CFI New Hire Ground School!

Not going to lie, it felt weird beginning my last semester as an undergraduate student here at ERAU. Time went by faster than I could have ever imagined. Three plus years later, I have had experiences and made friendships that I could have scarcely imagined prior to actually attending. Nevertheless I digress, onward to bigger and better things!

The beginning of January did not only mark the beginning of classes, but the beginning of CFI New Hire class as well. This month the Embry-Riddle Flight Line hired a total of five new instructors, myself included. Having gone through a new hire ground school with Cape Air in the fall of 2013, I felt myself feeling prepared for what lay ahead. The key to any ground school, whether it is with a new company or even classes here at school, is to always get ahead. The instructors usually send out the material they will be referencing in class in an email prior to the school’s actual start date. In this case, with Embry-Riddle, we had about 3 weeks to study up.

Having used some of Christmas Break to brush up on details I may have forgotten, I walked into the new hire with excitement. Overall, the ground school was broken up into two pieces. The first piece was more administrative stuff, policies and procedures for example. As a student pilot over the last three years, I have become familiar with the policies concerning the students. As I transition to a flight instructor, now I have to learn the policies influencing instructors on a daily basis. The big ones include how to schedule your students on ETA (our scheduling software), and of course duty time restrictions. If you reference 14 C.F.R. Part 61.195, you will see we instructors have laws restricting us on how long we can actually work. Furthermore, the flight line has more rules.

The second part of the ground school was all about the FUNDAMENTALS! C172 Takeoff If there is one topic that was most certainly drilled into our heads it is the fundamentals. When I reference the fundamentals I mean straight and level flight, climbs, descents, and turns. These four aspects, or a combination thereof, make up all of the flight maneuvers you will learn throughout your training. We as pilots cannot continue to make progress if we do not have the fundamental foundation to move forward. Therefore, the fundamentals played a huge part in our ground school and will continue to do so for the actual flight training we conduct.

With the successful completion of CFI New Hire Ground School as of last Friday, here’s to the successful completion of new hire flight training. Hopefully, within the next few weeks I will begin to receive students. If you remember my earlier blog, I talked about time management. Being enrolled in classes, traveling for admissions, and now teaching actual flight students will be the culmination of time management as my time here at ERAU, as a student, begins to come to a close.

More to come, talk to you all soon!


So finals week for most college degrees involve taking a lot of finals, finishing projects, or giving presentations all within a small period of time. However, here at Embry-Riddle if you are majoring in Aeronautical Science the experience can be quite different. As an Aeronautical Science major not only do you take academic classes, but you will also fly to obtain your ratings. Students usually finish their flight courses at the end of a semester, the same time as finals…naturally, right? If the checkride wait is exceptionally long, or weather does not cooperate, the checkride may take longer than expected. So for students who live far away from ERAU it is a balancing act for when to book your ticket home. The negative side of this is if you guess incorrectly you may have to go home prior to finishing your flight course. While this usually does not cause a grade issue, you might have to retrain with your instructor before being put back up for the checkride. It is always your choice when you want to go home after finals are over, however like I said, going home earlier may cost you more in the long run. Therefore, you can see that it is not all cut and dry for finishing a semester as a pilot.

Having done this “balancing act” for three years now I knew I would be close to finishing CFII before going home for Christmas. I booked my ticket home for December 21st and hoped I would be done by the 21st. Sure enough I was scheduled for my CFII checkride this past Monday, Dec. 15. The activity began at 0700 with the sun yet to rise. It was cold outside, but luckily my aircraft was in the hanger, This simple change in aircraft location allowed me to stay warm during the pre-flight! Trust me, anything positive helps take away some of the stress of a checkride. Overall it was a busy day to fly because Runway 21L, our main runway, was closed for pavement sealing. I did have to change my plan of action to accommodate the closed runway. However, two hours later I got my answer.  As of Monday the 16th of December, I passed my CFII checkride making me an official CFI and CFII!

Would I have liked to go home last week to be with my friends and family? Absolutely! However, nothing beats the feeling of finishing a flight course right before you leave for vacation!

This may all seem a bit complicated for people unfamiliar with the ERAU checkride process. If you have any questions please let me know! Next year, I begin my journey of starting to flight instruct for Embry Riddle. In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!riddle21