The perks of being the Type Rating Instructor

2015-03-25

While talking about career in aviation first thing that you think of is pilot profession. And though forecast for pilot demand in the future continues to grow other career possibilities should not be forgotten too.

When you start your journey towards acquiring the pilot license, you always meet one person (or few) who will lead you through every hour of your hard work and every step of the accomplishments. And that person would be your Type Rating Instructor.

If you already gained your type rating qualification, then you already met your instructor. The question is whether he was inspiring and professional or… rather lousy? Why then be an instructor at all? How to become one and to be good at it? Here are some answers for you on this topic.

Who can become a Type Rating Instructor? 

In order to become an instructor primary requirements are for your professional skills and experience. Your fundamental knowledge making you proficient to teach others to become pilots:

  • you must have a valid ATPL(A), valid type rating/IR on the aircraft type that you intend to instruct and at least 1500 hours flight time as a pilot on multi-pilot aircraft. 
  • Also must have completed, within the 12 months preceding the date of application, 30 route sectors, including take-offs and landings, as PIC or co-pilot on the applicable airplane type, of which 15 sectors may be completed in an FFS representing that type.

However, even though the professional skills are vital for the candidate to become Type Rating Instructor, there are also additional requirements measuring your personal skills. Yes, during the training course you will gain main specific teaching skills however, before considering Type Rating Instructor profession try to answer yourself following questions, which will allow you to understand whether you are ready for such career:

  • why do you want to become an instructor? To earn more money or because you are eager to share the knowledge and inspire others to pursue pilot career?
  • are you willing to commit to the profession and put all the effort you can in order to ensure that your students not only receive the information, but also understand it and can use it in practice?
  • how are your communicational skills? Is it easy for you to explain things to people?
  • how are your teamwork skills? Do you like working with people, or you rather prefer individual work?
  • how much are you willing to work on the selection and preparation of information for your students? And do that on the regularly basis?

So why it is worth to become an instructor?

  • The reward of teaching. For some the ability to pass the knowledge to further degenerations of pilots is a very rewarding thing. If you are truly passionate about the aviation, most likely you will be eager to inspire others the same way you are. Having students – is the best way to do that.
  • Money. No need to tell, that a second job to your pilot career will give and additional income. Which, by the way, is pretty decent. Depending on the company, your experience, your Type Rating, hours that you perform as the Type Rating Instructor, your salary may start from 300 Euros per one FFS session up to… any amount suitable for your employer to pay.
  • Proficiency. In addition to the money, the additional job as an instructor allows you to develop your pilot proficiency. Being able to delivering knowledge and work with students helps you to develop good communication skills which are vital working in a cockpit. Also, regularly going through the material with your students, instructor maintains the freshest knowledge. Therefore it helps not only well perform his duties as the pilot, but also easily pass mandatory check, like Operators Proficiency Check (OPC). Furthermore, employer find instructing as a very appealing advantage in the candidates who wish to join the airline.
  • Once it will be the time for you to retire, or leave pilot profession for other reasons, having an instructor qualification will be a great way to continue your work in aviation.

How to be a good instructor?

  • Become one, lead by the passion to inspire others, not by the money.
  • Be interested in your students and let them know by being familiar with their backgrounds, problems and achievements.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Use humor while teaching
  • Be a flying instructor – the greatest instructors are those you are active fliers for an airline and have the most updated experience. This allows providing students not only with theoretical knowledge used in real cases, but sharing the valuable experience of everyday situations in the cockpit. Not only student value such instructors, but also training centres give a priority for candidates with such background.
  • Continue developing your skills. With the Type Rating Instructor training you will gain the fundamental knowledge for teaching. However, the good instructor will continue learning by himself. There are various courses or seminars for instructors focusing on raising instructor standards. This way you reach the higher level of instructor standards as both: instructor for your students and instructor for your employee.

So, have chosen what kind of instructor you would like to be?