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A Deep Dive into FAA Resources for the CFI Checkride


Note: The Flight Instructor ACS will take effect May 31st 2024 - Click here to view the NEW CFI ACS

  1. References for each task are listed in the PTS or ACS under each task.  These are the only references the pilot or instructor is required to use and understand.  A DPE asking questions not in this section is “Testing Outside of the Standard.”

  2. The primary resources for the CFI practical test are:

    1. PHAK

    2. Airplane Flying Handbook

    3. Aviation Instructor’s Handbook

    4. FAR

    5. AIM

    6. AC 61-65H

    7. POH

  3. There are additional references in the form of ACs and other handbooks like Aviation Weather, Advanced Avionics Handbook, etc.

  4. A detailed look at the PHAK.  Purpose - Provides the Aeronautical Knowledge content for all certificates and ratings.

  5. A detailed look at the Airplane Flying Handbook.  Provides the “How to” for every maneuver.  When a maneuver or procedure is in the POH for the airplane, use that procedure; otherwise, use what’s in the Airplane Flying Handbook.  Deep looks into:

    1. Prerequisite information before teaching:

      1. Steep Turns.

      2. Turns around a point, S-turns across a road, rectangular courses.

      3. Power off 180-degree accuracy landing.

    2. Content for Understanding Complex Airplane Operations and Turbocharging.

    3. Content for flying Multi-Engine Airplanes.

  6. FAR - Most important regulations for CFIs:

    1. 61.1 - Definitions (XC requirements vs XC definition)

    2. 61.23 - Medical certificates and basic med.  CFIs don’t need a medical to take the checkride if DPE will be PIC and only necessary when teaching if required to be PIC.

    3. 61.31 - Soloing a pilot already holding a pilot certificate above a student pilot certificate.  Complex, HP, High Altitude, Tailwheel endorsement requirements.

    4. 61.39 - Prerequisites for a practical test.  A.1 and A.2 endorsement.

    5. 61.49 - Retesting after failure.  Note: 60-day validity is not in the regulation; it’s in DPE order 8900.2.

    6. 61.56 - Flight Review.

    7. 61.57 - Recency of experience - Passengers, IFR etc.

    8. 61.63

    9. Subpart C - Student Pilots

    10. Subpart D - Recreational Pilots

    11. Subpart E - Private Pilots

    12. Subpart F - Commercial Pilots

    13. Subpart H - Flight Instructors

    14. Subpart I - Ground Instructors

  7. AIM:

    1. Chapters 4 and 5

  8. AC 61-65H - Endorsements

    1. The front section is a textual description of how to do something.

    2. The appendix contains sample endorsements.

    3. Sample endorsements have a guide to endorsing - How to sign, etc, properly.

  9. POH - Pilot Operating Handbook Sections:  GLEN PWS:

    1. General - General Information

    2. Limitations - This also includes all of the placards that must be installed on the airplane.

    3. Emergency procedures - If there are BOLD ITEMS, those are Memory Items.

    4. Normal procedures - There may also be amplified procedures - detail for wing flap settings for rough field operations, for example.

    5. Performance - Pay particular attention to the cruise performance section.  RPM vs %power - TAS and Fuel Flow come from here.

    6. Weight and Balance - Don’t use the sample weight and balance for your airplane.

    7. Systems - Descriptions of all of the systems on the airplane.

    8. Supplements - Autopilot on/off altitudes, limitations, GPS, etc.

Associated Resources
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