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NAFI Study finds CFI pay insufficient

cfi pay

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#1 brettjeepski

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 20:59

Not crossing my fingers but how cool would it be to one day see instructors actually get paid good!

CFI Pay Article

:rolleyes:

Aircraft I have flown: R22BII, R44 RI, R44 RII, MD 500E, Bell 206B3, Bell 206 L3 AS350B2, AS350B3e, EC130B4,


#2 Flying Pig

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 22:10

I'm going to write an article saying I don't make enough either. Good luck. The schools I see around can barely keep 1 instructor working decently. who is the audience for this article? A bunch of CFIs telling each other they should make more? To bad they aren't the ones paying the bills.

Edited by Flying Pig, 07 January 2013 - 22:12.

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#3 avbug

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:19

Flight instruction is generally an entry-level activity. Know-nothings with no experience make no money. No surprise.

#4 Unknown Rider

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:26

But wouldn't it be great if it was switched? That the high timers, the most experienced, were flight instructors? And flight instruction was the high paying job at the end of a career?

Clearly hypothetical thoughts, but talk about improving the pilot pool. ;)

#5 gary-mike

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:55

It is sad that it is structured that way but, it is a structure that has been built on a long standing foundation. I doubt I will see a change in my lifetime, no matter what, the cost will fall on the customer. Business is business and it is about keeping the company afloat and making a profit.

The structure is backwards here in the US, at least in civil aviation I think but, I can't change it and I quite like being in the USA so it is what it is.

That said, yes it would be awesome if CFI's got paid better, it would save me many sacrifices that I am not totally enthusiastic about making in the next little while. The average Joe can't have everything though right.

#6 Counterrotate

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:17

There is a reason flight instruction is so much more affordable here in the US. And easier standards for new pilots to meet too. Go to Europe and try to get your ratings.

The downside is, you get what you pay for.
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#7 Flying Pig

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:29

But wouldn't it be great if it was switched? That the high timers, the most experienced, were flight instructors? And flight instruction was the high paying job at the end of a career?

Clearly hypothetical thoughts, but talk about improving the pilot pool. ;)


Ummmm.... No. Not unless they start doing entry level flight instruction in S-92s.

#8 eagle5

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 13:02

Ummmm.... No. Not unless they start doing entry level flight instruction in S-92s.


I'm sure there are countless 30yr high timers out there tired of flying A109s, Hueys, and Astars just itchin to spend their golden years trying to prevent a newbie from killing them in an R22! :lol: :rolleyes:
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#9 pilot#476398

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 13:23

But wouldn't it be great if it was switched? That the high timers, the most experienced, were flight instructors? And flight instruction was the high paying job at the end of a career?

Clearly hypothetical thoughts, but talk about improving the pilot pool. ;)


Then what would 150 hour commercial pilots do to get the 1500 hours they need for entry-level commercial work, like the GOM or Grand Canyon?

#10 Flying Pig

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 13:55

But wouldn't it be great if it was switched? That the high timers, the most experienced, were flight instructors? And flight instruction was the high paying job at the end of a career?

Clearly hypothetical thoughts, but talk about improving the pilot pool. ;)


Just out of curiosity..... Why would it be better? Seems low time CFIs have been keeping the industry stocked full of licensed pilots well for the last 50 years or so.
Flip through your PTS and tell me how having a 15,000hr S-92 Pilot as your initial CFI is going to change what you are taught in the initial training stages in an R22? When you finish up your CFII at 190hrs, you are probably pretty decent at auto's, you know your ground knowledge, you know your IFR procedures. You aren't going to learn any of those "advanced" techniques because you wont have access to the aircraft and technology and wont have a foundation to even understand auto pilots and flight management systems. You wont be able to punch into IFR and log actual in your R22 just because you have high time pilot at your side.
Your budget is going to be based on the minimums to pass your check ride. So unless you want to pay for more ground, you are going to get what the syllabus or the PTS dictates. Guess what, go find one of those high time PHI or Era EC135 pilots and offer to pay them for some extra ground. I would bet that you are going to find that there arent a whole lot of differences to how Airspace or W&B are taught at the initial training level.

I have my CFI in RW and Airplanes. I have had a number of instructors and have taken several check rides. They were all CFIs building time and looking to move on in the future. And now that I am flying full time for a living, I look back and see they taught me what I needed to know with no problems or deficiencies. Im looking back and not really seeing any advantage to having a 30 year high time twin engine pilot. There is definitely no disadvantage, but Im not seeing any real advantage. Honestly, if I am learning to fly an R22 and my check ride is going to be in an R22, I WANT a 1000hr R22 instructor. I could care less about a guy who has 1500hrs actual flying in the North Sea.

Now, when you get into advanced training, ie. REAL Mountain flying, Long Line, NVG, SAR flying, you will have your high time, experienced instructors. So they are out there in plentiful numbers. Or..... You can contact one of these pilots and maybe even hire them to do your initial ratings. But you are going to pay for it.

I attended a local school for my Commercial RW add-on. The owner talked to me about all of this wild training we would be doing, mountain flying, all sorts of autos from every conceivable attitude and altitude and that I would be one of the best pilots out there after I got done training at HIS school, because HIS school only puts out the best pilots. I asked "Oh great, so that is all included in the price we talked about?" ...... "Well, ummmm, well......." he says. I respond "Look man, Train me to pass a PTS check ride OK. Im not paying for a bunch of "advanced" skills" So, needless to say, I never saw the owner again throughout the course of my add-on training, and I passed my check ride the first time with no problems.

So, basically, all that rambling was to say this. There are plenty of high time, highly experienced instructors out there teaching everything there is to know about flying. But the chances are, your checking account cant pay for them over the course of an entire Private-CFII training program. And more importantly, they dont owe you, me or anyone any discounted lessons.

If anything...... I would say you want a high time and experienced DPE! If you want to challenge yourself and see how you measure up, forget the CFI, tell your CFI you want the hardest DPE money can buy!

Edited by Flying Pig, 08 January 2013 - 13:59.


#11 Unknown Rider

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 19:50

I guess it really comes down to the instructors. You could have a great instructor with low hours or a terrible instructor with high hours or visa versa.

Would you rather have an instrument instructor who has flown many IFR flights, or one that has only "simulated" instrument flights? If I had a choice between the two, I would go for the one with real life experience any day.

The system we have now seems to work fine. I'm not complaining. Just a hypothetical question.

The "seasoned" pilots I have been around seem to have a wealth of knowledge, and I learn tons from them retelling their experiences and mistakes.





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