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.

Checkride Endorsements is a required Task in area of operation II, Technical Subject Areas – CFI PTS. And if your own endorsements are not correct, you have thereby already successfully demonstrated your deficiency in this area of operation.

CFI Checkride Endorsements
CFI Checkride Endorsements

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!

Current AC as of May 2, 2018 – AC 61-65G

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20 Responses

  1. Do any of these endorsements need to be with a certain amount of time before the checkride as with the private and others?

    1. Hi Megan. 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) – training is received within 60 preceding days – this one has to be current. Rest, no.

  2. Your so-called “61.195(h) endorsement” is fictitious – no such endorsement is required, which is why it is not spelt out in AC61-65. A further reading of the full reg reveals in 61.195(i) that “A flight instructor shall not make any self-endorsement for a certificate, rating, flight review, authorization, operating privilege, practical test, or knowledge test that is required by this part.” The endorsement you suggest is a violation of the prohibition against self-endorsements.
    If you are going to make something up, at least make it something plausible and not so easily checked.

    1. Hi Peter. You are correct about self-endorsement. But it is prohibited for “a certificate, rating, flight review, authorization, operating privilege, practical test, or knowledge test that is required by this part”. Certifying that “you, the CFI” is qualified to teach first time CFI applicants is completely legal and serves as a courtesy to the DPE. The only other way the DPE would be able to “qualify” the CFI giving instruction is by auditing his/her logbook and certificate.
      I have trained close to 1000 CFI applicants since 1998, and worked with dozens of DPEs and FAA Inspectors. This “self-endorsement” has always been appreciated.

      1. In my area the DPEs don’t look for this self endorsement. I asked one DPE (retired and most senior 747 captain at a major), and he said that its not his job to ensure that the CFI endorsing has the required 2 years experience. He said that matter would be between that CFI giving out that endorsement (after all they should know 61.195) and the FAA, not the DPE.

  3. I AM REINSTATING MY CFI DO ALL THESE ENDORSEMENTS APPLY?
    DORES THE CFI TAHAT I AM TRAING WITH NEED TO HAVE 200 HRS TO SIGN ME OFF/

    THANKS

    1. There is no instructor recommendation required for reinstatement. So no endorsements required in your case. Obviously, no need for any instruction. It is always a good idea to receive some instruction before you go take the ride anyways.

  4. What about 61-65 A.2 Review of deficiencies identified on airman knowledge test: para. 61.39(a)(6)(iii)

    I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas in which [he or she] was deficient on the [applicable] airman knowledge test.
    And is it acceptable to combine the Fundamentals of Instruction and Flight Instructor Airplane in the [applicable] field or do you need separate endorsements for each? I used airplane here because that is the practical test I will be taking.

    1. Hello Dan.
      Yes you are absolutely correct about endorsement stating that the deficient areas were covered (as required by 14 CFR 61.39 (a)(6)(iii). If you look at the current version of the AC 61-65, which is “H”, and compare the endorsement # A.1 and A.2 with A.40, you will notice that they both are stating the same things. We can do 2 separate endorsements, i.e. A.1 and A.2, or simply A.40, which covers both areas of the regulation 61.39. The article was written around AC 61-65E, and at that time neither A.1, A.2 nor A.40 were listed in the AC. Compliance with the regulation 61.39 was still required though.
      Thank you for a great comment. Let’s keep on teaching well.

  5. if I’m doing a CFI add-on, will i need anything other than the Spin training, Flight Instructor ground and flight proficiency and practical test prerequisites endorsement.
    (since I’ve already received the FOI, and initial endorsements )

    1. Interesting. You will need Spin training, practical test pre-requisites (61.39), and added-category/class endorsements; not the flight instructor ground and flight proficiency.
      However, you brought up a good point Brandon. The spin training should have been done during the initial certification, even if it was a CFII or MEI. Just saying.

  6. Regarding US Air Force pilots who obtained the CFI with multi engine land and instrument ratings via the Military Competency Instructor exam, what endorsements do we need to add the single engine land rating?

    Thanks

    1. Hi there. You obtained your CFI-AME through mil-comp. Irrespective, the endorsements required for added category/class rating on an existing Flight Instructor certificate remain the same – practical test pre-requisites as required by 61.39 (refer to endorsement number A1 and A2 in AC 61-65H) – only A1 is required as there is no written exam required for CFI-ASE add on). Then you will also need one for the ground/flight proficiency as per 61.183, 61.187 (endorsement number A44 from the AC 61-65H).
      From my past experiences, FAA does not verify spin training requirement met during your military flying during mil-comp, and 61.73 is not clear about it. So I suggest that you receive Spin Training required per 61.183 if you have not received such training during your military training, and receive endorsement number A45. Hope this help and all the best.

  7. The spin endorsement is NOT required when adding a single engine rating to a CFI certificate that already has an airplane rating! 61.191 addresses additional flight instructor ratings and refers the applicant to 61.183 to accomplish items that apply. 61.183(i) [Spin Training] is referring to applicants for a CFI with an airplane or glider category rating. If your CFI certificate has an airplane or glider category rating, then 91.183(i) does not apply if you are applying for a single engine class rating to be added. Remember, airplane and glider are category ratings and single engine is a class rating. I have reviewed this misunderstanding with a local, very experienced designated examiner who corroborates the above interpretation of the FARs.

  8. As a CFI initial examiner I have never seen a requirement for that endorsement for the two year CFI. The words “must have an endorsement” is not listed anywhere in the regulations regarding the two year experience. Hence, there isn’t an example of that endorsement in AC 61-65H. The regulation states that the CFI must have two years experience to endorse an initial CFI but does not require an endorsement stating his or her experience as an endorsement for a practical test. We were never told by the FSDO to validate the recommending CFI’s eligibility for the endorsement. Part 61.195(h) only says that the CFI MEET the requirements, i.e. 200 hours etc. , not that he or she has to attest and endorse to such.

  9. The instructor self certification is just a recommendation and when it boils down to it, a lawyer satisfaction statement should the instructor ever be facing a lawsuit.
    The FAA always like a scapegoat to blame

  10. my question is about the spin endorsement and training. must this training be conducted in a spin approved airplane and get in actual spins and do recovery or is this just a ground school on how spins develop and how do we recover from them ? thank you for your time and asnwer

    1. Hi Jack. The training is required to be conducted in classroon AND in an airplane approved for spins. Refer – 61.183

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