Sunday, April 11, 2010

CFI References (or, Can I just put them under my pillow?)

As many of you know, I am not only prepping for AcroCamp, I am also working on my CFI. Like most big projects we have to work on as well as all of the other stuff we have to do, it is going much more slowly than I wanted. However, I do want to get some serious studying done, and some flights in, before I head off for Camp. AcroCamp.

One of my biggest challenges, believe it or not, is figuring what to study. I started putting out requests for the books I would need and someone said I should already have most of them from my initial training. Well, my initial training was in the Army in a helicopter. Doesn't really apply since all my stacks of stuff from the Army still in my basement have to do with transverse flow and effective transitional lift. [Don't ask.]

But here's a really helpful email I got right off the bat:
Get through the written tests first just to get them out of the way. Do your FOI, and AGI but also do your Flight instructor written (I did not realize at first this was a different test than the AGI so I had to go back another day to get the FI test - it's all the same test just with different names.) Once that is out of the way, get the FAA books - Fundamentals of Flight, Fundamentals of Teaching and Airplane Flying Handbook. Also get the private, commercial and CFI PTS books - you will need them all along with a 2010 FAR/AIM. Tab the FAR/AIM so when you hunt for questions, you can find them easily. It was handy for me.
BTW I did take my FOI, Fundamentals of Instruction, but not the other written for Advanced Ground Instructor. And by now, as you may know, they are up from $100 to $150. Procrastination costs, people!!

In addition to the books mentioned above, friends in the twitterverse recommended the following:
@mike_miley Gleim for the written. Kershner for the practical.

@FlyWithMikel FAA-H-8083-3a and private pilot PTS.

Then I posted on Facebook: OK, CFIs, I'm compiling a list of books to order in preparation for my instructor training. I'll start 2010 FAR/AIM, what else?
Cheryl replied: Coffee! [Good idea.]

Gabriel said: Jepp CFI Manual. Flight Instructor PTS. CFI Oral Exam Guide. Gleim CFI / FOI Test Prep Books... I think that's it.

Ana suggested the ASA Instructors handbook.

Amanda added the
-CFI Oral Exam Guide
-CFI PTS (Reference page has list of books/AC's that will be tested on.
-Aviation Instructor's Handbook

And Sylvia said:I've taken a look at the referenced Aviation Instructor's Handbook. I was specifically looking for Human Factors and Behaviors, Psychological Issues, Motivation, Communication techniques etc., and was happy to see these subjects are addressed in the first three sections. You're going to do very well, Lynda.

Robert: The FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook and Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Rodger joked:If I ever wrote a book about my CFI days, I'd call it "Right Rudder, Right Rudder....." :)

Jenny offered to hire me: Yeah! When you are a CFI you can give me a lesson.

and Heather added these tips: I use the ASA instructors hand book down here in oz, very worth while having!!! Also keep a small note pad in your shirt pocket for writing down handy things!!

Are you confused by all of the above acronyms? Frankly, I was too. I have a very good friend that is a CFI that I took shopping with me (On amazon). I ended up ordering the Oral exam guide and Practical Test Standards (PTS) for the Private, Commercial, and Flight Instructor. Also: The Airplane Flying Handbook. A new FAR/AIM. Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge: FAA-H-8083-25A (FAA Handbooks). Aviation Instructor's Handbook and The Savvy Flight Instructor: Secrets of the Successful CFI.

So I am of the opinion that getting the books was half the battle. I had another friend lend me the CFI study guide, so that is what I am trying to work through now so I can take the tests on Friday (I've sent a message to my CFI to let him know I want to schedule it - this procrastination thing needs a kick in the pants). Another battle is fighting the fact that my neighbor ground down a tree stump and was giving away all the mulch. Instead of studying yesterday, I worked on my lawn (c'mon, I couldn't beat the price and it was a limited time offer!).

Again, a lot of this stuff in these books I knew YEARS ago, and have forgotten. Some of it, like the maneuvers, I never learned. But I don't think the book work will be that tough if I just hunker down! So I also let my instructor know that I want to start flying next week after I take the writtens. I have, effectively, three weeks until AcroCamp, and there's no way I want to show up there without some proficiency in a single engine. The last thing I want to have to worry about is basic SE aircraft knowledge.

And of course, the build up to Oshkosh is only going to make things busier. I am still targeting a rating or two before then (CFI and II, perhaps - maybe not MEI).

This is a good time to mention that I have launched a membership drive (yes, in addition to all of this other stuff!); I want to get 1058 members of Girls With Wings by Oshkosh on July 26th - our booth number is 1058. Please visit to sign up. The memberships start at free, but the other levels support our educational programs and scholarships. Thank you.

But all of this blogging is not getting me closer to studying - not by a long shot. So I must close this blog post and hit the books. As always, comments and tips are appreciated.

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