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8 Things I Learned In My First 8 Hours Of Flight Instructing

You learn a lot in your first few hours of instructing...

1) Double check everything your students do.

It's not that you don't trust them, but that they're learning new things they've never done before.

It's important to crosscheck everything your student does. Verify that items on the checklist are being completed, and not just being read out loud. The most important items, like verifying fuel and oil quantities before each flight, should never be overlooked.


2) Efficiency is important.

Having back-to-back launches means you need to make sure your pre/post briefs are as complete as the flights themselves.

Thomas van de Weerd

3) What makes sense to you, may not make sense to your student.

The biggest roadblock in communication is the lack of common experience between you and your student. Getting used to explaining things at a skill level that you aren't used to can be difficult.

Geoffrey Gallaway

4) Planning can be a challenge.

It can feel a bit overwhelming making sure your schedule agrees with your student's schedule, making sure you are meeting deadlines for your student, aircraft availability is open, and finally, making sure the weather works for your flights.


5) Be patient.

Your student probably won't perform within PTS/ACS standards the first time you show them a maneuver, and they probably won't for a while. It's certainly something that takes patience - keep working with them and reassuring them, and they'll make it to standards before you know it.

Aleksander Markin

6) You're working at 110%

You're teaching your student how to fly, while also performing multiple tasks like monitoring aircraft systems, navigating, watching for weather, taking radio calls, making sure lesson objectives are being met, managing time, looking for other traffic, etc.


7) When the aircraft door closes, you're on your own.

When you're completing your flight training, you have a CFI to rely on. As soon as you become an instructor, you'll have a student eagerly waiting for you to guide them through their flight training. It's your responsibility to know where to start, and how you're going to get them from point A to point B.

Tomas Del Coro

8) Confidence is key.

Nothing makes a CFI more credible than being confident and having a positive attitude. It gives your student reassurance that they're with the right CFI for their flight training.

And just as important, if you don't know the answer to something, don't make it up. Work with your student to find the answer. They'll have even more confidence that you're interested in them succeeding in their flight training.

Corey Komarec

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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