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Freelance CFII?


flyboy2233

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How many of you guys build hours teaching freelance? For those of you that do I have a few questions?

 

1. How much business are you getting (if any)?

2. What are you charging?

3. How are you getting clients?

4. Are most of your clients aircraft owners, or are you renting a ship from a school?

 

I don't plan to do this to build a lot of time, just too at least put something in my logbook until I find that first gig. I'm not through my CFI yet, just trying to think ahead. Thx

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I don't know if it would be legal, ethical, or even possible to talk a school into allowing you to rent for this purpose. However what I have heard of is schools having a "Bring Your Own Student" programs. Seems it is pretty much the same thing, but I'm sure there is legal differences and the school is going to want thier cut (after all otherwise it would be using thier equiptment to steel thier business at a reduced income to them). If your school doesn't offer this program you may considder leasing or buying but don't forget to factor insurance and maintenance costs. It still may be cheaper if you think you could find enough students. I hope this doesn't come across as an insult to your intelligence, as I am sure you are looking into or know of these factors. Just my $.02 (see disclamer below)

 

Disclaimer: I am not and never have claimed to be a professional rotorwing pilot. my flight time is next to 0, all my comments are simply based on knowledge learned from my research and from reading posts from the awsome members of this site.

Edited by gary-mike
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I have done some freelance instructing. All my clients are aircraft owners. I charge as much or more than the local schools do. I charge as I do so the schools can't say I am undercutting them. Also, many of my clients have aircraft that the normal run of the mill instructor doesn't have experience in. And even if they do, many don't have the background the client desires.

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Freelance flight instruction is a risky proposition altogether even if its with an aircraft owner. If it is, be sure his/her machine has insurance to cover flight instruction and YOU named as the instructor approved to give that instruction. I would include a release of liability in case something bad happens. Otherwise your current and future personal assets are exposed. If there is an opportunity which cant be passed up, Id suggest starting your own company (S-Corp). This way if something bad does happen; then only company assets are exposed. I hate to say it, but talk to a lawyer before undertaking such an endeavor.

 

In regards to renting a machine to instruct in; probably not going to happen for the above stated reasons. If a school owner does allow it, his hoping you ding his machine so he can squeeze you for the rest of your life….

 

If someone (a non-owner) wants YOU to teach them to fly helicopters, then go to the local flight school and let them know YOU have a student but no machine. If the school is on the up-n-up and smart, theyll work something out with you where youll be hired for that student alone. THIS is one avenue for full-time employment and Ive personally seen it happen a number of times.

Edited by Spike
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  • 2 weeks later...

Freelance CFI's are actually rather popular, at least in the LA area! I know 3 I can think of that rent ships from the schools and bring in their own students. These are usually students the school would not otherwise see, and renting a ship for 50 or 100 hours is a good thing in today's environment.

 

Most of the CFI's I know charge 25-50 each hour.

Edited by Goldy
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Thanks for the back up Spike, it is good to know that what I am learning from the posters on this site and talking to all these schools is actually pertinent.

 

Goldy, thanks for posting the possibilities the proper way to go about it, and the rates. I think it is all too easy to give your time for next nothing just to get the hours. We must remember this type of action creates the low pay for CFI problem though. How else can flight schools cover costs and be competetive if there are a bunch of CFI's instructing for next to free?

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These are usually students the school would not otherwise see, and renting a ship for 50 or 100 hours is a good thing in today's environment.

 

Sure, until something bad happens and Im not just talking about an accident, incident or violation either.

 

No matter how the transaction happens, as an instructor, you are connected to the student via vicarious liability. As a CFI employee, this liability is assumed by the employer and his insurance carriers. As a freelancer, the instructor is liable basically forever (to a certain extent). Yes, even beyond the last training flight.

Do people do this? Yep. Would I do it knowing what I know after 19 years in this business? Not for a million bucks……….

 

The reality is people will do almost anything to put time in their books. Some simply pencil whip, while others risk their financial futures by freelancing hoping nothing bad will ever happen. Kids will be kids..

 

Plus, there are operators who will take every advantage of this fact. Rent a helicopter to a CFI who teaches a student pilot not affiliated with the flight school is essentially a lawyers wet dream. The instructor is not covered by workmens comp and the flight school is not responsible for the student. Id be more comfortable out past odark, off goggles, low on gas, in the soup under a TRW…..

 

Its a free country tho….

 

It's the red "-" at the lower right...

Edited by Spike
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Plus, there are operators who will take every advantage of this fact. Rent a helicopter to a CFI who teaches a student pilot not affiliated with the flight school is essentially

 

Technically, they are a student at the school, just that CFI brought them in. Still the paperwork they fill out, waiver, and the insurance policy is a commercial policy that includes training and the CFI meets the insurance requirements. Basically its a marketing arrangement with the CFI recruiting the student into the school.

 

As far as I can tell, its pretty legit. Let the lawyers fight it out.

 

It's the green button in the corner!!

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you can either play it safe and get nowhere, or take a risk and get somewhere. I'll take the risk

 

It’s referred to as risk over gain. In short, is the risk worth the gain?

 

A student and instructor who were “buddies” augured in one day. Both survive. Bruised, beaten and battered but alive. Guess what, they not buddies no-mo. The student sued. He claimed, because of the crash, he couldn’t perform in the sack with his wife therefore deprived his chances of ever having a family. As I understand it, the settlement was for 2M… That’s million……

 

Furthermore, I just resubmitted my annual insurance forms and this post came to mind when filling it out. Why? Because of 2 questions… The first being; “Have you ever been involved in an accident? If yes explain” and the second, “Have you ever, or are you currently involved as a plaintiff or defendant in any kind of litigation? If yes explain.”

 

Plus, these questions are now common on job applications.

 

In this business, you should only risk what you can afford to lose.

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As a CFI employee, this liability is assumed by the employer and his insurance carriers. As a freelancer, the instructor is liable basically forever (to a certain extent).

 

Spike- this is actually a great point that I overlooked on my first reply. I'll ask a couple of the freelancers if they carry their own CFI insurance, just to see what the "norm" is.

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