Becoming a certified flight instructor (CFI) can be a great way to build flight time and gain experience as a pilot. Many aspiring airline pilots choose to become CFIs in order to gain the flight hours and experience required for an airline job or an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. Here are a few reasons why:
Flight Time: One of the main benefits of becoming a CFI is the opportunity to build flight time. As a CFI, you will be able to log flight time as a pilot in command and as a flight instructor, which can help you meet the flight time requirements for an airline job or an ATP certificate.
Experience: Becoming a CFI also provides an opportunity to gain experience flying different types of aircraft, in different weather conditions, and with different types of students. This experience can be valuable when applying for an airline job or an ATP certificate.
Networking: As a CFI, you will have the opportunity to work with other pilots and instructors, which can be a great way to expand your professional network. This can be particularly beneficial if you're looking for an airline job or an ATP certificate.
Flexibility: Being a CFI allows you to be flexible with your hours, so you can build your hours while still having time for other things in your life.
You'd be following a well-traveled flight plan. Using a CFI rating as a launchpad for your airline career follows in the footsteps of thousands of pilots like Hanna:
As a brand new first officer at a modern airline, I can hardly believe that I've reached this point in my career. It feels like just yesterday that I was a student pilot, dreaming of one day sitting in the right seat of a commercial jet. But here I am, living that dream, and I have to say that my experience as a certified flight instructor (CFI) played a big role in preparing me for this job.
Being a CFI allowed me to build my flight hours and gain experience in a variety of different aircrafts and weather conditions. As a CFI, I was able to log flight time as a pilot in command and as a flight instructor, which helped me meet the flight time requirements for my airline pilot job. But it wasn't just about building flight time, it was about gaining experience in different types of flying situations and learning how to teach and communicate effectively with my students.
As a CFI, I also had the opportunity to work with other pilots and instructors, which was a great way to expand my professional network and learn from more experienced pilots. And the flexibility of being a CFI allowed me to balance building my hours with other commitments in my life.
When I applied for my airline pilot job, I knew that I had the flight hours and experience that they were looking for, but I also knew that my experience as a CFI had prepared me in other ways. I was able to demonstrate my ability to handle different types of flying situations, to communicate effectively, and to work well in a team.
I'm grateful for the experience that I gained as a CFI, and I feel that it truly prepared me for my airline pilot job. And I'm excited to continue to grow and learn as a professional pilot.