CFI Programs

cookmg

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I was hoping to get some info on various CFI programs around the the States. Which programs do you guys suggest? I live on the west coast, but could relocate for training.

In this current economy, are there any schools that will gurantee hiring for their CFI grads? Do these agreements tend to work out? (i.e. Yeah they'll hire you . . . but that doesn't mean you get any students.)

Is there a school that is known for training the most qualified CFIs? Flight safety?

American flyers offes CFI/II for 3000. That's cheap! What's the catch? How's the training?

Thanks a lot!

Mike
 

bobbysamd

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Schools

In this day and age, I wouldn't hold my breath about any "guaranteed" jobs. Although there may be places that might renege on any guarantees they may make, it's more of a matter that there are no jobs and waiting lists (pools) of hirees. For example, last I heard there was a six-month waiting list at FSI.

I taught CFI students at Flight Safety Academy ten years ago. I'm proud of the students that I trained for the rating, for sure, but it is a good CFI program. Good and expensive, too, but I think you get what you pay for.

On the other hand, you can check out Sheble Aviation in Kingman, Arizona. I went there for my ATP when they were in Blythe. The place is fast. You have to go to Sheble's well prepared.

Any one of the major commercial flight schools can work with you for your CFI. You don't necessarily have to be a 141 student.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your training.
 

Joseph II

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Check out American Flyers... www.americanflyers.net

The don't guarantee a job, but I went to the Addison, TX school and thought it was well worth the money!

Good luck!
 

dasmith

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As a former graduate of one of those programs mentioned above, I could not give it a high recommendation. In fact, I've gotten a very bad taste from my experience there.

I understand A.F. is a $7k program for the part 141 version of the full package.

You can't go wrong with Flight Safety.

Just my humble opinion.
 
3

350DRIVER

I attended Airman Flight school in Norman OK two years ago and I was pleased with the way the program was set up. You will EARN the ticket even though you will be able to do the "initial" ride with a dpe. Clint Buehler (sp?) one of the dpe's will definitely make you earn the ticket and he has been known to fail many on the first attempt. (fortunately I had a good ride and passed the first time around) Word on the street was that Clint was responsible for yanking Hoover's medical years ago or something along those lines while he was still with the FAA. Bud is/ or was the other dpe who also was known as a stickler and would also give you a good ride. John Lair (sp?) teaches the ground school and he really makes sure that most students know more than just the basics and he is a very good and effective teacher. I would highly suggest that you look into this program. It was pretty intense and they will push you in most aspects if they feel that you are not up to par. There were a few in my class that washed out prior to even finishing the CFII program which you will do first and under part 141 while the CFI is done under part 61. This program is really set up for students who are up on the FAR's inside and out, very instrument current, and really are dedicated to getting the CFI and CFII as quickly as possible. Lair really doesn't f$*$ around nor does Will. If I had to do it again then without a doubt I would go back to Airman. The planes are not the best nor is the mx BUT it is a "safe" envir. and the 172RG is a very easy plane to do your ride in. Best of all you are 100% guaranteed to get both ratings for a "set price" that cannot increase regardless of whether it takes you 10 or 30 hours to complete the course.

good luck
350
 

bobbysamd

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Airman

Hey, 350, could the "Bud" be Bud Bricker? If so, I agree that he is excellent. He used to run the FSDO at Wiley Post. He retired and became a DE. He had a reputation for being tough while at the FSDO. I took three rides with him and found him to be more than fair. I sent a student to him with the same results.

Don't forget about great BBQ in the OKC-Norman area. E.g., a flight to Ada for Bob's BBQ will be well worth it.
 

cleflyer

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I went to Sheble in Henderson NV. for the Commercial, Multiengine and CFI. Upon completion of the Commercial and Multiengine I decided not to continue there. I didn't feel that they could adequately prepare me to instruct other students at that stage of my flying experience.

If you go in prepared by studying and have time in (at the very least) a complex aircraft and hopefully the right seat. then an excellerated program is a great way to go. My experience at Sheble wasn't that great because I was behind (no complex time) and my personal standard for the CFI was not yet met.

After I came home I did a lot of reading, downloading and preparation for the CFI checkride. I built time in complex high performance and Multiengine. When I took my ride I was sure I was ready.

Best of luck it's a great feeling to get,

Chad
 

spitfire1940

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I did my ratings (instrument through CFII/MEI) with ATP in Manassas, VA--did my initial CFI (which was multi in a Seminole) at Ft. Lauderdale.

The best thing about the ATP program is the ME time. I came out of there with 120+ hours of ME. Some people may complain that about half of that time was safety pilot time, but you can learn a lot being a safety pilot. The other good thing was the real-world XC I got. My partner and I flew a PA-44 from San Diego to Jacksonville and did numerous trips between VA and FLA. The Florida factories won't get you that kind of experience.

Now the bad part: as far as CFIs go, it's a real crap shoot. I had very little (and very poor) ground instruction for most of my ratings. My partner and I worked our butts off and were practically self taught. Others had better CFIs, but most of them are only 200 hours ahead of you in the pipeline and don't have a wealth of experience to draw on. I pushed through the program despite that (for reasons I won't go into here) but in hindsight, wish I had done my instrument training with a good instructor at my local FBO, even if it had taken six months.

As someone said above, you get what you pay for, and you'll get more high-quality ground training at FS or Comair. However, you get out with 15 hours multi. It's all a balance.

If you're not in a big hurry (and with the airline hiring market, ain't no reason to be), you might want to think of keeping the day job and knocking the ratings off as fast as you can at your local FBO.

That's my two cents. You can PM me if you have questions about ATP. Rgds, spitfire
 
3

350DRIVER

Hey, 350, could the "Bud" be Bud Bricker?

I do believe this to be true. A great guy to talk to and shoot the breeze with. He will definitely make you "earn" a ticket, however I did hear from a few in my class that he was also "fair" even though he did appear to have a high failure rate on the first attempt (pertaining to the CFI initial). I was kind of hoping to get my ride with him but it just so happened that Clint could fit me in quicker and since I wanted to wrap it up asap and since christmas was fastly approaching I just went ahead and got it done. I really thought Clint was a great guy and hope I run into him at some point down the line in the future.

Mr. Earl Nash was also another "local legend" and a very sharp stick, however a C421 got the better part of him while "attempting" an approach back into OUN. just weeks after he gave us our CFII rides. - All in all I thought Airman was a good experience.

The BBQ is fabulous there, not to mention the college "hotties" at OU that are a sight to enjoy A N D the female oil "wrastlin" at the Ramada hotel.:D :D

3 5 0
 

SATCFI

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When I went through Airmens 3 years ago, the initial ride was the CFII and it wasn't with a DPE. They had part 141 examining authority and all you had to do was pass the final stage check with the Chief Instructor and you got your ticket.

The next ride was an "add-on" CFI with a DPE. So, even if you bust your first "ride" (stage check) there is no pink slip! Just a do over. Is that the way is still is?
 

larry

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Under $500.00

Go to www.faa.gov

Download the PTS for a CFI

Reference the list of Advisor Circulars in the PTS and obtain a copy of each one. Most you can download for free and print out at work, and then carry them around in your employee handbook which you read from all day. The rest can be obtained for a small fee from the Government printing office or some place like sportys pilot shop.

When I did my CFI two years ago I think I spent about $50.00 total on advisory circulars I had to order. Here is a big hint; the FAA does not care about ANY material outside what is in those publications.

Then go take the check-ride with the FSDO which is actually FREE. I needed about 7 hours in an archer to get steep turns and the other maneuvers down from the right seat. The total cost of my CFI and CFII was maybe $500.00, most all of which was the aircraft rental fees.
 
3

350DRIVER

The next ride was an "add-on" CFI with a DPE. So, even if you bust your first "ride" (stage check) there is no pink slip! Just a do over. Is that the way is still is?

That is correct, your last flight (stage check) is your CFII checkride or atleast that is how it was two years ago. I would only assume that is how it is still done present day. This was done part 141 before your CFI ride which is done under part 61 cause it is quicker that way (less hours). You cannot bust your CFII ride HOWEVER you SURE can bust your CFI add on ride part 61 with the DPE and many have done just that.... And yes, there is a pink slip issued for "busting" this ride. A few in my class had this not so "enjoyable" thing happen to them. The FAA seems to keep a close eye on this flight school and that was quite evident from seeing inspectors there auditing and "looking" around during my time there.

And...... even though you cannot so-called "bust" your CFII ride, many who were not within standards did have to re-do this ride quite a few times before they were issued the ticket. By no means was this a "gime"- Will Degraw (sp?) was a typical red neck who would put ya through the ringer and really test your ability. There were probably 2 or 3 in my class out of 10 or so that experienced this since they had in mind prior to arriving that this school was nothing more than a certificate mill- (they learned quickly)

I did feel that for the price in comparison to the other schools that I got my money's worth and was pleased with the training for the most part. Is there a "cheaper" way to get it done.?? Is there a better way to get it done.?? I am sure there is however no program seems to be "perfect".:D - I do still feel to this day that this is the "best" school when it comes down to getting the CFI/CFII in the quickest possible amount of time and getting the best possible ground training in a short given amount of time as well. I thought Lair (sp?) did a fine job of teaching the ground school.

c h e e r s

3 5 0

anyone from LAS pm me, I have a few questions regarding to New Years here:D
 

EMcx2

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Do you just want the rating or do you want be able to get a job?

I suggest you find a quality FBO and impress the hell out of them while you are earning your CFI. In the current job market that is your best bet in getting hired. The problem with all of the places mentioned above is that there is very little chance that they will hire you. Flight Safety has a 8-12 month waiting list for CFI's, Comair is probably hiring less than half of the people who complete their CFI program. In addition, these places are incredibly expensive. People at Comair are spending $12,000 on their initial CFI and 5,000 - 10,000 more on their CFII. I'm am not exaggerating. If you just want to get the ratings, I know 2 guys who got their CFI/CFII at American Flyers for $7,000. One of them was fortunate enough to walk into a job instructing. I would stay away from Sheble's for an initial CFI, their programs are just to "abbreviated".
 

bobbysamd

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CFI Practical

Originally posted by larry
Here is a big hint; the FAA does not care about ANY material outside what is in those publications.
Truer words were never spoken (written). My CFI-I examiner drummed that into my head thoroughly. I've repeated it here before and I will, again: The FAA publications are the FAA's final word on how it wants things done, taught and flown.

Then go take the check-ride with the FSDO which is actually FREE.
True. But (1) FSDO can be hard to schedule - and it may just refer you to a DE and (2) many feds can be hard to figure. At least DEs have a track record and you can get an idea what to expect.

I appreciate EMcx2's point. Instructing is about the only job entry-level pilots can get - as well as the easiest, comparatively speaking - in ANY times, good and bad. Consider getting your CFI at a more formal training venue for the reasons he gives.
 

cookmg

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Thanks for all of the suggestions.

My first priority is to get quality instruction. I figure to be rather low time when I work on the CFI. I want to be sure that I am getting a quality education to compensate for any areas of weakness that low time pilots typically have. If this is the focus, then is the consensus that I should attend a large, well-established shool, like Flight Safety? My concern being that many FBOs don't train CFIs very often.

Also, I want to work as a CFI. Earning this rating will have some value to me of its own (i.e. a great accomplishment). However, I really want the CFI to begin a career in aviation. Therefore, where will I work? If you can find a school with a guranteed job, are there any gurantees on flight hours? "If you finish our program you will be hired as a CFI." (You will sit around making coffee and not get any students . . . thanks for the money though!)
 

bobbysamd

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FSI

cookmg said:
[T]hen is the consensus that I should attend a large, well-established shool, like Flight Safety? My concern being that many FBOs don't train CFIs very often.
A lot depends. It really boils down to instructor availability and quals. A flight instructor who has held his/her certificate for at least 24 months and has given at least 200 hours of instructor has to give you the training. I would guess that these days there are plenty of CFIs available at plenty of FBOs with those quals. You should do plenty of shopping around for schools.
If you can find a school with a guranteed job, are there any gurantees on flight hours . . . .
I can speak for FSI. New-hires who are school graduates don't start flying right away. They work their way up. They may work in dispatch or in scheduling. They teach ground school. I recall that new-hire FSI grads didn't fly until about six months after being hired.

The amount of flying that you will get very much depends on a place's student load. If you find a place that guarantees a job, it may be that the place "hires" you to hang around, but you won't get paid unless you fly. Just check it out carefully.

Hope that helps some more. Once more, good luck with your efforts.
 

172driver

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If you choose Comair you must complete at least two ratings (CFI/II) before interviewing. The CFI training is outstanding although, as others mentioned, the work is done mostly by you and your books. You will prepare and present 22 briefs to different CFI's.

There is no guarantee of being hired but if you are hired you will start flying right away. CAA is in pretty good shape student wise right now because of the guaranteed airline interview at the end. FSI isn't as I understand -- 3:1 CFI: student ratio at CAA and closer to 1:1 at FSI.

The program is relatively expensive (around $10K for both ratings with a credit coming back for your MEI if you're hired) but definitely high quality. I wouldn't do it unless you're pretty sharp and very motivated. If so, you stand a very good shot at geting hired.
 

cookmg

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Well, comair sounds very interesting. It seems they combine excellent training along with a shot at a good job. However . . . 10,000! Wow! That's up to three times the quote I've seen at other 141 schools . . . and as someone mentioned here, you could do it yourself part 61 even cheaper. And, there are no gurantees.

So, you have to be sharp and motivated? Does anyone have any specifics on what can get you hired at comair? Don't these situations end up being about politics? Can you work hard, do well, and earn that kind of job?

What's the reimbursment on the MEI?

What do you get for the 10K anyhow?

Thanks
 

CooCooTim

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cookmg,
You might want to checkout www.ocflightcenter.com/ as well...
They operate out of KSNA. Good luck!
 
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