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8 Answers

What are the pros and cons of as CFII initial

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General Aviation

Dear follow pilots, Can anybody tell me what are the pros and cons of obtaining the CFII as the initial instructor rating instead of the CFI rating first? Thanks in advance for your time.

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8 Answers



  1. Mark Kolber on Sep 15, 2013

    Con: not being able to teach anything other than ground school.

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  2. Lion on Sep 15, 2013

    Thanks mark…so what you are saying CFII = IGI?

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  3. Mark Kolber on Sep 15, 2013

    Kinda. Once upon a time, the FAA permitted CFIs with only a CFI-I to teach instruments in an aircraft without also having a CFI-A, so long as the CFII had the appropriate aircraft rating on his or her commercial certificate. There was actually some controversy about this withing the FAA.

    Finally, in 2009, the FAA did a small change to 61.195 which was followed shortly by this Chief Counsel letter: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2010/grayson-2%20-%20(2010)%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

    Whether you want to consider it as equal to an instrument ground instructor or not, the bottom line is that, without the appropriate aircraft rating on the CFI certificate, one can’t provide “flight training.”

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  4. Matthew Waugh on Sep 15, 2013

    The pro is that it’s arguably an easier check ride, which if you’re doing your initial with the FAA is seen as an advantage.
    Mark points out the con, but if you’re going to go straight on and do you CFI then no harm, no foul.
    A lot of the instructor mills do it in that order.

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  5. Lion on Sep 16, 2013

    Thanks Matthew…your comment was very helpfull..so it is easier and better to do the cfii first if I will continue and add-on the cfi (this is my plan)….but this lead me to another question..why do you think it is easier to do the cfii checkride first compared to the cfi checkride…isn’t the initial checkride, be it cfii or cfi, is harder than the add-on…your feedback will be highly appreciated…

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  6. Matthew Waugh on Sep 16, 2013

    I think the perception is that the list of Tasks required for the CFI-I is shorter and they are easier to perform than the maneuvers for the CFI.
    There’s the alternative view that ready for a check ride is ready for a check ride regardless of who conducting the check. But a number of people/organizations think it’s the way to go.

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  7. Mark Kolber on Sep 17, 2013

    I’ve heard it’s a combination of what Mat says and, maybe more importantly, a perception that since the applicant already has a CFI certificate, the practical test for the addition of an aircraft rating is easier than the one given when the original CFI ride involves an aircraft rating.

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  8. ccwebb on Sep 17, 2013

    I like to use the CFI-I as the inital because the applicant can save A LOT of money if they have access to a Flight Training Device.

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