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7 Answers

Minimum “check ride prep” time for CFII

Asked by: 1207 views , ,
FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor, Instrument Rating


 I hold a CFII  Fixed wing and am adding CFII helicopter.

 the DPE that the school recomeded told my instructor i am required to have 3 hours of check ride prep.

 I believe this is in error....but obliviously want to be respect full to the DPE...Can any of you show me in the regs where i either am or am not required to have this?

 I am of the opinion there is no min training time prior to my CFII's recommendation and this is what AOPA told me as well.  

 I appreciate your experience and input.


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7 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Kris Kortokrax on Jan 15, 2017

    The DPE is wrong. 61.187 contains no hour requirements at all for any CFI rating. 61.109, 61.129 and 61.65 all contain a specific requirement for 3 hours of checkride prep, but there is no similar requirement for flight instructors.

    61.39 does contain a requirement for some training within the preceding 2 calendar months, but there is no number of hours specified.

    If push comes to shove, contact your local FSDO and have the DPE’s POI (Principal Operations Inspector) set him straight.

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  2. Pietro Bisonni on Jan 16, 2017

    Are you sure you want proceed with a Checkride without a minimum of hours before checkride ,with or without 3 hours I strongly suggest be ready and not less than 3 hours as it is already difficult any checkride

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Jan 16, 2017

    The most difficult thing about a CFI practical test is the ground portion. People can’t teach. They show up with a canned set of lesson plans that the have bought or downloaded from the internet and are not familiar with them. They present the information and do nothing to make sure that the information was understood, other than to ask “Do you have any questions?” They know nothing about how to prepare a lesson plan, since they have acquired them instead of having developed them.
    They fail to study tasks that are listed as mandatory in the PTS, such as endorsements.

    The real prep work for a CFI practical test is the ground study which most people blow off. They go practice flight maneuvers and think that will be enough. They also show up with 3 hours of flight prep and just that 3 hours (although there is no need for 3 hours) that was done 2 months ago and is legal, but not wise. They show up with 5 or 8 hours total time in the plane they are planning to use for the test (yea, it is expensive, but how expensive is it to have to go through several attempts to pass it?)

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  4. vertol on Jan 16, 2017


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  5. vertol on Jan 16, 2017

    I appreciate the concern about preparedness…however having given over 2200 hrs of dual and being an active part 135 SPIFR captain, in the IFR system on every flight ….I am not too concerned about my ability to teach….and if you look at the pts ( I would not have expected anyone too as its not relivent to ans this question) as an instrument instructor ADD ON to an existing IA certificate….I have to demonstrate / teach 1 approach….either precision or non precision….

    I flew 1 hr with my recommending CFII and he was more than happy to endorse me for the check ride but told me the DPE required 3 hrs….

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  6. Bill Zaleski on Jan 18, 2017

    61.39 (6) is conditional, and states “if required by this part”. 61.185 does not require a recency endorsement. The 8710 does not expire for instructor applicants.

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  7. Kris Kortokrax on Jan 19, 2017

    61.39(e) contains the cases in which 61.39(a)(6) is not required. Flight Instructor applicants are not include in that list. 61.39(a)(6) contains a list of all things that must be endorsed. It is not an “or” list. It is an “and” list.

    AC-61-65F page 13 (which deals with CFI endorsements) contains the following language:

    “NOTE: The endorsement for a practical test is required in addition to the § 61.39 endorsements provided in endorsements 1 and 2.”

    The 61.39 endorsement is required for CFI applicants.

    Order 8900.2 Chapter 7, Section 2, paragraph 22 d2 contains the following language:

    “For practical tests which require an authorized instructor’s endorsement (per § 61.39(a)(6)), an appropriately rated and qualified instructor must complete and sign the Instructor’s Recommendation section. The designee must verify that the required aeronautical experience/flight training has been logged within the 60 calendar-days preceding the date of application.”

    The following language appears on the back of 8710-1 next to the Recommendation block:

    “I have personally instructed the applicant and consider this person ready to take the test.”

    If you believe that the 8710-1 does not expire, try showing up for a practical test with an 8710-1 that was completed 5 years earlier.

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