Is becoming a Certified Flight Instructor Worthwhile?


My name is Dan Carey. I’m new to this website and not a Cirrus Owner, but would love to be one. I am a ferry pilot. Flying amongst other things, SR22s over to Europe. Last year I flew one from San Diego CA to Belgium in 4 days!! If anyone needs info on flying internationally feel free to contact me.

Anyway, I’m also a CFI and was wondering if becoming a Cirrus Certified Instructor was worthwhile? From flying them for a couple of hundred hours I feel pretty comfortable teaching in them. I do not know if the course would really be beneficial, other than the prestige of course. Are there any other CFI that have recommendations? Thanks.

Please humbly forgive me for “hijacking” the thread topic, but I’m extremely interested in your occupation, Dan. Is your personal email the address listed? I would love to ask a few questions about becoming employed as a ferry pilot.

As far as getting a “CSIP” certification, I spent two and a half years at Air Safety Flight Academy in Glendale, AZ. For quite a time we were almost exclusively a Cirrus school (I did private, instrument, and commercial time building in the SR20), and almost every new instructor we employed was not standardized in the Cirrus when they arrived. It was an investment the school made upon hiring a new pilot. If possible, I would try to find a school that has a Cirrus fleet and see if you can earn your “CSIP” on their dime as a part-time instructor.

My experience is limited, but it seems there are too few Cirrus owners seeking independent instruction to warrant your funding the CSIP out of your own pocket. Let’s hear some other members’ opinions though.

Thanks for the info about finding a flight school to work at to get my CSIP. I will certainly look into it. I am located in Ohio and was just planning to give some recurring training, BFRs and such. So don’t know if moving out of state to a flight school is worthwhile for me. Wife and kids etc.

Ferrying airplanes around the world is lots of fun, but not really stable employment. Last summer was great as Europeans could by used SR20s and SR22s in the USA and save around 30% over the cost of a similar plane in Europe. But with the worldwide economy being what it is, the amount of work has dried up.

I started with a ferry company a couple of years ago (who have since gone bust) but now just get referrals from word of mouth. As with any business, it is about doing a good job and being in the right place at the right time. Domestic ferries are usually done by pilots with airline privileges so unless you have that it is very difficult to compete. To fly across the Atlantic you will need to have done it at least 3 times first to get insurance coverage. I achieved this by flying with another pilot first. At the moment it may be hard to find a company that is willing to cover the costs for you to do that. If you want any specific information feel free to e-mail me at

Once you fly outside of the States, you realize how lucky and free we are here compared to other countries. User fees, restricted airspace, slot times, dual NDB approaches and no such thing as ‘GPS direct’. But some of the things you see en-route would take your breath away.

Only on COPA and in the USA can we even understand how lucky we are to be able to read and respond to these threads.

I recently finished my IFR rating in my SR-20. Over 2 years and 4 instructors (don’t ask, I am a slow but persistant learner) I only flew with one CSIP. I noticed a major difference. It was with the guys at North Las Vegas airport. Knew the airplane much better, flew their Cirrus full motion sim, and he taught IFR procedures based on flying them in a Cirrus. Help me figure out settings/speeds specific to MY plane, not just a rough guess. I thought it was well worth the trip I made from Phoenix. Good luck. Remember, there will be a lot of Cirrus Jet owners in near future needing instruction and I think CSIP will only help.

John - Which group at KVGT has the Cirrus sim?

Becoming a CFI is a tremendous undertaking. Start with taking the two writtens and see if if is something you want to pursue. You will then have to hone your flying skills and practice with lesson plans in order to succesfully pass your checkride which is taken with the FAA. Once this has been done you will need to stay motivated to be on top of your game at all times, and to remember to renew your certificate every 2 years thru on-line courses or thru a weekend seminar. I have learned a tremendous amount from being a CFI, letting students get me in trouble to teaching in advanced aircraft like the King Air and Citation. The CFI ticket does open some doors and it allows you to continue to pursue an interest in aviation, if you so desire but becoming a part time instructor with no previous experience is a difficult task and you may become fustrated during the process. If you are determined, I would find a well qualified Instructor that has previous experience in getting CFI applicants thru the process, keeping in mind that in order to send a CFI Canidate off for a checkride they have to have a least 2 years experience and preferrable more along with attention to both Commercial and Instrument training experience. Don’t forget that you will have to study and take this as a serious undertaking, but should you choose to you may be rewarded with some new experiences. Go to your local flight school and talk to the current Senior Flight Instructor as well. If you so choose, to become a CFI continue and get the Instrument Instructor and Multi Engine if possible. Adding the CSIP designation is imperative if you want to teach in Cirrus, but most of the school’s I have seen make you get this designation on your own dime unless they are a bigger Cirrus training facility and they WANT YOU as an instructor, then they make help offset the cost.

I have been an instructor for 20 years and taught full time at a flight school in Oregon along with flying cargo, but I enjoy my current full time position and teach part time at a local flying club here in Colorado. I have a nephew that is an Instructor for one of those big schools in Phoenix, teaching Chinesse students, he loves it and hates it at the same time, and my brother is a 777 Capt for a large airline, so I guess it is in our blood.

Good luck in your decision and keep flying…

Chad: That’s us with the Cirrus simulator. Give us a call if you’d like to talk about it (206) 219-3720

It’s pretty versatile and has the ability to automatically run a cause and effect scenario. For example, if we fail Alt 1 and the pilot doesn’t respond, in about a half hour (depending on what you have turned on) you’ll start losing systems. We can do little things like that, bigger things like fires (with actual smoke in the cockpit), avionics system failures or malfunctions (like having ATTITUDE CROSSCHECK pop up on your PFD - most have never seen it let alone know what to do next), or just basic currency working donig approaches anywhere in the world. It’s a full Cirrus cockpit, can be either an older 6 pack or PFD equipped, and can give you vertigo if we’d like to make that happen.

Here’s our website:

Safe flying!

-John Fiscus

Ben, hopefully you know that you are not authorized to operate as an independent CSIP, but can only train under the supervision of the CTC where you got your training. ???

Huh? What’s the rule used here? Are not all CSIPs trained through Cirrus, who determined the standards required?


Rick, Nope, some are trained at CTC’s, they are not (supposed to be) listed on the CIrrus CSIP site and are only supposed to train under the supervision of that CTC. Part of the discussion we’ve been having is the training of those “CSIPS.” I personally talked to one who said he had 0 time in the plane when he went for training and did about a 1 1/2 hour checkout flight–a couple of stalls and steep turns, and that was it. He absolutely had no idea of what standardized training was or what was taught.

“Right on!,” he said, giving his age away.

I recently rented an SR22 from a CTC. Everything about the checkout suggested very strongly that the Cirrus instructor I flew with had little time in the airplane and knew very little about its systems and even less about the standardized instruction that is at the heart of the CSIP program. I would be surprised if his training as a Cirrus instructor consisted of anything beyond three takeoffs and landings, a few stalls and a steep turn or two. As an example, I got the distinct impression that the LPV approach we flew in the rental plane was the first for him.

From my perspective the same standards need to apply to anyone teaching in a Cirrus who wants some sort of recognition that he/she is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor. It is pretty obviously not the case.

Interestingly, during the CSIP/CTC symposium in Duluth a few weeks ago the representatives of the Cirrus Flight Training Department made reference to Cirrus instructors being designated either CSI or CSIP. The former being a Cirrus Standardized Instructor, the latter a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot. What the heck is that supposed to mean? The CSI was described as a Cirrus instructor at a CTC and a CSIP an instructor trained at Duluth by the Cirrus Flight Training Department or their contractor (UND in my case).

Cirrus needs to “standardize” the instructor standardization procedure.