Features

September 2011 Issue

Are Flight Instructor Reforms Needed?

Weaknesses in CFI experience levels, initial training and testing, and recurrent certification undermine effectiveness.

Both industry and the FAA recently have emphasized the importance of effective flight training to improve the fatal accident record. Flight instructors, who serve on the front lines in this effort, are the crucial human element in the flight training delivery system and the glue holding the other elements together. But questions regarding their experience, training, continuing education and professionalism raise doubts about whether the service they provide is effective, consistent, relevant and customer-friendly. After all, if they were doing their job, would the trend lines in general aviationís safety record be as flat as they are?

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