How Do I Get CFI Certification | CFI Training

How Do I Get CFI Certification

“Aviation is proof that given the will, we can achieve the impossible.” ~ Eddie Rickenbacker

If you’re a flight instructor or thinking about becoming a flight instructor, you’ve heard about the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certification. But what does it mean? How do you get it? And why should you bother?

This article will dive into what CFI certification offers and how to get your own.

What is a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)?

A certified flight instructor has been trained and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to teach others how to fly. They must have a minimum of 200 hours of flight time as a pilot, pass an extensive test on aviation regulations, and pass an oral examination by an FAA examiner.

The job of a CFI is to train pilots to fly planes. You might think that sounds easy enough—show them how the controls work and send them on their way, right? But it’s not that simple. There’s a lot of knowledge and skill that goes into being able to teach someone how to fly safely. That’s why CFI certification exists. It ensures that only qualified people teach new pilots how to fly, protecting the student and the public.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Pilot Flight Instructor

A certified flight instructor (CFI) is a professional who teaches students the basics of flying. As a CFI, you’ll be expected to know how to conduct lessons and prepare for check rides. The following is a list of duties that you may perform as a CFI:

  • Prepare for lessons by reviewing student records, aircraft logs and manuals, current weather conditions, and any special requirements of the flight.
  • Conduct lessons following FAA standards by ensuring that each student has completed the appropriate ground school courses before taking the flight portion of their training.
  • Provide feedback on performance during or after a lesson based on approved checklists issued by the FAA.

Teach students the basics of flying.

As a CFI, you can be an expert in some types of aircraft or flight conditions. You must, however, teach students how to fly safely and efficiently and how to fly proficiently in all kinds of weather. It is up to your discretion as a CFI which areas you will choose for your students to focus on during their training sessions.

Hold classes on aircraft operation, weather theory, navigation, aerodynamics, radio communications, and safety.

You must take great care to maintain a professional relationship with every student you teach. Your goal is to provide them with the best education and training to gain their trust and confidence so they can continue flying after receiving their pilot license. You are responsible for ensuring that students meet the required hours of instruction to earn a private pilot license or another type of airman’s certificate, such as an instrument rating or commercial pilot license. You must also log flight hours with your students so they can log their flight hours while under your supervision.

Log flight hours with students and help students log their flight hours.

You will be responsible for logging flight hours with your students and helping them log their flight hours. You must record all flight hours in a logbook, which will be available to them at all times. In addition, you must keep records of student performance.

Ensure that students meet the required hours of instruction to earn a private pilot license.

A CFI’s second most important duty is to ensure that students meet the required hours of instruction to earn a private pilot license. You must ensure the student has completed all ground school requirements, passed the written and practical exams, and received signed forms from their flight instructor certifying that they have met all requirements for earning a private pilot license.

Maintain professional relationships with every student.

You must be friendly, approachable, and positive in all your dealings with students. They must feel comfortable around you, as this will make it easier for them to ask questions or request assistance.

While some instructors prefer a hands-off approach and leave the majority of the training up to the student, others take a more active role in instructing their students. Regardless of which type of instructor you are or what style works best for you, remember that it is your job to keep your students motivated and focused on achieving their goals.

Picture of Certified Flight Instructor giving a lesson

What is CFI Certification?

There are many different types of pilots, and they all have different jobs. A certified flight instructor (CFI) is a pilot who teaches others how to fly airplanes and helicopters.

To become a CFI, you must first get your pilot’s license. Then you can begin training other people how to fly. You can work at an airport or join a flight school that offers training programs for students who want to become pilots. If you prefer working with older students, you can also teach at a college or university where aviation programs are available for students interested in learning how to fly planes or helicopters professionally one day.

There are many different kinds of planes and helicopters used by pilots today. Still, most of them will require additional training before someone can become an instructor themselves—and that’s what the CFI certification process is all about: teaching others how to fly safely so that everyone stays safe when taking off into the air together!

Benefits of Having A Flight Instructor Certificate

“The mastery of the turn is the story of how aviation became practical as a means of transportation. It is the story of how the world became small.” ~ William Langewiesche

Being a flight instructor is a great job. It’s rewarding, challenging, and fun. But before becoming a CFI, you need to get your certificate. A flight instructor certificate can be obtained through several methods: by earning an aeronautical degree at an accredited college or university; through military service; through independent study; or by taking a course at an approved training facility—like Santa Monica Flyers! We offer the quickest way to earn your CFI Certificate while maintaining strict standards in our curriculum and syllabus.

Here are some of the benefits of earning your CFI certificate:

Advancement of flight experience

Another benefit of getting a flight instructor certificate is that it will allow you to advance your flight experience. For example, if you have a private pilot certificate and want to fly larger planes, or fly in more challenging conditions, then a flight instructor certificate would be necessary. Or you may want to teach others how to fly – then again, having this certificate will help!

With all these benefits aside, though, there are also some drawbacks. However, there are no significant negatives regarding having a flight instructor certificate.

New Found Respect for teaching and instructors

One of the most significant benefits of becoming a CFI is gaining a new respect for what it takes to teach people how to fly. Whether they are instructors or not, people who are good at teaching have unique skills that make them effective communicators and motivators. This can come in handy when you find yourself in situations where you need to communicate with people effectively or motivate someone who needs motivation.

You will be more employable.

Having a flight instructor certificate will make you more employable in your chosen field and help you find a better-paying job. Because of this, many people choose to become flight instructors because they can enjoy their job and still be able to support their families.

Professional growth

You can help people achieve their goals and dreams by becoming pilots. When you earn your Flight Instructor Certificate, you will be able to help others learn how to fly. You will be able to teach others a skill that has been around for over 100 years and is still considered one of the most important skills anyone can possess.

Further aeronautical knowledge

As an instructor, you must know the FAA requirements and regulations as they pertain to your job. You’ll also need to be proficient in aviation terminology, human factors, aerodynamics, aircraft performance, and weather conditions. A flight instructor certificate can help you further your aeronautical knowledge.

Many people believe that being able to fly a plane means having all answers without asking questions. However, this isn’t true at all. Both instructors and students must be open-minded when discussing these topics. This ensures safety both on the ground and in the air!

Becoming a flight instructor is an exciting and rewarding career. However, success requires hard work, dedication, and commitment. With the proper training, you can teach others to fly confidently and professionally in no time!

Now that you know its benefits, it’s time to take action!

How Do I Get CFI Certification?

You’ll need to take a few steps to become a certified flight instructor.

Determine if you are eligible and qualify for CFI Certification.

First, you must determine if you’re eligible for the test and qualify for CFII certification. You must be at least 18 years old and have held a private pilot certificate or higher for at least 24 months. CFI certification also requires 250 hours of flight time as pilot-in-command. You also need to pass your Airman Knowledge Test (AKT).

If you meet those requirements, you can head to the FAA website and start your application!

Earn a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Once that’s done, it’s time to earn your degree from an accredited institution. You can do this through an online ground school—it’s up to you! Make sure it’s certified by the Council on Education in Flight Training (CEFT).

Enroll in a flight school.

Once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree, it’s time to find a flight school that’ll let you enroll in their ground training course. This course will teach you everything you need to teach flying lessons. It includes preparing lesson plans, managing time while on the ground and while flying with passengers, and more.

Complete your ground training.

The next step is to complete your ground training. In this step, you will learn about the planes and equipment used in flying lessons, how to teach various types of students with various experience levels, how to manage your finances as a flight instructor, and more. Once you’ve completed your ground training course, it’s time to move on to learning how to fly an airplane! In this step, you’ll learn about aerodynamics, aircraft design principles, and human factors. You will learn everything that goes into making these aircraft safe for passengers.

Sign up for your flight training.

Next is to sign up for flight training. This is where you’ll learn how to physically fly an aircraft, from basic takeoffs and landings to advanced maneuvers like aerobatics. You’ll learn to control the aircraft’s speed, direction, and altitude. You’ll learn about the different instruments in your cockpit, including how to use them for navigation, and you’ll practice emergency procedures like engine failure or loss of cabin pressure.

Start the CFI course.

Once you’ve completed your flight training, you’ll be ready to start the CFI course. This is where you’ll learn about the fundamentals of flight instruction. The course includes how to teach new pilots, give them feedback, and make sure they’re safe in the air. You’ll also learn about human factors, which are the non-technical aspects of flying an aircraft that affect safety, such as stress and fatigue.

The CFI course is usually a three- to five-day program that covers topics like:

  • How to give pilots feedback and ensure they’re safe in the air.
  • Non-technical aspects of flying an aircraft that affect safety, such as stress and fatigue.
  • The fundamentals of teaching new pilots how to fly safely.

Register to take your CFI exam.

The first step to becoming a CFI is registering for your exam. You can do this directly on the FAA website, or through one of their approved testing centers.

To become a Certified Flight Instructor, you’ll have to pass the FAA-approved CFI exam. It’s a multiple-choice test that covers a wide range of aviation topics, including meteorology, air law, flight training, and more.


Ultimately, the CFI certification is a helpful thing to have. You will learn new things, meet interesting people, and fly amazing aircraft. The process can sometimes be intimidating. But it’s not as complicated as you might think, and it’s well worth the effort. Good luck!

The Best Flight School in Los Angeles: Santa Monica Flyers

If you’re interested in becoming a Certified Flight Instructor, you’ve come to the right place.

Santa Monica Flyers offers a Certified Flight Instructor Certification Course that will teach you everything you need to know about how to fly and how to teach others how to fly.

Experienced instructors teach our course. They know what it takes to pass the check ride and make a living as a flight instructor.

Our courses are flexible and can be tailored to fit into your busy schedule. We also offer online options so that you can work on your course at home or the go.

Call us today to learn more about our Certified Flight Instructor Certification Course.


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