Passed your CFI Checkride, Now What?

Passed your CFI Checkride, Now What?

New CFI? Here is some guidance on a few important steps you should take as you start your career as a Flight Instructor.
New CFI | CFI Academy

Passed your CFI Checkride, Now What?

Well, congratulations! Now that you have passed your CFI checkride and you are a real Flight Instructor. Not “role-playing” to be one in our CFI class anymore 😉

Let’s help you set up your shop. There are a few tools you would need, and then some that are recommended.

The Ultimate Guide for a New CFI

Log on to IACRA like you always have, and click “Add Role” on the left panel. In the next screen select “Recommending Instructor” and submit. I do not remember if it’ll ask you for your CFI Number, but if it does, instead of PENDING, enter your commercial certificate number immediately followed by CFI. And shortly thereafter you will get a notification from the FAA that you are all set up as a Recommending Instructor on IACRA.

There is no need to wait till the plastic card’s arrival in about 3-4 months.

It takes a few days, but you will receive an email once it is setup.

Now you may already have selected a Flight School or a Flying Club to go work at. But it is still not a bad idea to set up your Flight Training Provider (FTP) account with TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program. Just in case a student shows up with some cool equipment and wants to hire you outside of your Flight School job; now would not be a good time to start this enrollment process and wait. Again, it’s a government website, so it does take a few days to set up your account. Once set up, prospective students can select your name as an FTP from the drop-down menu, and upon your approval can go forward with submitting fingerprints through LiveScan and receiving permission to initiate flight training.

Not all students have to be on M-1 or other kinds of student visas for flight training.

Before you provide any Flight Training to anyone, you will need to go through initial TSA Security Awareness Training. You will have to print (I print pdf and save on computer) the completion certificate and make it available for inspection by the TSA agents. Recurrent Training is due every 12 months. Your employer will make sure that you do this, but then, we want to stay proactive and independent.

Every professional maintains professional memberships. Membership dues are $50-60/year. Cheaper than an hour’s worth of flight instruction! But they will give you so much value in return. Their monthly magazine, Flying, and the quarterly Mentor is full of educational articles by the flight instructors for the flight instructors. And they offer a Professional Development Program. Oh, and the membership comes with typical discounts on Aviation Products. S.A.F.E. is the estranged stepbrother of NAFI. Once upon a time NAFI went off the track and followed AOPA’s lead of whining and dining at the membership’s expense. But they did turn around real quick, thanks to SAFE. I have no personal experience with them, but the founders JoAnn and Sandy Hill were the original founders of NAFI as well. Really good people.

You have invested so much time and money to be where you are today. Don’t get stingy with trying to get by without professional insurance. Besides the typical hull and liability coverage, it comes with legal aid as well. Know this for a fact, flight school insurance covers the flight school and no one else. No matter what they tell you. There were times in my life when I was paying over $15K monthly in flight school insurance, so you can take my word on this. And surely this insurance will come in handy in case you run into a mishap. Avemco insurance offers substantial discounts to NAFI members.

Membership with FAAST is free. Get involved with them both as a student for professional development, and also as an Instructor to help out with Safety Programs. You can join on the website, but to be fully participating, you will need to call the local FSDO office and ask for the FAAST program manager. They are always extremely hard to get a hold of. Just be patient, call and email. Rewards will be juicy.

BTW, you are eligible for 3 phases of WINGS for completing your CFI course.

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There are many out there. Pick whatever ones suit your style. I would (partial) highly recommend CFI Academy Facebook Group though. We have kept it clean of gossip, adverts, nuisance, etc. We are almost 7,000 members strong. Many CFIs, DPEs, FAA people are in there.

Get a copy of Savvy Flight Instructor Guide – by Gregg Brown, and read through. And then apply everything in it in your CFI profession. You will go long way with this $20 investment.

Reference letters hold a great deal of influence. Especially when there is a tie-breaker for that one job. Reference letters should be coming from friends (not family), employers, teachers/instructors, and customers. All have a unique value to them, and you should have at least 2 of each.

If you already do not have an account on Linkedin, create one. And send me an invite. Here is my profile link. Also follow us on our CFI Academy account there.

Refer to your AC-61-65H  – the first 30 pages have tremendous information about things like the FAAST program, CFI renewal options, and also Gold Seal program. Ground Instructor certificate is one of the requirements. So if you do not already have an AGI, look into getting an IGI when you are prepping up for CFII written. Same question bank for both.

Both NAFI and SAFE manage this program. Either one is fine. They both run them identical. It helps build knowledge and credibility, and you will find that participating in FAAST and CAP actually pays off well if attempting the Master CFI designation. I have held it 3 times early on in my career.

Consider continued training – get additional flight instructor ratings like CFII and MEI. Try and add taildragger, high performance, high altitude, and complex endorsements. How about Seaplane Rating? Did you know that our Seaplane also counts as a complex airplane? We offer most of these courses, check our courses page for more info.

Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)

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Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)

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Multi Engine Instructor (MEI)

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Instrument Rating (IR)