Certified Flight Instructor

CFI Certificate:

  • Requires training to certification standards proficiency (approx. 15 hours). All Flight time will be Dual Instruction with a Senior CFI
  • You will work one on one with an instructor throughout your training. This includes any ground work.
  • There is no required ground training though you will need it. You are encouraged to read and study with recommended material at home.
  • Requirement to Fly both Fixed and Retractable aircraft to Instructor Proficiency
  • Must hold either a Commercial certificate or Airline Transport Certificate with appropriate category and class rating
  • Must hold an instrument rating
  • Must pass 2 required knowledge tests (FIA and FOI) with a minimum score of 70% on each
  • Must pass a practical test with an FAA Inspector or authorized Designated Examiner
  • Must log at least 15 hours as pilot in command in the appropriate category and class of aircraft
  • Must have a complex aircraft endorsement

Overview & Privileges:

A CFI Certificate is usually the first step paying job and your vital stepping stone towards becoming a Professional Pilot.

As a CFI, you are able to instruct new students. Building hours is your first priority, and as a CFI you build them fast! You are marketable to any flight school in the country and that means travel and teaching in dynamic environments.

Before you can take the FAA Oral Exam and Check-ride, students must prepare for and pass the FAA Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) and FAA Flight Instructor Airplane (FIA) Knowledge Exams. VFA is also an approved PSI testing center, and we offer all FAA written exams on site. Students can prepare for the Written on their own or by taking one of our offered ground schools, we have an onsite pilot shop that has all your test prep items from Gleim and ASA.

The majority of flight training is not only learning to fly an aircraft, but to fly under certain weather conditions and scenarios, which is why Vermont is a great location for flight training because of its variances in weather conditions and terrain.



You need to be at least 18 years old in order to take the Flight Instructor practical exam.
As a Flight instructor, you may be compensated for instructing others. You are limited to the aircraft that your are rated with the exception of Multi Engine, which requires a separate certificate. You are allowed to Instruct Private and Commercial Students, but in order to instruct Instrument students you would require a Flight instructor Instrument Certificate, which is an addition to your Flight instructor Certificate.
There are many variables that affect how quickly one earns their CFI Certificate. If you are self-motivated, then you can complete this rating in as little as two months from start to finish. The FAA is required to be notified prior to your check ride, this process can be lengthy, however Vermont Flight Academy has a great relationship with the FAA and we do everything to expedite this process.
CFIs are required to renew their flight instructor certificate every 24 months. This can be done by either taking a Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC), a Checkride with a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), Or Demonstration to a DPE of 5 successful student signoffs in the past 24 months.
Your training for your Flight instructor Certificate will involve all commercial maneuvers while commanding the aircraft from the right seat (the instructors seat). Commercial Maneuvers such as chandelles, lazy 8’s, steep spirals and stalls are all a part of the training. Applicants biggest challenge is the muscle memory to fly the aircraft from the right seat, however practice makes perfect, and with our senior flight instructors you will be flying as well or better than you were in the left seat.

Another component of your training is the oral exam prep you will do with your instructor. This is the time to hone your instructional abilities and learn what it takes to share the gift of flight.