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Certified Flight Instructor

Certified Flight Instructor Course

The Certified Flight Instructor Rotorcraft/Helicopter course is taught using our Certified Flight Instructor Helicopter for Part 141 and Part 61 Certification. The course is highly structured and gives a detailed, step by step guide for the Student and Instructor to succesfully complete the course at or very close to the FAA minimum ground & flight times.

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Privileges and Limitations

A CFI “Rating” is not a license in and of itself. A CFI rating may be added to an existing Commercial Pilot License or ATP license only. It allows the pilot to instruct ground school and provide flight instruction to student pilots.

Most helicopter pilots begin their careers by working as flight instructors. In order to give instruction in any aircraft you must hold a qualification as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). We strongly recommend that all Commercial students obtain this certificate. Not only is it beneficial to the newly qualified pilot hunting for his or her first job but it is a qualification which can make a difference throughout one’s career. Most large helicopter companies have internal training departments for recurrent training as well as for transitioning pilots into new equipment. These instructor positions are often the most attractive and sought-after jobs in the company.

For students who complete all of their training at Star Helicopters, it is normal to incorporate part of the dual flight instruction into the Commercial Program, hence reducing the program costs. Essentially, we prepare all of our Commercial applicants to the higher CFI standard.

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A Flight Instructor Rating allows you to give training and endorsements for:

  • A student pilot certificate
  • A pilot certificate
  • A flight instructor certificate
  • A ground instructor certificate
  • An aircraft rating
  • An instrument rating (provided you hold a CFII rating)
  • A flight review
  • Operating privileges
  • Recency of experience requirement for a practical test or a knowledge test
  • Log all flight time as pilot-in-command while acting as an authorized instructor

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How Long Will it Take?

The length of time that is required to complete a CFI rating depends largely on your ability, motivation to learn and your proficiency with the English language. Assuming the pilot already has a Commercial Pilot License; it usually takes about three months to complete the CFI rating course if a reasonably full schedule is maintained.

NOTE: The CFI training course requires that the student place much more effort in the ground study portion of the training. For this reason, the total time will vary based on the individual home study effort provided by the student.

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Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of your FAA examination
  • Hold a Commercial Pilot Helicopter Certificate or ATP Certificate
  • Hold an FAA Class II medical certificate
  • Pass two FAA written examinations
  • Fundamentals of Instruction
  • Aeronautical Knowledge test
  • Additional Requirements to Instruct in a Robinson R22-R44:
    • Obtain 200 hours of flight time of which at least 50 hours must be in a Robinson Helicopter
    • Successfully complete the Robinson Factory Safety Course
  • Obtain sufficient dual instruction for proficiency
  • 3 Hours in Preparation of a flight Test
  • Pass an FAA oral and flight test

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FAA Certified Flight Instructor Aeronautical Experience Requirements

There are no true CFI minimum requirements listed by the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s): however, to instruct in the Robinson R22, the pilot must have a minimum of 200 flight hours, with 50 of those hours in a Robinson R22 or R44 and successfully complete the Robinson factory safety course.

While there is no minimum number of flight hours required for the Certified Flight Instructor rating, you can reasonably expect to spend between 10 – 25 hours of flight time necessary to gain proficiency on the advanced maneuvers of the CFI practical test.

Depending on the amount of time you spend self-studying, you can expect to spend between 20 – 40 hours of ground instruction to become proficient for your CFI oral examination.

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Flight Training

In the aircraft, the CFI applicant must learn to cope with a whole new set of challenges. On a simple level, there is the practical issue of flying the helicopter from the instructor’s seat. This is not as easy as it sounds; anyone who has ever had to learn to drive a car with the steering wheel on the “wrong” side can attest to how weird it feels at first.

On a more complex level, the pilot has to learn how to fly the aircraft and simultaneously teach the maneuver. Often this means having to correct a student’s mistakes while calmly explaining the error and the appropriate correction. The pilot is about to go from the position of being a student in the capable hands of a competent instructor to being the person with full responsibility for the safety of the flight. Initially this can be a daunting experience. The Star Helicopters Instructor Program is designed to make the transition to the role of Instructor as seamless as possible.

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Ground School

The subject matter of the CFI Program includes:

  • Preparation of lesson plans and teaching students with varying backgrounds and skills
  • Evaluation of individual student flight programs
  • Effective pre/post flight instruction
  • Analysis and correction of student pilot errors
  • Flight instructor responsibilities and certifying procedures

In the context of the above, each area of aeronautical knowledge is addressed during the one-on-one instruction. Every student has daily teaching-practice assignments, which are then analyzed by the instructor. At the end of each session you will be giving a five minute lecture on a previously assigned aviation subject. These exercises develop confidence in the students, as well as showing the importance of having a very thorough grasp of the subject matter.

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Medical Requirements

Class II Medical Certificate.

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