Do me a favor and grab your logbook, and go through all the entries in it, and look for the flight instructor signatures. These are the signatures of the flight instructors who have taught you at some point, for some course, or maybe even covered for another instructor and provided you with dual flight instruction.
A flight instructor is supposed to endorse / sign against each and every flight and ground lesson he or she conducts in the student’s logbook. The entry should include:
- Items covered in the lesson
- CFI signatures
- CFI Number
This post today is about the CFI Number. I have noticed thousands of times in all these years of going over the pilot logbooks, and hiring and supervising new flight instructors and reviewing their logbooks, and then auditing the logbooks of the students as a chief flight instructor that many “newly minted” CFI’s, in all excitement (or ignorance) have written their CFI numbers ending with either CFII or MEI. Some even have used both; like:
John Doe (sign) 1234567CFII (date) OR John Doe (sign) 1234567CFII/MEI (date)
Well, I have a problem with this. And here are the reasons why I have problems with this:
- Writing your CFI Number for each lesson given is not customary, but a requirement under the Federal Law.
- No CFI certificate, irrespective of whether the flight instructor has CFII and/or MEI or not, always follows the format of 1234567CFI; i.e. 7 digits, and ending with CFI.
- CFII and MEI are simply RATINGS on a flight instructor CERTIFICATE.
- Writing incorrect CFI Number means: violation of the Federal Law, and opening yourself to the possibilities of lawsuits, additional and unnecessary liability and FAA action.
- It simply is unprofessional.
I understand how one feels upon successfully adding additional ratings and qualifications to one’s pilot or flight instructor certificate, but please understand, the CFI endorsements are not your business cards. It is OK to write down CFI, CFII, MEI, BGI, AGI, IGI, NAFI Master CFI, Gold Seal etc on your business card (right under your name), or in your email signatures. BUT, not on Federal documentation.
The first 7 digits are the same as your pilot certificate number, and the CFI signifies that it is your CFI certificate that you are exercising for that particular lesson credit. If you are using your Ground Instructor certificate, in that case you would write down the Ground Instructor certificate number, which is the same as your pilot certificate number, i.e. it DOES NOT end with a BGI, AGI or IGI.