ANN's Daily Aero-Tips (11.10.06): Choosing Your Instructor, Part Time Or Full? | Aero-News Network
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Fri, Nov 10, 2006

ANN's Daily Aero-Tips (11.10.06): Choosing Your Instructor, Part Time Or Full?


A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of "there are no old, bold pilots.")

Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner, master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us -- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators. Some of them, you may have heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we might never have considered before, or something that didn't "stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for the practical test.

Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you through the Aero-News Network.

Aero-Tips 11.10.06

Your choice of CFI will in large part determine how long it takes you to complete your training (and consequently, how much it'll cost), whether you'll complete your certificate or rating at all, and most importantly, how safe you'll really be when you exercise you flying privileges. So it's important that you choose the right instructor.

Not all CFIs instruct full-time. Some people feel anything less than a full-time CFI is something less that professional -- you wouldn't hire a part-time lawyer, or see a neurosurgeon that only cuts into peoples' brains as a sideline. The difference is that teaching the art of aviation isn't a terribly lucrative profession, and sometimes instructors simply can't survive on a CFI's pay alone. Further, somebody who does something else for a living and still takes the time to give flying lessons probably has a lot of passion for teaching flying that will help you meet your goals. In fact, those attorneys and surgeons often do make time to teach their profession.

Of course if the flight instructor is a commercial or military pilot he/she may bring a lot of great "real-world" knowledge to your flying lessons. And if the CFI does teach full-time, he/she may be a "time builder" who is teaching out of professional necessity (the only job they qualified to get) instead of ability or inclination.

So…full-time/part time isn't really a player in picking the right instructor. It's more important to find someone who teaches as well as (or better than) he/she flies, and who is available to work with you on your schedule.

Aero-tip of the day: When choosing a flight instructor, interview CFIs to find out what extra experience they bring to your lessons. Teaching full time or part time isn't terribly important if they are good teachers of aviation.

FMI: Aero-Tips


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