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Labradors4evr
11-02-2018, 10:50 PM
Hi. So iím an ATP, about 10k hrs, no accidents or incidents, almost all of which was in Alaska 135 in Cessnas, Beavers, Navajos and Cubs. Wheels and floats. It was fun.

Two years ago I got really burned out on 135 tho after a particularly crummy gig and took a completely different course. Well turns out now I miss flying.

Hereís the deal tho- I really donít want to do anymore 135 stuff or go into the 121 world. Maybe thatís a bad move career wise and financially but honestly I donít want flying jobs to dominate my life anymore. Not wanting to do more time in the bush or live in hotels for a large portion of my life.

Iím 49, single, and have a dog too. Labrador Retriever obviously :)

Soo, Iíve been really thinking about becoming a CFI. I never did instruct and got into AK 135 by working as an A&P first and building time on my own toward 135 mins years ago.

Iíd really appreciate hearing from people who are long term or career flight instructors. Maybe recommendations on a place to get CFIíd and maybe move into a paying position? Iím kinda out of the loop on flight schools in the lower 48. I would prefer to stay West Coast but am really flexible. Just looking for QOL. Maybe somewhere warmer, wow that would be nice!

Things like- can you make enough money at it to pay the rent and bills? Do most flight schools offer health insurance? Do you enjoy it? That kind of stuff. I imagine thereís a fair bit of job satisfaction when you really help people get into flying too?

Thank you in advance!


renaissance2008
11-03-2018, 04:53 AM
It seems that most people get their cfi because it is the quickest way to build hours and move on, very few make a career out of it. With your experience, you should have no problem finding a job part 91.
If you want to put your seaplane rating to use somewhere hot and humid, try these guys.
Southern Seaplane | Gulf Coast Seaplane Tours, Charters & More (http://www.southernseaplane.com/)
After years of not flying, I decided to get back to aviation by pursuing the cfi ticket. I found out that it was not for me and let it go as it was becoming a money pit.
Now in your case, it might a lot easier to get it and make a career out of it.

BravoPapa
11-03-2018, 06:40 AM
With that many hours and experience you might find it more fulfilling to be a trainer at some place like Ameriflight. It's 135 but then again you're training the 135 pilots, not flying 135. I'd post a similar inquiry about teaching there on the Ameriflight thread in the 135 area and see what they say. But I think they do their training in TX.


intrepidtravel
11-03-2018, 04:10 PM
I’m 62 and started flying nine years ago when I was forced into retirement at a major telco. I went from Private to CFII in eleven months at American Flyers at KSMO. Worked for them two years, started another CFI gig at KCMA, went to Surfair (Part 135) right seat in a PC-12 for two years and went back to instructing part time. That’s the key, part time. I can work as much or as little as I want when I want. Pay is about $30 an hour so you won’t get rich. I work with one or two clients at a time. There is a shortage of DPEs and instructors nationwide, pay has never been better. Go the 141 route, hate to say it but I do mostly instrument students and there is a vast knowledge difference between Private pilots who learned Part 61 vs. Part 141. I don’t have to reteach the basics to Part 141 trained pilots.

BravoPapa
11-03-2018, 05:03 PM
...went to Surfair (Part 135) right seat in a PC-12 for two years and went back to instructing part time.

You didn't like the 135 gig?

155mm
11-03-2018, 05:15 PM
Soo, I’ve been really thinking about becoming a CFI. I never did instruct and got into AK 135 by working as an A&P first and building time on my own toward 135 mins years ago.



The ATP and A&P could be a ticket to instruct (sim and ground) at the Major Airlines, Regionals, 135 operators and/or professional flight academies like Flight Safety. A college degree is a plus! You can obtain the CGI with three written exams: Fundamentals of Instructing (FOI), Advanced Ground (AGI) and Instrument Ground (IGI) writtens. There is no Oral or Practical. You'll obviously make more money, better benefits (non rev travel) and you can always flight instruct GA on the side.

dera
11-03-2018, 05:23 PM
You didn't like the 135 gig?

Surf Air is absolute garbage (well, there are no more flights operated by Surf). There are much, much better 135 jobs than flying for Surf.

Twin Wasp
11-04-2018, 02:00 AM
The ATP and A&P could be a ticket to instruct (sim and ground) at the Major Airlines, Regionals, 135 operators and/or professional flight academies like Flight Safety. A college degree is a plus! You can obtain the CGI with three written exams: Fundamentals of Instructing (FOI), Advanced Ground (AGI) and Instrument Ground (IGI) writtens. There is no Oral or Practical. You'll obviously make more money, better benefits (non rev travel) and you can always flight instruct GA on the side.

There's no requirement to have a Ground Instructor certificate to teach in a 142 school or airline. They tend to be more concerned about having the type you will be instructing on. The GI certificates just allow you to sign off ground instruction. The OP would have to pass the same FOI written to get a CFI. With a CFI the OP could sign off ground instruction too. Granted a GI can sign off stuff that isn't on their pilot certificate but how many times have you been asked to sign someone off for their airship commercial written? Save the money.

155mm
11-04-2018, 06:34 AM
There's no requirement to have a Ground Instructor certificate to teach in a 142 school or airline. They tend to be more concerned about having the type you will be instructing on. The GI certificates just allow you to sign off ground instruction. The OP would have to pass the same FOI written to get a CFI. With a CFI the OP could sign off ground instruction too. Granted a GI can sign off stuff that isn't on their pilot certificate but how many times have you been asked to sign someone off for their airship commercial written? Save the money.

Save the money? The CGI is virtually a freebie and as you said, one of the writtens counts for the CFI! It's a resume enhancer for professional instructing and you don't need a medical. The OP holds an ATP which will work for teaching at the airlines and an A&P which is definitely a plus for teaching systems. I would certainly go for the CFI but it takes a couple months of expensive training. The CGI is a no brainer and with the OPs background he could probably land a "Pro Instructor" job right now and actually get a paycheck versus the dismal pay of a CFI. Just showing the options!

https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=simulator+ground+instructor&l=

https://careers.flightsafety.com/go/Instructor-Jobs/3675500/
"Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating or Aviation Ground Instructor Certificate (AGI) with an Instrument rating or prior experience"

Twin Wasp
11-04-2018, 01:00 PM
You'll note that the FSI jobs also want the type in whatever you'll be teaching. Most of the other jobs want a CFI. Two more writtens = $300. If that's what you want to do go ahead. I know most of the instructors at the 142 I part time for don't have any instructor certificates. ATPs with time in type got them in the door.

155mm
11-04-2018, 02:56 PM
You'll note that the FSI jobs also want the type in whatever you'll be teaching. Most of the other jobs want a CFI. Two more writtens = $300. If that's what you want to do go ahead. I know most of the instructors at the 142 I part time for don't have any instructor certificates. ATPs with time in type got them in the door.

Okay, thank you for your insights! I didn't realize you were a 142 instructor. So forget about the stinking worthless CGI rating! I'll just wipe my a$$ on my Gold Seal CFI so the ink blends in with the rest of the certificate. Holy fudge, $300 is like once around the patch in a Cessna 172 nowadays. Thank heavens for Computer Based Training... who needs ground instructors!

Labradors4evr
11-04-2018, 03:15 PM
Hey Thank You All!

I really appreciate the suggestions and help from all of you out there.

Iím not really sure about making the jump from having not flown for this long to a fast paced IFR training environment like some have suggested. Possibly, but only after getting comfortable in the saddle.

Yes I am an ATP and have a bunch of Alaska IFR Navajo time in some pretty crummy environments but as far as being in the lower 48 type IFR environment in a faster aircraft than a Navajo Iíve got absolutely zilch. Pretty intimidating to be honest as we did things kind of differently in the places I used the Navajos capabilities. Usually in the places I flew ifr Iíd be the only, or one of just a few aircraft talking to Anchorage center.

I really appreciate the feedback on the idea that being a CFI is a great responsibility, and I think back over the years to all the really dedicated instructors I was lucky enough to fly with. Some of the things I learned from a couple of old timer Alaskan pilots definitely saved my bacon a few times. Or kept me out of places where the bacon got too crispy if you know what I mean...

I want to be someone like that if I can, and at 49 I like the idea of finding a place where I could live a more settled life. Yes maybe Iíll have to deliver pizzas on the side (did that many moons ago) or do A&P work too to make ends meet. Iím pretty familiar with the aircraft types I mentioned because a lot of the places I flew in AK I did line mx and fixes out in the boonies. Lots of annuals too when at the bigger bases.

After bouncing around AK for so long and suddenly being almost 50 tho and having a dog to take care of, I need a place to kind of settle. The winters are getting longer for me here.

I hope I can find that. Iíve been researching some West Coast training and places to live but have a ways to go before settling on a place.

Thank you again for all your thoughtful responses!