Instructor Rating

Any pilot who holds a PPL or a CPL licence is able to complete an Instructor Rating. The main difference between completing this with a PPL and CPL licence is that under a Private Pilot Licence you cannot fly for reward, which means you can only instructor for free, where as a Commercial Pilot Licence holder can charge or be paid for instructing students.

Before you begin an Instructor Rating, what do you need?

As mentioned in the text above you must be a holder of a Private Pilot Licence or a Commercial Pilot Licence as this is just a rating, not a stand alone licence. You must also be 18 years of age to complete the course and you must have a valid Class One Medical. As stated, a PPL-FI (Private Pilot Licence-Flying Instructor) cannot be rewarded for their instructional services or indeed any flying services offered.

What will I, and what am I required to do during the training?

A Flying Instructor Course (FIC) consists of a minimum of 30 hours of dual flight training. The training covers the entire PPL syllabus and teaches you exactly how to instruct each element of the PPL Course. You will also be advised on how to provide detailed pre and post flight briefings to your students to enable them to gain the most out of their lessons.

The FIC also must include a minimum of 125 hours ground-school, where you are taught how to explain every aspect of the PPL syllabus as well as how to brief and de-brief your future students.

At the end of the course, once all requirements are met, you will be examined by a CAA Approved Flight Instructor Examiner (FIE) who will, as well as testing your airman-ship, test your ability to instruct/teach. On successful completion of this test you can apply for your FI(R) rating, which is Flight Instructor Restricted for short. The restriction means you are unable to send students first solo, until you have a specified number of normal solo sign offs and a certain amount of instructional hours racked up.

Once you have your FI rating, you may wish to become a Night Flying Instructor, so you can teach night flying towards the students night qualification. This is a reasonably simple exercise and consists of one hour flying with an FIE, and two hours of ground-school with no test.

As you gain more instructional experience or if you wish to pursue a career in the flight training industry, you may wish to become an IRI (Instrument Rating Instructor) meaning you will be able to teach more advanced training, specifically the Instrument Rating. The training for this requires you to complete a minimum of 10 hours flying and 35 hours worth of ground school, this course is then finished with a skills test with a CAA Approved Flight Instructor Examiner.

If you want to go that much further you can also become a Multi-Engine Class Rating Instructor, there is a minimum of 5 hours flight training and 25 hours ground school and a skills test at the end.

Find your local in our Flight School Directory.

So, what are the specific privileges of holding an Instructor Rating?

The holder of a FI rating is permitted to:

  • Instruct students to NPPL or JAR-PPL syllabus standards.
  • Be paid to instruct providing they hold a CPL.

Is my rating valid for ever?

Your rating is valid for 3 years from the date of issue and must be renewed by TWO of the following methods:

  • Completing a flight test with a CAA approved Flight Instructor Examiner in the proceeding 12 months before expiry.
  • Complete 100 instructional hours, 30 in the last 12 months of rating validity.
  • Attending a CAA approved seminar within the proceeding 12 months before expiry.

What is the cost of obtaining an Instructor Rating?

Once again there is no fixed cost when gaining an instructor rating, it is set by the cost of a number of things, we’ve completed a list below, be sure to ask your prospective school how much each of the below cost before embarking on your training as some schools may avoid explaining the extras!

  • Hourly aircraft hire rate including an instructor.
  • Landing fees, Touch & Go fees and approach fees for the entire course.
  • School membership fees.
  • Exam fees, including ground exams and flight test fees.
  • Cancellation and no-show fees.

As well as the above costs there are also a number of other fixed costs to take into account when making your calculations:

  • Class One medical fees costing £330.
  • Equipment and study materials. These can be purchased online and usually amount to approxiamtely £200-300 depending on whether you decide to purchase your own headset, which on their own can cost as much as £600 for the advanced sets.
  • Examiner fees and licence issue fees, these can be found on the CAA Scheme of Charges document, by clicking here.

Having taken all these costs into account an FI rating dependant upon your location and choice of school can cost between £6,000 and £10,000, this of course would be with the minimum 30 hours of training.

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