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Actually there is a minimum flying requirement. Prior to any practical test you must have logged 3 hrs of dual instruction for that practical test in the last 60 days. I don't have 14 CFR in front of me right now but it's somewhere in 61.
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Actually, there is NO aeronautical experience requirement for the flight instructor certificate. I repeat...none. Zero. Zip.
If you read Part 61.109 (a)(4), it deals with the Private certificate, and the aeronautical experience requirement. this is where you will find the required 3 hours of training in the last 60 days...blah, blah. You will find the same blurb in the section that deals with the Instrument as well as the commercial.
NOW....if you read part 61.181 through 61.187 (the section that deals with the flight instructor requirements), you'll not find a single piece about aeronautical experience. There is NO requirement for 3 hours during the 60 days prior to the practical test. In 61.187 (Flight proficiency) you will find that you must recieve an endorsement from an authorized instructor on "...the areas of operation...." certifying that you are proficient to pass a practical test. But, again, there are no specific requirements for specific amounts of flight time.
This will possibly be the most difficult thing to explain to a flight instructor that should, in reality, be very comfortable with the regulations. However, you will still find the "I had to bust my butt [read:waste time and money] with my CFI, so I have to do the same thing to you..." mentality, but there is no need for that. If you can perform to the PTS standards, you're ready for the checkride. If not, it may take you the 15 or 20 hours. But it's the private and commercial checkride, from the right seat.....nothing more.
Just for your own info, alot of people seem to think that you have to do your CFI before you do your CFI-I. WRONG!!!!! If you want to make the path a little bit easier, you can take your CFI-I first (with the FSDO), and then do your CFI-A with a DE. That way, there are less areas for the FSDO to fail you on (I'm not saying that to say you should cheat....but I think that it is safe to say that a FSDO checkride can be a little too thorough, and that many FSDO examiners are....ummm......overly enthusiastic). No landings (as long as you're safe), no ground reference, etc. Something to think about.....
If anybody knows a regulation that I'm missing, please point it out - I'd like to know it.