Flight Instructor Qualifications

A CFI must be thoroughly familiar with the functions, characteristics, and proper use of all flight instruments, avionics, and other aircraft systems being used for training. This is especially important due to the wide variety in global positioning systems (GPS) and glass panel displays.

It is the personal responsibility of each flight instructor to maintain familiarity with current pilot training techniques and certification requirements. This may be done by frequent review of new periodicals and technical publications, personal contacts with FAA inspectors and designated pilot examiners (DPE), and by participation in pilot and flight instructor clinics. Additional information can be obtained from veteran flight instructors. [see list below] The application of outmoded instructional procedures or the preparation of students using obsolete certification requirements is inexcusable.

Teaching Tips from Veteran Flight Instructors

  1. Use a tape recorder and/or video camera to rehearse preflight briefings until delivery is polished.
  2. Find a mentor to provide a second opinion on how well a student is performing during critical phases of flight training (such as first solo) for the first few PTs.
  3. Encourage a high standard of performance.
  4. Just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it safe. Maintain a high level of supervision of PT operations.
  5. Develop a safety-culture environment.
  6. Assign organized, specific, appropriate homework after each flight session.
  7. Use all available tools to supplement teaching and assignments: online sources, seminars, flight simulators, etc.
  8. Know the background, credentials, security issues, medications, etc., of the student before climbing into the cockpit with him or her.
  9. Thoroughly and carefully document all training events as though the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were going to read them.
  10. Postflight debriefing after an FAA checkride is an excellent opportunity for additional learning.
  11. Encourage each student to establish personal minimums.
  12. Include a review of NTSB accident reports during advanced instructional activity.