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CFI SmartStudy Pro, Updates from Redbird Migration and accolades like Aviator Zone's award. SAFE CFI-Pro. Limited spots remain for our CFI class in Las Vegas.

March 2024

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Don’t Know Where to Start or How to Study for Your CFI?

We just released a perfect way to do self-study for your CFI.  It is a multi-modality method that will help you focus and provide you with the tools to prepare for the checkride.  It’s called CFI SmartStudy Pro.  Here’s a quick look at what it is:

  1. Audio files you can play on the go that cover all of the ground portion of the Flight Instructor Airplane PTS. There are 26 study areas and around 6 hours of audio mp3 files that tell you the most essential items in a particular area.

  2. PDF Companions are filled with summaries, images, etc., for all 26 study areas. You can use these as you listen or review them when you are able to use your mobile device or laptop.

  3. CFI PTS Laser Focus Guide. This guide gives you all of the references, such as FAR numbers, ACs, Handbook Chapters, page numbers, and so on, for all 26 study areas. It also includes memory items and tells you what to read and where.

The combination of audio, visual aids, and summaries from the PDF and the focus guide all work together to provide you with a complete way to study.  You can pick any area of operation and task and get right to work.

Available here now

Redbird Migration Takeaways

I was at the conference at the Lone Star Aviation Museum in Houston on the 5 and 6 of March.  The conference was well attended, and we received FAA updates and breakout sessions on various topics.  AOPA also announced the winners of their Flight Training Excellence Awards.  Here are a few important highlights:

Everett Rashon - Runs AFS 800 - Certification/Commercial and General Aviation

The FAA has realigned quite a few groups that used to be in separate areas and now fall under AFS 800. For example, testing centers, handbooks, knowledge tests, etc., now all fall under this group. This should streamline changes and solutions to problems, as everyone now reports to Rashon.

DPE selection and oversight are being shifted from the FSDOs to inside the FAA. This change will result in more DPEs and better standardization.

The ACSs are in the final rule-making process and are expected to be released later this year. There is no word on when, but we will have 60 days from the date they are published before they become effective.

The CFI Expiration date removal rule is in the final rule-making process. This is expected this year. The certificates won’t have an expiration date on them anymore. You will renew by recency of experience, such as passing 80% of at least five persons recommended for any practical test within the two years, completing a FIRC, and other methods. This will be an IACRA tracked/logged event.

MOSAIC—Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificate. The industry is trying to get the certificated stall speed up to at least 51 knots. They are pushing hard for 61 knots. If this happens, even at 51 knots, airplanes like the Cessna 172, Piper Archer, and so on would be able to be flown by Sport Pilots. In addition, there is a push for allowing two passengers and night operating privileges. This will most likely be a 2025 release.

Mike delivers a Paradoxical presentation on “Analog vs. Digital Flying”—How and Why to Move Away From Paper and the E6B Today!

Mike debunked the notion that the principles of navigation are best taught with the E6B and how pilots who don’t use it won’t fully understand these principles.  In a “Smack you in the head moment,” Mike said he would describe the principles of navigation just by speaking a few paragraphs, and everyone would get it.  Sure enough, they did.  The main jest of the presentation was that insisting on using this 84-year-old tool was robbing pilots of valuable training experience in the airplane with the actual tools they will use right after the checkride anyway.

Aviator Zone Wins Best Flight School in the South East Again!

Juan and Felipe, the owners of Aviator Zone, in Tamiami (KTMB) airport in Kendal, FL won best flight school in the South East at the AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards.  I can tell you from personal experience with their company and in particular them, that I think they run a first class business.  They know how to use technology to get things done and provide their customers a great experience.

If you are looking for Private Commercial training in South Florida in a Part 141 school, this is your place. The owners, planes, instructors, and facilities are great. Well done.

SAFE CFI-Pro is Ramping Up

SAFE, The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators,, is beginning to push its CFI-Pro program.  This program is the “Missing Manual” for new flight instructors.  Because we don’t have an on-the-job under supervision kind of system, like Medical Schools, Building Trades, etc., we are often left with learning important things through the experience of teaching our first five students.  No one is crying out to push for such an on-the-job or residency program in our industry.  So, how do we help new CFIs tackle the challenges of teaching, managing conflict, managing expectations, and all of that?  That kind of “experience” can’t be bought. It has to be earned by doing this for a minimum amount of time.  While we can’t buy “experience,” we sure can lean on it from others who have it.  So, the CFI-Pro program that SAFE is putting out does precisely that.  They have a Facebook Group, SAFE Mentoring, that is available, and they are beginning to launch Zoom meetings with super-experienced CFIs.  David St. George is the Executive Director and the Spearhead of this program.  Dorthy Schick, a very experienced CFI and one of the co-founders of the Facebook CFI Study Group, with over 5K members, is leading both the SAFE and her group.  The CFI Study Group already has a weekly, two-hour Zoom meeting on Tuesdays from 4-6 pm Pacific Time that is free to attend.  People get their questions answered, and there is sometimes a theme about a study area on which to talk about. 

 Sometimes, a CFI applicant will present a lesson to the group for critique.  Dorthy is bringing that expertise to the SAFE Mentor group.  This group is primarily for CFIs that just got or were certificated within a year or two. They are bridging the experience gap with some courseware, connections to experienced CFIs, and Zoom meetings.  Go to SAFE’s website to learn more, and while you are at it, go to the Apple Apps Store and download the SAFE TOOLKIT.  It has a ton of info and includes a section on ensuring the paperwork is for a practical test.  Plus, it’s FREE.  SAFEPILOTS.ORG

Our Initial CFI Class in Las Vegas is Nearly Full

If you are considering doing either remote or in-person CFI class in April, time and space are running out.  You need to complete our online course before attending; it takes about 40 hours.  The Class dates are April 15 - 21.  The location is at the KVGT, North Las Vegas airport, or via Zoom.  This class is taught under FAA part 141 through Chennault Flying Service so that VA benefits can be used with them.

The class starts at 8 am and ends at 3 pm Mon-Sun.

The classroom can hold 20 students, and we are currently at 18.  We expect this class to sell out completely this coming week, so if you want to attend, please register here now.

ProTips for CFIs and CFIs in Training
  1. Before spin training, be sure to be hydrated and eat a small, non-fatty meal like a power bar. You can get sick by not eating and drinking. 

  2. If you need to board or get people off the airplane, NEVER do that while the propeller turns. Slips and falls have resulted in fatalities. 

  3. No matter who you are flying with, always check the fuel, fuel caps, oil, and a walk around. 

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