Flight Instructor Resources    

By: David St. George, ATP, MCFI, DPE


    Resources for the CFI come from many diverse areas. NAFI is a source of many tools and networking opportunities. The Master CFI program is definitely a challenging and rewarding pursuit for every flight instructor. I would say though that as a teacher I have grown most from several wonderful books, both directly targeting the flight instructor and those that elucidate this whole mystery of how people learn in general. My favorite flight instructor texts would first be anything by Bill Kershner, but especially his "Advanced Pilot's Flight Manual." This texts digs deeper into the physics and formulas that every CFI should understand correctly but probably bluffed through on the oral! A wonderful book for information as well as inspiration is Instructional Methods for Flight Instructors by Gordon C. Henrie. This man thoroughly explains every aspect of teaching flying with many examples and "war stories." Advanced Flight Instruction by Cirincione and Felton is a recent acquisition that seems good. The have a good focus: "student-centered teaching." Unfortunately you see very little of that. Usually the CFI is the god-like creature to whom students must pay homage.

     Several excellent books that never mention an airfoil, but are wonderful resources for teachers are Becoming a Master Student by Dave Ellis and How People Learn by the National Research Council. These were both exciting and illuminating for a person that loved aviation and kind of backed into this profession of teaching. I would emphasize for all instructors though, we need to understand and hone these teaching skills most of all. A good on-line resource for teaching skills is "Teaching Tips" from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu Community College. This central depository of teaching resources will direct you everywhere and provide enlightenment throughout.