Becoming a flight instructor

Becoming a flight instructor is a rewarding way to build hours and enhance the skills you have acquired whilst training to become a full time pilot yourself.  

On the path to qualifying as a flight instructor and following an entry exam, the course requires 30 hours flight training and around 125-150 hours of theory. This is completed with a skills test with an examiner. 

Some schools offer these programs on a contract basis where you will be trained by the school and contracted to instruct on completion for a period of time. In some cases the course is self-funded.  

In order to commence your training as an instructor, you must have:

  • PPL or CPL (PPL requires CPL knowledge – check before enrolling) 
  • Instrument Rating
  • 200+ hours of flying hours behind you (150 of which as Pilot In Command)
  • 30+ hours on single engine aircraft (5 within 6 months of enrolment)
  • 20+ hours of cross country flying as PIC. One flight must be at least 540km with two full landings in different locations 
You should also be able to present your logbook of hours and notes from your own flying instructors. Your medical certificate will also be present as part of your existing qualifications.  

The course teaches how to train others in accordance with authority requirements. 

Whilst this is a form of hour building, it shouldn’t be treated as only that. Being a flight instructor is tough – it’s not just teaching the practical side of things, there’s theory work on the ground, helpful advice and support to give to your students and paperwork. 

Having said that, it’s an incredibly rewarding way to pass on your knowledge and gain something out of it at the same time. Having patience and being encouraging is a balancing act, but if you have those qualities then you will find instructing a satisfying job. 

You should possess the ability to communicate your knowledge in a way that someone can understand. Don’t forget that students could be apprehensive but they will also have the same love for flying that you do. 

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