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CFI Checkride

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The Jack of all trades
Nov 25, 2001
I finally finished my checkride today, after a couple of cancellations due to wx I got the flight done today. The wx just barely held out for me, it was really bad by the time we were halfway done. What a relief to be done.
Congrats--now the real fun begins!!!
Congratulations! This is cliche, but what did the Fed stress? Any points you felt you hadn't prepared sufficiently for? And scariest of all, how long were the oral and practical? I'm about to go through the ringer myself....
I took mine with a DE, the feds no longer do them where I am. I was pretty well prepared for the entire thing. My instructor was one that wouldn't sign me off until I could teach him everything in his syllabus. My oral was 2.5 and the flight was 1.5. The oral probably would have been quicker, but I had the DE laughing too much. I wanted to make sure it wasn't a stressful situation so I broke the ice with a couple of jokes to start with and kept it real light hearted.
CFI practical

Once again, Buzo, you go! Congratulations!

I've trained a few CFI students. Buzo's experience is typical. Some orals go longer (I know of one DE in Scottsdale who gave a half-day oral) and his flight is on the money.

You really need to know the FOI forwards and backwards, especially the stuff in Chapter One about the learning process. E.g., the laws of learning, how people learn (isn't sight something like 70 - 80%? It's been ten years since I trained a CFI student), the Hierarchy of Needs, etc. Know how to draw up a lesson plan from scratch. Know the signoffs. Know that you have to have given the training for the rating within the past 60 days. Obviously, you need to know all the private and commercial maneuvers and the aerodynamics behind them. Know Part 61 certification requirements.

Don't worry, if you're working with a good instructor he/she won't sign you off until you are thoroughly loaded for bear for the practical.
Scottsdale FSDO

At the flight school where I worked, all our guys took their CFI with Scottsdale FSDO. You could count on AT LEAST a half day for the oral, sometimes more. Mine was 4 hours. (8-noon), and everyone thought I got off easy. The flight was very short however, I think it was 1.1 or 1.2, and it was extremely straightforward. But in the Phoenix area, the DE alternative is J. Bonesteel. I've never met her, I hear she really knows her stuff, and she's a great asset to the aviation community, but her CFI rides are truly brutal. I know a guy whose oral lasted all day. They did the flight the following day because they ran out of time.

Buzo, get ready to learn all of the things you thought you knew about flying. CFI'ing is a great experience. Enjoy it.
all day long for the oral has been pretty standard at the SLC FSDO. I know a guy who went all day, came back and did more the next morning. he then flew for over two hours only to fail because the door came ajar and the FSDO dude thought he should have landed on the remaining runway and closed it (he followed the AC checklist by flying around the pattern, landing and then closing it).

not sure if they are still that over the top, but there are lots of folks around here that have had similar experiences
June Bonesteel

You're right, Brian, June Bonesteel gives a brutal CFI practical. Everything you say is true. Even ten-eleven years ago, June gave eight-hour initial CFI orals. At Riddle we tried to avoid sending students to her because her practicals were so draining.

On the other hand, Duncan Hastie in Scottsdale gave reasonable orals and reasonable flights. 10 of the 11 CFI applicants I sent to Duncan passed the first time. Every one of them liked the experience and were impressed with his professionalism.
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just did my CFI checkride today (12/19) in champaign, IL. oral lasted approx. 1.5 hrs and the flight was 0.9 hrs. it was pretty clear-cut. one of the things i stumbled on was ded reckoning. from seeing the other responses, i guess i got off pretty easily.

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