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Becoming an FI

Old 6th Nov 2013, 21:35
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Becoming an FI

I am a current PPL holder, just started by ATPL ground school and hour building, trained at a school in the south east (uk) and hoping to become a flying instructor. I am not looking to hour build at someone else's expense then go off and fly jets in a year or two. I actually want to teach and have a few questions.

I know that I'm not going to become rich doing this but what is the realistic income if I teach PPL and say CPL/ME/aerobatic pleasure?

I overheard someone at my school say that instructor rate is around 30/flight hour - does that sound right? How many hours a week on average in summer/winter do you work?

Is it realistic to teach CPL/ME if I don't do my IR immediately or is it expected that an FI will have a fATPL?

My school always seems busy (especially weekends) and I've struggled to get a slot before, which strikes me as good news for an aspiring FI - is there a decent demand at the moment?

Thanks in advance.

SU
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 07:01
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Its probably fair to say if you teach PPL you will never recover the cost of the qualification.

You do not need a fATPL to teach, but if you want to teach commercially then you would need to be able to teach for the IR if you want a reasonable wage. The cost of gaining this qualification has recently increased by about 30K as you now need 200 hours under IFR to even begin. This may have a knock on effect with the larger schools where there will undoubtedly be a shortage of such instructors. As an alternative, this may prompt a move towards the MPL where they can use ex airline pilots and the straight through FI will not get a look in because they won't have the required 1500 hours experience on multi-pilot aeroplanes if they have not worked for an airline!

The whole thing is an ill-conceived mess. The future for the professional FI does not look cost effective for those just starting out.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 11:05
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To answer (some) of your questions from my experience (3 years instructing PPL full time in the SW of England before moving on last month);

Realistically, your income is going to be very low and not liveable on if you teach full time PPL. The school I just left paid around about 20/flight hour. Some FT FIs were on a small retainer, others were not. This worked out around 1300-1500 per month in summer, and 700-900 per month in winter. Before tax, although if you got yourself a good accountant and were paid self employed then you'd not pay very much to HMRC. Hours wise I did about 400 a year.

Demand in my experience varies a lot from school to school; I know of schools that are very busy at the moment with another school 50 miles away which is going through a slack period. Obviously weekends are more popular and winter cuts down on flying.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 14:34
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Thanks Hobbit. That's very helpful and broadly what I had in mind hours wise. I figured 15hrs a week (sat, sun and 1 w/d) and probably 30 weeks a year which got me to 450/yr. As it won't be full time and I have another business the wages aren't the sole focus but it's always good to know....

Thanks again.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 15:41
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You'll be lucky to fly for fifteen hours in three days. The most you can fly is around five hours in a day allowing time for briefs/debriefs/paperwork. That is assuming that you get bookings for five hours a day, before weather, student cancellations and sick aircraft. Realistically expect an average of two hours per day over the year. You will not get rich, just recovering the cost of your training will be a bonus. We're mad but we do it because we love to fly and enjoy helping others to love flying.

Last edited by wet wet wet; 8th Nov 2013 at 19:11.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 19:44
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I would say keep an open mind - I thoroughly enjoyed instructing and air taxi, never wanted to join the airlines. It finally got to the stage that I said to myself "do I still want to be flying for no money when I am 40" - I am now a fairly senior Airbus Captain, but still instruct in my spare time because I enjoy it.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 19:54
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Intructing is one of my long term goals regardless of getting a job in the airline industry or not, I would keep instructing anyway because of the sheer passion of flying I think I suppose to have.
I know our old loved and hated Europe is different from the US where you just need a CPL to obtain the necessary qualifications to instruct on MEP, SEP and Instrument conditions. What are the requirements in Europe to teach commercial and instrument training?
Will I have to hour build at my own expenses after the CPL to become fully unrestricted?
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 20:18
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You need to sit down and read CAP814 then make a cunning plan.

Under EASA its virtually impossible to become a Instrument instructor without working as a commercial pilot outside instructing.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 21:33
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Virtually, you said... hence I'd need to build my total time up untill I get 200 IFR hours? Nice, thanks EASA.
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 07:29
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Its something like that or could be more.

I have the same problem with MEP time and CRI etc.

I Have been flying twin engine manual (ie no AP) TP's for years have 1000's of hours on them.

I had an unrestricted FI rating as well.

My MEP is out since I started flying TP's.

Similar to most FI's who went to airlines I have about 50 hours twin time but none of it PIC.

To be able to become a CRI on MEP which is required to be an instrument instructor on them I would have to build 30 hours PIC time on MEP which is over 10 grand. So for anyone wanting to go down your route its getting on for 20k in ratings and hour building for a commercial pilot with over 5000 hours commercial flying.

For a FI who has come to the conclusion that they will never fly airlines or it just doesn't interest them your talking 40k for building 110-150 (depends on how many hours you can claim with your IR training) hours in a IFR single, 30 hours in a twin (IFR and PIC), CRI MEP, IRI. If you don't already have a FI that's another 7k. You would be virtually unemployable if you just tried to go straight to IRI, CRI MEP without commercial experience just by hour building.
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 08:24
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The whole thing has become a bit of a nightmare for us in recruitment terms. I need Multi IR Instructors in Spain but we can't find suitable candidates. Basic FI are ten a penny, especially restricted ones but getting people who meet he requirements to teach CPL, ME and IR as well as have real experience good enough to teach the subject is not easy.

Guys teaching the for the basic PPL can't get the IFR flight time needed without going and renting or being paid to fly under IFR so are just stuck in the hold.

I would have rubbed my hands in glee at one time as I get sim much multi, CPL IR training work but my day job like MJ is flying a turboprop and there is not enough of me to go around!!!

Despite my recruitment needs, I would advise anyone thinking of going into Instruction to think carefully about the reward and return against the investment. You are never going to get the money back and you are always going to be on the bread line unless you can get a position in the high levels of training which are hard to come by.
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 08:27
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If you can say Bose what are the current pay rates for CPL ME IR instructors?
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 14:37
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If memory serves me right the pay is about 45 per hours for ME-IR Instruction. I would need to check the specifics as that's company stuff rather than Head of Training stuff.
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 15:08
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I'm quite amazed at the price paid for ME-IR instructor.

For 45 euro not many people will go and teach for a such expensive rating!

Where I work in europe, the price for CPL, IR instruction is 60 euro and ME and ME IR is 80 euro...

The PPL are paid 40
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 15:38
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45 euro an hour isn't that bad depending what is actually paid for.

If its 6 hours billable a day it works out for a 5 day week at just over 5000 euro. And you don't ever have to see the wrong side of 6 am again.

If you consider a whizz air 737 Captain is on 3500 euro's a month.
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 17:31
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Becoming an FI

Slr737

Which country do you work in if you don't mind saying? Seems the pay there is better than UK
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 18:35
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Belgium.

However we have enough FI what is missing is FI for CPL and FI qualified as IRI and/or CRI

Think france is about the same range of price.

Mind you tax is high in Belgium but with a good accountant you can keep a big part of it.
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 18:59
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Mad Jock,

Where did you get 5000 from? - Not a criticism, just wondering if i've missed something.

If it was 6 hours pay per day, over 5 days it would equal 1350.

Which equates to 70,200 PA or 5850 per month (If it's monthly pay that is!).
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 19:07
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Sorry that was a month. And you won`t be doing 6 hours every day.

The problem with being paid by the hour is wx, tech issues and lack of students.

So you can`t expect the amounts you have worked out. It also depends how they charge is it just logged sim or aircraft time or briefings as well. 4 hours "flying" could very well be 9 hours in the office. So that would drop your figure by alot
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 20:40
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Originally Posted by mad_jock View Post
To be able to become a CRI on MEP which is required to be an instrument instructor on them I would have to build 30 hours PIC time on MEP which is over 10 grand. So for anyone wanting to go down your route its getting on for 20k in ratings and hour building for a commercial pilot with over 5000 hours commercial flying.

For a FI who has come to the conclusion that they will never fly airlines or it just doesn't interest them your talking 40k for building 110-150 (depends on how many hours you can claim with your IR training) hours in a IFR single, 30 hours in a twin (IFR and PIC), CRI MEP, IRI. If you don't already have a FI that's another 7k. You would be virtually unemployable if you just tried to go straight to IRI, CRI MEP without commercial experience just by hour building.
If I were a holder of the FAA CPL, IR and MEP, would I be allowed to hour build in FAA-land?
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