10 Ways to Renew you CFI

10 way to renew CFI
Renew your CFI

I am working on renewing my CFI certificate and associated ratings, which are about to expire on Nov 30. It is allowed to complete the renewal process and obtain a new CFI certificate within 3 months prior to the expiration date and still retain the original expiration date (Nov 30 in this case) 2 years down.

There are 10 ways listed here to renew a CFI certificate, and at least 9 to renew before expiration. If the certificate is allowed to expire before renewal, then there is only one way; #1, by taking a practical test and get CFI Reinstatement done.

Take a practical test (checkride) –

This method is usually used by someone whose CFI has already expired, but in any case, this method is still an available option to renew unexpired CFI certificate as well. Once a CFI certificate expires, you must pass a checkride for any one rating (CFI, CFII or MEI) on the CFI certificate and renew the certificate with all the rest of the ratings as well.

Take a practical test (checkride) for an additional CFI rating –

If you do not have all the CFI ratings on your certificate, you can train and pass a checkride for an additional flight instructor rating; this will renew your CFI and associated ratings.

Maintaining 80% Pass Rate of 1st Time Recommendations –

Maintaining and demonstrating via proper documentation, first time pass rate of at least 8o% out of a minimum of 5 recommendations for a practical test in the preceding 24 month period.

Serve as a check airman in part 91, 121, 133 and 135

Demonstrating your experience evaluating other pilots may allow you to renew your CFI. Proper appointment credentials and logbook entries can be used to document such experience.

Attending and successfully completing industry sponsored Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC).

There are numerous options in this category. One may attend and complete this course in person, or online.

Attending an FAA sponsored CFI workshop.

Information and announcements about upcoming CFI workshops are made in most aviation print media, and at www.faasafety.gov.

Participating in FAA Wings program –

A CFI may utilize FAA Wings Program for CFI renewal as well. Here are the requirements – (1) be a participant in FAA Wings Program, (2) Provide 15 hours of flight training to other participating pilots (3) Sign off at least 5 other pilots for their phase of this program.

Earn Gold Seal Certification –

Maintain and demonstrate that you have over 80% first time practical test passes out of a minimum of 10 recommendations (sign-offs) in the preceding 24 calendar months. This will get you a gold seal and also renew your CFI certificate. This can only be used once in a lifetime.

Earn or renew Master CFI designation –

Earn or renew a Master CFI designation (there are 2 different programs for this)  for renewal of a CFI certificate.

Renewal based on duties and responsibilities –

In rare cases, an FAA inspector may allow a CFI to renew based on his/her duties and responsibilities within the FSDO’s jurisdiction and FAA inspector’s thorough and personal knowledge of your activities. Contact the FAA FAASTeam (Safety Team) Manager in your FSDO.

If your CFI Certificate has already expired, then read this – CFI Reinstatement

First published in 2003 by Robert Jex, CFI

Multi Engine Checkrides – DPE not required type specific LOA

Until recently, we used to have this one problem that was a nightmare to deal with. A student would show up with his/her own multi engine airplane and would ask us to train in their airplane for the CFI, CFII or MEI, or even a commercial/flight instructor combination course. In any case, the training had to be conducted in the applicant’s own multi engine airplane.
The training was never an issue. As a flight instructor with a multi engine rating, we are authorized to teach in any make/model if a light twin airplane, provided we have at least 5 hours PIC time in that make/model of airplane. With so many years of teaching in various airplanes, we usually have just about all the light twin airplanes in our logbooks, with 5 hours minimum under the PIC column. And every now and then, if a new one shows up anyways, nothing to worry. We are always so excited to learn and fly another “new” light twin anyways.
The problem that’d show up was, not being able to find a DPE who would have a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the FAA to conduct a checkride in that make/model. Now, we’d just be stuck at the mercy of the local FSDO to schedule a ride with one of their inspectors (and with the current short staffed situation), which could be as long as a month or more in the future!
The DPEs had to obtain an LOA for each make/model; by demonstrating their skills to an FAA inspector in flight, in each make/model of light twin they wanted to conduct a checkride in. And then do an annual proficiency check in each make/model (on a rotating schedule) with the FAA. This process would discourage DPEs from having more than 2 or 3 makes/models on their LOA at any given time.
Now, their LOA allows then to conduct a checkride in ALL light twins! At last the issue is rest to peace, and the lawmakers have realized that they can look elsewhere to prevent accidents and increase safety.

Foreign Flight Instructor conversion to FAA CFI

FAA CFI
Foreign Flight Instructor

Received an email this morning from someone who holds a Flight Instructor certificate (or license) in Netherlands, and also has instructor privileges in the military in his country. He wanted to know if there is a way for him to convert his Netherlands flight instructor license to a US FAA CFI certificate.

The short answer to this is; No, there is no way to convert ANY country’s flight instructor license to a US FAA CFI certificate. There are no credits or exemptions available. And the vice-versa is true as well.

However, as there are no minimum number of ground or flight training hour requirement for a CFI certificate checkride in the US, you may end up spending much lesser time in preparation for an FAA CFI checkride. Your own knowledge and skill level will determine this.

Another thing one can do to expedite the CFI certificate preparation is Self Study. The more you come prepared yourself, the easier and faster the training would be. Aerodynamics, Weather, Navigation are examples of subject areas which are common between FAA and JAA and others.

Yohan Bathiya

I have been wanting to write about some of the most determined and focused students that I have ever had in my career as a Flight Instructor teaching new CFI applicants for a while now. There are many, but I have to start off somewhere. So this is the first one of the series. Yohan Bathiya. Yohan is a senior first officer with American Eagle Airlines. He is originally from Sri Lanka.
I came across Yohan back in 1998-1999. He was a student at a flight school that I used to work for; Wings International. I was a newly certified flight instructor at the time, but was teaching/mentoring other new flight instructors as well. Yohan’s instructor was Anura Mundanayake, also from the same country. As this post is about Yohan, and not Anura, so let’s continue on talking about Yohan here.
One thing that we all have to understand here is that I know a lot more than I can share here. There are privacy policies, common courtesies, and things of that nature. So, please bear with me, and try to read between the lines and connect the dots yourself.
Yohan, like many others, had a dream, and a lot of determination. I remember the glow in his eyes every time I ran across him, and that was just about every single morning. He had no clue about the path, or the journey, but he very much knew what his destination was…to be an airline pilot, no matter what it takes!
And guess what, he did everything that it took to achieve that dream of his. I remember, Yohan used to show up sometimes in the evening with a pizza at my flight school, the occasional “free” pizza bonus that pizza delivery guys get every now and then. The thing to note here is that he would bring his free pizza in to share with his instructors, friends, and future students! Well, he didn’t have to…but he did.
And then Yohan went through a lot more, but he kept his focus and continued on with his persistence, and determination. 10 years later, he is a senior first officer with American Eagle, is a US citizen and has traveled half of the countries in the world. Am I proud of him, heck yea! How about his parents, his siblings, his instructors, and his students? Of course they all are.
As a matter of fact, Yohan’s students are the ones who are the most proud of him. Dave Tillet is one! And then there are dozens more that I know of.
Guys, the deal is that if you want it bad enough, you can have it. This is how the aviation works, and always has. How bad you want it is the key. Yohan went from Student Pilot to an Airline Pilot in 5 years, and that is quite an achievement, at least in my books!
Eventually, Yohan did his CFI, CFII and MEI with me, and then ended up working for me as a Flight Instructor for a while, and he was a great asset to my company as he is now for his present employer. He knew that he had to give before he takes!

IASCO in Napa and Redding, CA needs Flight Instructors

IASCO, a Japan Airlines flight training partner, has 2 locations in CA – Napa and Redding. IASCO is always hiring Flight Instructors for both locations. Even though the hiring minimums for the CFI position is 500 hours total flight time, the job pays very well, and includes all the premium benefits, like medical, dental, retirement, paid holidays, and above all, a Monday through Friday work schedule.
If you work at IASCO as a flight instructor, do not expect to rack up flight time overnight. This job is not for a fast track time builder. Most flight instructors there fly about 2 flights a day, which is about 2-3 hours of dual given. However the pay scale starts at about $50K and maxes out at about $78K. Not bad for someone who wants to take on flight instructing as a full time career.
There are many other internal advancement opportunities as well. Remember, IASCO is one of the leading crew leasing organization in the world.
Click here to visit their employment page and get more information on their current CFI job openings.

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.