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
prepare all of our Commercial applicants to the higher CFI
A Flight Instructor Rating allows you to give training and
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
Recency of experience requirement for a practical test or a
Log all flight time as pilot-in-command while acting as an
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.
Be at least 18 years of age at the time of your FAA examination.
Hold a Commercial Pilot Helicopter Certificate or ATP
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.
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.
FAA Certified Flight Instructor Aeronautical Experience
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
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
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
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
Class II Medical Certificate.