There are several different ways to gain your hours to obtain a restricted ATP of 1,000 hours or 1,250 hours. Even if you aren't going for the restricted ATP and 1,500 hours is your goal, what is your plan to get your hours?
The majority of pilots take the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) route to reach their time. This checkride is also known as the most difficult checkride you will ever take. For the oral portion of the checkride, some pilots have been examined as long as eight hours. This certificate is not for everyone but for those who do choose this route, it is rewarding to receive.
Here is how to prepare for your CFI checkride. 1. Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI)
This is the one area of knowledge you probably weren't ever taught during your aviation training until CFI. This covers the psychological aspects of flying and how learning can be effectively communicated or hindered. It brings recognition to a higher order of thinking skills and helps us as instructors identify different learning aspects of our students. Make flashcards and have your friends quiz you to stay fresh on all of your FOIs. Also, make lesson plans on the information and practice using them in conversations. Recommended book: Aviation Instructor Handbook
2. Teach to FAA Standards
We currently are using the Private Pilot ? Airplane, Instrument Rating ? Airplane, and Commercial Pilot ? Airplane Airman Certification Standards (ACS) June 2018 version. If you don't have these printed or downloaded, do so now. These are the standards that you will hold your student to as you teach them. They are also the standards a DPE will hold your students to during their checkride. It is very important that you familiarize yourself with these standards for the stage your student is at.
For yourself, you need to download the Flight Instructor Practical Test Standards (PTS) and the Flight Instructor Instrument Practical Test Standards (PTS). These are the standards you as the instructor will be held to during your CFI/CFII checkride. In the PTS, print out the checklist and mark off every box that you completed a lesson plan for and practice taught.
Photo credit: Flight Instructor Practical Test Standards for AirplaneOnce you look into the "Area of Operations" for each bold topic (fundamentals of instruction, technical subject areas, preflight preparation, etc), read what is required to be taught during your checkride. For this example, the required task E for FOIs is Instructor Responsibilities and Professionalism. Be careful not to assume that task E will be the only task selected. Prepare in all subjects because DPEs are required to select from another task.
Photo credit: Flight Instructor Practical Test Standards for Airplane3. Lesson plans are not required but are highly recommended
It is up to you if you want to make a lesson plan or not for every subject. A lesson plan is FOR YOUR USE. It is to help you organize information in a way a student would understand it. It also helps you create a plan of action. You can write them in paragraph form or you can simply stick to bulletin points. They do not have to be a certain length, just write them in a way that helps you recall information quickly, accurately, and efficiently.
4. Know your test scoresBefore your checkride, you are required to take the FIA, FOI, and FII (for Instructor Instrument) knowledge tests. Whatever you got incorrect on the test, look up the codes. You will be asked about them on your checkride. It is required.
Being a CFI is a great responsibility and requires a lot of work, so make sure you are choosing this path out of passion more than a need for hours. You are forming the skills and minds of the next generation of aviators.