View Full Version : Best preparation for CFI-A initial checkride

27th Apr 2013, 01:23
I'm currently at the last month of my CFI-A course and I need some good tips on what guides or prep-material I can use to help me pass the oral.
I'm currently using the GLEIM prep-book. Any other I should acquire?:confused:

I will be doing my checkride in San Diego which I hear is extra hard compared to the rest of the US so I really want to be prepared.:ok:

28th Apr 2013, 18:45
Know privileges & limitations. Not just for the CFI, but also for the various qualifications you'll be able to teach. Don't forget renewing the rating stuff.

Know the logbook sign-offs

Know VFR & VMC criteria

Know the various things to do with learning (straight from the FAA's instructor book)

Be able to give the various flight lessons, as well as teach aircraft systems, including complex items eg constant pitch prop, electrical, fuel, how the various flight instruments work.

Know the limitations & info for the aircraft you'll do the test in.

Make sure you have revised (& corrected) those knowledge areas from your two theory exams that you answered incorrectly.

Be very familiar with FAR 61. Ditto medicals and the like.

29th Apr 2013, 17:12
Everything said above, and remembering from when I did mine with an inspector in 2008...

Can a student fly in Class B? What about at LAX? (There are a list of Class B's in the FARs where it's not allowed, and LAX is one.)

If somebody has one eye and one leg, can they get a medical and pilot certificate? (Led to a discussion on SODAs)

If someone has their own plane based 15 miles away, can they fly it to your airport for training once they are solo?

What are the different types of hypoxia...? (I wasn't up on that subject, and as it was 4.5 hours in he called it quits and told me to revise Hypoxia. So I later passed with a DPE a few days after.)

In all that 4.5 hours, I wasn't asked ONE, SINGLE question about airplanes, aerodynamics, teaching/learning. This was at a time when the FAA were making all initial practicals be assessed by Inspectors, and I had it on pretty good authority that they were frequently failing people after half a day as they could still claim a full day's wage and get out of the office, then head off to the golf course in the afternoon. Essentially nobody was passing initials, and they would just find something obscure and hit you with it until you disappeared up your own asshole trying to find things in the reg's that you'd never come across.

30th Apr 2013, 15:02
Essentially nobody was passing initials

Simply not true.

Some of the questions which sapperkeno has highlighted are typical of the kind of questions you can expect. My advice would be to find a CFI who knows his stuff and regularly prepares CFI candidates.

30th Apr 2013, 19:28
Ifitaint... As far as I'm aware, not all that many (is that better?!) people were passing first time. If you have further info (freedom of information act should make this accessible) about all initial CFI candidate practical test results, who were tested by the Scottsdale FSDO in 2008/9, it would be interesting to see just how many got through first time.
I'm just going off what 2 DPEs told me. I'm not trying to scare anybody off and worry them about future checkrides, or get into any arguments.

At the time, the inspectors weren't a known quantity, as the rule had just come about that they had to do all initials, but I'm sure once word got around, and CFI instructors started to learn of their ways (and questions they were keen on asking) the number of first time passes increased.

30th Apr 2013, 20:07
Latest data is for 2011:



30th Apr 2013, 23:52
make sure the doors are closed on the plane and that you have checked them your self...don't trust the examiner

know how to find the pitot static check in the plane's logbook...same with transponder check. annual and other reqd mx.

my examiner (best pilot I've ever seen) started chewing on a toothpick and I told him to take it out because if we cracked up it could go up into his pallete and kill him.

1st May 2013, 02:20
Maintenance stuff! Forgot about that. Know how to determine if the aircraft is airworthy *from its logbooks*, not whatever signing out system the school uses.

Also equipment requirements, VFR, night & IFR, including any checks/certifications required for particular items eg transponder & pitot static system certifications.

16th Oct 2013, 21:49
Thanks for all the replies!

I passed on the first try. It was a lot easier than I thought with a lot of emphasis on FOI.

The oral was 5h and the flight was 2.5h.

17th Oct 2013, 03:47
Congratulations & well done for a first attempt pass!

1st Jun 2016, 05:37
I foolishly let my CFI expire many years ago.
My Ground Instructor Certs do not expire.
To obtain my CFI-A, do I need both FOI and FIA written tests??

1st Jun 2016, 07:07
To obtain my CFI-A, do I need both FOI and FIA written tests??

I don't think you are asking the right question.

FOI and FIA are required for the initial issuance of a CFI certificate. If one already has a BGI, AGI, or IGI then the FOI part has already been met.

You don't need to "obtain" a CFI-A, you "just" need to reinstate it. Check the CFI-A PTS for details on reinstatement. No repeat of FOI or FIA tests required.

Reinstatement is done via a subset of the CFI-A PTS or by adding on an additional CFI skill. Instead of spending time and money reinstate what you had, you can enhance your skills.

Consider training to be a CFII to reinstate the privileges. This might be a bit more expensive, but would give you a lot of refreshing and a new skill for a reasonable (?) incremental cost.

Want to live on the edge? Go do a long weekend commercial glider add-on course. Then accumulate 15 hours PIC in gliders and train for CFI-G. (If you train in the ubiquitous SGS 2-33 you can use sport pilot privileges to make the 20 solo flights required for commercial add-on be PIC). This route can give you quite a good perspective on flying/instructing.

CFI-G, so I'm biased.