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Flight Instructor

To become a flight instructor, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a commercial pilot certificate. You must also pass an FAA Certified Flight Instructor written examination and complete a practical/oral exam with an FAA examiner.

There are several different Certified Flight Instructor ratings:


Certified Flight Instructor
Certified Flight Instructor Instrument
Multi Engine Flight Instructor
Basic Ground instructor
Instrument Ground Instructor
Advanced Ground Instructor

Be at least 18 years of age.

Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English.

Hold a commercial or airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate with an aircraft rating appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought (e.g., airplane, glider).

Receive and log ground training.

Pass the fundamentals of instructing written exam (FOI).

All other subject areas in which ground training is required for recreational, private, and commercial pilot certificates and for an instrument rating.

Pass both the FOI and the flight instructor knowledge tests with scores of 70% or better

You are not required to take the FOI knowledge test if you hold an FAA flight or ground instructor certificate or hold a current teacher's certificate authorizing you to teach at an educational level of the 7th grade or higher.

You must demonstrate flight proficiency (FAR 61.187).
A flight instructor applicant must receive flight and ground training and a logbook endorsement from a certified flight instructor on the following areas of operations for an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:

Fundamentals of instructing.
Technical support areas.
Preflight preparation.
Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight.
Preflight procedures.
Airport and seaplane base operations.
Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds.
Fundamentals of flight.
Performance maneuvers.
Ground reference maneuvers.
Slow flight, stalls, and spins.
Basic instrument maneuvers.
Emergency operations.
Post-flight procedures.

The flight instruction must be given by a person who has held a flight instructor certificate during the past 24 months immediately preceding the date the instruction is given and who has given at least 200 hours of flight instruction as a CFI.

You must also obtain a logbook endorsement by an appropriately certificated and rated flight instructor who has provided you with spin entry, spin, and spin recovery training in an airplane that is certificated for spins and has found you instructionally competent and proficient in those training areas (you are skilled to teach spins).
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