Aviation for Women

JUL-AUG 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

Issue link: https://afwdigital.epubxp.com/i/995717

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Page 43 of 52

J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 AviationforWomen 41 Changes for Commercial/CFI Certificate Checkride M E G G O D L E W S K I A re you working on your commercial or CFI certificate? The FAA recently made a change to the aircraft requirement for the flight tests that works in your favor. As of April 24, 2018, the FAA dropped the requirement for the use of a complex aircraft for commercial and instructor checkrides. A complex aircraft is defined as one that has retractable landing gear, flaps, and controllable pitch propeller. For decades, people have trained for the sin- gle-engine commercial and CFI certificates in Cessna 172RG or 182RGS and Piper Arrow or Saratoga. FAR 61.129 lays out the experience you require to qualify for the single-engine com- mercial—it breaks down to 250 hours' total time under Part 61 and 190 hours' total time under Part 141 programs. The difference is that Part 61 requires at least 50 hours of cross-country experience. The 50 hours of cross-country time requirement is waived under Part 141 for com- mercial candidates. Of that 250 and 190 hours' total time, only 10 hours are required to be in a complex aircraft. The 10-hour requirement, per FAR 61.129(a)(3)(ii), still remains. Traditionally, complex aircraft are more expen- sive to rent than their noncomplex counterparts because they have higher maintenance costs due to more moving parts such as retractable landing gear. This is also why insurance costs are higher. W hen the aircraft is damaged in a gear-up landing the result is a higher insurance premi- um, not to mention the cost of repair and loss of revenue. This combination leads many flight schools to drop the complex aircraft from their fleet. The clients who wish to achieve his or her commercial or CFI certificate must go elsewhere. It is possible to get the complex signoff without achieving the commercial certificate. Training is done to proficiency, often with the hours require- ment set by the school's insurance carrier. Prepping for the commercial checkride is like childbirth—it takes as long as it takes. In addi- tion to the rules and regulations, weather, hu- man factors, airspace, and airport operations, you must know the systems of the aircraft and fly the required commercial maneuvers: lazy eights, eights on pylons, and chandelle to commercial standards dictated by the Airman Certification Standards for commercial pilots. The more you study and fly, the quicker you will acquire the knowledge and skill necessary to pass the commercial checkride. Not having to wait for the only complex airplane in the fleet to practice for the checkride should help expedite the process. The commercial pilot certificate allows you to work as a pilot. It does not necessarily mean you are heading for the airlines, although that is the goal of most commercial pilots. If this is your wish, build your hours and experience to meet the hiring qualifications of a future employer. Most people do that by becoming CFIs. To qualify for the CFI certificate, the applicant must hold both a commercial pilot certificate and an instrument rating—but there is no minimum hour requirement for CFI training. CFI candidates must fly to a commercial pilot level—from the right seat. It's that transition to the right seat that can take the most time because the sight picture is different. You may feel like you have to learn how to fly the commercial maneuvers all over again as you learn the sight picture from the right side of the aircraft. You may even find it difficult to program the avionics from the right seat, and there is a learning curve because the push to talk switch is on the "wrong side" of the yoke. Don't worry; it doesn't take too long to adjust to using your left hand for the things your right hand used to do. You need to be able to fly and teach at the same time. Being able to talk while f lying may not sound difficult, but it is. One of the "tells" when a CFI client is getting tired is when he or she stops talking during the flight. Try not to be that pilot, especially when someone is paying you to teach him or her. The only exception to this is when the client is doing something correctly, in which case not saying anything is a good call. I often tell my clients, especially the men, that when I am quiet it is a good thing. I have found I have to say this, because they are conditioned to believe that when a woman is quiet it is because she is upset. Using a noncomplex aircraft for the CFI check- ride will also expedite your teaching career, as most of your instructional time will likely be in a noncomplex aircraft. You will spend hundreds of hours in the right seat of a Cessna or Piper as you build your experience. Enjoy it. ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meg Godlewski, WAI 8165, is a seven-time Master CFI and an active instructor. I often tell my clients, especially the men, that when I am quiet it is a good thing. I have found I have to say this, because they are conditioned to believe that when a woman is quiet it is because she is upset. T I P S F R O M A C F I

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