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Flight Instructor Lesson Plans

Posted by on April 6, 2009 5 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog

filph-160One of the great things I love about having an aviation website / blog  is the people I get to meet as a result of the site. One such individual is Edwin Quinlan.

I received a question about 6 months ago from a CFI candidate looking for a lesson plan template that he could use during his CFI training and subsequently with his student pilots once he became an instructor. As soon as I received his question, I reached for my copy of the ‘Flight Instructor Lesson Plan Handbook” by Ed Quinlan. I’ve been using this book for many years as a source for developing my lesson plans and training flights. The Flight Instructor Lesson Plan Handbook provides a detailed lesson plan for each FAA required maneuver and procedure. Besides the very thorough lesson plans, Mr. Quinlan also has an extensive reference section in the back of the book that covers sample CFI endorsements, BFR Flight Review Outline, Stall and Spin Awareness Training and a host of other supplements and training outlines. Simply put, it is the BEST reference and guide book that I have ever found for flight instructors.  The book is  currently sold out, but I’ll get back to that in a second.

So back to the question, I picked up my copy of the book to see if I could develop an Excel / Word flight instructor lesson plan template based on the lesson plans provided in this book. After I finished my lesson plan template, I thought I’d better be safe and email the author to ask his permission if I could distribute the template on askacfi.com. I found an email address for Mr. Quinlan and fired off that email.

To sum this up, I received a reply from Mr. Quinlan and not only did he give permission to distribute my digital lesson plan template, but we started a conversation that led to me being allowed to have other products from Aviators Publishing available for sale on the pilot shop page on askacfi.com.  Some of these products are aviation rugs, flight instructor hats, flight instructor glasses and flight instructor t-shirts.  Be sure to bookmark the pilot shop page, as I continue to add more fine products from Aviators Publishing.

I recently had breakfast with Ed and during our conversation I asked Ed for further permission to take 4 of his fully developed lesson plans from the Flight Instructor’s Lesson Plan Handbook and distribute them in PDF format for those who subscribe to the Aviators Publishing newsletter. I was very happy when he said “Yes”.

So now I present to you 4 completely developed lesson plans by Ed Quinlan:

  1. Eights-On-Pylons Lesson Plan
  2. Power-Off 180° Accuracy Approach and Landing Lesson Plan
  3. Steep Spirals Lesson Plan
  4. Turns Around a Point Lesson Plan

To really understand the amount of work that went into developing these lesson plans, you just have to download and print these off.  These lesson plans follow the format prescribed by that FAA.  Each of these lesson plans includes the following:

  • Schedule – estimated time allocation
  • Equipment – all instructional materials and training aids
  • Objective – purpose or reason of the lesson
  • Elements – the blocks of knowledge and skills which will be necessary for the fulfillment of the objectives
  • Common Errors – a list, by task, of more than 500 common errors experienced by student pilots
  • Instructor’s Actions – proposed instructor procedures utilizing the demonstration-performance method of teaching
  • Pilot’s (student) Actions – the desired student’s responses to instruction
  • Completion Standards – the basis for determining how well the applicant has learned the objective of the lesson
  • References – additional information or explanation

The book that these lesson plans come from has received GLOWING reviews from just about everybody: AOPA, Sporty’s, Flying Magazine, countless flight instructors and even the FAA!  All you have to do to get your copy of these premium lesson plans is sign up for the Aviators Publishing newsletter.  And I’ll be honest, the purpose of the newsletter is pretty simple: to notify you when the much anticipated second revision of the Flight Instructor Lesson Plan Handbook is back in print! This new revision and it’s release are scheduled for the Fall of 2009.

I have provided a low-quality screenshot from one of the lesson plans, just so you can get a taste of the amount of staggering work and content that is contained within each lesson plan.  The amount of time that went into each lesson plan is truly mind-blowing.  The quality and thoroughness cannot be duplicated.

Visit Aviators Publishing.com today and sign up for the newsletter to get free Flight Instructor Lesson Plan Templates.

Eights on Pylon Lesson

Eights on Pylon Lesson Plan


  1. Best of the Web | Golf Hotel Whiskey on Apr 12, 2009

    […] / Word Flight Instructor Lesson Plan Templates. On a related note, Paul of AskaCFI.com was given permission by Edwin Quinlan, the author of “Flight Instructor Lesson Plan Handbook,” […]

  2. Fred on Jul 13, 2010

    RE: Flight Instructor Lesson Plans
    “I picked up my copy of the book to see if I could develop an Excel / Word flight instructor lesson plan template based on the lesson plans provided in this book. ”

    Did you develop this template? If so, could I have access to it?



  3. Shannon on Jan 05, 2011

    I’ve heard that Ed’s book is a great resource. Did you ask him why the book isn’t being published anymore, or where one could be bought?

  4. Paul Tocknell on Jan 05, 2011

    I can testify that yes, Ed’s book is a great resource. I talk to Ed weekly, and I can tell you that he is one of the most passionate flight instructors I have ever met. He has a love of aviation that is truly inspiring. As far as when or if the book will be published again, you’ll have to ask him: http://www.aviatorspublishing.com (all I can say is “Stay Tuned….”)

  5. Flight Lessons on Jun 01, 2011

    Great post I’ll definitely check it out.

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