Initial CFI Questions

flyboy

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I'm going to be starting my CFI training in about 2 weeks. I'm doing an accelerated course and I have many questions. I am hoping that some of you guys can shed some light. I've heard that the initial ride is like 9 hours, including the flight. I'm guessing that the oral is 6 hours of that. The longest oral I've sustained thus far is only 2.5 hrs and That was for my private. What can I expect to be tested on in the oral? Is is grueling or just comprehensive? Is there anything to really get stumped on? What methods of preparation would you suggest? If anyone has busted this ride, what was the weakness? Thanks in advance for your input.
 

ksus

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study...study...study... Minimum of 60-80 hrs of
ground.
More than 90% of the applicants for the
initial CFI bust their ride!

Good Luck
 

BigFlyr

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You cant expect to get answers to all those questions in one reply so I'll give you my two cents... Go through your PTS for CFI and hit every subject or task area. Have a complete reference library to be able to answer any question you don't know off the top of your head... even if you know the answer, you should have a reference. Don't believe everything you hear about 9 hour grueling sessions. If the examiner sees that you've prepared for it properly then he'd probably rather be doing something else so it may last as little as a two or three hours including the flight portion. RELAX, and don't sweat it if you get a pink slip! Learn from it and get back on that horse.:cool:
 

GoingHot

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More than 90% of the applicants for the
initial CFI bust their ride!
This sounds like BS to me. Why would nine out ten fail when everything you need to know is readily available, and there are no real tricks. In any program with a failure rate like that, there is usually something wrong with the program.

No disrespect to ksus intended, but someone who knows, please confirm those failure numbers.

This got my attention because I recently started working on the CFII ratings, (since the airlines, 135s, and other employers seem to have loss my phone number). But still waiting for the call.
 

bobbysamd

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Lengthy CFI Practicals

A lot depends on the examiner. Some examiners indeed give six-hour hours and 2.5 hour flights. Some don't. My use of "examiners" includes the FAA because it varies among FSDO ASIs as well.

One well-known and reputable examiner in Scottsdale gave eight-hour orals. It wasn't that she was out to hammer the applicant, she was just extremely thorough and tested everything. There was another examiner in Scottsdale who was also very professional and reputable who gave two to three-hour orals.

The best advice is to know EVERYTHING. Then, when you get to the practical, just answer the questions and hesitate on any tendency you might have to tell the examiner everything you know about the subject. Spouting off with knowledge is what brings on CFI busts.

Good luck with your training.
 

Bluto

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Does ADP still quote the CFI/CFII as a 3-4 day course? If so, I have to suggest you go to a school that takes their CFI training more seriously. Have you done any research into the other accelerated courses in the area? American Flyers has facilities in VNY and SMO. Their course is 30 days and brutal. But a good prep for the checkride. I did the program there and I was well-prepared for my 7+ hour checkride with the FAA. I researched all the accelerated programs in the O.C. area, look through the PTS and see if you think you can review everything in it to even commercial standards in less than a week. Good luck.
 

Buzo

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I did my CFI at a flying club, it took just under two months. I had a total of 26 hours of ground and about 20 hours of flight time. My oral was just under 2.5 and the flight was 1.3. The best thing to do is go through the PTS and make a lesson plan and notes on every item in it. You will learn the most by researching the answers. Another suggestion that I did was I got an examiner to give me a practice checkride. The time I spent with him prepared me the most for the ride.
 

A1FlyBoy

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My experience, and those initial CFI applicants at our school, should expect at least a 4 hour oral and 1 to 2 hour flight. Sometimes these times are much less.. anything more would almost always seem to indicate the examiner is probing more than normal and is yet to be satisfied with the performance.

The local FSDO does validate the 87-90% failure rate for first time initial CFI applicants. I agree its harsh, but they really want to make sure applicants know their stuff. I've also heard horror stories of the behavior or some designated examiners.. mental games with the applicants.

Always renew your CFI....
 
3

350DRIVER

I highly doubt that 90% of initial applicants bust on their "first" attempt. I doubt their is any truth to that statement at all... I got my CFI/CFII through an accelerated course last year and had no problems whatsoever. The best advice I could offer from my experience is to know the CFI PTS, ASA oral guide, and FAR's inside and out prior to arriving at the flight school to begin your training.-

If you know your stuff you should do just fine...

Good "luck" to you although at this point of the ball game hopefully you won't need any "luck"-
 

A1FlyBoy

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It may seem high, but it is true and the FSDO and FAA back up the 90% "initial" CFI failure rate.

:eek:
 

flydog

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The 90% failure rate is true but that statistic is for rides with actual Feds not DPEs.

About 2 yrs ago some FSDOs removed the authority of the DPEs to give initial CFI rides. Had a lot to do with the high accident rate of student pilots taught by 250 hr wonders (go figure)

A vast majority of the 90% were very low time pilots who had a grand total of 4-6 months experience in aviation and incredibly undeprepared for a check ride that tests all your knowledge from Private through Instrument. THINK ABOUT IT. You are teaching FNGs that have zero time how to fly a plane. Of course the FAA is going to be harsh on this checkride.

I think this has now changed and it shouldnt be hard to find a DPE who can do initial CFI rides. I took it with a DPE and not the FAA and my oral was 3 hrs and ride about 1.5.

If you stick with a designated examiner and know your stuff it should go very easy.

As far as the 60-80 hrs of ground school estimate. I heard this when I started my CFI too. However this depends on your knowledge. If you are a 1200 hr pilot who knows his stuff and learned from good instructors your ground school time may be considerably less. If you have 250 hrs and 4 months in the business the 80 hrs may be required.

If I remember correctly I did about 12 hrs of ground mostly preparing and preparing lesson plans.

Dont sweat it. Some of this stuff gets blown out of proportion by those who have been there done that.
 

bobbysamd

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CFI Training Times

Apparently the FAA goes back and forth on letting DEs give initial CFIs. In my day, fifteen years ago, DEs gave intial CFI practicals. In fact, I don't recall Practical Test Standards for CFIs during that era. Then, in the late '80s-early 90s, the FAA resumed examining for initial CFIs and found itself overloaded. So, it farmed out initial practicals to DEs, but you had to start first with the FAA. You could always get an add-on with a DE.

Buzo's training times sound similar to the times put in by my CFI students. The flight time goes quickly! It's hard to refine everything in only a few hours of flying. Don't forget, you are transiting back and forth to the practice area. Sometimes, it takes a while to become comfortable doing landings from the right seat. The oral time is spent primarily developing and refining your presentation for EVERY area of operation in the Private and Commercial PTS.

There are pros and cons to every training method. Either way you go, it is important to study hard and to train steadily and with focus.
 
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Rerouted

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Don't let the high rate of failure of first time CFI applicants concern you much. Focus your attention on really preparing for not only your ride....but more importantly for your work as a CFI.....and you'll be ready for the checkride by default. My CFI examination with the Feds lasted about 5 hours - 4 hours on the ground and 1 hour in the air. The examiner literally used the PTS as an outline for the oral, and had me hold a copy while I answered the questions. Remember, if you don't know something, admit it, and explain where you might be able to find the answer. It's much worse to blatently guess....and quess wrong, than it is to explain where to find the correct information. Overall, the CFI initial checkride isn't one to take if you're not prepared - but, with enough ground work, and some good practice at teaching both in the aircraft and on the ground, you stand a much better chance of passing on your first attempt. Best of Luck.
 

Buzo

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I worked really hard preparing for my CFI, and personally think it was the easiest of all of my checkrides. I had the same instructor throughout my instrument, commercial, and CFI training which I think helped me.
 

Pilotadjuster

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Initial CFI

Just passed initial with a DPE last week. As with any other examiner and test, you need to talk to other people who have been to them and see what they emphasize. Every examiner has different hot buttons and areas they think are most important. In my case there was big time emphasis on being able to TEACH. FOI information and preparation/presentation of lesson plans.

about 6 hours oral, 2 hours flight (about 1.4 hobbs time). I understand that is not at all unusual with DPEs.

Depending upon the FSDO, there is almost a requirement to pink slip on the first time through; I have heard different gripes, explainations, etc. for that, but remember this is the government and they live and die by numerical evaluations.... If you are a safety inspector and have 90%+ first time pass rate, they probably figure youre a pushover, whereas if you have a 90% first time failure rate, youre a hard-a$$ and just fine!

In any case, I would study your private and commercial texts closely. The best study guide I had (by far!) was Gleim's Flight Instructor - Flight Maneuvers Book. Goes through the FOI stuff in detail and then each and every maneuver with steps to teach and common mistakes.

Good luck!

PA

PS--250 hour wonder....?? Thanks for the rundown, I appreciate that at this point in my career. Hopefully, I'll be a bit more tolerant of those trying to start out when I have "2000+". Am I the worlds greatest CFI? obviously not, with 0 hrs dual given. Am I going to do everything possible to become the best? Hell yes!

FYI--one of the worst instructors I ever flew with was a CFII/MEI with a few thousand hours F-18 time as well. Couldn't teach worth a darn and was a waste of time and $ for his students! Of course the best had 10,000+ hrs...
 
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flyboy

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Thanks for your correspondance. ADP's CFI, CFII program is now about 2 weeks.
 

Mitsipilot

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Hey flyboy,

If you have any additional info you can provide me on ADP's CFI program, I would appreciate it. Looking at there web site says you can get the CFI in as little as 5 day. Any truth to that? Have you spoken to them yet and gotten any additional info you can provide. I do appreciate it.

I am looking for a student of mine who has considered going to ALL ATPs for the CFI, CFII and MEI course. This may be a quicker and cheaper alternative. Thanks again.
 

flyboy

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Yeah, I talked to Natalie a couple of times. They advertise 5 days for the initial but she said that it really takes about 7 days. The CFII is supposed to be about 3 days. She told me to plan for 2 weeks to be on the safe side b/c of checkrides. I don't think it's necessarily cheaper than ATP's course if you are talking about all 3 ratings, That is, if they (ATP) don't raise their rates next month. I've talked to ATP 4 times in the last 4 weeks and they continue to put me off when I ask about the price. They told me not to expect the $3559 they are advertising. After the 4th call last week, I pretty much told them they had lost my interest. Good luck.
 
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