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CFI/CFII/MEI order and the FAA

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amateur drunkard
Jan 10, 2005
Hey everyone,

I see a few people saying that they did their CFII first and then added on their CFI and MEI. Is there any advantage to doing it this way rather than CFI/CFII/MEI? What can a CFII do if he just has a CFII? I'm a little confused as to who can do what.

Also, if you get the CFII first, does it have to be with the FAA - And then the CFI/MEI is done with a DPE? Or is it that the CFI must be done with the FAA, regardless of the order, and you can do a CFII initial with a DPE?

Thanks for clarification...

The advantage to taking the CFII or MEI first is that there is a lot less to be tested on. I did CFI, MEI, CFII (all within a couple weeks). If I could do it again I would have done either the CFII or MEI first because I felt more confident doing that stuff as opposed to the lazy 8's for the CFI.
I'm pretty sure the FAA will want to do your initial check, regardless of which CFI rating you're going for. Pick the one you're most confident with and do that one first.
Thanks viper. I'm probably going to try to do the CFII first, since I'm most comfortable with that stuff and I'm a little anxious about the FAA practical. Any words from those who have done it this way? How did your initial CFII ride go with the feds? And what did you do as a CFII before you got your CFI?

Oh, and one other question. I noticed in the FARs there's a provision that prohibits *flight* instructors from self-endorsing, but there is no such provision that prohibits *ground* instructors from self-endorsing. Now I don't have any knowledge tests left to take that I need an endorsement for, so it wouldn't do me any good regardless, but my question is this: my school just got a G1000 172 for which the insurance company requires 5 hours of flight with a CFI and i think 5 hours of ground. Can I give myself ground instruction for that requirement? My hunch is yes. Any opinions?

That's up to the insurance, and I'd guess that they would say no. You and another instructor could self study, ask each other questions and sign each other off for 5 hrs ground to satisfy the insurance.
I took my CFII, MEI, then my CFI.

As the previous user said it all has to do with making the other tests easier for yourself. The CFII is by far the hardest one you'll take, because they will hit most of the PTS areas with you (including the dreaded FOI). However if you look at the front of the PTS you'll see a graph table that shows if you have certain ratings, then you only need to cover select PTS areas for the next one.

By the time I took my CFI, there was only a couple three areas I had to discuss and teach, and ultimately the CFI ride only lasted a couple hours - including the flight.

People also do it, such as in my case, because they don't have a single-complex aircraft at their flight school, and by doing the MEI first, it satisfies that requirement for the CFI portion. I took my CFI ride in a Cessna 172, whereas had I not done my MEI first, I would've had to have a 182RG, Arrow, etc. This is a legal way around that predicament as well.
If you are intending to be an airplane instructor - take your CFI first.

There are some good reasons to go another way, for instance, MEI first if you don't have a complex single, or if you are only going to teach instruments, then only do the II. But if you are doing the II first because you are more comfortable with instrument flying than you are doing stalls and lazy 8's - GET SOME MORE TRAINING in single engine airplanes doing those thing you are lacking confidence and skill in.

I would NOT want to be your student if I knew you skated around the system to avoid a practical test doing the things you are going to teach me.

This is a growing problem in the training industry. New CFI's without the single-engine basic skills to teach others. Partly by not training to do the CFI-airplane first, and partly by the schools which promote "multi-time" and do most of the training in ME, with a single-engine add-on. They cannot teach the nuances of P-factor yaw control which occurs in all maneuvers involving a pitch or power change, etc.etc.etc. Flying a single engine is it's own skill seperate and apart from multi engine and/or instruments. It is not a "quicki-add-on".
nosehair said:
I would NOT want to be your student if I knew you skated around the system to avoid a practical test doing the things you are going to teach me.
Are you incenuating (sp?) that I'm lesser of an instructor then the next guy because I did my instructor ratings out of order?

Since I've received my ratings I have had 7 students total. 5 were primary students, 1 was a multi-engine student, and the other an instrument student. I have yet to have a student fail his checkride on the first try when they go up for their initial PPL. Just because you do your ratings out of order doesnt necessarily make you a bad instructor. You re-learn a lot of stuff when you do go back thru your CFI training, but its nothing that shouldn't be common sense and knowledge to begin with.

I respectfully disagree with your logic.
User997 said:
Are you incenuating (sp?) that I'm lesser of an instructor then the next guy because I did my instructor ratings out of order?

No, I'm not insinuating anything. If the shoe fits, wear it. Are you lacking in confidence? Did you do it in the "unconventional order" because of scheduling?Lack of airplanes?Lack of instructors? Save some money?...or was it because you were not comfortable demonstrating single-engine propeller skills in lazy 8's and such? That is what I am talking about. I didn't accuse YOU of anything. Only YOU know what your reasoning was.

I respectfully disagree with your logic.

It's not logic. I'm not making this stuff up. I am telling you about observed behavior. I have observed *some* new instructors with high multi time and low single time who are simply "uncomfortable" in the small single. Uncomfortable means "intimidated". Overly afraid of stalls, spins, slow flight, short field landings, etc.
Allright, I see your point more clearly now.

No confidence issue here, seems like all I do is teach in single-engines when I do. And yes I did do it the unconvential way, mostly for the reasons described above.

I've seen exactly what you were describing about high time guys coming out of the instructor ratings with lots of multi time and not a lot of single time - and being afraid of the singles. I finished with only 39 multi hours when I was all said and done with my training, so no problem here with me.

I was just going on the statement that you made about "I wouldn't want to be your student if I knew you had skated around the system..." which I took to mean the person that doesn't do their CFI first.

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