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Old 09-10-2009, 08:05 AM   #1  
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Default CFI Interview advice

Hi all, First off I have the opportunity to interview at a flight school in the Houston area, which is awesome! I am from Michigan and graduated from WMU in the Spring. This particular school told me to expect an interview and then a flight where they want to see my, "Flying and teaching skills." My question is what should I expect on both the interview and the flight? I am nervous because it is my first interview of the sort, but also nervous because I have never flown in the Houston area and also have never flown the aircraft I will use, the Piper Comanche.

Secondly, I have been in contact with another flight school in the Austin, TX area which I am also going to visit next week when I go down to the aformentioned interview. The owner is really nice and is essentially offering me a job if I am able to put enough money on the table to start my MEI training and continue it into a lowerlevel ATP course after I begin instructing for him.. which apparently would be about a half-month to a month after I arrive. My question here is does it seem like he is taking advantage of me? I would not be able to sustain myself if flight instructing if I also am paying for training as well. It sort've seems like he is interested in my inexperience because he knows that he'll get an employee and business out of it. Just wanted some other opinions.

Thanks guys!
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:47 AM   #2  
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A first flight in a Comanche is not a good way to demonstrate instructor competency. It is fairly complex for a single engine. I would not chose it for instruction unless the student owned one or was contemplating purchasing one. If it is the only complex aircraft this flight school has on the line, I would consider another job. If you do decide to go for it, try to download an aircraft manual and get familiar with the systems, especially the fuel system and gear.

Having said all that, I must say that I have enjoyed flying the Comanche. It is fast, efficient, and handles very nicely. It is also old, and unless meticulously maintained, it is unlikely to be reliable.

Joe
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:02 AM   #3  
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Well, apparently for the Houston school... they do not know yet which of their planes will be available for me to fly in next week. It will be between two models of 172 (Which i have flown before).. or the Comanche (Which i haven't and thus my uncomfortable feeling about it).
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:02 AM   #4  
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Don't be scared off by the Commanche. I've flown the twin version- it can be tricky to land, but it's just an airplane. Just trick your mind into thinking the interviewer is a student on their first lesson- or even better yet- one of your close friends or parents that wants to learn a bit about flying. Talk through everything that you do, be confident, and treat it just like any other airplane. Follow the checklists, fly the speeds, and you'll do fine. Remember- the interviewer is not expecting you to be an expert in the particular plane. Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:19 PM   #5  
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Don't be scared off by the Commanche. I've flown the twin version- it can be tricky to land, but it's just an airplane. Just trick your mind into thinking the interviewer is a student on their first lesson- or even better yet- one of your close friends or parents that wants to learn a bit about flying. Talk through everything that you do, be confident, and treat it just like any other airplane. Follow the checklists, fly the speeds, and you'll do fine. Remember- the interviewer is not expecting you to be an expert in the particular plane. Good luck.
Now thats good advice. :-)
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:06 AM   #6  
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Commanche is a sweetheart to fly - the above advice was great... stick to your speeds and checklists, you'll be great. I'm pretty sure they've been plagued by a lot of ADs, so like joe said put extra effort into the systems and mx checks. It might **** them off a bit, but ask to take a look at the a/c logbooks - check the inspection status.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:30 AM   #7  
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I'm going to add that you should get a sectional and get very familiar with the airspace around the base airport. Also get very familiar with the traffic patterns for each runway so there are no surprises.

As for the last guy. YES HE IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOU. Tell him to shove it. I wouldn't even go and see him. There are thousands of MEI's on the street so he isn't requiring you to get it so you can teach multiengine students. All he wants is your cash. And if he is at this point it is a clear sign that he will be out of business soon.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:14 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesweetlycool View Post
Hi all, First off I have the opportunity to interview at a flight school in the Houston area, which is awesome! I am from Michigan and graduated from WMU in the Spring. This particular school told me to expect an interview and then a flight where they want to see my, "Flying and teaching skills." My question is what should I expect on both the interview and the flight? I am nervous because it is my first interview of the sort, but also nervous because I have never flown in the Houston area and also have never flown the aircraft I will use, the Piper Comanche.

Secondly, I have been in contact with another flight school in the Austin, TX area which I am also going to visit next week when I go down to the aformentioned interview. The owner is really nice and is essentially offering me a job if I am able to put enough money on the table to start my MEI training and continue it into a lowerlevel ATP course after I begin instructing for him.. which apparently would be about a half-month to a month after I arrive. My question here is does it seem like he is taking advantage of me? I would not be able to sustain myself if flight instructing if I also am paying for training as well. It sort've seems like he is interested in my inexperience because he knows that he'll get an employee and business out of it. Just wanted some other opinions.

Thanks guys!
Regarding the second flight school. That is wrong - you should never be required to buy a job. Later in your career you will see variations on this theme. There will be 135 operators who advertise FO positions that cost money, corporate operators who only hire typed and current pilots or pilots that buy a type rating before coming to work for them and fire the pilots after their 6 month currency is up. End rant. If it seems like a scam, it probably is.
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:24 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesweetlycool View Post
Secondly, I have been in contact with another flight school in the Austin, TX area which I am also going to visit next week when I go down to the aformentioned interview. The owner is really nice and is essentially offering me a job if I am able to put enough money on the table to start my MEI training and continue it into a lowerlevel ATP course after I begin instructing for him.. which apparently would be about a half-month to a month after I arrive. My question here is does it seem like he is taking advantage of me? I would not be able to sustain myself if flight instructing if I also am paying for training as well. It sort've seems like he is interested in my inexperience because he knows that he'll get an employee and business out of it. Just wanted some other opinions.

Thanks guys!
This is absolutley absurd. I have never heard of this tactic by a flight school. Yes, he is taking advantage of desperate instructors.

He is doing a gross dis-service to aviation and pilots, and I really hope that you do NOT visit somebody that would say this (if that is indeed the case). He wants your money, its not about you getting his. I would consider this more of a reverse hire, you are basically hiring him. (MEI plus ATP training. You wont have enough flight time for ATP, and nowhere in GA is there a CFI ATP requirment)
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:47 AM   #10  
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Good advice so far on the interview.

As for the second school, don't even go to that interview. It sounds to me that the guy doesn't view you as a potential employee, he views you as a potential customer, and is using the job as bait. If he had said he really needed an MEI there, and would like for you to get that soon, it would be one thing, but to put the ATP course out there as well means he's not looking for an MEI, he's looking for someone to give him more money than he's going to pay you. Don't give him the time of day.

I'm from Houston, instructed there for a while, which school are you going to that has the Comanche?
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