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 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, this website is no substitute for competent instruction provided by a CFI
  • Once you are ready to take your practical exam, you will need to find a designee if your school does not already have recommendations

Refresh or Continue Building Skills:

Become an Instructor:

  • One of the most challenging but rewarding aspects of aviation is instructing
  • Not only do you need to have a solid knowledge base, but you also have to become familiar with the fundamentals of instructing
  • Next, you will have to prepare by building lessons plans to guide you through the period of instruction to cover everything required for your students to work up to and pass their checkrides
  • Here, we try to help you through the process of building lesson plans by providing examples that link directly to the source documents
  • Lesson plans are personal, however, and must be tailored and modified to meet your style of instruction as well as your particular student

  • If you have been unable to meet the currency requirements and have let your (flight) instructor certificate(s) lapse, there is still hope
  • This site will help you refresh your knowledge in preparation for all required tests as well as reorient your mind onto the instruction process
  • Other tools are available to you, such as AOPA seminars

My Story:

  • First Flight in F/A-18
  • 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 age 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. Once at the airport, my dad realized an upgrade to a lesson differed by what I remember to be a few dollars. I knew from that day forward that I would 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.

  • I had achieved my goal of becoming a pilot but had no further plans. I graduated high school, and I flew only now and again. A currency flight would precede most flights 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 to get paid to fly. I achieved this goal by attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). I joined the local Air Force ROTC 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. I am forever a student. Therefore, CFI Notebook is 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.