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Old 12-02-2008, 07:25 AM   #1  
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Default Military Competency CFI

I'm curious as to what the thoughts are out there amongst current CFI's on the nearly approved military competency for the CFI certificate. The basics, and I know I'm not getting into all of the details, are that military IP's can test for the CFI certificate by taking the FOI/FIA/FII for about $100. No checkride, no lesson plan binders, etc. Just like with the commercial competency tests, I think it's a good idea, but feel there are some gaps to fill in the way of having military IP's instruct primary students. I would imagine a short class and checkride would educate those who grew up solely in the "military pipeline" on those few items that they never touched on, but that their students would be required to know (not to mention some regulatory differences between military and civilian flying...airspeeds, VFR mins, commercial operations, etc). I was trained by all military IP's and benefitted greatly from this. However, each of them had to put in the time to make the binders, do the groundschool, take the checkride, etc (though some of it could be considered quite a haze for a veteran IP). Obviously, it's not a matter of skill, it's a matter of prepping the student appropriately for flying in the civilian world. I guess a long-shot comparison would be asking a civilian CFI to instruct military flyers for their checkride with no additional prep other than taking a "civilian competency test." While we could all teach one how to fly an airplane, that doesn't mean would would be familiar with all the military regs (unless included in the study prep, of course), and most wouldn't do well at teaching tactical flying (formation, VR's/IR's, aerial refueling, etc). Anyways, just curious as to why there isn't a short transition course in the works or if anyone thinks that would even be a good idea. Thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:22 AM   #2  
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Default I Like IT.

I've given instruction in both the military and civilian. I own and run a Flight School and am an Airline Captain and I think it's a great idea. I wish it was in place when I got off active duty.
A CFI certificate is a license to learn. Every new CFI has to go somewhere and instruct before they really get the big picture. Same for someone transitioning from military instructing to civilain. The military pilot with no civilian background will need to get back to basics on airspace, VFR sectionals, CFRs 61, 91, NTSB, AIM, and cross country flight planning. The new items to learn will be the required maneuvers for Private and Commercial check rides and of course getting to know the Practical Test Standards (PTS).
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:06 PM   #3  
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I think it is a great idea too and I'm very glad to be able to get some credit for what will end up being 8 years as an Instructor Pilot in the military - not including the instructor duty that one does inside their own squadron.

On the matter of teaching a civilian student? I wouldn't GO NEAR trying to teach a Private/Inst/Comm/ME student without A LOT of additional training under my belt for all the reasons that you mention (and those that ATLCFI list). This will give me something to include on the resume but I would make it very clear to an interview panel that this is a military competency equivalent and I in no manner believe myself to be a true CFI. I have way to much respect for true CFI/II/MEIs.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:17 PM   #4  
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"without A LOT of additional training under my belt"

I wouldn't say you'd need additional training on teaching in light aircraft. You'd simply have to be very competent in flying light aircraft, and then apply the teaching skills you already have in that.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:32 PM   #5  
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Most military pilots (USAF), more than likely had some type of civlian training or privates license before going to UPT. In fact, today, it is required. When I went through UPT, it was valued but not required. Before my time, the cadets went through C-172 training.

Also, most military regulations mirror that of civlian regulations with some twists here and there. Sometimes Uncle Sam is more strict, sometimes the FAA is.

The reality is, most military guys who would be gunning for this certification would more than likely have additional civlian ratings.

-Fatty
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:19 PM   #6  
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I did my PPL with a navy bud who was a RAG (FRS) IP. He was an avid GA flyer and had just gotten his CFI-A. I was his first student, and it was an adventure for both of us.

In retrospect, he was pretty much like any other brand-new CFI except I knew his judgement was good. His skills in GA instructing were still developing.

I'm OK with giving mil IP's an FAA ticket, but there really should be more to it than the FOI test (one of the most useless FAA writtens). My main concern is what is going to happen to those early students who face a DPE without ever having been exposed to how things are done in the GA world...I think it comes down Mil IP's simply not knowing what they don't know.

Reverse the situation...could I (a civilian CFI) teach someone to fly a T-34? Sure. Could I teach them to pass NATOPS checks? No, because I've never had anything to do with NATOPS (unless it involved parachuting).
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