Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

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duele

Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#1 Post by duele » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:16 pm

Is it realistic to become a part-time flight instructor while working a regular 9-5 type job? I wouldn't be trying to move on to any other type of flying job, but am just interested in getting the rating and teaching in the early mornings, evenings, or weekends. Is anyone currently doing this or know of anyone doing this? Is it realistic or easier said than done? I'm a private pilot but think I'd enjoy teaching one day, as it would provide a little more purpose to my hobby and could make it more affordable as well.

Thanks
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#2 Post by Skymark » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:44 am

I just started PT instructing. It's very realistic and a fun gig! I'd say the only real issue can be getting flights. As PT I'm not at the airport all the time to pick up new intro/sightseeing flights that could lead to a student. That said, I just got a new student this weekend. Also, how available or flexible will your time be to schedule with a student so they can finish their rating/licence.

As a new instructor (class 4) you must work and be supervised at a flight training unit, or school.

PM me if you want any more info.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#3 Post by maturepilot83 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:43 am

duele wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:16 pm
Is it realistic to become a part-time flight instructor while working a regular 9-5 type job? I wouldn't be trying to move on to any other type of flying job, but am just interested in getting the rating and teaching in the early mornings, evenings, or weekends. Is anyone currently doing this or know of anyone doing this? Is it realistic or easier said than done? I'm a private pilot but think I'd enjoy teaching one day, as it would provide a little more purpose to my hobby and could make it more affordable as well.

Thanks

Short answer: YES

Early morning flights with a 9-5 job might be difficult unless you have a student who wants to fly those hours...

After 5pm is good for the summer. Winter time will give you problems unless you're teaching night ratings.

Weekends are more likely with professionals who want to fly weekends only (plenty of them around). Also, you'll probably get discovery flights...

With your schedule flight schools would love to use you as a ground school instructor teaching evening classes.

If you're not interested in building time for moving up PT instructing is totally doable to get your "fix". Remember - your schedule is at the mercy of your customers.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#4 Post by maturepilot83 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:44 am

maturepilot83 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:43 am
duele wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:16 pm
Is it realistic to become a part-time flight instructor while working a regular 9-5 type job? I wouldn't be trying to move on to any other type of flying job, but am just interested in getting the rating and teaching in the early mornings, evenings, or weekends. Is anyone currently doing this or know of anyone doing this? Is it realistic or easier said than done? I'm a private pilot but think I'd enjoy teaching one day, as it would provide a little more purpose to my hobby and could make it more affordable as well.

Thanks

Short answer: YES

Early morning flights with a 9-5 job might be difficult unless you have a student who wants to fly those hours...

After 5pm is good for the summer. Winter time will give you problems unless you're teaching night ratings.

Weekends are more likely with professionals who want to fly weekends only (plenty of them around). Also, you'll probably get discovery flights...

With your schedule flight schools would love to use you as a ground school instructor teaching evening classes.

What you need is a CPL and Instructor Rating.

If you're not interested in building time for moving up PT instructing is totally doable to get your "fix". Remember - your schedule is at the mercy of your customers.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#5 Post by redlaser » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:59 am

I've been a flight instructor for 43 years now I work only 3 days a week at a flight school and sometimes will do a full week out of town for additional revenue in the summer, instructors are in big demand right now as most flight schools have more students than the instructors can handle, as a startup flight instructor you will probably have to work full time to move up to a Class 3 rating, cheers
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#6 Post by 5x5 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:42 am

I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but it will actually be very difficult as a Class 4 instructor.

With a full-time job which already takes you away from family and friends are you truly willing to give up the rest of your free time? Part-time students particularly expect their instructor to be available when they want since it's not easy to do a flight the next day. And since you are part-time a big part of your commitment to the deal is to be available whenever a student that agrees to work with your limited availability wants to fly. The student's flights are going to be sporadic enough without even more gaps because their instructor wasn't available due to being off with their family or some other personal event.

More importantly though is the difficulty you'll have developing as a Class 4 with sporadic flights. Supervision isn't (or at least it shouldn't be) merely a bothersome paperwork exercise you have to go through. Properly managed, it is a vital development process for you with your supervising instructor. This requires a significant amount of time and effort since, to be worthwhile, you both have to spend time discussing the student and the specific training for a given flight. The supervisor can't provide much guidance if they don't know the details of the student and the student's place in the syllabus. With sporadic flights and significant gaps between them, keeping track of exactly what's going on is a problem. And with out any experience to fall back on, a Class 4 isn't able to rely on their own knowledge of how to deal with the specific situation. And is the supervising instructor available on the same sporadic basis as you intend to fly?

I realize that supervision is viewed by some as merely a paper exercise forced upon them by TC, but it actually is a vital part of becoming an effective instructor - when it is done well.

Part-time jobs are best suited for situations where experience isn't required and/or where the part-time employee has significant experience and full-time flexibility.
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duele

Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#7 Post by duele » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:25 pm

Looks like we have some firm yes's and firm no's. I will flip a coin and let you know what it says. Thank you though for the input.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#8 Post by C.W.E. » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:02 pm

Rather than flip a coin make a decision based on the fact that in Canada you will be stuck at the class 4 level forever if you plan on doing it part time.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#9 Post by Skymark » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:13 am

...Canada you will be stuck at the class 4 level forever if you plan on doing it part time
Is that so bad? And I don't agree. It might take to longer to advance, but no reason you can't. I know a couple of Class 1's who worked part-time.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#10 Post by duele » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:29 am

Excuse my ignorance but what are the implications of remaining a Class 4 instructor? Does a part-time flight instructor necessarily need to move up the class levels?
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#11 Post by photofly » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:57 am

Class 4 instructor: must teach under the direct supervision of a Class 1 or 2 instructor and must teach at an FTU: no freelance work.

Their students need a sign off from the supervising instructor before approval for a flight test, and before a first solo flight.

And the Class 4 instructor needs to renew their class 4 rating annually, with a flight instructor re-test, or by attending an approved seminar.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#12 Post by C.W.E. » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:38 pm

And the Class 4 instructor needs to renew their class 4 rating annually, with a flight instructor re-test, or by attending an approved seminar.
Which means you could be working and it is costing you money.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#13 Post by lownslow » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:59 pm

Perhaps a better plan is to find yourself a nice little Champ, fly the daylights out of it until you’re really really good at it then do tailwheel checkouts in your evenings.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#14 Post by photofly » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:15 pm

Good luck with getting insurance for that.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#15 Post by lownslow » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:46 pm

photofly wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:15 pm
Good luck with getting insurance for that.
It’s been done before, should be doable again.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#16 Post by photofly » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:56 pm

When you’ve actually tried it, get back to me, and we can compare notes.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#17 Post by C.W.E. » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:41 pm

I had both a J3 Cub and a Taylorcraft in my flight school and they worked out just fine and I never ever had any problems training pilots or renting them.

Insurance was no problem, maybe it helped I had a a diverse fleet including an R22?
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#18 Post by photofly » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:53 pm

You had a flight school. The suggestion here is some random PPL guy in his own tailwheel plane charging money to teach, without even an instructor rating. Only one kind of organization cares more about paper than TC, and that’s an insurance underwriter.

Seriously: call your broker and tell them you have a PPL, want to buy a Champ, operate it privately, and earn a lot money from teaching people on it. Without an instructor rating. And that they’ll be flying solo on it, on your say so. I can hear the hysterical laughter from here.

Besides, where is this long line of people queuing to get tailwheel time?
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#19 Post by duele » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:21 pm

Maybe it's most realistic for me to just get really big into Microsoft Flight Sim.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#20 Post by photofly » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:55 pm

If you like flying, and you think you’ll enjoy teaching it to other people, then go and get an instructor rating. If you enjoy the activity then it doesn’t matter what class of rating you have. Enjoy the journey and don’t fuss for the goals, and the goals will come soon enough.

Don’t forget you need to get a CPL first.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#21 Post by C.W.E. » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:59 pm

You had a flight school. The suggestion here is some random PPL guy in his own tailwheel plane charging money to teach, without even an instructor rating.
I took it he meant getting an instructors rating as there is no such thing as a tail wheel rating in Canada, here is his comment.
by duele » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:16 pm

Is it realistic to become a part-time flight instructor while working a regular 9-5 type job? I wouldn't be trying to move on to any other type of flying job, but am just interested in getting the rating and teaching in the early mornings,
Only one kind of organization cares more about paper than TC, and that’s an insurance underwriter.
Seriously: call your broker and tell them you have a PPL, want to buy a Champ, operate it privately, and earn a lot money from teaching people on it. Without an instructor rating. And that they’ll be flying solo on it, on your say so. I can hear the hysterical laughter from here.
For sure they would not even consider it as it would be illegal.
Besides, where is this long line of people queuing to get tailwheel time?
I doubt it as very few schools offer it.

You should cut me some slack on this subject photofly because I am from an era where tail wheel airplanes were the norm and nose wheel airplanes were rare in the flying training industry, so for me tail wheel airplanes are just another airplane.

I believe you fly out of the Toronto Island Airport?

My first training flight was in a Cessna 140 on June 23/1953 at that airport......I think I am getting old. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#22 Post by photofly » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:15 pm

It was lownslow’s well intentioned suggestion that the OP not get an instructor rating but should instead learn to fly a Champ and do tailwheel checkouts on it, in evenings and at weekends.

It wouldn’t be illegal, because, since there’s no tailwheel rating in Canada, anyone may charge money for tailwheel training. But if you expect to charge more than the running cost of the airplane, your insurance company will consider it a commercial venture.
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#23 Post by C.W.E. » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:33 pm

aahh the minutia of the subject gets blurred in my thought process. :mrgreen:

Have they built a bridge to the airport yet or do you still have to ride the ferry?
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Re: Is it realistic to be a PT flight instructor

#24 Post by kilo3bravo » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:43 pm

Duele,

I work PT as a flight instructor and find it very enjoyable. Both my career streams are aviation-related and I am an avid reader, so my education continues to grow and I am able to stay current and informed.

While working PT, I am able to spend about 40-50 hours a month instructing (ground & air), have a relaxed lifestyle, and still enjoy all my other hobbies as well. Instructing allows me to pass along my passion and skillset to others.. and dont forget - it also pays for my flight time!

With that said, the responsibility and privilege of being a flight instructor should not be taken lightly. As instructors, we are training the next generation of pilots. I honestly believe the skills, airmanship, and professionalism we teach directly affects the safety, reputation, and public perception of our industry. It all begins with primary training.

I recommend it to anyone who's willing to put the work in. It is a job that instills lifelong learning and a great sense of satisfaction.

PM me if you ever have any questions.
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