Just like pilot certificate training, there are many different ways you can go about receiving training for your flight instructor certificate. One thing to keep in mind though; never compromise on the quality of your own training when it comes to becoming a flight instructor. Your life, and many others’ will directly, and indirectly depend on what type of training you give. And the type of training you give is dependent on the type of training you received while going through CFI course.

A good flight instructor always provides the highest quality of flight training to his or her students. But would you be able to do so if your own CFI training was not up to the par?

Accelerated CFI Training

There are a few, not many, but a handful of places where you can go and get your CFI certificate in a matter of 2-3 weeks. A couple of such outfits are owned by the FAA DPE’s themselves. You go there, and a CFI assigned to you will pretty much give you a set of notes of that you are expected to memorize, and be able to repeat verbatim. The same will go on for the flight training portion. You will be taught some maneuvers, and then should be able to repeat them. Once this is accomplished, you will get your sign off and the DPE owner of the place will take your checkride.

The checkride is a run of the mill for which your original CFI has already prepared you for. The DPE ensures that all of his bases are covered, so he will check you on the minimum required tasks, and you demonstrate your ability on those, and the flight maneuvers, and off you go with your ticket. However, a high percentage you will also fail the checkride on the first attempt no matter what. Simply because the DPE will get in trouble with the FAA (especially being the owner as well; conflict of interest) if this were not to be the case.

The upside is that upon re-training or additional training you will end up going for a re-test (of course after spending additional money not disclosed in the original package price) as early as the next day, and hopefully pass.

Advantages:

  1. CFI certificate is issued in 3 weeks or less.
  2. You don’t see the FAA inspector at the local FSDO for your checkride (if you call that an advantage).

Disadvantages:

  1. You only learn (well, I don’t call it learning BTW) bare minimums; just about enough so you get your certificate and no one gets in trouble for issuing it to you.
  2. Flight Instructor employers are not very keen on hiring you once they know where you trained at. Industry supply and demand can sometimes still work out to be in your favor, and you may land yourself a CFI job. But trust me, not the best jobs in the industry, or even the best opportunities in the industry.

Informal CFI Training with local CFI

In my opinion this type of training is in fact a great way to get your CFI. Local, experienced, non-airline wanna be pilot types are in fact the best ones in the industry when it comes to CFI training. I have been lucky enough myself to get the opportunity to do most of my training with such “goldmines” of knowledge and skill. But, these kinds are a rare species nowadays. The old timer, general aviation veterans, who enjoyed the art of teaching aviation to the future teachers of aviation exist in limited quantities now. And once you do find one, you will realize that he or she does not teach full time, or is just “super-busy” all the time. Have a number, and take a seat. Anything wrong with this? No, not really. They simply have earned the right to be able to do so.

Advantages:

  1. Best, top-notch knowledge, information and skill gaining possibility.
  2. You will not only learn everything you need to know to be able to pass the FAA checkride, but also become the “expert” in pilot training industry.

Disadvantages:

  1. Hard to locate these masters of “teaching how to teach” art.
  2. Scheduling limitations will definitely lead to course completion over extended periods of time.
  3. Sometimes they fail to keep their knowledge up to date on current advancements in aviation technology.
  4. If you did not do your “CFI hunting” right, you might end up with a fake kind.
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