Self Study For CFI

LS024

Well-Known Member
How many of you did self study for your CFI certificate? How did you do it, and did it work out? What were things you had trouble with? Thanks
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
I did my CFI as study buddy thing, that was very close to self study, we would just force each other to meet in the library so we would actually study.

I would suggest you find somebody else and pair up with them, most of this will be by yourself but if you have a problem and just can't resolve it, your study buddy might.
Self study is very doable and it really gets you used to looking stuff up to find the right answer instead of being told.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
I self-studied for the knowledge test using the Gleim CDs.

But the bottom line for the CFI practical isn't how much you know but how well you can communicate it to others who don't.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
But the bottom line for the CFI practical isn't how much you know but how well you can communicate it to others who don't.
Now is the time to annoy every nonflyng freind you know as you pratice teaching ground lessons to them. If they look confused and bewildered, you need to work on your material. If they say "so that's how it works!" you're on the right track.

You'll be amazed at how many things you simply assume your "student" knows.
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
Now is the time to annoy every nonflyng freind you know as you pratice teaching ground lessons to them. If they look confused and bewildered, you need to work on your material. If they say "so that's how it works!" you're on the right track.

You'll be amazed at how many things you simply assume your "student" knows.
:yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat:

Teach a girlfriend or roommate and you will be amazed at how many times they stop you and say, "wait, what is that?"
it really helps take you back to square one.
 

BrewMaster

Well-Known Member
Getting your CFI seems almost contradictory when you are learning the most technical information up until this point in your career, yet you are required to dumb it down to a very elementary level. That was one of the hardest things for me, I kept trying to recite everything verbatim and tried to get into the real technical aspects of stuff, and my instructor kept saying that was too much. Just remember that you have to know it all, but teach it initially at a very basic level so they can comprehend everything.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Getting your CFI seems almost contradictory when you are learning the most technical information up until this point in your career, yet you are required to dumb it down to a very elementary level.
That's what teachers do. The idea is that the more you =understand= about a subject, the more able you are of tailoring your explanation to the audience. It's not contradictory; it's what teaching is about.
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
I think it is a paradox, like brew master said.

While you are not already a teacher, you yourself are learning ideas to a higher level but then explaining them at an entry level.
 

Low&Slow

Ancora imparo
So, for those CFIs who went the self-study route:

How many hours/day, days/week did you study?

How long did it take you before you were ready for your writtens, oral, and practical?

What was the toughest part for you?

Did you use King Schools, Sporty's or other software/videos to help? If so, how did that work out for you?

Do you regret doing it self-study, or do you think you made the right decision?

Did you have anybody to help you out?

How long of a flying break did you have from the last time you were flying regularly until you started flight training for the CFI?

Any other advice or insights?
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
So, for those CFIs who went the self-study route:

How many hours/day, days/week did you study?
When be buckled down and were serious we would spend a couple nights a week about 3-4 hours in the library, in a study room where we could talk and use a white board. We would also invite the guy who was going to sign us off (our buddy and flight instructor). -Though the last two weeks leading up to the practical, we spent at least 1-4 hours studying or reviewing something or other.

How long did it take you before you were ready for your writtens, oral, and practical?
We started and stopped our studying alot until we buckled down and got serious, but for the most part we studied a lot in February then took time off due to other things until June where we studied on and off, a couple of times a week. Then we took July off and then scheduled the check ride for mid August and really did nothing but read and talk aviation for the two weeks prior to the ride. The written was the standard study for a week and take it and get it out of the way early.
What was the toughest part for you?
Making sure that nothing slipped by us. We spent a lot of time asking each other, "what else can we study, what else will they ask and why?" Deciding when to schedule the check ride was hard until we decided to go for it.

Did you use King Schools, Sporty's or other software/videos to help? If so, how did that work out for you?
http://www.actechbooks.com/products/act213/ we borrowed this from a guy, but we barely cracked it. it is not worth it if you have the FAA publications.
My buddy did by this http://www.kingschools.com/productDetail.asp?itemNo=KFD FVCHCDVDK from the King people.
I don't think it is worth the price for the knowledge, but I would argue that it is worth going 50/50 with somebody because it does demystify the process. Though as we watched it, we thought John would totally have failed the oral if it was a real checkride. But in reality the process is just like any other check ride you have been on, just at the FSDO and harder questions you can't believe you can answer.


Do you regret doing it self-study, or do you think you made the right decision?

Me and my study buddy passed with ease and the FSDO called our instructor and told him he did a great job with us. That made us feel pretty proud. They asked the "hardest" questions of any check ride I have ever been on, but we were so prepared, it was easy.

Did you have anybody to help you out?

Our instructor, left us getting ready up to us, but he did supply us with material, i.e. worksheets, he did while he was in our shoes. He was always willing to try and help us with something that we couldn't resolve. He also told us stories of what to expect from students and different kinds of students. He also helped demystify what the FSDO and the examiner would be like. I think he was very very beneficial in making everything smooth.

How long of a flying break did you have from the last time you were flying regularly until you started flight training for the CFI?
It was November when I finished my commercial training, I didn't become a flight instructor until August. (same as my study buddy) To most people that time frame is unacceptable. I am/was more interested in QOL. I did what I wanted to do, and hurrying to get on a seniority list was the last thing on my mind then, like it is now.

Any other advice or insights?
study study study and if you want some tips for books I will PM you.
You will know you are ready when you feel ready, not when somebody tells you are. If you hang around flight instructors, you will also know when you can answer a lot more questions then they can, because you will know the most in your life, during the checkride. After that , things get grey due to disuse.
Also, try and wrap your head around the fact that you are only using your pilots certificate via your Instructor certificate, you will be an instructor now, paid to instruct, not fly. You may not like instruction, but go after it will all you've got. You might find it is better than most say.
 

splash

your social justice comic center
You should check out the trading post section if you haven't taken the FOI yet.
 

slushie

C56X ATP CFII MEI
Douglas and others:
Thanks for your wisdom and insight, I'm going to start work on my CFI in Jan. and I'm getting a little more excited about it reading posts like this.

-Slush
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
How many hours/day, days/week did you study?
8 hours a day, 5 days a week
I kept myself to a fairly rigid schedule of 2 hours studying and 1 hour break. I would also make sure that I would study something different for every 2 hour period (one block would be from the PHAK, next block from the AIM, and so on).So out of a 12 hours, 8 were spent studying.

I would take the weekends of.

I think planning breaks is very important and I have seen a lot of guys burnout from pushing too hard.

How long did it take you before you were ready for your writtens, oral, and practical?
From start to finish was about a month and a half. The written test I hit the Gleim software hard and took the test after about a week. Oral and practical, I don't think I ever felt ready for those until after.

What was the toughest part for you?
The school/instructor I was working with was not as serious as I was.

Did you use King Schools, Sporty's or other software/videos to help? If so, how did that work out for you?
Gleim and the internet

Do you regret doing it self-study, or do you think you made the right decision?
For me and the way I learn it was the only way to go.
Did you have anybody to help you out?
My wife worked whilst knocked up so I didn't have to work. That helps a lot.
How long of a flying break did you have from the last time you were flying regularly until you started flight training for the CFI?
I did the CSEL and CFI together, CFI checkride was 10 days after CSEL (it was supposed to be the very next day, but WX, Mx happen).
 

Low&Slow

Ancora imparo
Wow, great replies!

I work full time, so I can't go hardcore like bdhill did and I don't know anybody that is working on their CFI (or any other certificate or rating for that matter), so the group study thing is out too.

I am doing it self-study for those reasons and also because at this point in my training, paying someone to tell me what I can read for free doesn't make any sense. Right now I feel like I am relearning everything from scratch, plus the FOI stuff on top of that.

I haven't flown since June 14, 2005 (date I sold my C172M) so I don't know just how rotten I will be at the controls, but I'm sure it won't be pretty.
 

splash

your social justice comic center
What punk? Eh, eh, what you laughing at, eh? :D

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Yeah, I have a tight budget to do this CFI thing. I got the FIA done with 2-3 weeks of self studying (got serious when I scheduled a date) and it has been 4 years ago since I got my commercial. I did have to relearn some. LOL, the only time you use half the written material that you are studying is when you need to teach it.

I am giving myself a 5 hour limit flight time practice. I have some right seat practace already under my belt. My first thing to practice is going to be those lazy chandelles :)D well that's what they will look like anyways at first).

modern, set a date for the test. It will help you push through. I had to do the FIA like this. I chose the FIA first to build up motivation for the sleeping pill FOI. I haven't flown since mid summer if that makes you feel better. I don't think you forget how to fly. It stays with you.
 

fletchersteel

Well-Known Member
I also have been studying for the initial on my own time. Mainly to cut the cost down. But, I thought that I read in the FAR's that the initial must have 40 hours of ground instruction and the add on must have at least 25 hours instruction. It was from the '08 FAR/AIM, and I can't find it in '09; did it change? Or am I off my rocker? A friend of mine told me that the initial could be done for under a grand, is that doable with self study alone? Also, what do you guys think about the CFII as the initial and the single as the add on? It seems that if I am going to have to pay for 40 hours of instructing, I'd rather it be on instrument material.
 

SuperCubRick

Well-Known Member
All of the instructors at my flight school (part 61) reccomended that I take my CFII written right after taking my instrument written since they're the exact same test (got a 97 and 96 respectively!) - because this way I can do my CFII checkride first as my initial CFI rating since everyone says it's an easier checkride.

You only have to go with the FAA on the initial, so my CFI will just be with a DPE.

Should have my instrument out of the way in a few weeks and commercial shortly after that - but it sounds like I've got a lot of studying to do for the CFI. Maybe being current on the instrument / commercial stuff will help reduce the study time.
 
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