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Anyone have any recommendations in building my CFI book? I don't really see the point trying to reinvent the wheel. Anyone have some "tried and true" lesson plans they use? What exactly did you put in your book. Basically, it seems like I should just hole punch a private pilot book, rotorcraft flying handbook, POH and FOI's in one fat a$$ binder and be done with it?!

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Anyone have any recommendations in building my CFI book? I don't really see the point trying to reinvent the wheel. Anyone have some "tried and true" lesson plans they use? What exactly did you put in your book. Basically, it seems like I should just hole punch a private pilot book, rotorcraft flying handbook, POH and FOI's in one fat a$ binder and be done with it?!

 

It is tempting to just stick all those text books in there "and be done with it", as you say. First off, you don't need a "big fat a$$ binder". If you can effectively teach and instruct without one, then more power to you! I however, and probably many more like me need to organize all our notes into pretty much step by step points in order to stop us from getting ahead of ourselves. That is what I found to be the toughest thing when I started instructing, I'd be skipping some vital smaller points in order to get to the bigger more juicy stuff.

 

About a 1/4 of my binder consists of the different handouts that I got as a student from my instructor. You know the papers that explain certain areas better than the books. I now pull them out and copy them to pass on to my students. About another 1/2 is my own notes and lesson plans which help me keep my lessons organized and making sense. And then the rest consists of different AC's and the odd AD here and there. And then to top it all off, there's the list of endorsements that I have to give out. And for political correctness I'll add in this little disclaimer; Just because you have a list of the different endorsements with their exact wording, doesn't mean you don't have to cross check them with the FARs each time you give them out.

 

The big fat a$$ binder may look good sitting on the table during your CFI check ride, but If you don't use it the examiner will think it's not worth a damn and it's full of a bunch of fluff. At the end of the day, use whatever works for you. I've found for certain subjects like Principles of Helo Flight, the Rotorcraft Flying Handbook is great and I teach directly from it using all the diagrams supplied in it. Also, for the FOI's I took the unusual step of teaching directly from notes scribbled into the Aviation Instructors Handbook beside each subject area.

 

Again, whatever works for you!

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When I did my CFI a couple of years ago, I used the resources of several websites out there for information. I took the PTS off the FAA website and expanded on each item. This accomplished two things. First, it forced me to become more familiar with each item. Second, it put as much information as I could find in an available format for me. While some things may seem a little strange to be included in a helicopter training program, they really are not. Like Hypoxia, seems a little strange, but remember that there are helicopters in the world operating above 10,000 MSL. I used pictures as appropriate to help illustrate the book. For the flight portion of the PTS, I wrote a lesson plan for each maneuver, starting with the preflight.

 

A quick note here. Include aerodynamic principals that apply to other helicopters besides the type you are taking the checkride in. For example, if you are taking your checkride in a S300, include information on zero G maneuvers and aerodynamics. The reason is that your are getting a CFI-H not a CFI-S300.

 

Include appropriate AC's and AD's. Examiners and Inspectors, really love to see the AC on signoffs.

 

It is well work the work and effort.

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Rick met up with me and gave me some great pointers and ideas about this exact subject a few years back! when i was starting my CFI, we went up and met at a local restaurant and just sat and talked. He brought me his book, showed me his layout and it helped out a great deal. I actually went home from that lunch and buried my head in the PTS, as Rick stated, and started expanding! when i did walk into my cfi check ride and my examiner said "you have 30 minutes to come up with a lesson plan about retreating blade stall" and i opened my book and said "done" he was impressed. showed that i was up to speed and ready for the next task. Rick knows the DPE that tested me.. and I'm sure he can vouch that he is no easy exam. ANYWAY, what rick said is a great idea and i now have a 4" binder sitting on my desk that i teach out of pretty regularly. Thanks Rick!

 

Fuddruckers is still the best burger around!!

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Rick met up with me and gave me some great pointers and ideas about this exact subject a few years back! when i was starting my CFI, we went up and met at a local restaurant and just sat and talked. He brought me his book, showed me his layout and it helped out a great deal. I actually went home from that lunch and buried my head in the PTS, as Rick stated, and started expanding! when i did walk into my cfi check ride and my examiner said "you have 30 minutes to come up with a lesson plan about retreating blade stall" and i opened my book and said "done" he was impressed. showed that i was up to speed and ready for the next task. Rick knows the DPE that tested me.. and I'm sure he can vouch that he is no easy exam. ANYWAY, what rick said is a great idea and i now have a 4" binder sitting on my desk that i teach out of pretty regularly. Thanks Rick!

 

Fuddruckers is still the best burger around!!

 

 

Thanks Clay. But it was really not that long ago. And Tim is tough on his checkrides. He is fair, but complete. But you will usually learn something during it also.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm building my binder, I'm in a structured 141 classroom. Our instructor (he dubbed himself "course guide") has us in 2 groups for FOI. Each night we read the selection, and create a lesson plan and presentation that we must be prepared to give to the class the next day. It's a lot of work, but I think I'm starting to get the gist of it. He gave us a lesson plan development guide and a sample lesson plan to go off of. I wasn't really given any handouts from my instructors. Does anyone have suggestions on how/where to get things from to build handouts?

 

I'm just doing FOI right now, so it's pretty dry.

 

I'm planning on having a FOI binder, a pvt/commercial binder and an instrument binder. I think that this is a efficient way to keep all my stuff organized with relevance. Any other ideas?

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Before you get too far into building your book I strongly recommend teaching as many of the lessons you have already prepared as possible. Once you get up in front of someone and have to actually work from the notes you have made, you will notice all sorts of things that work or don't work for you in how you've set things up. You probably have all the information you need and more, but formatting and usefulness is the big challenge in making your book useful for you. Highlight things you want to stress and/or write out on the board in different colors, cut down on unnecessary words so you can see quickly what your point is... you'll find all kinds of things out when you're actually trying to use your notes in front of someone so as soon as you have some lessons out there take them out for a spin!

 

Good luck!

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Aw man.... I just threw mine out... Could have sent it to you as a reference. I don't teach any more and probably won't (at least initial... I'll use my CFII if the opportunity presents itself)...

 

My DPE never even really dove in to my binder. Keep in mind in the fixed wing world no one really uses home made binders / lesson plans. Sportys, King Schools all have lesson plans available for purchase. No one has really done this in the helicopter world (hint hint). With that being said that's not an excuse to not know the subject matter of the lesson plan you have just purchased! My thought is that there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.... It also provides a consistent way of relaying concepts. Off my soap box...

 

I also found that I was constantly changing and updating my binder... The more you teach the same lesson the better you become... Thus your subject matter expertise will expand and you will need to adjust your lesson plan.

 

Come up with a binder that works for you and will help you get past your check ride but also use / modify / add / delete lesson plans once you become an instructor to give your students the best possible chance of grasping concepts.

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I know you need to have a lesson plan to keep thing on track. But as far as presenting the material are most instructors using things like powerpoint slides ect. (I know the military in me is showing now huh) I think it would be an easy way to add and update info as required. Plus you could give a copy of a lesson to your student so he/she could review the material covered while studying. You could also exchange lessons with fellow instructors to see different and perhaps better ways to present the material.

 

Just something I was considdering. Not that I am any where close to CFI, but I think it may be something I could start building and fine tuning as I progress through training...Once I finally do start.

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  • 1 month later...

At the school I currently teach at it's common practice for all of our CFI students to build their own lesson plans following a basic outline. I'm amazed that so many other posts list that they teach out of a book or from notes. I guess I've never been to another flight school to see how they do it, but I figured it was common practice for every CFI to make their own lessons from the ground up. I persoanlly have my own Big-A$$-Books for each rating with a collection of information from many different sources sorted by topic into lesson plan formats. I'm not trying to say that it's better or worse in any way, I simply assumed that all CFI's did it. :blink:

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