Thinking of trying, again (getting the CFI)

jamin35008

New Member
Hey all,

I was wondering if I could get some advise from all the CFI's out there on my situation. I started my CFI training at the local FBO about 2 years ago but due to financial and family reasons only got about half way through before stopping. Since then I have only been up twice with the most recent time being last August. I'm really thinking about trying again and would love to become a CFI but have my doubts about my proficiency. I have been able to secure a loan from family for around 4k if I decide to do it. Here are my questions/concerns.....

-Has anyone else been in this boat where you started then stopped and started again? How did you get through it? How was it getting back up?
-Any suggestions on where to start? Get the writtens out of the way before flying?
-Where or what have been the best study material for everyone?
-What do you do to stop thinking about the checkride? I have heard the CFI is the grand daddy of them all and I cant get that out of my head....
-Last...anything you can add or suggest would be great!

Thanks so much everyone!
-Ben
 
Ben, I wouldn't worry about the checkride now. Get the writtens done and get proficient again. I see you're from ROC. I'm from BUF and did my initial at the ROC FSDO with RB. The inspectors over there aren't bad guys...all very fair. I wouldn't let it worry you.

Take care,
Greg
 
Hey all,

I was wondering if I could get some advise from all the CFI's out there on my situation. I started my CFI training at the local FBO about 2 years ago but due to financial and family reasons only got about half way through before stopping. Since then I have only been up twice with the most recent time being last August. I'm really thinking about trying again and would love to become a CFI but have my doubts about my proficiency. I have been able to secure a loan from family for around 4k if I decide to do it. Here are my questions/concerns.....

-Has anyone else been in this boat where you started then stopped and started again? How did you get through it? How was it getting back up?
-Any suggestions on where to start? Get the writtens out of the way before flying?
-Where or what have been the best study material for everyone?
-What do you do to stop thinking about the checkride? I have heard the CFI is the grand daddy of them all and I cant get that out of my head....
-Last...anything you can add or suggest would be great!

Thanks so much everyone!
-Ben


I took a huge break in my flying, but that was during my commercial training.
From what I remember, things come back quick, so don't worry about it.
CFI is mostly book work and that is free!
The FAA books are fine.
+oral exam guide
+Written Guide
+PTS books

That is all you need, don't worry about being rusty.
 
I am in the same boat. Finished my commercial training summer 07 and then went to a university to get my BA. I haven't flown since late August of last year. First flight is going to be Saturday and I am feeling that same worry of being rusty. Going to a 4 year was a great choice but its kind of screwed me in the currency/proficiency department.
 
Thanks! That makes me feel better knowing that others are/where in the same boat as me. I too got my 4yr B.S. degree and kinda wish I flew more frequent than I did.

Any suggestions for the writtten? I like the King stuff because its visual and thats how I learn but it is expensive. I bought the king instructor/foi course back in I think early 2007 so Im sure its outdated but I heard somewhere you can return it and buy a updated one for 1/2 price?

Thanks again!
 
jamin - what FBO are (were) you training at? I got my CFI at ROC as well and flew/ instructed up there about two years ago.
 
Just to help your confidence a little more....

Don't worry about being rusty, if you've made it far enough in your training to go for the CFI, then everything will come back very quick.

Books:

(free at faa.gov)
Airplane Flying Handbook
Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
FAR/AIM

Also, if you have it, go through the Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual, and thoroughly know the POH for your particular airplane.

Like Douglas said, the book work is free. With 4K you should have plenty left over for a well deserved beer. GOOD LUCK!!:nana2:
 
Just to help your confidence a little more....

Don't worry about being rusty, if you've made it far enough in your training to go for the CFI, then everything will come back very quick.

Books:

(free at faa.gov)
Airplane Flying Handbook
Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
FAR/AIM

Also, if you have it, go through the Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual, and thoroughly know the POH for your particular airplane.

Like Douglas said, the book work is free. With 4K you should have plenty left over for a well deserved beer. GOOD LUCK!!:nana2:

I do have all those books so I will start looking through them again. I also have a friend who did his CFI not to long ago and he gave me his binder that he made through training so I will look at that as well.

I will same a few bucks for some beer after I get my ticket.....thats for sure!!!!:D
 
Hey all,

I was wondering if I could get some advise from all the CFI's out there on my situation. I started my CFI training at the local FBO about 2 years ago but due to financial and family reasons only got about half way through before stopping. Since then I have only been up twice with the most recent time being last August. I'm really thinking about trying again and would love to become a CFI but have my doubts about my proficiency. I have been able to secure a loan from family for around 4k if I decide to do it. Here are my questions/concerns.....

-Has anyone else been in this boat where you started then stopped and started again? How did you get through it? How was it getting back up?
-Any suggestions on where to start? Get the writtens out of the way before flying?
-Where or what have been the best study material for everyone?
-What do you do to stop thinking about the checkride? I have heard the CFI is the grand daddy of them all and I cant get that out of my head....
-Last...anything you can add or suggest would be great!

Thanks so much everyone!
-Ben

I disagree with some of the above posts.

It takes longer than you think to become proficient again, especially at teaching others. It cost me about 2x what I planned (thank you Bank for more loans!)

The flying part is the easy part. The learning how to do all the maneuvers to PTS and teach is the hard part.

I would plan a money cushion.
 
I do have all those books so I will start looking through them again. I also have a friend who did his CFI not to long ago and he gave me his binder that he made through training so I will look at that as well.

New versions of several of the FAA books have come out recently (Weather, Weather Services and PHAK come to mind), so grab some new copies at the FSDO if you have the older versions.

Very cool of your friend to let you look through his binder, just don't let yourself get lazy and go photocopying his lesson plans. Putting together your own lesson plans is incredibly informative, even if you rarely use your binder as a CFI. Having the knowledge to regurgitate on a commercial checkride is a far way from organizing information in your mind at a level which lets you teach.
 
Thank you to everyone who has given me great info on this topic I really appreciate it!

Another thought/question I had was about any seminars/programs that might be held to help CFI's canidates ready for the checkride/oral?
 
I have used this program for IRA, CAX, FIA, FOI, and working on FII. 90+ on all. Start a new session with all the questions and make sure it is on "until i've seen each question from the current pool once". Just do like 100 questions a night and save it each night until you are through all of the questions. When you get finished, click on the option that lets you re-do all the ones you missed. Save this when it opens and start the process over. Eventially you will get it down to 0 questions and you will make an A with no question.

Good Luck

You guys have any thoughts on the dauntless stuff? http://www.dauntless-soft.com/PRODUCTS/GroundSchool/cfi.asp
 
I have used this program for IRA, CAX, FIA, FOI, and working on FII. 90+ on all. Start a new session with all the questions and make sure it is on "until i've seen each question from the current pool once". Just do like 100 questions a night and save it each night until you are through all of the questions. When you get finished, click on the option that lets you re-do all the ones you missed. Save this when it opens and start the process over. Eventially you will get it down to 0 questions and you will make an A with no question.

Good Luck

I'm also a big fan of the Dauntless stuff, used it for all my writtens from IRA up to IGI. My technique is slightly different though, I just keep on doing practice exams, then I review the explanation for the ones I get wrong, then take another and another. After 2 days of doing this for 6-8 hours I am consistantly getting in the high 90s and I know I can go take the real thing.

To the OP, the CFI is mainly just studying. Make sure you have the newest versions of the Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge; the Airplane Flying Handbook; the Aviation Instructors Handbook; the private, commercial and CFI PTS; and a current FAR/AIM. Read them all through once. Then start working on lesson plans for each of the TASKs out of the CFI PTS using the AFH and the PHAK as your reference. That should allow you to really develop a good understanding for the material. You then need to go through the FAR/AIM with post-it tabs and make sure you know all the obvious regs and requirements. Finally, I'd go through the AIH one more time and make sure you fully understand the material.

As for the flying it should only take 10-15 hours as long as you can fly regularly. I'd try to fly twice a day for 1.5 or so, and do that over a week and you'll be good. I ended up doing it over a month and a half with 3 week-long enforced breaks (due to WX, MX, plane availability, and the FSDO refusing to call me back to schedule my ride) and ended up with 20hrs. Very frustrating, and expensive.
 
All the replies so far have been encouraging and I don't wish to dampen that, but just realize the job market right now for CFIs is not especially good. If you do not have a job lined up, you may very well have to move or accept low pay or part-time work if you can find it in your area.

This is not to say jobs are non-existent, just much harder to get than they have been in recent years.

I don't know your income needs, so maybe this isn't a factor for you -- if not, have fun! Instructing is everything everyone says it is. Hopefully hiring will pick up everywhere by next year.
 
Definitely get the writtens out of the way first. I found the best books to study from where the FAA materials and the Gleim CFI book.

Gotta get the ride out of your mind. When you are ready just bite the bullet and take it.
 
-What do you do to stop thinking about the checkride? I have heard the CFI is the grand daddy of them all and I cant get that out of my head....

Passing a tough checkride is what gives you the confidence to take a brand spankin' new student into the air and give him the flight controls with nothing but your skills as the safety net. You don't want the FAA to hand you a ticket, you want to make sure you earn it. If you take that approach, you will look forward to the checkride instead of dread it.
 
The CFI PTS will be your biggest friend. If you read it cover to cover there should be no suprises on the checkride.
 
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