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Old 07-18-2011, 11:53 AM   #1  
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Default Part time CFI?

So question for the group... I graduated college in 2000, and just before that, in 1999 I earned my private pilot license. I decided pretty much right after college that I wanted to be a professional pilot, problem was I was broke and couldn't afford the training. My degree is in Computer Information Systems, and after college I found an I.T. related job making ok money, and I continued my flight training (albeit slowly). Well 11 years have passed since that time and I've now collected ratings up to Multi-Engine Commercial Instrument.

My problem is that now that I've been working in the I.T. industry for so long, I'm actually making pretty good money at it. I've also bought a house and a nice new car. If I were to try to make it as a professional pilot I would almost certainly take a huge pay cut. In order to avoid this but still be able to purse my passion I am considering the possibility of getting my CFI and becoming a part time Flight Instructor (early mornings, evenings, and weekends).

Is this a realistic possibility? Are there flight schools out there who would hire a part time CFI in the S. FLA area?

If so then my next question is where to obtain the CFI rating? Although I've never done it (other than for writtens), I sort of like the academy style of teaching offered by places like American Flyers. But it is expensive and wouldn't it be easier to get hired if I trained to be a CFI at the same place I would like to work as a CFI? I'm not sure I would want to (or even if they hire for part time) at a place like American Flyers.

I really enjoy flying and would love the opportunity to share my passion with other people. I wouldn't be doing it for the money, I would be doing it for the experience, and who knows, maybe it would lead to other things later on.

Should I just start calling around Flight Schools and asking them if I complete my CFI there if they would hire me on part time?
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:10 PM   #2  
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I wouldn't be doing it for the money, I would be doing it for the experience, and who knows, maybe it would lead to other things later on.
Unfortunately this attitude taken to an employer sets you up for being exploited and hurts the professional pilot as a whole. You should be compensated accordingly (which isn't alot) and remember that there are people trying to make a living off of being a CFI and would not appreciate someone with such an attitude offering there services at a price that undercuts all of services.

If you truly aren't concerned with the money side of aviation lstorm and you are making good money at your IT job (it sounds like you have a lot invested in that field), you should considered basic airplane ownership, time sharing, or continue to rent and fly for leisure, sharing your passion for aviation with others without trying to make a part-time career out of it. If you have your heart set on being a CFI (a noble cause in and of itself) then don't undersell yourself and hold your head up high as a member of the professional pilot community and don't contribute to its continued downfall with a poor attitude.

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Old 07-18-2011, 12:20 PM   #3  
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Unfortunately this attitude taken to an employer sets you up for being exploited and hurts the professional pilot as a whole. You should be compensated accordingly (which isn't alot) and remember that there are people trying to make a living off of being a CFI and would not appreciate someone with such an attitude offering there services at a price that undercuts all of services.

If you truly aren't concerned with the money side of aviation lstorm and you are making good money at your IT job (it sounds like you have a lot invested in that field), you should considered basic airplane ownership, time sharing, or continue to rent and fly for leisure, sharing your passion for aviation with others without trying to make a part-time career out of it. If you have your heart set on being a CFI (a noble cause in and of itself) then don't undersell yourself and hold your head up high as a member of the professional pilot community and don't contribute to its continued downfall with a poor attitude.

USMCFLYR
I absolutely agree, and would not allow myself to be undercut. I already think starting professional pilot pay (including CFIs) is ridiculous for someone that has invested the amount of time, money, and effort into their training as I know that they have -- remember I've already put in a lot of this time, money, and effort myself... When I said I'm not doing this for the money, I didn't mean I would do it for a free (or reduced) wage, I just meant that if I do it, I would need to keep my primary job as my main income.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:37 PM   #4  
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I absolutely agree, and would not allow myself to be undercut. I already think starting professional pilot pay (including CFIs) is ridiculous for someone that has invested the amount of time, money, and effort into their training as I know that they have -- remember I've already put in a lot of this time, money, and effort myself... When I said I'm not doing this for the money, I didn't mean I would do it for a free (or reduced) wage, I just meant that if I do it, I would need to keep my primary job as my main income.

I know the feeling bro...... being decently successful in life, having everything but still missing flying as a profession.....

Flying as a Flight Instructor, even a part time CFI is very much do-able.
Pretty every school is advertising for CFI's, those who are not , will be doing it soon......
So if CFI plus your job is what U want to do, U can soon find a CFI job whereever U are in USA.

Be careful abt where U go for training, Becoz a place might be cheaper or offer U a job only if U do the CFI there but if that FSDO is super strict & Fail U on the 1st attempt, that will have extra cost plus a failed checkride on your record....... There are a lot of Horror stories abt CFI checkrides....

I'd recommend, do your CFI from a good place, it will build your good foundation.....

Depends where U are in USA but the American Flyers in Pompano Beach FL has a good set up for CFI CFII, I have seen that place in Action personally & know a lot of people who have done that program, I know some of the instructors also.
It's a 30 day program, 2995 + manuals + examiner fee totals abt $4300 for CFI & CFII

I am not advertising for them, but in my opinion, It is one of the cheapest GOOD quality program in USA that I've seen.. and most importantly, the pass rate is very High....
Otherwise, American Flyers as a school is not meant for common man....
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #5  
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I know the feeling bro...... being decently successful in life, having everything but still missing flying as a profession.....

Flying as a Flight Instructor, even a part time CFI is very much do-able.
Pretty every school is advertising for CFI's, those who are not , will be doing it soon......
So if CFI plus your job is what U want to do, U can soon find a CFI job whereever U are in USA.

Be careful abt where U go for training, Becoz a place might be cheaper or offer U a job only if U do the CFI there but if that FSDO is super strict & Fail U on the 1st attempt, that will have extra cost plus a failed checkride on your record....... There are a lot of Horror stories abt CFI checkrides....

I'd recommend, do your CFI from a good place, it will build your good foundation.....

Depends where U are in USA but the American Flyers in Pompano Beach FL has a good set up for CFI CFII, I have seen that place in Action personally & know a lot of people who have done that program, I know some of the instructors also.
It's a 30 day program, 2995 + manuals + examiner fee totals abt $4300 for CFI & CFII

I am not advertising for them, but in my opinion, It is one of the cheapest GOOD quality program in USA that I've seen.. and most importantly, the pass rate is very High....
Otherwise, American Flyers as a school is not meant for common man....
BCPILOT, American Flyers is exactly who I had in mind, and in fact I have already researched becoming a CFI via American Flyers and I really liked the program they offer there at KPMP. The problem is I'm not sure I can afford to take off a month of work to get my CFI/II and I'm worried other Flight Schools may not want to hire me unless I did my CFI with them.

.... I just need to be able to take off a month of work... lol thats gonna cost me $$$
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:40 PM   #6  
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Part-time CFI is definitely doable. I'm in IT as well and doing PT CFI. And, I offer my services for free to those who want it and take money only from those who insist on paying; which I will only accept no more than $20/hour of flight time. Ground I provide for free as well.

Don't listen to these people when they say providing free instruction is undercutting other CFIs or is a detriment to the profession. None of my students are complaining, and they are all doing well and enjoying the process, with me right along with them. I think if you're genuine in providing quality flight training for free, then do it! The cost of flying is expensive, and turns a lot of would-be people off from entering it. Saving these folks some dime is only an added incentive for them to get involved with it.

I do it for free and with quality in mind because I enjoy doing it. My goal was not to undercut anyone. And if they want to see it that way, that's their problem, not mine. These people think you'll take all the students, which, if you do the math on how much time you actually have in a day to work with students, especially on a PT basis, isn't enough to steal the show from anyone.

So do what makes you happy, and good luck with your pursuit!
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:00 PM   #7  
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Unbelievable, and the hardest thing to believe is he actually thinks he's helping the profession by doing it for free. Wow, i've seen some crazy opinions on this site, but this one pretty much takes the blue ribbon.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:08 PM   #8  
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Unbelievable, and the hardest thing to believe is he actually thinks he's helping the profession by doing it for free. Wow, i've seen some crazy opinions on this site, but this one pretty much takes the blue ribbon.
Please. Enlighten the class as to how providing free flight instruction is a detriment to the profession. This, I have to read. Go.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:35 PM   #9  
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Please. Enlighten the class as to how providing free flight instruction is a detriment to the profession. This, I have to read. Go.
Well let's use an example outside of aviation to get it away from the apple tree and see if it strikes a chord.

You are an owner of an auto repair shop.
Another guy opens up a shop across the street from you and provides free auto repair because it is his hobby and he just likes auto repair.

How do you feel?

Mind you - we aren't talking about providing free auto repair to his mother or children - or even his best friend who he has bartered with to get a storage shed built at his house - just everyone - for free.
Most people are CFIs to make money. It is a job that they may depend on to pay bills.

Sorry Flying Ninja - but I think that you are most probably the outrigger here with your views.

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Old 07-20-2011, 01:40 PM   #10  
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Sorry Flying Ninja - but I think that you are most probably the outrigger here with your views.

USMCFLYR
That's pretty much the example that I expected. As I indicated, it's a PT gig, and there are only so many hours in a day and you can only offer up free training to so many people. Plus, you and I both know that you can't exactly advertise free flight instruction because when the flood comes in and you have to turn people away, you look like the douche. So I think the local mechanic is pretty safe from his livelihood...lord knows why anyone would depend on flight instruction as their primary source of income. There's hardly any money in it to begin with.

But I do appreciate you ringing in. I'm still waiting for the chief to ring in with his opinion as to why this is such a detriment to the profession. My guess is, he's got nothing except to say it's a detriment with nothing to back it up.
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