Welcome to CFI Notebook!

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Becoming a Pilot

  • There are many resources available to you if you wish to learn more about becoming a pilot
  • Researching on the internet, as you may be doing now, will help answer questions and helps you build the foundation for informed questions for your flight instructor
  • Once you are ready to talk to someone you'll want to will want to find a school by:
  • As an alternative to a formal school, you may be able to search for a private Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
  • Your instructor is there to help you grow from a novice into a capable, confident and safe aviator worthy of earning a pilot certificate
  • On your journey, you will need to learn several topics which start in the Flight Training section of the notebook project
    • It is important to note that our goal is to augment learning while saving you time and money
    • While CFI Notebook is confident with the material presented on this website, we are no substitute for competent instruction provided by a CFI
  • Once you are ready to take your practical exam you will likely have an FAA flight examiner who is recommended by your flight school, but if not, you can find a designee online

Refresh or Continue Building Skills:

Become an Instructor:

First Flight in F/A-18

My Story:

  • With few exceptions, aviation is one of those burning desires you are either born with or not. Most people know they want to fly from a very young age., According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 50,000+ people are issued one or more certificates, from student to airline transport, by the age of 24.

  • I am one of those 50,000, having started at the age of 12. My first flight started as a simple ride for my birthday. Upon showing up at the airport, my dad realized that an upgrade to a lesson from a ride differed by what I remember to be a mere 5 or 10 dollars. I knew from that day forward, I was going to learn to fly, but like most 12-year-olds, I was too busy with school and Legos® to take it seriously. I went for lessons about once a month, far too infrequent to learn how to operate an aircraft. I became very discouraged at my lack of progress and took several months off, over a year.

  • As I began to mature and at the age of 15, I decided to take a more serious stance on earning my private pilot license. Monthly flights became weekly, which became biweekly. I had completed my first solo at the age of 16, and after turning 17, I was beginning to feel the anxiety of that check-ride, which I never thought was coming. After an exhausting amount of time, effort, and stress, I passed my check-ride and was able to call myself a private pilot.

  • From there on out, I had achieved my goal of becoming a pilot but ran out of ideas going forward. I graduated high school, and I flew only now and again. Most flights would be preceded by a currency flight before I was legal to take passengers. I went off to community college and effectively slumped in my aviation career.

  • Due to a series of life events, I decided I wanted to expand on my goals. I wanted every flight to be as routine as possible rather than having to fight through the rust each time I flew. I knew money was an issue, so I eventually figured I would make a career of it, to get paid to fly. I achieved this goal by attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). I joined the local Air Force ROTC to try to earn a scholarship and join the military as a pilot. After four years of trying and constant rejection from the Department of Defense for a kidney surgery I had, I had my shot. The United States Marine Corps offered me a flight contract, and I took it.

  • After earning my Private, Multi, Instrument, Commercial (single and multi), and CFI/II at ERAU, I joined the Marines and became a Naval Aviator.  More recently, I earned my private pilot glider rating and tailwheel endorsement.

  • All of this said, I am not the most experienced aviator that has taken to the skies and never will be. CFI Notebook is, therefore, about taking my experience, contributors, and viewer criticism to create an aviation community. The hope is for aviators to be able to research ideas, ask questions, and get a clear answer with a reference.

  • Thank you, and enjoy it.