After putting in countless hours of studying and preparing for your CFI checkride, the big day finally arrives.

You sit down with the FAA Inspector or Examiner, and less than 15 minutes later you’re going home with a Notice of Disapproval - having never even started the oral portion of your checkride.

Why?

Because your Flight Instructor either made wrong or incomplete endorsements in your logbook, or maybe just didn’t make all the required endorsements.

And when it comes to the CFI checkride, it’s just as much your fault as it is your Instructor’s.

The reason is because checkride endorsements are a required Area of Operation in the CFI PTS (AoA Section II, Task: M).

So as a CFI applicant showing up for your checkride with wrong, missing, or incomplete endorsements, you have just demonstrated your deficiency in this area of operation.

REQUIRED ENDORSEMENTS

There are four (4) required endorsements for the Certified Flight Instructor(Initial), Airplane Single Engine Land(ASEL) checkride:

  • 1. Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI).
  • 2. Flight Instructor Ground & Flight Proficiency/Practical Test.
  • 3. Endorsement for the Practical Test Prerequisites.
  • 4. Spin Training Endorsement.
Note: No endorsements are required to take any of the CFI written exams unless the applicant failed any of the required previous tests.

ENDORSEMENT EXAMPLES

Here are examples of the endorsements above, including a brief description for each one.

Note: Don’t just take my word for it; always refer to AC 61-65G (current as of 8/25/2017) for the most up to date endorsements.

Fundamentals of Instruction

This endorsement states that your flight instructor has given you the required training on the Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) as required by 14 CFR section 61.183(d) and section 61.185(a)(1).

FOI Endorsement

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required Fundamentals of Instruction training of 61.183 and 61.185(a)(1) and (a)(2).
{Date, Instructor Name and Signature, 1234567CFI, Exp. 12/31/2017}

CFI Ground & Flight Proficiency / Practical Test

This endorsement states that your flight instructor has given you the required training, as per 14 CFR 61.183(g) and 61.187(a)(b). This is for both aeronautical knowledge (ground) and Flight proficiency (flight training).

Note: Make sure that you have a logbook record of each ground training session and that each one is signed by your Instructor.

Practical Test Endorsement

I certify that {First name, MI, Last name} has received the required training of section 61.187(b). I have determined he/she is prepared for the CFI - (aircraft category and class) practical test.
{Date, Instructor Name and Signature, 1234567CFI, Exp. 12/31/2017}

PRACTICAL TEST PRE-REQUISITES

For all practical tests requiring an instructor endorsement, there must be an endorsement certifying that the training was received within the prescribed time as required by 14 CFR 61.39(a)(6).

Prerequisites Endorsement

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the training as required by 61.39(a)(6)(i) within the preceding two calendar months and have determined that he/she is prepared for the Flight Instructor (category and class) practical test.
{Date, Instructor Name and Signature, 1234567CFI, Exp. 12/31/2017}

Knowledge Test Endorsement

I certify that {First name, MI, Last name} has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas shown to be deficient on his/her Flight Instructor Airman’s and Fundamentals of Instruction Airman Knowledge Tests as required by 61.39(a)(6)(iii).
{Date, Instructor Name and Signature, 1234567CFI, Exp. 12/31/2017}

Note: Sometimes these two endorsements are combined into one long endorsement.

STALL AND SPIN AWARENESS (INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL)

For a CFI certificate with an airplane category rating, as required by 14 CFR 61.183(i)(1), the applicant must receive a logbook endorsement stating satisfactory demonstration of instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures in airplanes.

Stall / Spin Endorsement

I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required training of 61.183(i). I have determined that he/she is competent and possesses instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures.
{Date, Instructor Name and Signature, 1234567CFI, Exp. 12/31/2017}

INITIAL CHECKRIDES IN MULTI-ENGINE AIRPLANES

CFI applicants taking their initial CFI checkride in a multi-engine airplane are required to have undergone stall and spin training as well (completed in a single-engine airplane), and have a logbook endorsement to prove the instructional proficiency in this area of operation.

OTHER THINGS TO CHECK FOR

  • Complex Airplane Endorsement.
  • High Performance Endorsement (If Needed
  • All Ground Training Has Been Logged.
  • All Flight Training Has Been Logged.

RECOMMENDING INSTRUCTOR QUALIFICATIONS

All flight and/or ground instructors must meet the requirements of 14 CFR 61.195(h) to be eligible to endorse initial CFI applicants for practical tests.

And while this is not an endorsement (per 61.195(i), flight instructors are prohibited from making self-endorsements), some Flight Instructors place this courtesy statement in the applicant’s logbook.

Instructor’s Qualifications Courtesy Statement

I certify that I meet the flight instructor qualifications necessary to provide ground and flight training for an initial flight instructor applicant, as required by CFR 61.195(h)(1)(i) & (2).
{Date, Instructor Name and Signature, 1234567CFI, Exp. 12/31/2017}

Note: This statement is not found in AC 61-65G.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

It's your instructor's job to make the required endorsements, but remember, it’s still your responsibility to ensure that your Instructor has made all the correct endorsements.

If your endorsements are not correct or are incomplete, YOU WILL fail your CFI checkride!

And you wouldn’t believe how many CFI applicants fail within the first 15 minutes simply because their flight instructor didn’t make the proper logbook endorsements.

 

Questions or Comments?  Leave them below!

Required Endorsements for the Initial CFI Checkride.  Don't be THAT CFI applicant that fails within 15 minutes of getting started..
Shawn Hardin
Shawn is a Commercial Pilot and active Flight Instructor. You can read more about him here.