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Old 01-26-2006, 10:00 PM   #1  
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Default Question to the fast track pilot school CFIs.

I realize that most of the big academies hire their own students as CFIs to build the rest of the flight time. My question is to those CFIs, is the transition easy? How did you deal with it. Some schools make CFIs out of 0 time pilots in 4 to 6 months. That's amazing but is any quality of teaching compromised because of the lack of experience? I ask because around my FBO and the rest at the local airport most of the CFIs have 2000+ hours experience.
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:44 AM   #2  
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It depends on the school you go to. The place I work at was hirring both academy and fbo cfi's you deffenitly saw that most of the fbo cfi's that took a little longer to get their ratings needed a little catching up. But Im not saying thats everybody. I think the biggest difference is that an academy cfi has surrounded themself with aviation for a couple of months and that helps. But if you are good studier then thatll do the same thing.
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:51 AM   #3  
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Default Pilots are equal caliber

Airwillie,
Take this example. You have 2 private students with 0 time. Student A is extremely motivated and willing to fly at least 3 times a week. Student B is not as motivated, and only flies once a week. Student A works hard and passes his checkride with only 45hours. Student B does not fly as often, and as a result needs to review old stuff on every flight. He finally gets signed off to take his private checkride at 80hours and passes. Who is a better pilot?

They are probably both equal. Even though one has 45hrs, and one has 80hrs, they worked to acheive the same standards. These fast track flight schools are FAST because there students fly and study almost every day. They will turn out pilots with fewer hours that meet the same standards as pilots who finish with more flight time. Obviously fast track flight schools are MORE expensive, but if you graduate with less time, it costs about the same to get your ratings. Plus it is done faster.

I think everyone agrees that the more time you spend in the air, the more things you are going to see, the more able you will be able to react to some emergency. But all in all, I think fast track CFI's meet similar standards as FBO CFI's do.
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Old 01-28-2006, 11:50 AM   #4  
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Why couldn't a FBO type student fly three times a week, too? Thus, not only saving money over an academy but getting done just as fast?
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Old 01-28-2006, 11:54 AM   #5  
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Absolutely an FBO student can fly 3 times a week or more. I work at an FBO and I have many students who do. In general, I think the fast track academy pilots fly almost EVERY day, and that is why they get it done faster. Most FBO students DO NOT fly every day.
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Old 01-28-2006, 08:50 PM   #6  
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I completed a fast track program and all the cfi's I was trained by were well trained and experienced. I started at a small fbo in So Cal and thought the training I recieved there was equally as good before moving on to an academy. Most of the cfi's there were graduates of a university or a fast track program. At the time I was working a job and flying anywhere from 2 to 4 times a week. I decided to take it a step further and go full time with an academy. I'm sure I saved some money with the academy or at least broke even. Without question I have most certainly saved time. I think as far as getting your ratings, it all depends on the individual and their commitment. The FAA requirments remain the same for universities, fbo's and academies. I have now been employed as a cfi at the academy and have provided instruction to pilots with no experience to having learned a thing or two myself from another student. To answer the question posted, I think as long as you are training at a location where the cfi's do nothing but provide instruction on a full time basis you are bound to find an experienced cfi. I know at some fbo's there are instructors who will sit around for days waiting for the next student to drop for a flight. At least at a university or an academy thats not a problem.
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:33 AM   #7  
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Plus at some FBO's a student might have to compete with outside renters for availability of the airplanes. I know that was a problem when I started at a FBO.
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:50 AM   #8  
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It's entirely normal in the industry for people to go from zero-CFI in six months. The FBO folks sometimes take longer due to work or whatever.

An Academy Grad CFI who goes to work for his school has an advantage in that he knows all the profiles, procedures, airspace, and aircraft. Also, the school will start new CFI's on something easy, like privates or commercials, and have the more experienced CFI's do CFII and finally MEI work.

There are a few tasks which actually require a sign off from a CFI with 2 years experience and/or 1000 dual given (I think). This is why those schools would also hire "Street CFIs".

Many FBO CFI's do it for a hobby or are professional CFI's, whereas the academy/big flight school types are obviously going to split for an airline before the reach high levels of dual given.

An advantage to working at an FBO is that sometimes you can command $30-40/hour depending on the type of instruction. Typical flight schools pay $8-10 for CFI, and maybe $15 for MEI or check airman.

Last edited by rickair7777; 02-04-2006 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:33 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777
An advantage to working at an FBO is that sometimes you can command $30-40/hour depending on the type of instruction. Typical flight schools pay $8-10 for CFI, and maybe $15 for MEI or check airman.
But at the same time its a little flawed thinking that. SUre I only make 15 dollars an hour....but I work over 100 a month. Some of the guys I have worked with left their hometown FBO where they made 40 an hour because they were luck to bring 500 dollars a month.

When I get my class date I'll be taking a pay cut...Didnt think that that could happen to a CFI.
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:41 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkpilot48
But at the same time its a little flawed thinking that. SUre I only make 15 dollars an hour....but I work over 100 a month. Some of the guys I have worked with left their hometown FBO where they made 40 an hour because they were luck to bring 500 dollars a month.

When I get my class date I'll be taking a pay cut...Didnt think that that could happen to a CFI.
If you need a real income, you can work and also teach at the FBO part time, just takes longer. But if you hang out at our local FBO's (in SOCAL) you will soon get enough walk-in business to fill a 5 or 6 day week. The full time guys with all the ratings and experience easily make $40-60K, especially if they charge for ground school.

I took a HUGE paycut from MEI/Check Airman to airline pilot. But I don't work nearly as hard or as much as an airline guy.

Last edited by rickair7777; 02-04-2006 at 10:44 AM.
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