Combining Commercial and CFI Training
It can save a lot of time and money.
You get way more right seat time and more confidence.
Train through CFI before taking the Commercial checkride = overprepared.
Get the Spin endorsement.
Check that any Instrument time is logged correctly to count for the Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot aeronautical experience requirements - There is a legal interpretation of this.
Doing CFII right after Commercial and CFI? Get proficient on instruments after you are right seat proficient VFR.
Take the CAX, FOI, FIA, and AGI Knowledge tests.
You can’t get a Gold Seal without the AGI.
Make sure the DPE will be OK with you taking the Commercial checkride from the right seat.
Any CFI can do right seat proficiency training—no need to meet 61.195(h) requirements. There is a legal interpretation of this.
Be sure you aren’t receiving flight instructor training from anyone who doesn’t meet the 61.195(h) requirements. These items are the Aeronautical knowledge - 61.185(a)1 and 2 and Flight Proficiency - Flight and Ground - 61.187(b)1.
If you need to finish in the least possible time, train in a make and model airplane that you already fly unless it’s not a popular one or where you will work has different equipment.
Use the added time to add G1000 to your qualifications. You are only paying the difference between round gauge prices and G1000. If you do this after your CFI, you are paying the full G1000 airplane rate.
Choose an instructor who does CFI Training as their primary instruction. You pay more hourly, but you need someone with vast knowledge and recent proficiency in commercial maneuvers. Just having two years and 200 hours dual given isn’t going to help you, except for a signature for the checkride.
Consider the CFI portion of your training like a one-time crowned to enable you to make money and unlock opportunities in Aviation.
The flight side of the CFI training is usually less than any other rating you may have done, except seaplane. Don’t obsess over the hourly rate of the CFI.
CFIs at schools that pay them little don’t stay. The turnover for this kind of CFI is the largest in flight training.
With airlines hiring and paying more than 30-40% plus signing bonuses and benefits, why would anyone stay as a flight instructor to work twice as hard, have more liability, fly in worse conditions, and get ½ the pay? Here are the good and the bad reasons:
Can’t cut it in that environment - Bad
They didn’t like it and didn’t know what else to do - Using the CFI as a stop-gap measure until what they really want to do comes along. Maybe good or bad.
Have a criminal history. FAA doesn’t care unless it’s narcotics, etc. FAA doesn’t background check - Airlines always do, and flight schools (big ones) sometimes do - Bad.
Second career types - Very good if they have the experience/hours to do it. They aren’t leaving for an airline. They charge more, but this is who you want.
We use a combination of line and senior CFIs in places like CFI Bootcamp. Most have houses already paid for and aren’t going anywhere. We charge more because of the type of “Specialty” training we do. Think about type ratings and transition training (TBM 850, King Air, Citation Jet, etc.) - Excellent! Haha!
Budget review for CFI only vs. Combined Commercial/CFI.