Learning to Teach Flying
The certified flight instructor exam covers the same maneuvers that you learned in the private pilot and commercial pilot stages of your training, with two adjustments: you are now flying from the right seat, and you’re speaking while flying. These adjustments do take a little time, but are generally not a great speed bump in the CFI training. The bulk of your training will involve acquiring the large knowledge base you need to be an effective instructor. Now is the time to go back through the regulations, revisit all the knowledge that you have learned so far–aerodynamics, aircraft systems, airport lighting & signage, emergency procedures, etc.–and make sure you have a deep understanding of all of those subjects. Remember the complicated questions you used to ask your instructor–if the clouds are at XXX ft. AGL and I am in class X airspace, am I legal to fly? Does X satisfy my aeronautical experience requirement for this rating/certificate? What if X, Y, or Z?! You will have to truly dig into these subjects to become a good instructor.
Learning to Teach
That said, to be a good instructor, you can’t only study aviation. You will have to study the art of teaching itself: how to make a lesson plan, how to teach maneuvers, and how to cater to the different learning styles of different students. The FAA has textbook materials that are specifically aimed at learning in aviation, and we will be happy to recommend that and other materials for you to study in your spare time. Your instructor will also meet with you in person and test your understanding. By the end of your training you will be able to write and present lesson plans with confidence. Visit us
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