The sky is clear, and the wind is calm. The sun has just set, leaving the sky burning red towards the west and pitch black in the east covered with stars. As we climb out of Västerås airport, we take a moment just to admire the view, and boy it’s a good one!
This is one of many advantages of being a Flight Instructor, you will enjoy fantastic views, improve your flying skills and have great fun at the same time. But the best thing is the variation that comes with the job. You can either work full time as a Flight Instructor, combine it with your airline job (or any other job) or studies. There is a lot of possibilities that lies ahead if you choose to become a flight instructor.
Besides giving a student instructions on what to do and how they should do it in the aircraft, you will follow them on their dream to become a pilot. When you see they finally understand how they should do in a specific situation or manoeuvre, causing "the wow-effect", it’s just amazing.
It may not only be in the aircraft the "wow-effect" arises. As a Flight Instructor, you will probably have some classroom teaching in a theory subject. Perhaps you remember maths from your time in school? When you finally cracked the code on how you should do to get it right, how happy you were? The same phenomenon applies to aviation theory. Here you have the chance to give someone the possibility to understand the code on how things work or how they should think to get it right, causing the "wow-effect". I guarantee, you will definitely smile when seeing someone experience the "wow-effect".
When you have decided to become a Flight Instructor, you have to apply to a training course. After you have completed your training and become a Flight Instructor, you have the possibility to start working full time or besides your other job or studies as a Flight Instructor.
Read more about Alexandras journey to become a flight instructor here!
If you decide to go all in and work as a Flight Instructor full time, there are several steps you can take to gain more privileges and instruct for several ratings. First step for a new Flight Instructor is to instruct students during the first phase of training, so basically lay the foundation for their basic aircraft handing. You will instruct them on how to turn, climb, descend, perform steep turns, navigate by map, how to land and further on.
After you have gained a bit more experience, you can become an Instrument Rating Instructor (IRI), and start to instruct students during Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)-training, such as how to perform different holdings, precision approaches and following SID/STARS.
Opportunities with Experience
With increasing experience, you can take the rating to become an Flight Instructor-Instructor (FI-I), so you can instruct Flight Instructor students. You also have the possibility to take the Class Rating Instructor (CRI) rating to give instruction on multi-engine aircrafts. If you are working for an airliner, you can become an Type-Rating Instructor (TRI) and work with type-ratings, or if you have experience you can become an Multi Crew Cooperation Instructor (MCC-I), and work with MCC training.
We shall not forget that after experience as a Flight Instructor, it will be possible to become a skill test examiner or type-rating examiner. The list of possibilities is long when you start working as a Flight Instructor!
Increase your value as a Pilot
When working as a Flight Instructor, you are the pilot in command of the flight, which will give you the attractive Pilot In Command (PIC)-hours, which is needed when it is your time to take the next step to become a captain within commercial air transportation. Sure, some airliners have Pilot In Command Under Supervision (PICUS)-programs, but some do not have it. And all experience is good experience, right?
As you are building hours, you will also gain a lot of experience and improve your flying skills. This is the fun part of the job, you can see how your skills are improving and that you become a better pilot, skills you can use no matter where you work as a pilot.
By becoming a Flight Instructor, you will be more attractive on the job-market as you will have more privileges on your certificate combined with valuable experience. If you have an airline job, you will be able to become a TRI after receiving you FI rating and with correct experience, which will make you more valuable for your employer.
👉 Want to become a Certified Flight Instructor at our base in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA? Read more here.
How you become a Flight Instructor
So, how can you become a Flight Instructor? To start with, you need to have a valid flight certificate and a SEP (Single Engine Piston) rating, with minimum 30 hours on a SEP, of which minimum 5 hours shall be within the last 6 months. Different courses may have different prerequisites, so you have to check that you are qualified for the course.
If you fulfill the prerequisites, we here at OSM Aviation Academy will invite you to our screening process, which consists of 3 stages. First stage are computer tests, second is an interview where you shall hold a theory lesson for an instructor, and the final step is a practical flight, where your flying skills will be assessed. You must pass the previous stage of the screening process before you can move on the next one. If you are successful, we will offer you to start your training with us.