CFII as an Initial Issue Flight Instructor Certificate

Many a times we are asked by prospective flight instructor applicants if we provide the training for flight instructor instrument (CFII) as an initial issue.  The answer to this is “Yes we do”.

However, you should consider the fact that you may not be able to use this flight instructor certificate to provide much training to your students. Your training activity will be very limited, and you may not be able to teach anyone in any category or class of aircraft in flight! This is due to the recent re-wording of the FAR 61.195.

Instrument Instructor

14 CFR 61.195(b) – directs that a flight instructor may not conduct flight training in any aircraft for which he does not hold “a pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate with the applicable category and class rating…”

In other words, the flight instructor must have an ASE or an AME on his/her flight instructor certificate in addition to the ASEL and/or AMEL on his/her pilot certificate. Here is what the new revised 61.195(c), which became effective on October 21, 2009 says:

14 CFR 61.195(c) – states that a flight instructor who provides instrument training for the issuance of an instrument rating, a type rating not limited to VFR, or the instrument training required for commercial pilot and air transport pilot certificate must hold an instrument rating on his or her pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate that is appropriate to the category and class of aircraft used for the training provided.

So, the conclusion here is that yes, CFI Academy does train for CFII as an initial issue, and yes you can get a CFII as an initial issue, but consider the fact that you may not be able to use it in most cases for flight training. You will still need to get your CFI or MEI before you can start using your CFII initial issue for flight training.

 And Click here to download the FAA chief counsel’s legal interpretation about CFII teaching without a category or class rating.

What is an Accelerated CFI Training Course

The Accelerated CFI Training Course is a fast paced flight and ground training program where both the applicant and the assigned Flight Instructor dedicate their full time towards one common goal: preparing the CFI applicant to achieve the required aeronautical experience and knowledge levels prescribed within the FARs and the CFI Practical Test Standards (PTS), in a shorter than normal period of time.

Assigned Instructor Responsibilities

The instructor assigned to teach the flight instructor applicant dedicates his or her entire work day (which is mostly 8-10 hours per day) instructing the applicant on required area of operations. This instructor is exclusively assigned to the training program and does not have any other obligations, students, or job duties. Here at CFI Academy, as we do not teach any other pilot courses, there are no distractions for us. This is one of the benefits of doing your CFI training at an exclusive flight instructor academy.

Student or CFI applicant Responsibilities

To achieve maximum benefit (which is shorter training duration in this case) the applicant has to dedicate his or her entire focus, dedication, and energy each day, and work very hard to learn everything necessary as quickly as possible. The instructor is capable to teaching only as fast as the student is capable to learning and retaining the knowledge. The pace of the accelerated program is heavily dependent on the applicant’s own progress.

The Objectives

Just to clarify something here with you, there are in fact 2 different objectives of the accelerated CFI training program:

  1. Achieve the aeronautical knowledge and skill levels prescribed for the issuance of an FAA Flight Instructor Certificate (FARs and PTS).
  2. And do all this as quickly as humanly possible.

If it were not an accelerated program, then there would be just one objective, the # 1 above. So, now you may realize that an accelerated CFI training program is in fact dual objective, thereby demands commitment from everyone involved, and deliberate effort.

What to Expect

The CFI aeronautical knowledge portion (ground training) can easily take about 60 hours, and the skill (flight) portion is about 10 hours flight time plus pre and post flight briefings. So we can easily assume 20 hours for the flight portion. This adds up to about 80 hours (remember, its not the hours, its the successful transfer of information from instructor to student) of hard work. And we do all this in 2 weeks. With discipline and focus, this is an achievable task, and has been done many a times by many applicants ahead of you.

What Not to Expect

CFI certificate comes with a lot of responsibilities. Teaching others how to fly is not only fun, but challenging as well. And if not done properly can lead to undesirable events (and FAA actions, or more). Therefore, do not expect to get a sign-off from your instructor at the end of 2 weeks just because you have completed the 2 weeks and we said it would be 2 weeks. Read the 2 objectives above again. And also do not expect any FAA inspector or DPE to write you a temporary CFI certificate as well, just because you spent 2 weeks here with us in Sacramento.

What Helps

Even though it is not a requirement, try to come over with your CFI knowledge tests pass – both the Flight Instructor Airplane (FIA) and the Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI). This will definitely help reducing your workload and gain more in the 2 weeks. We will have extra time to spend on other areas where you can use some extra help. You may also want to consider showing up here the weekend before the course start date (course starts Mondays, you show up here the Fridays before) and go through our CFI knowledge test prep course. 3 intensive days of FIA and FOI preparation, and by Monday you will have both the exams out of the way.

If you decide to prepare for these 2 exams on your own, and take the actual tests here at our location, just let us know ahead of time so we can arrange all that for you. All in all, it really helps if you have the tests out of the way before we begin.

12 Most Common Mistakes on FAA 8710 form

Now is the time to finally go for your check-ride and you, along with your CFI, go over the checklist in the PTS and one of the requirements is a completed 8710-1 form.  Although there is an explanation on what to put in each block, there is sometimes confusion and some how applications still get kicked back from the DPE, local FSDO, or Oklahoma.

Checking the wrong/incorrect Application Information Boxes

Check ALL the boxes that apply for your checkride. There is no limit to how many boxes you can check in this section, so do not hesitate and be as accurate as possible.

Not using “NMN” in block A, if there is no middle name

If you do not have a middle name, use NMN, i.e. no middle name. If you have more than one middle name, pick one – the one that you picked for your medical certificate.

Forgetting name suffixes such as Jr, II, III, etc

If you have a name suffix, use it. Hint: copy your name from your medical certificate exactly as it is.

Not entering eight digits for dates, i.e. July 9th, 1925 should be 07-09-1925 and not 7-9-1925 or 7-9-25

Dates on all FAA documents are now standardized to 8 digit format. Anything else would cause for your application to be rejected.

Not entering Height in inches, i.e. 5’8” should be 68” and weight in pounds, lbs

For this application, all the heights are in inches and the weights are in pounds. Again, you can simple copy it from your medical as is. No feet and no kilograms.

Not spelling out the color when describing hair and eyes

Can not abbreviate this area. Black is not BLK and Brown is not BRN. Use complete spelling.

Entering wrong grade of pilot certificate

Enter your current pilot certificate held – the one you are holding in your hands right now. And student pilot certificate IS a pilot certificate, at least on one side. The other side is the medical certificate. And for the CFI’s, be careful to check the expiration dates of the medical and the student pilot certificate separately.

Nationality should be the country name, i.e. India instead of Indian and China instead of Chinese

A very common mistake. Use the country name here.

Entering the wrong class of medical.  It should be the class shown on the medical certificate

And the correct way is 3rd and not third.

Your Social Security Number

There are only 2 correct choices here: NONE if you do not have one, DO NOT USE if you do not want to use it on this application.

And CFI signatures, name and number should be valid one

Sign your name, in blue ink preferably, like all other professionals do on legal original documents. Write your name as it appears on your pilot and CFI certificate. And make sure that your CFI number ends with CFI, and not with CFII or MEI.

Spin Training for CFI applicants

If you are working towards getting your Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate, one of the requirements to be eligible is to have received and logged training time, in-flight, on stall / spin awareness, spin recognition, spin entry and spin recovery techniques. Refer 14 CFR 61.183(i). This training time has to be logged, and a logbook endorsement specific to the successful completion and achievement of instructional proficiency in this area has to be in placed in your logbook.

Many flight training schools do not conduct this training in-house, and the reason being, hard to find qualified and proficient flight instructors who can confidently provide this training. At CFI Academy, not only this training is provided in-house in our own aircraft and by our own qualified CFIs, but it is included in your CFI Course at no extra cost. In other words, no matter what or how long it takes for us to train you to be proficient in this required spin proficiency, there will not be any extra charges for you to pay.

The only exception is when you are over 200 lbs in weight, and then you may have to pay a little bit of extra just to cover the difference in the rental price for a bigger airplane.

Spin training is fun, enjoyable, and will add a lot of confidence in your own piloting skills.