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If you are a new flight instructor candidate you’re in the right place.

NOTE: If you are an existing Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) who wants to instruct in Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) or add an additional category to your license, go to Instructors (CFI & CFIS).

What is a certificated Sport Pilot Flight Instructor (CFIS)?

A FAA Sport Pilot Certified Flight Instructor (CFIS) has privileges similar to other FAA certificated flight instructors (CFI); however, he or she may only instruct in the category of light- sport aircraft in which he or she is qualified and operates under FAR 61 Subpart K (Sport Pilot) rather than Subpart H (Private Pilot). A CFIS may also perform proficiency checks to add a category or class to the certificate of an existing Sport Pilot per 61.321 and Sport Pilot CFIS per 61.419 .

Prerequisites to be a Sport Pilot Certified Flight Instructor (CFIS)

The applicant must hold a sport pilot or higher pilot certificate with the category and class privileges as appropriate to the flight instructor privileges sought. The candidate must be at least 18 years old.
NOTE: If an FAA medical has been revoked, denied, withheld, or suspended, this requires a special issuance to clear the medical, before the driver’s license may be used as the medical eligibility. Any limitation on the driver’s license or FAA medical must be followed. This applies to all pilots and flight instructors.

Flight experience requirements

Airplane and weight-shift-control category instructors need 150 hours of flight time as a pilot, which must include at least:

  • (i) 100 hours of flight time as pilot in command in powered aircraft,
  • (ii) 50 hours of flight time in category,
  • (iii) 25 hours of cross-country flight time,
  • (iv) 10 hours of cross-country flight time in category, and
  • (v) 15 hours of flight time as pilot in command in category that is a light-sport aircraft.

Additional instructor skills

Sport pilots must build additional skills in the Fundamentals of Instruction and Technical Subject Areas. All the sport pilot tasks must be mastered to:

  • Perform the maneuvers and procedures at a higher level than the sport pilot tolerances.
  • Have instructional knowledge of tasks (how to instruct).
  • Have knowledge of common errors and be able to identify, analyze, and correct mistakes.

New Sport Pilot Certified Flight Instructor (CFIS) candidate requirements

  • Hold at least a Sport Pilot certificate.
  • Receive training and endorsement from Sport or Private Pilot CFI to take the computer based knowledge test and the Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) knowledge tests. The computerized Prepware can also provide the training and on-line endorsements for both these knowledge tests.
  • Pass both the FOI knowledge test and CFIS knowledge test for specific category.
  • Meet ALL Sport Pilot CFI requirements per 61.407 through 61.411. It should be noted that Spin training is required per 61.409 (m) for airplanes and sailplanes which can be done in a non-LSA aircraft certificated for spins.
  • Obtain and log training within 60 days before practical test with an authorized instructor and obtain endorsement for practical test from Sport or Private Pilot CFI in log book and on FAA 8710-11 form.
  • Pass CFI sport practical test with DPE/SPIE. Click here to find a DPE. (Chose from the “Examiner Listing” at bottom of page.)
  • Receive Sport Pilot CFI Certificate and log book endorsement for category/class of aircraft used for Practical test.

The process at Sport Aviation Center

How do we go through the process at Sport Aviation Center. How much and how long.

  • We have found that the best starting point for all flight instructor applicants is to go through the on-line training for the sport pilot. This provides the foundation for adding onto that base knowledge the ability to teach it. Additionally it goes through the basic training syllabus in order of what the applicant will be teaching.  The On-Line Learn to fly an Airplane or the On-Line Learn to Fly a WSC Trike are these courses. Typically when you order the course you get the FAA knowledge test preparation Prepware download. You simply select the Fundamentals of Instruction and the CFI Sport Pilot tests to study for the Sport CFI.
  • It is best to first get both knowledge test’s (FOI and CFI Sport for category) completed before you arrive for training. These must be completed and it is easiest to get this done studying with the CFI Knowledge test books and/or Prepware before you get here.
  • Using the Fundamentals of Instruction techniques, do both flight training and ground school. It is easiest to get the complete CFI Sport Pilot Kit Airplane (WSC Trike kit). This gives you lesson plans in the Syllabus plus training materials for you to use. At a minimum you will need the paper training syllabus if you order the On-Line version to go through when you do your flight training. This Training Syllabus also provides all the endorsements plus a training syllabus to start training your first students. You can use them on your first student.
  • We simply follow the Training Syllabus Airplane  (WSC Trike) Part  4 “Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) Program with Lesson Plans”. Specifically flight and ground training modules:
    • Flight Training – we start going through the training syllabus where you are teaching the mock student (instructor) to fly in a logical order just as you were trained when you were going for your pilots license. Here you will learn all the teaching techniques plus learn the mistakes the students make and how to deal with them.
    • Ground Training – We go through the training syllabus and teach all the ground school to the mock student (instructor). This includes all the pilot aeronautical knowledge plus endorsements and CFI procedures.
  • We practice for the CFI checkride to make sure everything in in order and we do the CFI practical test.

How long and how much?

  • This depends on how much you study before hand, how much you prepare while you are training and how fast you pick everything up. With both your knowledge tests completed and good weather, figure 2 to 3 weeks and $4,000 to $6,000 if you want a range to budget your time and money.

Got questions?

Contact Paul Hamilton

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