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Well-known member
Jan 14, 2002
I'm finishing my CFI at a pilot factory right now in Florida and plan on interviewing with the school in a couple of weeks. The question is do I stay here (pilot factory) and build hours or go back the the FBO type atmosphere (my favorite)? The problem with this school is that the waiting list is about 50 people thick for a instructor spot. All the high time instructors were sent back from thier reagional job offers and now no one is moving. I just want to fly....not flip burgers.
My best advice is find a big city and work there. Don't fall for a great job offer in BFE, nobody there has enough money to finish, plus big cities have lots of other opportunities for King Air right seat time and the like.
I disagree with KSU. Sounds like a guy who did all of his flying in a university environment (not that it's a bad thing...).

I did all of my flying at an FBO and was hired right away to be an instructor as well. Generally, people who start a rating will finish it. They come up with the money (or loan) before they start flying. Also, flying out of an FBO can help you meet many contacts. See who has airplanes on the field, do their BFRs, talk to them about flying. Usually they know other pilots or people looking for pilots. It's a great networking opportunity!

Even if you don't find another opportunity, usually FBOs that have Part 135 departments pull pilots out of the CFI pool. They get the pilot spooled up in the 135 operation and you can fly there until a better opportunity comes along. Worked great for me!!! Good luck. Oh, and be aware of closed minded pilots too (not mentioning any names :D ). Hopefully out in the sticks of BFE you won't run into any broke wanna-be pilots who run out of money. Ha, ha. That's great!!
What would it hurt if you found another instructing job somewhere else for the time being. If the pool list is that long you probably wont be called for some time. My advise, don't wait around for your number to come up, espesially if you don't want to be there. Find another job, if you don't like it stick it out and then wait for your number to come up.
I can sympathize with your situation (since I'm in the exact same scenario). My thoughts were, hey they are a least still interviewing, might as well do the interview, take a number for that job and keep it in my back pocket as a hedge against the future. Look else where and evaulate my situation if and when they do call. I went through the interview and it was a tough process, but also a very valuable learning expierience. (first aviation interview)
After I got into the pool, I sent out resumes to anyone I could think of that needed an instructor (about 30) and got ZERO responses. Kind of sobering.
Schools in the present enviroment seemed to be wary of hiring someone they didn't know (big factor) who had zero time dual given. So I stayed finished off the rest of my instructor ratings and hope to be on line in another month or two. Really not a bad situation in todays market.
I'm also not a big fan of living in Florida, but I think of it like this, if you want to ski go to Colorado, Surf- Hawaii is a good bet, to be a flight instructor Central Florida seems to be the place........

Good luck, stay focused!
Hang in there, guys. Just heard today that one of the people in Eagle's crew planning department says we're gonna start recalling soon, though no specific date was mentioned.
I never said stay at the university, I said get a job in a big city. Big city FBO's get more business and have more opportunities.
The best flying job advice I ever got was from a nonaviator friend of mine. When I was in your exact same shoes I asked him whether I should take the job at the 'big name' flying school or go back to (fill in the blank) and look for a job. His advice was simple and dead-on accurate. He said " Your resume will look a whole lot better if it says you already are a CFI than if it says I want to be one". The first flying job is crucial in that it starts you down the professional flying career road. Take the first job offered to you that you can live with. Don't spend a ton of time weighing the pros and cons. You can always continue to look for a better CFI job while you are already working at one. I received that advice in a booming hiring market. It is more true in todays environment. Good luck. BTW, thanks Harry. That was terrific advice and it worked out better than I ever could have imagined.

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