Certified Flight Instructor, Instruments – Airplane

Becoming a Certified Flight Instructor – Instruments (CFII) allows you to teach the use of instruments to students, in addition to staying current on your instrument flying. Being a CFII makes you more versatile and valuable to any prospective employer.

To be eligible to become a Certified Flight Instructor – Instruments, a person must:

  • Hold at least a Commercial Pilot Certificate
  • Hold a current Instrument Rating
  • Obtain at least 3 hours of airplane instruction and any necessary as to be proficient to pass the FAA flight examination
  • Obtain at least 15 hours as Pilot in Command
  • Pass FAA knowledge and practical examinations

Average course completion time: 1-3 weeks


§61.183 Eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for a flight instructor certificate or rating a person must:

(a) Be at least 18 years of age;

(b) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant’s flight instructor certificate as are necessary;

(c) Hold either a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate with:

 (1) An aircraft category and class rating that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and

 (2) An instrument rating, or privileges on that person’s pilot certificate that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought, if applying for—

  (i) A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating;

  (ii) A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and multiengine class rating;

  (iii) A flight instructor certificate with a powered-lift rating; or

  (iv) A flight instructor certificate with an instrument rating.

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the fundamentals of instructing listed in §61.185 of this part appropriate to the required knowledge test;

(e) Pass a knowledge test on the areas listed in §61.185(a)(1) of this part, unless the applicant:

 (1) Holds a flight instructor certificate or ground instructor certificate issued under this part;

 (2) Holds a teacher’s certificate issued by a State, county, city, or municipality that authorizes the person to teach at an educational level of the 7th grade or higher; or

 (3) Is employed as a teacher at an accredited college or university.

(f) Pass a knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.185(a)(2) and (a)(3) of this part that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;

(g) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in §61.187(b) of this part, appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;

(h) Pass the required practical test that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought in an:

 (1) Aircraft that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the aircraft rating sought; or

 (2) Flight simulator or approved flight training device that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the rating sought, and used in accordance with a course at a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter.

  (i) Accomplish the following for a flight instructor certificate with an airplane or a glider rating:

 (1) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor indicating that the applicant is competent and possesses instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures after providing the applicant with flight training in those training areas in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins; and

 (2) Demonstrate instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures. However, upon presentation of the endorsement specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this section an examiner may accept that endorsement as satisfactory evidence of instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures for the practical test, provided that the practical test is not a retest as a result of the applicant failing the previous test for deficiencies in the knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures. If the retest is a result of deficiencies in the ability of an applicant to demonstrate knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures, the examiner must test the person on stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery instructional procedures in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins;

(j) Log at least 15 hours as pilot in command in the category and class of aircraft that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and

(k) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the flight instructor rating sought.