CFI Endorsements required for CFI Checkride

Are you ready for your CFI checkride? Has your Flight Instructor given you all the required logbook endorsements for your CFI (initial) checkride? Well, here is your chance to verify just that. You wouldn’t believe how many CFI applicants fail their CFI checkride in the first 10 minutes into it, just because their flight instructor failed to given them the proper logbook endorsements. And yes, the CFI applicant will fail the checkride if his/her flight instructor failed to do his/her job. You should also read more about the reasons why CFI applicants fail the CFI checkride.

The reason why the CFI applicant fails the checkride due to his/her instructor’s failure to do write proper endorsements is because Checkride Endorsements is a required area of operation to become a CFI, and if your own endorsements are not correct, you have already successfully demonstrated your deficiency in this area of operation.

List of CFI Endorsements required for a CFI Checkride

There are a total of 5 endorsements required for one to appear for the Certified Flight Instructor, Airplane Single Engine (initial issue) checkride:

  1. Fundamentals of instruction knowledge test
  2. Flight instructor ground and flight proficiency / practical test
  3. Endorsement for practical test prerequisites
  4. Spin training
  5. Certification from your Flight Instructor stating that he/she is qualified to teach first time CFI applicants

The FAA document to refer for the pilot endorsements is the FAA AC 61-65E. However, the endorsement # 3 and # 5 above are not listed in this Advisory Circular, and therefore are the most commonly missed endorsements. Here are the example wordings or statements for all these endorsements, with a brief description for each:

Fundamentals of instruction knowledge test

This endorsement states that your flight instructor has given you the required training on Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) as required by 14 CFR section 61.183(d) and section 61.185(a)(1).

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required fundamentals of instruction training of section 61.185(a)(1).

Flight Instructor ground and flight proficiency / practical test

This endorsement states that your flight instructor has given you the required training, as per 14 CFR section 61.183(g) and section 61.187(a) and (b). This is for both aeronautical knowledge (ground) and Flight proficiency (flight training). One thing to note here is that make sure that you have a logbook record of each ground training session logged and properly signed.

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required training of section 61.187(b). I have determined he/she is prepared for the CFI—(aircraft category and class) practical test.

Practical Test Pre-requisites

For all practical tests which require instructor endorsements, there has to be an endorsement certifying that the training time was received within the prescribed time as required by 14 CFR 61.39(a)(6).

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received training time required within the preceding 60 days in preparation for the Flight Instructor (category and class) practical test and find him/her prepared for this test. He/she has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas found deficient on the (Name of Test) aeronautical knowledge test.

Stall and Spin Awareness Training (instructional level)

For applicants applying for a flight instructor certificate with airplane category rating, the applicant must have received a logbook endorsement that attests to satisfactory demonstration of instructional proficiency of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures in airplanes. A logbook endorsement that attests to satisfactory demonstration of instructional proficiency of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures is required for the initial flight instructor certificate, as required by 14 CFR 61.183(i)(1).

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required training of section 61.183(i). I have determined that he/she is competent in instructional skills for training stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures.

Certification from your Flight Instructor stating that he/she is qualified to teach first time CFI applicants

This is the endorsement that is most commonly missed by flight and/or ground instructors signing off their CFI initial applicants. This endorsement is not listed in the AC 61-65E, but is required by 14 CFR 61.195(h).

I certify that I am qualified to teach first time flight instructor (category and class) applicants as required by 14 CFR 61.195(pick the relevant sub-part).

There are some other important things to keep in mind as well; complex airplane endorsement, ground training logged, flight training logged etc.

Remember, if your CFI endorsements are not proper or incomplete, YOU WILL fail your CFI checkride, period! So it is your responsibility as well to ensure that your flight and/or ground instructor has given you all and proper endorsements. If you have any doubts, or have any questions, post them here and we would be happy to answer.

CFI applicants who are taking their CFI initial checkride in a multi-engine airplane, they are required to have undergone Stall and Spin training as well, and have a logbook endorsement to prove the instructional proficiency in this area of operation.

Good luck on your CFI checkride!

Leave a Reply

  1. The DPE should not fail an applicant for not having the correct endorsement but he will not start the test and send the applicant back to his recommending instructor for the proper sign off. OK ?

    • For most pilot certificate checkrides, this is usually true. The DPE would send the applicant back to the recommending instructor and not start the test. And in some cases this has been true for CFI initial checkride also. But not most of the times.
      And in one extreme case, I have even seen the FAA come after the recommending instructor.

  2. Number 5 is NOT required. It’s NOT mentioned in 61.183 as an eligibility requirement. Also, 61.31 has changed the time span for prerequisite training in preparation for a practical test from 60 days to 2 calendar months.

  3. Not sure where you came up with this info. Just passed may CFI checkride without #3 and #5. If they were required they would have been listed in the AC.

    • I am sure one of these days you will stumble upon the relevant FARs and figure this out on your own, now that you do have your CFI certificate. The real learning always begins after one starts teaching others.

      You should already know this, but I\’ll share anyways, ACs are advisory circulars and not the actual regulations or laws. Their purpose is strictly just the same as their title – advisory. If the AC did cover these 2 endorsements, there would have been no need for this post now, would it?

      Wish you all the best in your career and learning.