Road to FI - Preparations and self-study| 6 minutes read, 1215 words
Sharing the joy of aviation with others are probably my favorite part of this wonderful activity. And I have for a while dreamt about being able to teach others to fly. I have talked about it with my wife, and my instructor, several times. And now I’m at the point where I have completed most of the prerequisites for the FI(A) training. I only need a little more than 4 hours of dual instrument, and then I have all of it.
To quote myself from last year:
Have also realized that I like to share knowledge with others, so I hope that I one day have learnt enough about flying to be able to teach it to others.
It’s time to do it.
My intention is to share my experience here, just as I have done with all my previous training, and share as much information as I can along the way.
According to Part-FCL.915.FI, the prerequisites for starting the FI training is:
An applicant for an FI certificate shall:
(a) in the case of the FI(A) and FI(H):
(1) have received at least 10 hours of instrument flight instruction on the appropriate aircraft category, of which not more than 5 hours may be instrument ground time in an FSTD;
(2) have completed 20 hours of VFR cross-country flight on the appropriate aircraft category as PIC; and
(b) additionally, for the FI(A):
(1) hold at least a CPL(A); or
(2) hold at least a PPL(A) and have:
(i) except for an FI(A) providing training for the LAPL(A) only, passed the CPL theoretical knowledge examination, which may be taken without completing a CPL theoretical knowledge training course and which shall not be valid for the issue of a CPL; and
(i) completed at least 200 hours of flight time on aeroplanes or TMGs, of which 150 hours as PIC;
(3) have completed at least 30 hours on single-engine piston powered aeroplanes of which at least 5 hours shall have been completed during the 6 months preceding the pre-entry flight test set out in FCL.930.FI(a);
(4) have completed a VFR cross-country flight as PIC, including a flight of at least 540 km (300 NM) in the course of which full stop landings at 2 different aerodromes shall be made;
The training consists of:
- A pre-entry flight test, of minimum one hour
- 25 hours of teaching and learning
- At least 100 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction, including progress tests
- At least 30 hours of flight instruction, of which 25 hours shall be dual flight instruction
My five step plan
There are basically five steps I have to complete on my way to becoming a flight instructor:
- Study the CPL theory
- Pass the theory exams
- Do the remaining dual instrument training
- Complete and pass FI training
- Complete and pass local training in the flying club
The order isn’t necessarily fixed, but it makes sense to start working on the theory right away.
I have started looking at where to do the actual training, and what I have to do before I get that far. More about that in a later post, when I know more myself.
Since I don’t want to be limited to teaching LAPL-students only, I need to take the CPL theory exams. However, since I don’t plan on getting the CPL, I can do the exams as a private candidate.
From the Norwegian CAA:
Candidates who will take CPL examinations for issue of FI (Flight instructor) in accordance with FCL.915.FI(b)(2)(i) or FCL.915.FI(c)(2) may register as a private examination candidate.
You can take the theoretical exams in any EASA member state, for me it is probably easiest to just take the exams in Norway. So I have already submitted the NF-1139 E Registration for the theoretical exam.
I have also read somewhere on either the CAA page or in the EASA docs that the theory will never expire when you do it like this, but you can’t use it for CPL later either. Which is fine by me.
I mostly have all the aviation gear I need, but the CPL theory did require me to get the Jeppesen Student Pilot Route GSPRM. I also got a used Jeppesen CR-3 from Finn.no, and a set of old ATPL books for free (only had to pay for shipping).
My dedicated aviation-iPad can do more than only navigation, it is also perfect for storing books and running exam training.
I have spent a significant amount of time researching aviation schools and available courses. Generally, there are no CPL theory books available. Only ATPL. And the few CPL courses that are, are all very expensive.
I did however find one alternative, that looked promising enough for me to eventually just go for it. The Evionica CBT Aviation Course CPL(A) cost me EUR 677, and give me 18 month access to a gamified computer based training module.
The gamification part is a lot more helpful than I thought it would be. Each subject is divided into chapters, and each chapter has a test. This make it easy to track progress, which is very helpful. The theory is hard, and it would probably be a lot easier to just fall behind and give up if I didn’t have any system to help me keep track of where I am.
The CBT consists of a series of slides, with audio and animations, making it easier to follow and understand the content. The bite-sized slides feels a lot better than the wall of text I had to go through for the PPL exams. As long as I never get to know the total number of slides I have left…
To keep track of my overall progress, make a rough plan, and take notes when working on the CBT, I use a notebook in Notion.
Aviationexam is probably the most known exam preparation app in Europe, and that’s why I purchased a subscription for it last year during the Black Friday week.
I now use it daily, or at least try to. It’s interesting to see how my average score increases dramatically after I have completed parts of the CBT mentioned above.
The hardest part is probably going to be learning how to read the questions, because some of them doesn’t make any sense at all. And some have multiple answers which could be right, depending on how you look at them.
I plan on reading through relevant parts in the books I got for free, as much of what’s in there are just as relevant now as when they were new. Clouds are still clouds. I also intend to find some nice YouTube channels I can watch, to help make the difficult parts stick better. The free Ultimate Flight Computer Course 2022 also looks promising.
Now it’s out there
I can tell myself a million reasons why I can’t do this, which is why I’m going to work hard to focus on the reasons why I can.
The main goal of this blog has always been to inspire, and help make information accessible. A tertiary goal is to help push myself. This is going to be hard. So feel free to leave some encouraging words in a comment!