You know you're a CFI when...


Roger, Roger

...your headset and sunglasses are worth more than your car. utter phrases like "more right rudder", "is the nose yawing?", and "are you trimmed?" in your sleep. no longer greet the sound of the stall warning horn during engine failure practice with panic, but rather with a resigned sigh, quick, methodical instructions for recovery, and the words "let's try that one again" in your most encouraging voice.

...your diet consists of: coffee, PB&J, cereal, rice, coffee. fly every day and haven't logged a landing in 70+ days. wonder every day if you were this dense during your training.

...the phrases "GRABCARD", "TOMATO FLAMES", "FLAPS", "ANDS", "UNOS", and countless others mean anything to you, and may come up in daily conversation. have (arguably, I know) the most (NOT monetarily) rewarding job in aviation. try to add your CFI number to your signature on checks, forms, and anything else you sign your name to. tell people what you do and they ask you if you can fly airplanes.

Feel free to add your own.'ve logged more than 70+ hours but only flown about 3 start telling you're driving with to start to rotate once they get to 60mph on the freeway

...tower requests you by name to respond to his last call

...while your student is doing his preflight, your preflight is simply "how much oil do we have" as you walk around with him don't panic when you beginning veering towards the tower on takeoff, you simply mutter "my controls" and correct for it are suspicious of the piloting abilities of everyone you fly with, even if they're not students expect every landing to be a train-wreck tell people your age and they think you're joking because they have children older than you

...the FSDO FAA guys quiz you on every FAR they can think of on the spot when you only came in to pick up an 8710

...the airport refuelers are surprised to see that you're at the airport more than they are
...riding shotgun in a car makes you nervous because you don't have your own set of controls.
For CFIs in the NE and upper midwest:

You got to log the massive amount of 5 hours in December.
For CFIs in the NE and upper midwest:

You got to log the massive amount of 5 hours in December.

This is what it's been like for the last month
KGEG 180553Z 36003KT 10SM OVC006 M02/M02 A3066 RMK AO2 SLP411 4/002 T10171022 11011 21017 53010

KGEG 180521Z 1806/1906 03005KT P6SM OVC006 FM182000 03005KT P6SM BKN010
...tower requests you by name to respond to his last call

...the FSDO FAA guys quiz you on every FAR they can think of on the spot when you only came in to pick up an 8710

The FSDO guys ask you questions for your interpretation, knowing that you've probably gotten the letter from National Legal on it.

You are the FSDO's FAA guys' instructor...

You go from spending 2 hours on trimming practice, to explaining the finer details of a GPS WAAS approach, to detailing the basics of a jet engine, to a ferry flight with a fellow instructor, and have to sit on your hands as the fellow instructor doesn't need you guarding the controls.

You give more free instruction than what you charge for.

ATC is about to chew out your student when the controller pauses for a second, then asks if you are on board.

You've been working your arse off for over a decade and still live on a studio apartment, have an empty refrigerator, 200000+ miles on the same car, and nothing to show for it except a thick logbook.

Your phone book has multiple facility numbers in it, not to the admin office, to the tower cab, sup's desk, or QA office.

You're on a first name basis with Lockheed FSS' QA team.

You're the first one at the school in the morning and the last one out at night, every night.

You know what TBO-N is, what they stand for, and what they are trying to do.

Your local airport invites you to the dedication of their new CFI bench.

Someone makes a movie about your airport and you are inadvertently in it, twice.

You leave for a year, come back, and on your checkout flight know exactly what mistakes you are going to make, how to correct them, and proceed to make them anyways.

Having not instructed for over a year, you step back into the right seat, instruct, and no one can tell the difference, except for a bunch of comments by controllers welcoming you back.

When applying for a job that requires a security clearance, you're asked detail all contracts with law enforcement. After a moment you realize you've been talking to some form of airport law enforcement almost daily for the last several years, be it local, state, or federal, including three conversations that morning.

Commercial airliners that wingwalk in-flight drive you nuts.

When your overloaded instrument student begs for help and you touch the controls, the rain stops, the clouds part, the turbulence smoothes, the controllers clear you direct, and your student hears a halleluiah chorus.

After landing from long cross-country flight after a last-minute aircraft change, an astute ground controller notices the plane moving doesn't match the call sign he cleared. You and the aircraft owner both realized you've used the wrong call sign all day.

You can convince avionics to start working again.

Same with engines.

You've whittled your response to this thread down from over ten pages.
I knew I was a full-fledged CFII when I'd start salivating at signing on a new instrument student because I knew I was going to be eating lunch at Zunigas at KWVI after the NDB approach.
Talking about food, you know you are a flight instructor when you and six other flight instructors fly down with their students to get lunch and while eating delicious BBQ all 12 people forget to close their flight plan. And all instructors keep their jobs because we were the best instructor they had.
Oh man, that's memories. Out of ten CFI's I probably carried 40% of the students so I pretty much had carte blanche at the school. So when I put in my two-weeks notice before I left to Skyway, I was a pretty popular guy.

"Hey, we're going out for beers and heading to the Pink Poodle, wanna go?" :) go for a MX flight with the owner of a new PA-32R and after landing roll you say, "that's the third time I've landed this make/model."
he says, "but you've checked three people out to fly it this week".
You say, "I know."

...You see a bad landing coming from a mile away and you don't physically do anything about it.

....Older people on discovery flights are guaranteed to ask "how long have you been flying"......YAR

..."lets look that up together"

....While the misses is driving, you have taken the wheel and steered her around to the correct side of the median, from the right seat.

....The misses gets upset because you "treat her like a student" when she drives.

...In regards to flight controls, you know the meaning of a "hostile take over".

...leaving the practice area or the pattern is an adventure again.'ve pulled back on your car's wheel when you are about to hit an unseen pot hole.

...When you and your fellow CFIs go out for beer, all your story's start out "No $%%%, there I was..."

Instructing is great. try to add your CFI number to your signature on checks, forms, and anything else you sign your name to.
oh man I do that all the time, that or if asked for my account number, or phone number I give them my certificate number.

.....I have signed off 9 first time pass instrument students in the last 6 months.....but am I current???????
You say "clear right and left" before any turn in your truck......

You yell "Clear prop" before starting your truck.....

Yes I have done both!!! Many times......
The last time you performed a preflight inspection yourself was for that last intro flight 2 months ago.