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The $39.99 CFI vs. $120/hr Instructor

  1. What is a teacher?

  2. What is a Pilot?

  3. Are these two things compatible?

  4. Would your “teacher” be a teacher if they couldn’t log flight time while instructing?

  5. What is the goal of the teacher?

  6. What is the goal of the pilot?

  7. Getting a flight instructor certificate doesn’t necessarily make you a good teacher.

  8. What do you want?  25000-hour instructor flying for the airlines?  Retired?  Cheapest?

  9. The testing process is nonstandard and can mostly be gamed. If you use the same DPE, you will eventually know most of the test.

  10. If you don’t use the same DPE, prepare for a subjective test.

  11. The ideal CFI is a teacher who just happens to be a pilot.  Very Rare!

  12. How much will you waste if you are one of the CFIs’ first 5 or 10 students? You are the residency!

  13. What is the goal of the lesson?  Results and progress for you or 1500 - today’s flight? 

  14. No sims and little to no ground instruction.  If there isn’t flight time today I’ll have to do this longer.

  15. When you are new, it’s fun! Because it’s new. After about 1000 hours, the teacher is either born, or everything irritates you. Why? Teachers thrive on seeing the results of their teaching. It’s rarely boring, and teachers must have patience.

  16. So here is some math for you:

    1. New CFI’s expected hours to complete a private pilot = 80

    2. Experienced “teacher” CFI hours to complete a private pilot = 65

    3. Airplane rental - $180/hr.

    4. CFI Rate new - $40/hr.  Experienced $120/hr.

    5. Airplane * 80 = $14,400

    6. New CFI 80*40 =3200

    7. The new CFI total, minus ground, etc., is $ 17,600.

    8. Airplane * 65 = $11,700

    9. Experienced CFI 65*120 = 7800

    10. Experienced CFI total minus ground, etc., $19,500

    11. Premium of $1,900/65, approximately $30/hr extra.

  17. What about delays due to the instructor quitting, weather (no sim, right?), or being sick of it? It isn’t fun anymore.

  18. Overall, you will benefit from paying more, not overpaying, but paying for the reliability, knowledge, efficiency, and goal of your CFI.

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