10 characteristics of Good Flight Instructors


It’s unfair to expect all the great characteristics possessed by all the instructors. Every instructor is unique and has got own style and personality. I have been blessed with three great instructors in my training periods. This list created from intake of three of the amazing instructors I came across and some terrible once I seen around. So when you flying next time keep an open mind to see which of the characteristics your instructors have.


1.Passion – Some of the instructors are only teaching students just to build hours. So they don’t have any passion for flying. But there are many great instructors which are dedicated towards their jobs and very passionate, which will rub off to students too. Great pilots made by great instructors


2.Patient – Instructors should be always patient while teaching. They need to remember that flying experience is new to many students and by shouting and screaming in the plane they can’t achieve anything and students will lose focus throughout the whole flight.


3.Pre-flight – Normally in my experience most of the Instructor never come while you conduct preflight. They will ask the student to do the preflight and turn up just the right time to turn the engine to start the plane. If they are not there then student can’t ask any question they might have and instructor cant observe and correct if the student make any mistake, also students been charge for this time as ground time so instructor should respect that and be there when they get paid. Preflight is a good time to go over last lesson and find out is the student fully understand everything from that day.


4.Post flight – I noticed many instructors just get the signature from student and go as soon as the flight landed. Again they will put some ground time here as well sometime. Post flight briefing is so important for student’s improvement. This is the period where every Instructor should go through every mistake the student made and should also praise the student for good flight to enhance the  confidence level and brief the plan about the next flight so that student can prepare for it.


5.Respect the money – Instructors should respect the fact that students are spending so much money for their training just like the instructor did few years back. So the time is money in aviation and Instructor always try to look for saving some money for student by advising to do home studies before each flight, simulator training or chair flying.


6.Time keeping – One of the most important parts in aviation is punctuality. You won’t last in aviation industry too long if don’t have that attribute. Instructor should be good example to the student to show the way to be professionals. Flight training is not just to learn how to fly. It’s also to learn what it takes to be an airline pilot so when you get your turn to show it to the interviewer, you will be super confident.


7.Record keeping – Instructor should always know the lesson plan of the student and the progress of the student. Many of them still turn up to the plane and ask student “what we are doing today?”. Preparation is very important. This way the student will also appreciate that instructor took the time to make plan for the flight.


8.Be a mentor – Flight training is always conducted on a one on one basis. So the student solely depends on this one instructor for the knowledge and skill for the future success. So Instructor should always try to help the student and be a great mentor to guide in every single way to make his dream come true. It’s always good to be a good friend with the student to help him out to settle in the new city if the student recently moved from another country or city.


9.Learning – Instructors never should stop learning. After they get their instructor rating most of them relax and start to think that they can just teach people what they know and wait for the hours to pile up. It’s a wrong way to think. You have a power tool of creating more pilots. So you should always improve your knowledge and share that with students to improve their knowledge too.
10.Never cut corner – Many instructors teach the student about the questions that will be asked in the oral exam or maneuvers will be tested in practical exam. This is a regular practice in many schools by knowing some of the examiner regular routine. Never learn limited amount of questions because students might pass and get the license now but will fail in the interview when they get to airline.



I choose my instructor by recommendation from one of my friends in the flight school. I soon realized he is such a great skilled instructor with lots of passion and dedication towards flying. I had great few flight lessons till I came across on one flight about an outraging personality when I made a mistake he shouted and screamed towards me. Every time he shouts in the plane I lose my focus and started to do many more mistakes. I started to get scared of flying with him as if I was flying with a snake that could bite me any second. Even though I stuck by this instructor throughout my private pilot lesson I hated every moment I was flying with him. I do regret now that I had bit of courage to face him and to tell him that if he is going to carry on this manner I will change the instructor.
My instructor has strict personality which makes it difficult to have friendly talk with him or even difficult to ask any question about aviation and my flying. Usually my instructor turns up to the flight just the minute before I start the engine and goes away as soon as I land and switch off the engine. Even though for a long time I get charged for preflight and post flight but I find difficult to question him. Thirty minutes ground I get charged for each flight. It doesn’t seem too much money for 30 minutes but it adds on when you fly over fifty flights. when I talk about this to other students it seems like many students goes through the same issue with their instructor which made me think this issue it just common in the flight schools.
My course fee had been quoted as $45,500. The school did mention this price is for 40 hours of private pilot license and they did inform me most of the students completed around 50 hours to 60 hours. So I expected couple of $1000 to increase it to a final price. But when I checked my school account on the day I got my instrument rating, I have spent around $49000 already. I still have multi engine commercial license pending and also 30hours of hours building. This is going to push the price more than $15000 than quotation quoted price. The school knows that once you start your training you just have to agree the price and pay for it without questioning them. That’s what many students did in the past. I can see that these extra charges will carry on in this flight training industry.
I started my job in USA after years of saving and clear research. I found this company in India and they guaranteed an airline pilot job as soon u complete your commercial license. It’s a dream come true for any student pilot to start a training and to know you will be flying for a airline as soon as you finish the training especially when you have spend over 40000$. The job confirmation they provided us didn’t look fake to me as the document had job details and an approved stamp from aviation authorities. Once I completed my training, I returned to India in such a joy that my parents are going to see their son as first officer in an airline. All my dreams just shattered when I went to the office in India to find out when I can start my job. It completely shocked me when they told that I am on a waiting list with other pilots and that they couldn’t tell me the exact time period for a job and I need to wait. Be careful of these fake agents and companies.
After a month of training I went for a flight as unusual, when I requested my flight log and the keys from dispatcher lady. She informed me that my account is negative. I was completely shocked because I have deposited fifteen thousand dollars a month ago. I asked her to print my account detail to check where my money went? She printed out my sheets of my flight detail of my account for the last month. In that account, I noticed that they charged me $3000 of administration fee which they never mentioned anywhere on the website or the document they had sent me with the acceptance letter before I started the training. When I complained about this to the school office I got a simple answer “every student get this fee charged”. I was very disappointed and argued a lot regarding this matter to finally realize that I have just have accepted this fee and carry on with my training. After this incident I make sure that I check my account regularly if there are anymore hidden charges applied from nowhere.
Some flight school use desperate measures and try to exploit the situation of the new instructors from abroad. Once they finish the training, the school owners knows that these new instructors wants to build hours and get experience rather than go back to their own country. I only know these details after several of my flights. My instructor never showed any enthusiasm towards the trainee but he wanted to fly many hours every week. When I asked others students they explained to me my instructors doesn’t get paid for his work. It came clearly to me that you can’t expect someone to give 100 % when they don’t get paid for the job they do. By the time I changed the instructor that I already flew 32 hours without even get my solo since then I changed my instructor I wish I had done this sooner.