It’s that time again for me to renew my CFI certificates. I must say that I’m nervous. Not so much as nervous about the material and getting it done, but nervous about how I’m going to fit it into my schedule. Aside from my love of flying, I have a family and a full time business that I must run. My family life is crazy busy to say the least and my company is on the grow so. Not only that, it also requires me to re-certify in my field every so often which I’m in the middle of now.
So, where am I going to find the time? I’ve been renewing online for the last six years and will do so again as it is convenient and there isn’t a live session less than 400 miles from me. In the past, I’ve used Jeppsen’s renewal course (A+ in my opinion). This year I will be trying the new eFIRC from AOPA’s Air Safety Institute. Why? Because I like the idea of being able to start well in advance on my studies and not worrrying about cramming. In fact, you are allowed to start 2 years in advance. I love that idea. I can stay current with continuos, short study sessions, not cram and
It’s hot and DA is up! Plan to lighten the loads on those hot summer months. We are hitting density altitudes of 8,000ft from a 4,200 field elevation here in the Salt Lake City area. Ouch! Ask your self a few questions; “Do I need to take that? Do I need full tanks? Should I schedule morning flights vs mid day flights?” As the density altitude climbs, our air craft’s performance declines so consider all of the factors of performance and weight before you make a “go” decision.
I said this is just for Flight Instructors so stop reading now Private Pilot person! Just kidding, please do read especially if one day you hope to be teaching in the cockpit.
I recently had the experience here in Utah of dealing with the Department of Consumer Affairs. Now this was not a negative experience by all means but a learning experience for me. I hope to pass on this information to help other instructors/future instructors be prepared.
I am a contracted, independent instructor. That means that flight schools, flying clubs, aircraft owners, etc, hire me to teach in their planes. As an instructor, I take my job seriously and therefore professionally as well. Thus I have a LLC entity as my business structure. I also have things that every instructor should have: a specific business email (not a personal one that all my friends have), a website, blog (optional), a dedicated phone number and a business banking account (it’s much harder to write off pilot supplies when you purchase them via your personal account).
Recently the Utah Department of Consumer Affairs sent me a letter thinking I was a flight school that charge tuition and took up front fees. Keep in mind that as I write this, every state may be different on their regulations. They were pleasant to work with and I simply had to fill out an exempt application stating I was not a Part 141 school that accepted payments in advance for training. Here in Utah we have had some shoddy flight schools file bankruptcy and get sued after accepting tens of thousands of students’ loan money and not providing the training they promised.
So in a nut shell, if you are a current CFI or planning on becoming one, check with your local government to see where you would fall under and if you may need to establish your position in the aviation training community.
So one of the things that helps us keep moving is fuel. Yes I know it’s expensive but it is necessary to keep the engine running and thus, keep us from falling out of the sky. Since I’ve been flying, which is not long in many people’s books (10 years), I’ve seen av gas go from around $2.50 per gallon to over $5 here in Utah. Sometimes we don’t want to top off tanks for a number of reasons; weight limits, performance, we’re too poor, but keep one thing in mind, if you can get an extra gallon or two in the tanks without compromising safety or needed performance, wouldn’t that give you peace of mind? Who cares about your pocket-book, if you’re too cheap to add a few extra gallons, then I’d suggest maybe RC planes as I understand they are cheaper and if you crash them, well you are still alive.
Here is a good article from the NTSB, courtesy of Avemco: http://bit.ly/vefzAx
It emphasizes how important fuel is.