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    Thread: Any flight instructors?

    1. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      04-20-2011 10:34 PM #1
      I've been thinking of getting my flight instructor cert. lately. For the past 3 years I've been working a job that I hated, (at a desk and computer all day), and have been recently laid off. I was in a rut, and I think this lay off is just the thing to get my ass moving on my flight instructor cert.

      Any flight instructors here? How is the business? I remember a while back one dude on here was going to quit his job at a dealership and do flight instructing, if your reading this how did that pan out?

      There are a few larger flight school in my area, American Flyers, ATP, Comair, that if I can get on with them, I would probably have a steady flow of students and be able to make a living.

      Thoughts?

    2. Member ginster vr6's Avatar
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      04-20-2011 10:47 PM #2
      I'm in the same boat as you, only slightly north in Vero Beach. I would like to hear some thoughts as well.

    3. 04-21-2011 01:46 AM #3
      If you like flying and sharing aviation with other people-> it's hard not to love being a flight instructor.

      Sometimes I want to bang my head against the side window but overall, it's good. I love making a difference in somebody's life for the better.

      Quick story: This part 141 student that I flew with had a pre-solo stage check the next day. I'd never flown with her before but she was feeling really bummed/worried about it because she didn't have any unassisted landings yet. She had about 35 landings but they all required assistance. I looked at her folder and saw I had about 1.0 to work with her. I thought, "I'll see what I can do". We did the run-up, got to the end of the runway and DARN! #4 for takeoff. Then, "hold short for landing traffic." I checked the hobbs- only .4 to work with as we started T/O roll.

      The 1'st landing I talked her 100% of the way around the pattern and assisted on the controls during landing about 20%. The 2nd landing I talked about 1/2 way around and shut-up on short final... she greased the landing! A HUGE smile came across her face from her first unassisted landing! It was a darn good one too. I made sure not to speak a word for the last time around the pattern and sure enough... another good landing, another big smile that stayed that way. As we were pushing back into the parking spot she said, "Well, thanks for teaching me how to land!" The next day she passed the stage check and solo'd. At the time I had only been instructing for about a month but, seeing that girl's smile on that 2nd landing did it for me- I was hooked.
      "When Jens gets a bottle from the team car, he gives the car a push."

    4. 04-21-2011 03:13 AM #4
      More good things about working as a CFI...
      - I like being the pilot in command.
      - For the most part, you pick when you go.
      - I pick where we go.
      - I'm home every night.

      Things that kinda suck...
      - Not flying something with a/c.
      - Having 1 radio that hardly works and 1 VOR that's placarded inop.
      - Saying things like, "Adjust your mic up to your mouth so you don't cut out every other word!"
      - Not doing .9 mach in a Falcon 7X while eating lunch on a little folding tray. (you know who you are)

      Anyway, you can be a CFI and pay bills. Some places are starting to pay salary with benefits. The Regionals seem to be hiring again so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a CFI job. Just keep in mind, you might have to move for the job you find.
      "When Jens gets a bottle from the team car, he gives the car a push."

    5. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      04-21-2011 08:44 AM #5


      I'll reply more later. Gotta go do a checkout, try to get a new instrument student, and do a ground session. If this one guy doesn't pass his written today, I'll also be disposing of a body.

    6. 04-21-2011 01:20 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by 32176G60 View Post
      If you like flying and sharing aviation with other people-> it's hard not to love being a flight instructor.

      Sometimes I want to bang my head against the side window but overall, it's good. I love making a difference in somebody's life for the better.

      Quick story: This part 141 student that I flew with had a pre-solo stage check the next day. I'd never flown with her before but she was feeling really bummed/worried about it because she didn't have any unassisted landings yet. She had about 35 landings but they all required assistance. I looked at her folder and saw I had about 1.0 to work with her. I thought, "I'll see what I can do". We did the run-up, got to the end of the runway and DARN! #4 for takeoff. Then, "hold short for landing traffic." I checked the hobbs- only .4 to work with as we started T/O roll.

      The 1'st landing I talked her 100% of the way around the pattern and assisted on the controls during landing about 20%. The 2nd landing I talked about 1/2 way around and shut-up on short final... she greased the landing! A HUGE smile came across her face from her first unassisted landing! It was a darn good one too. I made sure not to speak a word for the last time around the pattern and sure enough... another good landing, another big smile that stayed that way. As we were pushing back into the parking spot she said, "Well, thanks for teaching me how to land!" The next day she passed the stage check and solo'd. At the time I had only been instructing for about a month but, seeing that girl's smile on that 2nd landing did it for me- I was hooked.
      Cue the porn music! [pron]Bow chica bow wow[/pron]


    7. 04-21-2011 01:41 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by FlyinTurbo View Post
      Cue the porn music! [pron]Bow chica bow wow[/pron]

      Ha! This guy knows what I'm talking about! She was really cute. But... I'm married so I had to refrain from using the rest of my Jedi powers.
      "When Jens gets a bottle from the team car, he gives the car a push."

    8. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      04-21-2011 02:05 PM #8
      Yeah at this point,I'm not really interested in moving past CFI. I know most guys just Instruct until they are marketable for an airline. But I'm not looking to live out of a suitcase, I just want to teach and in doing so I believe will make me a better pilot, and be able to sleep in my own bed every night. I think my first step will be studying and taking the FOI, and Advanced ground instructor tests. I think this would be a good way to get back into the study/training mode.

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      04-21-2011 09:26 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by 32176G60 View Post
      - Not doing .9 mach in a Falcon 7X while eating lunch on a little folding tray. (you know who you are)
      OK, having a little folding tray IS pretty cool
      If it's not foggy
      and you have your fog |ights on
      you are a doofus.
      "Pro Tip: Don't **** with people who've been trollin' longer than you've been alive." - OOOO-A3

    10. Member -mlfhntr-'s Avatar
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      04-22-2011 02:01 AM #10
      I only get to do Bi-annuals and re currencies once in a blue moon when some of my friends at school need them. wish I had more time but I am doing a Masters degree in Mech. Eng. right now. Going to go right back to teaching afterwards.



      I too dream of the day I can have a tray table infront of me while flying

      I love the challenge of teaching someone who thought that they couldn't do something but actually could with the right encouragement and help with the issue.
      2 Hooker Limit...

      ERAU - Class of ~2020

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      04-22-2011 10:13 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by -mlfhntr- View Post
      I love the challenge of teaching someone who thought that they couldn't do something but actually could with the right encouragement and help with the issue.
      That's why I still instruct. I love it. One of my very 1st students, who I hadn't seen for years, called me up yesterday and asked if I had time to do a BFR. Had a blast bombing around in an old '172. Great reviw for me, too. Class E surface extension??? What the heck does a Class E surface extension look like? Makes me review some of that stuff that I don't normally think about.
      All you guys who love it... Keep Instructing! There are too many time-builders that just want their thousand hours so they can go suffer at a regional.
      If it's not foggy
      and you have your fog |ights on
      you are a doofus.
      "Pro Tip: Don't **** with people who've been trollin' longer than you've been alive." - OOOO-A3

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      04-22-2011 03:02 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      I've been thinking of getting my flight instructor cert. lately. For the past 3 years I've been working a job that I hated, (at a desk and computer all day), and have been recently laid off. I was in a rut, and I think this lay off is just the thing to get my ass moving on my flight instructor cert.

      Any flight instructors here? How is the business? I remember a while back one dude on here was going to quit his job at a dealership and do flight instructing, if your reading this how did that pan out?

      There are a few larger flight school in my area, American Flyers, ATP, Comair, that if I can get on with them, I would probably have a steady flow of students and be able to make a living.

      Thoughts?
      I'm back working at a dealership. I love money more than aviation it seems. I had a blast working there, and bartered a lot of extra work for time towards my CFI. Sadly for me I started working there during the $8/gal av gas time, and when the economy went kaput, I got laid off. Owner of the company and I are still friends, and he's still in business largely in part of a lot of the things I helped him with.
      Brendan Dolan
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      Quote Originally Posted by SivNiz View Post
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    13. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      05-04-2011 04:32 PM #13
      Well, I just passed my fundamentals of instructing knowledge test. I'm going to keep this as my CFI progress thread.

      Note: If anyone is about to take this test, the FAA has added a lot of new questions to this test that are not included on the study guides. I went in expecting 100% and came out feeling beat up.

      On to studying for the next test.

    14. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      05-04-2011 10:31 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      Well, I just passed my fundamentals of instructing knowledge test. I'm going to keep this as my CFI progress thread.
      Cool Just passed my ATP test yesterday.


      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      Note: If anyone is about to take this test, the FAA has added a lot of new questions to this test that are not included on the study guides. I went in expecting 100% and came out feeling beat up.
      Gleim books are good to a point, but they use old question pools. The Gleim software sucks. ASA study guides (and almost everything else ASA) sucks.

      The Sheppard software is accurate and targeted. It's also a lot cheaper than Gleim. EDIT: and they have native Mac versions (F U Gleim).
      http://www.sheppardair.com/



      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      On to studying for the next test.
      Spend the $ and schedule to take the AGI the same day as the FIA. That way you only have to study once since they're the same question pool, and you get the Advanced Ground Instructor right away.
      Last edited by OOOO-A3; 05-05-2011 at 12:53 PM.

    15. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      05-05-2011 12:30 PM #15
      Congrats.

      Thanks for the link I am going to check them out. The plan was actually to do the AGI first, but your right I should do both at the same time as it will be good for 2 years.

      Does the FAA record the actual score of the written tests, or do they just record pass/fail.

    16. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      05-05-2011 12:56 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      Does the FAA record the actual score of the written tests, or do they just record pass/fail.
      Actual score. Come in with a 71 on the written, and expect to get assraped on the oral portion of the checkride because the examiner thinks you're a slacker and isn't sure you actually know anything. A 90+ always sets a better tone for the checkride.

    17. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      05-16-2011 07:00 PM #17
      Hey guys, just Ace'd my Advanced Ground Instructor, and my Flight Instructor Airplane knowledge tests today.

      Next up is the instrument ground instructor and Flight Instructor Instrument knowledge tests....time to go study.

      You know they raised the cost of the written tests? They cost $150 each now. By the time I'm done with all these test, I could have had like 5 hours in the airplane.

    18. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      05-16-2011 07:20 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      Hey guys, just Ace'd my Advanced Ground Instructor, and my Flight Instructor Airplane knowledge tests today.

      Next up is the instrument ground instructor and Flight Instructor Instrument knowledge tests....time to go study.

      You know they raised the cost of the written tests? They cost $150 each now. By the time I'm done with all these test, I could have had like 5 hours in the airplane.
      Did my IGI written on the 9th, and AGI written today (got 92% on each), and got my GI-AI temporary. My agenda for today was:
      1. Get up/Cheerios/shower
      2. Call testing site
      3. Call CATS
      4. Go pass AGI
      5. Call FSDO
      6. Go to FSDO and get the certificate

      ...all done! FSDO is now preferring everyone to use IACRA, but since I had just completed the test an hour before it wouldn't show up in the system. It takes at least 48 hours for test results to show up in IACRA, so I filled out a paper 8710-1 on the spot.

      Also... CATS is anal about wanting your name to be EXACTLY as it is on your ID (driver's licence or passport), even if that is slightly different from the way it is on your FAA credentials (like middle name vs. middle initial, or with/without suffix). If you do what CATS wants for the test, the name may differ slightly from the FAA records, so it will cause a problem with IACRA. This is CATS being stupid.


      Did you use the sheppardair.com software for the test prep?
      Last edited by OOOO-A3; 05-16-2011 at 09:37 PM.

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      05-16-2011 09:24 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      Hey guys, just Ace'd my Advanced Ground Instructor, and my Flight Instructor Airplane knowledge tests today.
      Very cool. Congrats.
      If it's not foggy
      and you have your fog |ights on
      you are a doofus.
      "Pro Tip: Don't **** with people who've been trollin' longer than you've been alive." - OOOO-A3

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      05-16-2011 09:25 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      Did my IGI written on the 9th, and AGI written today (got 92% on each), and got my GI-AI temporary.
      Also very cool.
      If it's not foggy
      and you have your fog |ights on
      you are a doofus.
      "Pro Tip: Don't **** with people who've been trollin' longer than you've been alive." - OOOO-A3

    21. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      05-17-2011 12:10 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      Did my IGI written on the 9th, and AGI written today (got 92% on each), and got my GI-AI temporary. My agenda for today was:
      1. Get up/Cheerios/shower
      2. Call testing site
      3. Call CATS
      4. Go pass AGI
      5. Call FSDO
      6. Go to FSDO and get the certificate

      ...all done! FSDO is now preferring everyone to use IACRA, but since I had just completed the test an hour before it wouldn't show up in the system. It takes at least 48 hours for test results to show up in IACRA, so I filled out a paper 8710-1 on the spot.

      Also... CATS is anal about wanting your name to be EXACTLY as it is on your ID (driver's licence or passport), even if that is slightly different from the way it is on your FAA credentials (like middle name vs. middle initial, or with/without suffix). If you do what CATS wants for the test, the name may differ slightly from the FAA records, so it will cause a problem with IACRA. This is CATS being stupid.


      Did you use the sheppardair.com software for the test prep?
      Yup I used them, I cheaped out and only paid for the AGI. There were 4 questions on the FIA that I had never seen before. They were all about if a flight instructor cert expires and he takes a practical in a multi can he instruct in a single, etc. (along those lines).

      There was one question on the AGI that I got screwed on because the FAA hasn't corrected the question to the changes they made to NOTAM's. Something like where would you see information regarding taxiway closures. Choices were FDC Notam, Notam L, Notam D.
      I picked Notam D because that is where they are now, Notam L doesn't exist anymore. Well I got that wrong. at FAA.

      I am not familiar with IACRA, I'll have to read up on that. Yeah CATS made a point to make sure everything matched with the names.

    22. Member unreal's Avatar
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      05-17-2011 02:07 AM #22
      I used sheppardair for my ATP test prep. 2 days of studying. 99%. Winning.

      (Brain dumped everything the next day, but if I ever have to know how to calculate floor loading or 727 EPR settings, they'll teach it to me in new-hire!)

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      05-17-2011 02:17 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by unreal View Post
      (Brain dumped everything the next day, but if I ever have to know how to calculate floor loading or 727 EPR settings, they'll teach it to me in new-hire!)
      Floor/pallet loading is awesomely easy. 727 EPR settings? **** that ****! Tried to work it out, studied the memory aid diligently, and still got it wrong on the test.

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      05-17-2011 02:28 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      They were all about if a flight instructor cert expires and he takes a practical in a multi can he instruct in a single, etc. (along those lines).
      Yes, because I did exactly that. Let the CFI expire for 10 years, did an MEI checkride, and got reinstated for both. Then did my CFII later.


      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      There was one question on the AGI that I got screwed on because the FAA hasn't corrected the question to the changes they made to NOTAM's. Something like where would you see information regarding taxiway closures. Choices were FDC Notam, Notam L, Notam D.
      I picked Notam D because that is where they are now, Notam L doesn't exist anymore. Well I got that wrong. at FAA.

      I got dicked on the question "The presence of freezing rain indicates...." I picked "...warmer temperatures exist at higher altitudes." which is CORRECT, because I can cite 4 statements in AC 00-6A (Aviation Weather) that support it, one of which is almost the exact phrase. It was marked wrong. I emailed CATS to protest, citing the 4 paragraphs in AC 00-6A. This is their response:

      Quote Originally Posted by CATS
      CATS has investigated and determined your ATP Airline Transport Pilot Airplane (121) Airman Knowledge Test (AKT) was scored correctly as required by FAA AFS630 CTD Technical Requirements.

      Unfortunately we are under the same guidelines as testing center proctors i.e., Proctors must not express opinions regarding test questions or answers before, during, or after a test session.

      Note - You do have the option to request in a form of a signed letter to FAA AFS-630 to have your test hand scored.

      Note - The information in your e-mail does indicate to me your knowledge in reference to the Learning Statement.
      "we know you're right, but we can't come out and say it" Oh well, I got an 89 so I'm not going to waste any more effort on it. Also, getting less than a 90 gets you a refund from sheppardair.... just sayin'.....

    25. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      05-24-2011 10:23 AM #25
      I just found 2 free written test preps online.

      Sporty's has one

      http://sportys.com/studybuddy/

      and there is one here too.

      http://mypilottests.com/

      They both seem pretty good at least for the instrument tests.

    26. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      06-01-2011 03:53 PM #26
      Just passed my Instrument ground instructor, and instrument flight instructor knowledge tests! Made an appointment with the FSDO for next week to apply for the ground instructor certificates.

    27. Member vwbrvr6's Avatar
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      06-08-2011 05:26 PM #27
      I'm Officially a Ground Instructor with Advanced, and Instrument ratings. Yahoo. Ok, enough celebrating, time to get back into the airplane and on to the next step. Commercial single engine ad-on.

    28. Member -mlfhntr-'s Avatar
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      06-08-2011 10:24 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by vwbrvr6 View Post
      I'm Officially a Ground Instructor with Advanced, and Instrument ratings. Yahoo. Ok, enough celebrating, time to get back into the airplane and on to the next step. Commercial single engine ad-on.
      Congrats!
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      06-09-2011 11:15 PM #29
      Just renewed mine for another two years. That was the hardest certificate I ever got and the one I am most proud to have so I will never let it expire. I do the renewals for life from American Flyers. Done it three times now. Hopefully I can put it to use sometime in the next two years.

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      06-09-2011 11:29 PM #30
      Very cool. I'm doing a BFR tomorrow in the Super Cub. Good sport.
      Pardon me; the flight review required biennially by 14 CFR part 91.56 formerly known as a BFR.
      Keep on instructing everybody.
      If it's not foggy
      and you have your fog |ights on
      you are a doofus.
      "Pro Tip: Don't **** with people who've been trollin' longer than you've been alive." - OOOO-A3

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      10-24-2011 11:24 PM #31
      Passed the commercial check-ride for single engine add-on, so if anyone needs any Aerial Photography, Ferry Flights, Banner Towing, Crop Dusting, Local scenic flights within 25sm of departure airport, or Fire fighting in the south FL area, hit me up.
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      10-24-2011 11:55 PM #32
      Very cool!
      Brendan Dolan
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      10-25-2011 09:28 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Brendan@bwalkauto View Post
      Very cool!
      Ditto. Congrats.
      If it's not foggy
      and you have your fog |ights on
      you are a doofus.
      "Pro Tip: Don't **** with people who've been trollin' longer than you've been alive." - OOOO-A3

    34. 07-20-2012 03:26 PM #34
      Actively instructed a few years ago. Gave it (and flying) up when the kids started coming along . Let my CFI lapse. Re-awoke the beast last year and flew 100 hrs to take a stab at Eagle. Then they went bankrupt a week after submitting my app.
      Looking to get my MEI add-on though in the next few weeks and reinstate my CFI-II in the process. Plan to resume instructing in the DFW area. A few hrs from me but best place to build time and recency, plus free r&b with family. Only places in my part of TX that are hiring on pilots need more hours than I got, so it looks like back to instructing I go
      Last edited by Gus Polinski; 07-20-2012 at 03:28 PM.

    35. Member PDXGTi's Avatar
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      07-20-2012 08:53 PM #35
      I instructed for three and a half years before moving onto the airlines. It's a lot of work getting your CFI but it's a skill that you'll have for the rest of your life. I haven't instructed in over two years and I miss it dearly. I have several friends who turned down airline opportunities in favor of full-time salary instructing. You can make a decent living and it's a great way to network. Keep up the good work it sounds like you're doing well.

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