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CFI Hours
2010-03-18

CFI Hours I took my intro flight a few days ago and when I asked my prospective CFI how many hours he had, he said over 600 hrs. Is this a lot of hours for a CFI? Does this guy have the experience in your opinion? What is the > determining factor in selecting an instructor? Do hours tell the whole story?

CFI Hours (The Opinion)
Hours tell zero of the story. Some people could instruct after 20 hours of dual better than their instructor with 10K hours. Some people cannot teach well no matter how many hours they have.

Instructors aren't born, but good instructors are certainly gifted with that undefinable skill of conveying information from person to person. You can see it in the academic classroom; by the time you are a sophomore, you know that "Professor Jones" is to be avoided and "Professor Smith" is the one to take EE-201 from. Jones may have a PhD, and Smith only an MS, but somehow Smith has found a way to make the learning process easier for students.

So is it in flight instruction. Instructors all have the same basic skills, but some have that given gift to be able to convey the information in a manner that you (the student) can assimilate and use without further process. Some are just not so gifted. That's the way of the world.

The chemistry works both ways. Some people I teach like I've known them forever. Some I struggle with and finally suggest that they find another teacher. Not only flying, but my academic college students as well. The good instructor knows when they just aren't getting through to the student and that another instructor may have the key to their understanding.

Find an instructor that you learn from easily and all will be well. I've got 4000+ hours, but I really don't know how well I can teach you until we've spent an hour or two flailing about in a flying machine.
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