February 6

Pilot And CFI: Two Different Skill Sets

CFI Technique


If you are an FAA CFI you carry two pieces of plastic in your pocket. One is your pilot certificate which at some level allows you to pilot airplanes. The other certificate says you are an aviation educator. Many people do not understand that the demands and skills of each of these different certificates are unique and sometimes contradictory.

Pilots are a unique breed; 1% of the population that have achieved the unique skills enabling safe flight. With this, self-selected or acquired is the “pilot personality.” The Airline Pilots Association lists 24 unique characteristics of pilots that causes disdain and laughter when shared in a group.

Physically and mentally healthy ⊗ Reality-based ⊗ Self-sufficient ⊗ Difficulty trusting anyone to do a job as well as themselves # Suspicious # Intelligent but not intellectual # They like “toys” # Good at taking things apart and putting them back together # Concrete, practical, linear thinkers rather than abstract, philosophical, or theoretical. # More analytical than emotional # Reality-oriented # Goal-oriented # Short term goal orientation and not long-term goal-driven # Bimodal (black/white, on/off, good/bad, safe/unsafe) # Tend to modify environment instead of their behavior # Hunger for excitement # Competitive # Do not handle failure well # Low tolerance for personal imperfection # Long memories of perceived injustices # Draw conclusions about people at a glance rather than relying on long and emotion-laden conversation # Avoid introspection # Have difficulty revealing, expressing, or even recognizing feelings # When experiencing unwanted feelings, a tendency to mask them with humor or anger.

About the author 

David St. George (Lifetime Member)

David St. George learned to fly at Flanders Valley Airport in 1970. Proving that everyone is eventually trainable, he became an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor for airplanes (single and multi, instrument, and glider) and serves the Rochester FSDO as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. In this capacity, he gives flight tests at any level from sport pilot to ATP and CFI. For 20 years David was East Hill Flying Club's 141 Chief Instructor and manager. David holds multi and single engine ATP pilot certificates, with pilot ratings for glider and seaplane. He recently earned his ninth renewal as a Master Instructor and owns an Aeronca Champ so he can build hours for that airline job! He is now flying charter: http://learnturbine.com

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