If you’re ready to take off in a new flying-based career teaching others how to soar the skies, then signing up for flight instructor training at a high-quality flight school is the first step. Some of the best aviators in the world have likely gone through CFI school and have become more competent pilots because of it. With so much to consider, however, it can be tough deciding on the right school for you, so we’re here to help you understand what makes a flight instructor training program worth your time and money.
If you’re searching around for the best flight instructor training facility, here are 10 key qualities to look for.
1) Approachable CFIs
You’ll be spending a lot of time with your dedicated CFI during the instructor training process, so finding a person that’s approachable, friendly, and who gels with your personality is key to having a successful educational experience. If the instructors seem happy, it’s likely because they love their job, work for an employer that shows them respect, and have access to high-end equipment every day. However, if they seem distant and indifferent as you ask your questions, they’ll likely bring that same energy into your lessons.
2) Transparent Costs
If you’ve made it to the point where you’re considering a flight instructor certificate, then you already know that going through a training program requires a hefty budget. When interviewing CFIs, make sure to ask about flying fees and payments – most importantly, try to listen for a few key items that will give you evidence that the flight school can be trusted with your dollars. Choose a flight school that will get you your certificate in an efficient manner while still meeting the program’s training requirements. At most places, you’ll pay for training by the hour. Any school that demands a large up-front payment should be looked at with caution, as most schools will allow you to pay as you go.
3) Instrument Training Capabilities
Although you likely already have your instrument rating and can proficiently navigate the cockpit, by the end of the CFI training process, you’ll be a pro at teaching instrument use to students. Any respectable CFI school should have instrument training capabilities, with one or more flight instructors on staff carrying the CFI-I (instrument) designation.
4) Meet The Chief Flight Instructor
A high-quality flight instructor school will have a chief flight instructor running the operation. These people are responsible for overseeing everything from conducting checkrides to administering FAA tests to assisting with daily training to managing aircraft sales and so much more. It’s a good idea to request a sit-down with the chief flight instructor to learn more about how the organization operates and what specific steps are in place to help you succeed as a flight instructor.
5) Aircraft Fleet And School Equipment
Another crucial component of your success at flight instructor school is the type of equipment you use to train on. With that said, make sure you’re taking a close look at their aircraft fleet and any signs of disrepair. If you see any evidence of misuse, equipment that’s missing or minimal options in manufacturers or models, you might want to look elsewhere for your training. The best schools are normally capable of keeping maintenance under control because of a dedicated in-house mechanic crew.
6) Communal Vibe
In general, the aviation community is fairly small but highly passionate. That makes it a great industry for those who are good at making contacts on a personal and professional level. When touring a CFI school, look for an environment that promotes community and respect among peers rather than a sense of competition. The connections you make at school may come back to help you out in the future, whether for a job or other opportunity.
7) Help You With A Training Timeline
You’ll spend a few dozen hours training under your flight instructor, so they should do their best to make sure you’re able to stick with a training timeline. The CFI school you choose should be able to provide you with a flight instructor who can get your training program done in an ideal amount of time and around your lifestyle, without hindering your progress through the curriculum.
8) Access To A Flight Simulator
For the past five decades, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has slowly expanded the permissibility of flight simulators for training purposes. For different certifications, you can expect to complete a percentage of your overall training hours on a simulator, if you choose to do so. This is a good way to save money and the hassle of going up in an aircraft for lessons that can be adequately taught in a flight simulator machine. For a CFI, you can normally finish about 10 percent of 25 hours of flight training toward your certificate under Part 141.
9) Partnerships With Trustworthy Organizations
Another way to prove that a flight instructor training facility will provide the best service is that they’ve partnered with other impressive organizations. This may be in the form of universities and colleges, professional networking groups or industry associations. For example, Inflight Pilot Training has partnered with Purdue University Global to help students complete their Bachelor of Science degree courses online while completing their professional flight training at Inflight Pilot Training.
10) Job Placement Opportunities
At the end of the training process, you’ll be eligible to work for pay as a CFI, training other students to become better, more competent aviators. As such, make sure the flight training facility offers some form of help with employment. That could be in the form of professional development, networking opportunities, job shadowing or even employment after graduation.
Become A Flight Instructor At Inflight Pilot Training
Looking for a reputable CFI school? Sign up for our flight instructor training program today!
Inflight is a leading certified flight instructor school in Minneapolis/St. Paul. With a variety of training programs and a deep roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, it’s our goal to help you become a professional pilot in a timely, affordable and effective way. Realize your dream of taking off in a new career – get in touch with our team of flight instructors to find out more.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us or call (952) 698-3000.