it on your own. Pretend to teach at home with the whiteboard, etc. and you'll speed through the training.

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I have thought about doing this and integrating my CFI training into my 250 hours for my commercial... is this a good idea? I mean, I figure, a lot of those 250 hours are going to be drilling holes in the sky, why not spend the time learning something new and potentially saving money? Is this looked down upon?
Well I can only speak for myself... but it could not have worked better for me:

Instead of doing all the Comm training in the left seat and having to transition, why not just learn the commercial maneuvers from day 1 in the right seat? After all, that's where you're gonna spend 99% of your flight time after you start instructing. If you talk to the DE before hand you can probably talk him into doing the comm ride from the right seat: that's what I did. This way there is no transition at all; it will save you time and money. And if you start training at around 230ish hours you can bet on doing the Comm / CFI back to back at just over 250
Probably the best way go about it is to make sure you meet the comm requirements by around 235 or so (and already have famaliarity w/ the maneuvers), then spend the next 15 in the right seat of a complex airplane.

how's the job hunt coming?

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Good thanks, taking sone kind of CFI checkout flight / interview at my school next Wed; 99% sure it will work out. And if not my commercial DE offered me a job at another school.
Harlock the question you should be asking is: What is the pass rate at my Fysdo? That should determine where you do your CFI rating. Some FAA offices have an 80% fail rate, some have an 50% pass rate, and some offices are so busy they let you go with an approved DPE.
This is what I did and should set some people straight. When you are around the 235 mark just go all out for your CFI. Study for the CFI and fly from the right seat. The commercial ticket is just a byproduct of knowing your CFI stuff. I started flying from the right seat plenty early at 235 and I took my CFI checkride (and passed the first time) at 254 with a 1 hour arrow trip in that total just getting to the dpe. Worked for me, Im just an idiot because I didn't do my CFII right after.