Certified Flight Instructors??

October 12, 2008

Why in the USA are flying instructors called CFI's? Surely the fact that you have an instructors rating indicates some form of certification from the FAA. Do you get non-Certified Flight Instructors, and if so, who would want to train with them?

From a practical stand point, it would be possible for anyone with a pilots license to teach someone to handle an airplane – but only instruction from a CFI counts toward the regulatory requirements. Any time I take a friend flying, I try to teach them something about flying, let them handle the controls, and teach them basic maneuvers, but they cannot log that as instruction.
I learned to fly in large part from flying with my father, who was not a CFI, when I was 12. It did not qualify me to solo, and legally it did not count, but when I started with an instructor I was able to solo in 6 hours, scored 100% on the writen exam, and pass my checkride with the bare minimum of required flight time.

Comments

8 Responses to “Certified Flight Instructors??”

  1. george on October 12th, 2008 7:30 am

    I dont know
    References :

  2. grumpy geezer on October 12th, 2008 8:18 am

    Beef is certified. Instructors are certificated. Oddly enough, some of the best natural flight instructors I've known never had an instructor's rating. You couldn't log any of the time with them, but you came away a smarter and better pilot after flying with them. (for the right reasons too!)
    References :

  3. huckleberry58 on October 12th, 2008 8:32 am

    yes i always wondered why they call themselves that too actually. i'm used to CFI meaning 'Chief Flight Instructor' which is the normal acronym so when i first saw all this 'CFI' being thrown around i was abit confused. the 'C' part of 'CFI' is redundant if it means 'Certified'.
    References :

  4. John R on October 12th, 2008 8:40 am

    From a practical stand point, it would be possible for anyone with a pilots license to teach someone to handle an airplane – but only instruction from a CFI counts toward the regulatory requirements. Any time I take a friend flying, I try to teach them something about flying, let them handle the controls, and teach them basic maneuvers, but they cannot log that as instruction.
    I learned to fly in large part from flying with my father, who was not a CFI, when I was 12. It did not qualify me to solo, and legally it did not count, but when I started with an instructor I was able to solo in 6 hours, scored 100% on the writen exam, and pass my checkride with the bare minimum of required flight time.
    References :

  5. Avrilfan on October 12th, 2008 8:50 am

    There may be certain pilots who may have completed the requirements for qualifying as a 'Flight Instructor' yet not been checked out by a certified inspector (perhaps only by their own CFIs). To preclude such people from imparting instructions in flight training, certification from an FAA approved inspector is required, hence CFI.
    In the olden days, the QFIs (Qualified Flight Instructors) also used to teach flying.
    References :

  6. Angel_Baby on October 12th, 2008 9:25 am

    There are different types of flight instructors. For example, ultralight flight instructors are referenced to as BFI. Check out http://www.freedomfield.com for info on ultralights.
    References :

  7. Mark on October 12th, 2008 10:08 am

    Some instruction is done by Airline Transport Pilots who are not certified flight instructors.

    "An airline transport pilot may instruct other pilots in air transport service……" FAR Part 61.117b(1)
    References :
    http://www.faa.gov

  8. pitts_pilot on October 12th, 2008 10:21 am

    In the USA, 'CFI' are the last three characters in your flight instructor pilot certificate number. Such as '12345CFI'. It is the same number, without the CFI as your commercial or ATP certificate number.

    The number ends in CFI no matter the rating on the Flight Instructor certificate ….
    References :

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