Flight Instructor (FI) Aeroplane - FI(A)
Flight Instructor Rating
The Cessna 152 and PA28 Warrior are flying club favourites
Training can be conducted on a variety of SEP (Land) aeroplanes
Spinning is conducted on the Chipmunk or Cessna 152


For pilots wishing to give ab-initio instruction must qualify for an FI certificate. After completing a course of training and passing the assessment of competence the UK CAA will issue an FI(A) certificate with privileges restricted in accordance with Part FCL.910.FI.

This restriction remains in force until the FI(A) has completed the Part FCL.910.FI requirements to have it removed. Once complete the instructor shall apply to the UK CAA to have the restriction removed

Pre-Course Entry Requirements

An applicant for an FI(A) certificate shall:

(a) have received at least 10 hours of instrument flight instruction on the appropriate aircraft category, of which not more than 5 hours may be instrument ground time in an FSTD

(b) have completed 20 hours of VFR cross-country flight on the appropriate aircraft category as PIC

(c) hold at least a CPL(A)


hold at least a PPL(A) and have:
# met the requirements for CPL theoretical knowledge, except for an FI(A) providing training for the LAPL(A) only
# completed at least 200 hours of flight time on aeroplanes or TMGs, of which 150 hours as PIC

(d) have completed at least 30 hours on single-engine piston powered aeroplanes of which at least 5 hours shall have been completed during the 6 months preceding the pre-entry flight test set out in FCL.930.FI(a)

(e) have completed a VFR cross-country flight as PIC, including a flight of at least 540 km (300 NM) in the course of which full stop landings at 2 different aerodromes shall be made

(f) have passed a specific pre-entry flight test with an FIC instructor within the 6 months preceding the start of the course, to assess their ability to undertake the course. This pre-entry flight test shall be based on the proficiency check for class and type ratings as set out in Appendix 9 to Part FCL

Ground Training

The ground instruction includes 25 hours of teaching and learning and at least 100 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction including progress tests. The theoretical knowledge subjects are taken from the PPL / LAPL syllabus. The subjects are given below

Air Law, Aeroplane General Knowledge, Flight Performance and Planning, Human Performance and Limitations, Meteorology, Navigation, Operational Procedures, Principles of Flight and Communications

During the course the student instructor will practise giving ground lessons to the FIC instructor giving the course

The training shall be integrated with the flight training so that the maximum benefit is gained from time spent in the air

Flight Training

At least 30 hours of flight instruction, of which 25 hours shall be dual flight instruction, of which 5 hours may be conducted in an FFS, FNPT I/II, or FTD 2/3. The remaining 5 hours may be mutual flying, that is 2 student instructors flying together to practice flight demonstrations

The air exercises are similar to those used for training a PPL(A) but with additional items designed to cover the needs of an FI(A)

Assessment of Competence

On successful completion of the training a recommendation will be made for the applicant to complete the assessment of competence. This must be carried out within 6 months of the completion of the training. Failure to do so will result in the need for extra training. The assessment of competence will be conducted by an FIE. The assessment of competence schedule is given below

Section 1 Theoretical Knowledge Oral
(See note 1)
Long briefing title
Air law
Aircraft general knowledge
Flight performance and planning
Human performance and limitations
Operational procedures
Principles of flight
Training administration

Section 2 Pre-Flight Briefing
(See note 3)
Visual presentation and content
Technical accuracy
Clarity of explanation
Clarity of speech
Instructional technique including TEM/CRM
Use of models and aids
Student participation

Section 3 Flight
(See note 3)
Arrangement of demonstration
Synchronisation of speech with demonstration
Assessment and correction of student faults
Aircraft handling
Instructional technique
General airmanship and safety
Positioning and use of airspace
Risk assessment including TEM/CRM

Section 4 Mandatory Exercises and other Exercises at Examiner's discretion
Spin avoidance (SE aeroplane)
Safety module (see note 4)
Take-off and climb, engine failure after take-off (SE aeroplane)
Approach, landing, missed approach
Forced landing without power (SE aeroplane)
Additional exercises title and number

Section 5 ME (Aeroplane) Exercises
(See note 2)
Engine failure (simulated) after take-off or on go-around
Asymmetric approach and go around
Asymmetric approach and landing

Section 6 Instrument Exercises
Basic instrument flight
Applied instrument flight
Instrument approach
Limited panel and unusual attitudes

Section 7 Post-Flight De-Briefing
(See note 3)
Visual presentation and content
Technical accuracy
Clarity of explanation
Clarity of speech
Instructional technique and facilitation
Use of models and aids
Student participation

1. This section is divided into two parts:
# The applicant is required to give a lesson under test conditions to other student(s), one of whom will be the examiner. The test lesson is to be selected from items of section 1. The amount of time for preparation of the test lesson is agreed upon beforehand with the examiner. Appropriate literature may be used by the applicant. The test lesson should not exceed 45 minutes
# The applicant is tested orally by the examiner for knowledge of items of section 1 and the core instructor competencies as given in the instructor course
2. This section comprises additional exercises covering ME instructional privileges and is completed in a ME aircraft or FFS or FNPT II simulating a ME aircraft. This section, if applicable, is done in addition to sections 2, 3 and 5
3. These sections comprise exercises to demonstrate the ability to be an instructor, and are chosen by the examiner from the flight syllabus of the instructor training course. The applicant is required to demonstrate instructor abilities, including briefing, flight instruction and de-briefing
4. The safety module is to comprise one or more exercise(s) from the following topics: weather appreciation, flight in poor visibility, calculation and appreciation of safety altitude, stall/spin awareness and navigation techniques


Flying Training Instructor Manual by R D Campbell
AP3456 Royal Air Force Manual Flying (volume 1 only - Principles of Flight)
UK CAA Standards Documents 10
CAP 804
Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011
Part FCL, AMC and GM


36 months


After passing the initial FI(A) assessment of competence the privileges to instruct are restricted in accordance with Part FCL.910.FI

FI(A) - Restricted privileges

Part FCL.910.FI states that a FI(A) shall have his/her privileges limited to conducting flight instruction under the supervision of an FI(A) for the same category of aircraft nominated by the ATO for this purpose, in the following cases:
(a) for the issue of the PPL(A) and LAPL(A)

(b) in all integrated courses at PPL(A) level

(c) for class and type ratings for single-pilot, single-engine aircraft

(d) for the night, towing or aerobatic ratings

While conducting training under supervision the FI(A) shall not have the privilege to authorise student pilots to conduct first solo flights and first solo cross-country flights

The restrictions above shall be removed from the FI(A) certificate when the FI(A) has completed at least 100 hours of flight instruction in aeroplanes or TMGs and, in addition has supervised at least 25 student solo flights


The privileges of an FI(A) are to conduct flight instruction for the issue, revalidation or renewal of:
(a) a PPL(A) and LAPL(A) in the appropriate aircraft category

(b) class and type ratings for single-pilot, single-engine aircraft, except for single-pilot high performance complex aeroplanes

Extension to the FI(A) privileges may be obtained by gaining further experience and/or completing additional training/test in accordance with Part FCL.905.FI


Complete 2 of the following requirements:

(a) complete 50 hours of flight instruction during the period of validity. If the privileges to instruct for the IR are to be revalidated, 10 of these hours shall be flight instruction for an IR, and shall have been completed within the last 12 months preceding the expiry of the FI certificate (see notes 2, 3)

(b) attend an instructor refresher seminar within the 3 year validity period

(c) pass an assessment of competence within 12 months preceding FI certificate expiry (see notes 1, 4)

An assessment of competence shall be included as one of the requirements at every alternate revalidation

When an assessment of competence is required for revalidation of an FI certificate, an applicant who fails to achieve a pass in the assessment before the expiry date of the FI certificate shall not exercise the privileges of that certificate until the assessment has successfully been completed

Hours flown as an examiner during skill tests or proficiency checks shall be credited in full towards revalidation requirements for all instructor certificates held

1. An assessment of competence must be included as part of the revalidation requirements at every alternate revalidation
2. The 10 hours instrument instruction is not required if you teach only for the UK IMC rating / IR (Restricted)
3. The 10 hours IR instruction can be completed in either in a SE or ME aeroplane if both SE and ME instructional privileges are held
4. Holders of both SE and ME instructional privileges do not need to complete two separate assessments of competence. Either a flight in a SE or ME aeroplane will be acceptable. The aeroplane type not flown will be examined by oral questions on the ground


Complete both of the following requirements within 12 months preceding FI certificate renewal:

(a) attend an instructor refresher seminar

(b) pass an assessment of competence (see note)

Note: Holders of both SE and ME instructional privileges do not need to complete two separate assessments of competence. Either a flight in a SE or ME aeroplane will be acceptable. The aeroplane type not flown will be examined by oral questions on the ground


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