Chapter 7. Instructor Responsibilities and Professionalism

Educational/Training Institutions

Professional aviation instructors can further increase their knowledge and skill in aviation specialties by attending classes at local community colleges, technical schools, or universities. These schools may offer complete degree programs in aviation subjects as well as single-subject courses of benefit to instructors.

Commercial Organizations

Commercial organizations are another important source of education/training for the aviation instructor. Some may be publishers of training materials while others may provide complete ground and flight training programs for professional pilots and instructors. These companies often provide a wide variety of study programs including videos, computer-based training, and printed publications. Many offer training that can be attended either at the home base of the company or in traveling classes/seminars so instructors can more easily attend.

There are numerous organizations around the country that offer courses of training for aviation instructors. These are generally courses that are available to all pilots and technicians, but are especially useful for instructors to improve their abilities. Examples of such courses include workshops for maintenance technicians to enhance their skills in subjects such as composites, sheet metal fabrication, and fabric covering. For pilots there are courses in mountain flying, spin training, and tail wheel qualification. Flight instructors also may increase their aviation knowledge and experience by adding additional category and class ratings to their certificates.

Industry Organizations

Other significant sources of ongoing education for aviation instructors are aviation organizations. These organizations not only provide educational articles in their publications, but also present training programs or cosponsor such programs.

Many industry organizations have local affiliated chapters that make it easy to meet other pilots, technicians, and instructors. These meetings frequently include presentations by industry experts, as well as formal training sessions. Some aviation industry organizations conduct their own training sessions on areas such as flight instructor refresher clinics and Inspection Authorization (IA) seminars. Properly organized safety symposiums and training clinics are valuable sources of refresher training. They are also an excellent opportunity to exchange information with other instructors.

Sources of Material

An aviation instructor should maintain access to current flight publications or maintenance publications. For the flight instructor, this includes current copies of regulations pertinent to pilot qualification and certification, Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), appropriate Practical Test Standards (PTS), and pilot training manuals. The aviation maintenance instructor should have copies of applicable regulations, current knowledge and PTS, and maintenance training manuals. Aviation instructors must be thoroughly familiar with current certification and rating requirements in order to provide competent instruction. AC 00.2-15, Advisory Circular Checklist, is a listing of all current advisory circulars and other FAA publications sold by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) or available online at Many of the advisory circulars should be considered by the aviation instructor for inclusion in a personal reference library.

In addition to government publications, a number of excellent handbooks and other reference materials are available from commercial publishers. Aviation periodicals and technical journals from the aviation industry are other sources of valuable information for instructors. Many public and institutional libraries have excellent resource material on educational psychology, teaching methods, testing, and other aviation related subjects.

The aviation instructor has two reasons to maintain a source of current information and publications. First, the instructor needs a steady supply of fresh material to make instruction interesting and up to date. Second, instructors should keep themselves well informed by maintaining familiarity with what is being written in current aviation publications. Most of these publications are in printed form, but increasingly, information is available through electronic means. [Figure 7-8]

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