Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

New CFIs...tips and tales...

  • Thread starter Traumahawk
  • Start date
  • Watchers 5

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


From reading some of the earlier posts, I'm not the only relatively new CFI around here. Ive had mine for about 6 months but I'm just about to get my first job as an instructor.

What were some of the hardest scenarios to work with at first for you seasoned guys? Was it letting them get into a little trouble without it getting too risky for you personally? Anything you remember from instructing for others to look out for? Common mistakes overlooked etc...

Appreciate the help!

Congrats on your CFI.

Keep your students motivated by making flying fun for them. Students can have some fear that you may not be able to see so you have to be careful with them until they get over it. Give them as much time on the controls as possible... afterall they paid for it.

You'll develop a tolerance for how much to let them get away with before you interfere. You also develop a knack for seeing several seconds into the future so that you don't let them bend the plane. It takes experience and some common sense to do it effectively. They learn best from their mistakes and they make lots of them. You'll cringe when they muff radio calls, your leg muscles will involuntarily flex when you're thinking they should have more rudder and you'll find yourself leaning in the direction you want them to turn. Still, you have to let them make the mistakes and they'll appreciate you for it in the end.

Always preserve the safety of the flight and make it clear to them you're thinking about safety all the time.

I always thought it was good to give them positive reinforcement at least as often as I cricized something. Some people don't take well to criticism but if you give them some 'thattaboys' it can make a difference.

good luck and enjoy your time as a cfi.
Congratulations! for your first job..

I'm sure you'll enjoy it and while you are teaching others it will be a nice learning process for u.
You will find that all students are different. you will have to change your attitude and technique with different students.

Never be complacent with a student because the most experienced student will do the dumbest mistake. Teaching a student pilot is a tough job but it is rewarding as well when you see the same guy flying the plane on his own. Try and correctly teach the most basic things first and don't ignore small things like taxing with brakes and not scanning for traffic etc.

let them make mistakes upto the extent that there is no danger for the aircraft and to you because if they will make mistakes then they will learn from it. specially while teaching landing I've seen many CFI's who take controls most of the time and the student can never learn landing the plane on his own. i hope this helps...
safe flying always.....

Check that its three greens.....
Slow Flight

slow flight, slow flight, slow flight!...

I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters about safety, and being positive etc. so I won't re-state what they said.

One bit of advice I will give you is to practice slow flight over and over again until that student can get into the maneuver without losing one inch of altitude. Then, and only then when he/she is so sick of doing it they want to punch your lights out, THEN teach them how to land.

As you will see, the hardest part about learning (and teaching)the landing is the flare. If you associate the flare with what they've been doing all those lessons in slow flight, the connection will fire like a 100 Gun Salute Firework on the Fourth of July.

Even after my students have learned to land, if they've been out of it for a couple of weeks and doing hard carrier landings, I'll take them out to the area to practice slow flight. No kidding, when they get back to the pattern they're greasing them in every time.

I've signed off 16 students in just ten months. No fails. All above average.

(slow flight...)

good luck!


New instructors can be unsure if their primary students are really ready to solo. The thing to look for is consistency.

As a new instructor my first real instructing experience was at a CAP flight encampment. I was given three CAP cadets and was assigned to train them to solo in a week. I gave thirty hours of primary training that week. It was great experience because I could finally apply what I had learned. At the the same time I honed my spiel. All three of my guys soloed.

I remember when I soloed my first one. I stepped out of the airplane scared half to death. I wasn't convinced that he was ready because I didn't know any better and probably overtrained him a little. He did fine, though I probably was more excited for him than he was for himself. The truth of the matter is students do just fine on their first solo because at that point in their training they know nothing more than what you've taught them. If they've been landing consistently well for you they'll do it on their own because they don't know any better.

At the point when your student performs consistently within (and preferably better than) the standards for the particular phase of training, your student is ready to solo, or to take a stage check, or for the practical. If any student is not exhibiting consistent performance, then he/she needs more training and practice.

Students need reassurance. Sometimes they swap stories with their buds that Student X soloed in eight hours and your student comes to you at ten hours asking (or probably demanding) why he/she hasn't soloed. You must reassure him/her that it does not reflect on their ability. Perhaps that student soloed early because he picked up landings quickly (or maybe his instructor rushed him to solo). Students have their strengths and weaknesses, but all get there eventually.

Good luck. Take it from someone who was there for 3549 hours, enjoy the ride.
Last edited:
Another Amen.

Slow flight is a big key, and consistency leads to successful flying.

Help the student to feel safe in the airplane. I don't take low time students out and do power-on stalls.

I demonstrate an engine out to a full stop landing early on. It helps to prove to the student that a simple engine failure won't lead to a death spiral.

Most people will do their utmost to live up to what people expect of them, so let your students know that you expect them to do well. It works.
You gotta watch everything the student does. Even if they are even a firggin private pilot. They will do things that you couldn't even imagine. Yesterday I was doing a BFR on long, low final approach in the pattern I was looking at the houses below, and the engine quit. I was looking around pi$$ing my pants and the kook shut off the mixture. You can't be lazy up there.
patience grasshopper

I agree wholeheartedly about practicing slow flight till you're blue in the face; also having the student do practice patterns up at altitude to a full stall before real landings. It'll feel a bit different than a real landing due to no ground effect, but it's good practice.
Resist the urge to overinstruct and let the student make some mistakes (within the bounds of safety). Also listen; you'll glean some good nuggets from time to time.
Best of luck.
Congratulations on your first instructing job. My first instructing job taught me a lot about flying and dealing with different people. If it is any help I have found out that your attitude is paramount an always look at each persons recently of experience, because I don’t care if you have 10k hours if you haven’t flown in 5 years your going to suck. Just try to relax and keep your attitude positive and you won’t have any problems.

Latest resources