From student to teacher

Well, I’ve finally done it. After three years of flight training at UND, I’ve earned the last rating required for graduation – and the one most useful to a job search in Washington State: as of early last week, I am a Flight Instructor, Instrument. Yes, I still have one more semester here, and yes, I could earn many more instructor ratings, but this is probably the single biggest step towards my aviation career.

One of the most amazing things about CFIand CFII training is discovering just how much you don’t know. Aviation is a process of constant learning, but nowhere is it obvious to this extent. Before beginning the course, I was a current, instrument-rated pilot, but I was hardly proficient. Shooting an unfamiliar approach could have been interesting, to say the least. Now, I feel that I could fly just about anywhere in the country and successfully execute an approach in minimum conditions, teaching a student the whole time. It’s a huge boost in confidence.

Due to a registration snafu, I wasn’t able to enroll in the CRJ simulator course, and won’t be graduating as planned in August. It’s not all bad – I plan to apply here, at UND, as an instructor for the fall, so the additional tuition costs should be offset somewhat. I’ll also be earning hours of dual given experience, which never hurts. Once summer courses are finished in a couple weeks, I’ll head home and start planning for the coast-to-coast cross country flight I mentioned back in April.

Takeoff and landing


The student will gain a familiarity with the procedures used during takeoff and landing phases of flight, as well as a knowledge of proper wind correction techniques. An understanding of runway incursions and how to avoid them should also be developed.


  • Runway incursion avoidance
  • Normal takeoff
  • Normal landing
  • Crosswind takeoff
  • Crosswind landing


Introduction 05
Main body 25
Application 05
Conclusion 05
Total 40 minutes


  • model aircraft
  • whiteboard and markers
  • Airplane Flying Handbook
  • UND standardization manual

Instructor actions

Explain and demonstrate the proper techniques, using whiteboard and model aircraft. The discussion will be guided, and based on the student’s reading assignment, to ensure the student’s level of understanding is at an appropriate level.

Student Actions

The student should have read the Airplane Flying Handbook and Pilot’s Handbook chapters on the topic, and participate in the guided discussion by answering questions and explaining their actions in the situations posed.

Completion standards

The lesson will be complete when the student has an understanding of normal and crosswind procedures, and can explain them. The student will also be able to explain the proper technique to use for given scenarios.

Teaching outline

  • before-takeoff actions
    • runup and checklists complete
    • takeoff direction: into the wind. why?
    • visually clear base and final
    • tower clearance or CTAF position / intentions announcement
  • wake turbulence considerations
  • runway incursion avoidance
Normal takeoff
  • takeoff roll
    • align with runway!
    • release brakes and smoothly apply power
    • add rudder along with throttle to counteract turning tendencies
  • rotation / liftoff
  • initial climb
  • Runway incursion avoidance
    • controlled airports
    • uncontrolled airports
    • position reporting
  • Normal takeoff
    • theory
    • performance
    • control inputs required
    • checklist usage
  • Normal landing
    • theory
    • performance
    • control inputs required
    • checklist usage
  • Crosswind takeoff
    • wind correction technique
    • control inputs required
    • maintaining extended centerline
  • Crosswind landing
    • wind correction technique
    • control inputs required
    • proper rollout technique

Instrument Proficiency Check plan of action

This plan of action, while generic, meets the requirements of the Instrument Practical Test Standards.

Logbook endorsement

I certify that full namecertificate & number, has satisfactorily completed the instrument proficiency check of §61.57(d) in a make and model on date.

Date, signature, CFI #, exp date

  1. FAR Part 91 review
    • Subpart B (instrument flight rules)
    • Subpart C (equipment, instrument, and certificate requirements)
    • Subpart E (maintenance)
  2. Instrument enroute and approach charts
    • SID/DPs
    • STARs
  3. Weather analysis and knowledge
  4. Preflight planning
    • performance data and fuel planning
    • alternates
    • publications and NOTAMS
  5. Aircraft systems related to IFR operations
  6. Aircraft flight instruments and navigation equipment
    • technologically advanced aircraft
    • oxygen and anti- or de-icing equipment
  7. Airworthiness status of aircraft and avionics related to IFR flight
  8. Other areas, as appropriate
  1. Recovery from unusual flight attitudes
  2. VOR/DME approach (nonprecision)
    • Intercepting/tracking navaids and DME arcs
    • Missed approach
  3. Approach with loss of primary flight instruments (on final)
    • Circle to land
    • Missed approach
    • Holding
  4. Emergency operations
  5. ILS (precision)
    • Landing from a straight-in approach
  6. Postflight procedures