CFIs Are Not All Equal: CFI-PRO™!

Previously published in the FAA Pilot Examiner Quarterly (shared by permission) Here is a unfortunate story of a “Rusty CFI” (not current teaching though probably very current in his biz jet). DPEs see cases like this too often- where the well-meaning CFI was not up to speed. New CFIs need mentoring, non-current CFIs need refreshing … Continue reading “CFIs Are Not All Equal: CFI-PRO™!”

How to Apply in IACRA for a Student Pilot Certificate

Since the new FAA rule, as of April 1st, 2016 all new pilots now have to apply for their student pilot certificates through IACRA or on a paper 8710-1 (not encouraged). It helps to repeat after me “IACRA is my friend” because a positive attitude helps immensely when navigating this website for the first time. … Continue reading “How to Apply in IACRA for a Student Pilot Certificate”

Plastic Student Pilot Certificates Start April 1st

The final FAA rule for the proposed new student pilot certificates was issued in the Federal Register today. Fortunately the idea of photos and biometric IDs was dropped, but student pilots will no longer get their certificates from their AME. Instead they will apply in person at their FSDO (unlikely), through a DPE, with a … Continue reading “Plastic Student Pilot Certificates Start April 1st”

*Excellent Educators* Make Amazing Pilots!

There are endless questions, comments, and suggestions online and in advertisements as to what makes the most effective flight training experience. But extensive data reveals that the biggest source of variance in student achievement is the quality of the educator (not the equipment, school or environment). You can have the best school with super equipment, … Continue reading “*Excellent Educators* Make Amazing Pilots!”

How to be a “Great CFI”

The primary challenge to becoming an effective flight instructor is, ironically, to not fly and not talk on the radio (even though you desperately want to). Taking physical control in these two areas steals time and important learning opportunities from your student. Taking control also ruins their confidence and leads to frustration and demotivation (“I … Continue reading “How to be a “Great CFI””

What The FAA Commercial Test Needs.

The current commercial pilot test standard, as administered, is often a joke. Jumping into a C-152 or DA-20 and doing the same private pilot maneuvers to the same PPL tolerances does not really “test” anything. There is no added challenge or demonstration of superior skill required at the “commercial pilot level” unless CFIs and DPEs … Continue reading “What The FAA Commercial Test Needs.”

Avoid DPE “Hard Stops” on Check-Rides!

The SAFE App was created to facilitate CFI/DPE collaboration and ensure a smoother, less stressful check ride experience (and ultimately smarter, safer pilots). Better communication among all parties involved prevents unfortunate surprises on check-ride day where an applicant encounters a “hard stop”  due to errors or misunderstanding – missing endorsements, insufficient experience, or inadequate skill/knowlege). … Continue reading “Avoid DPE “Hard Stops” on Check-Rides!”

How to “Sell” Safety to Pilots!

For GA, the FAA is permissive with “regulatory minimums.” Flight in Class G airspace only requires “1 SM, clear of clouds” – way low but “legal.” And for creating pilots, the FAA mandates only 40 hours to obtain a pilot certificate, another potentially scary number. This is only dangerous if it becomes a target for … Continue reading “How to “Sell” Safety to Pilots!”

Flight Instruction At A Higher Level

This article is contributed by Dudley Henriques, a vastly-experienced retired CFI. It is longer than our usual blog but contains rare wisdom about effective flight instruction from an obvious pro; well worth your time and effort! We need good instructors in aviation generally and especially in the aerobatic community. Becoming a CFI isn’t really all … Continue reading “Flight Instruction At A Higher Level”

Ideas for Improvement from Redbird Migration!

There were many great presentations and breakouts at Redbird Migration that will take weeks to digest and present here! The significant AOPA presence almost eclipsed the whole Redbird contribution, especially the new AOPA Flight Training Advantage App now in Beta test (more on this soon). For all pilots, Joe Brown masterfully modeled a pathway to … Continue reading “Ideas for Improvement from Redbird Migration!”

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