Would CFI or pilot be insulted if asked ...

If I ask any pilot or a flight instructor just assigned to start teaching me how to fly in a Part 91 or 141 type school or just to go for a ride with in plane -
Would a pilot be insulted or refuse or be pissed off if I asked questions to him/her like:

  • let me see your current pilot license ?
  • let me look thru your latest flight logbook ?
  • how many hours total do you have ?
  • have you had any accidents/incidents against you ?
  • how many hours dual instruction have given ?
  • how long been a CFI ?
  • how many students have recd PPL or other licenses thru you ?
  • is medical uptodate ?
  • anything else about CFI or pilot’s flying history/skills/ratings etc ?

I wouldnt get in a car and let a stranger drive me around on the roads

  • So why should I do same by getting in a plane and let a stranger
    (CFI or another licensed pilot ) fly me around ?

Maybe the CFI or pilot would be proud or honest and glad to show and answer all the above questions ?

I can go an look up some basic minor info on FAA airman registry
like if have current medical or type of pilot license.

I just think if you dont ask - noone is gonna usually volunteer to tell ya.

Plus I would run the other way - if the CFI or pilot gets all offended or angry just because I ask - before hopping in the plane with them

Ohh and same goes for the aircraft - rental or flying club or whatever -

  • ask to see AW certificate
  • how old and how many hours on airframe and engine
  • any prior accidents or issues with it
  • last time it was maintained
  • to see the actual paper records and docs showing above

Is this a good idea or cool to do ?

Are you stupid if you dont ask or at least be thinking about this stuff ?

I’m pissed off and I’m not a CFI or a pilot.

:laughing: Deef you crack me up…

On a serious note though…whats the point? He could be lying to you…and he couldve pencil-whipped his log book. So again, whats the point?
My logbook is very dear and precious to me…only three entities will ever see my logbook, a CFI doing my BFR, an FAA inspector doing a ramp check, or the Authorities, and for them to see it…lets just say I mustve done something very bad or very stupid. If you’re getting training, your more than likely at a Flight School, which means the CFI your giving the spanish inquisition to, has no doubt checked him out in more ways than you thought of. Its an insurance thing. :wink: Would I be pissed? No…I’d just tell you to F-off…however…I’m an A-hole. Someone else will be different. I think…I cant answer for the hundreds of CFIs and pilots.


I predict this is gonna be a three pager… :laughing:

If I was a CFI (or other licensed professional), I would not be offended if someone asked me to see my credentials.

Ditto if I ran a flight school.

You can ask any of those questions if you first state: “I’m with the FAA and I’m here to help you.” …

So you are saying I don’t have the right to question a person and/or school that I will be giving a lot of my money to?

(Of course, if you are kidding then disregard my statement above)

JK 8)

As an instructor, I wouldn’t be offended by someone asking about my experience or training, but I would think it quite odd if a student asked to see my certificate or log book (I would have to find it first!). As Beechluvr said, a log book means virtually nothing. You have no clue if it’s accurate or completely made up.

I think you should ask all the questions you want answered. You’re the customer! If they are offended or not willing to answer, you should consider running. Frankly, I’ve never asked those questions or heard of anyone doing so, but hindsight 20/20, I wish I had asked a few more questions. I used to be very shy. :stuck_out_tongue:

The best question to ask, in my opinion, is not of the CFI or school, but of your peers. Every CFI is going to be qualified to train you and have the proper credentials to do so (for insurance purposes most importantly). As already noted, a log-book is going to do very little.

Again, ask around the FBO/School. Those that are going along in their training will have input, I can promise you that. Another thing to take into consideration is what your training style is.

When I first started training, I took an intro ride with a CFI who happened to own two aircraft on the line (he was a software big-wig at Intel who happened to buy out the establishment a year or two ago) and while he was good at what he did, he was far too controlling and anal for my training style. I found that most of the time I was changing how I was responding to questions or moving an aircraft to please him or in a way that would incite productive feedback that wasn’t disapproving because it differed from his opinion of how it should be done.

While I never told him what I felt about it, I remained with the school and scheduled time with another instructor who was just as qualified but had a different approach to teaching that fit the way I learned. Happily flew with him until I was certified.

Again, I think it’s more about you than the instructor. Ask around.

Fly safe.

ok - good to know - didnt know that there seems to be opinion that the pilot log book doesnt mean much - I didnt realize that -
So does this pencil whipping of hours or whatever in log go on alot ?
Kinda amazes me to read about this here…

I assumed (when I flew student hours as in dual - the CFI always had to sign and write up what was done - so that at least is honest and true )
He had to sign off/endorse for Solo and Xctry things and go take exams etc…
I know when I soloed it was just me writing down what I did
And yehh - I guess I could fudge and make up lots of stuff. But I didnt
being afraid FAA might caqtch me with all the rules and get me or someone in trouble.

Point is - how many people today would even think of getting in a car with a complete stranger and let them drive them around - let alone get in a plane and let
them fly with you or fly you around ?

Mainly I want to get some idea of the CFI or pilot’s experience in hours and kind of hours of flying. I will find out right quick if they dont like me asking. Yehh and other students’ opinions/views would help prob even better.

Plus - as was said - I am the PAYING customer and paying around $50 per hour for CFI and $100 + for a plane…
I’m GONNA ask a boatload of questions - and basically I am your
boss for that hour Im paying the CFI (meaning only I get your full 100% undivided attention and instruction - no chitchat on cellphone or helping other students when you’re on my clock) -
I am going to do whatever the CFI says while flying (believing he is
“the man” as far flying safe and teaching me correctly) but I am thepaying customer and will Donald Trump you and go somewhere else
with my money.

I dont think if the CFI or pilot is ethical honest and secure in his profession/job he or she would have any problem with any of my questions…

There lots of CFIs looking for a job or to make money and I would
RUN and look elsewhere if I got any kind of bad atttitude with my asking questions first upfront.

I do both of these frequently. When I arrive in a new city, I sometimes take a cab to the hotel. I have never met the cab driver before, but I trust him to drive me around the city. Sometimes, he’ll even take me a more scenic route than the shortest one possible so I can even see more of the city. :unamused: Heck, sometimes I’ve been known to get in a large commercial vehicle with dozens of other city dwellers and let some complete stranger drive us all around the city! (The bus)

When I fly commercially, I get into an airplane with a pilot and flight crew that I have not checked up on and they fly me to my destination. I have never had any problems flying this way. I have never had a need to check the credentials on my airline pilot. (And, with the way TSA has been lately, I suspect that trying to do so might cause a “security incident.”)

Now, you should check out your CFI and ask him questions. Do you need to personally verify his credentials? I doubt it, but just by talking with the guy (or gal), you should either feel at ease or worried about it. The CFI could be the best pilot in the world, but if he has no people/teaching skills, would you still want him/her as your instructor? I’ve found that you can learn a lot about a person’s personality just by talking with them for 30 minutes or so. If they tell you that they’ve instructed 100 students, do you really want to go through all of their records and count them all? Or is it enough for them to say that they did it. Maybe ask for a reference?

To be honest, that attitude isn’t going to get you anywhere. There are always going to be bad apples, but CFIs aren’t going to put their life on the line for $50/hr. And while you might think you’re the ‘boss’ for the hour, you’re paying him to teach you, to give you the knowledge he knows and you don’t. You’re expected just as much to sit back and take/answer questions from the CFI.

It’s the CFIs looking for a job or trying to make money that you want to stay away from. Good CFIs stay put or progress through their aviation career.

Take it from a certified pilot who trained out of two FBOs (all for my instructor). Talk shop with the owner/operators of the FBO, talk to your peers, and talk to your CFI. But going into it and demanding that you see their underwear, as if that will some how validate their capability as an instructor, and that because you’re paying for it, you’re some how not going to take no for an answer is unrealistic.

Remember that you can “Donald Trump” it all you want, and most CFIs/training centers will let you go. The FBO I flew out of took on 2 SR-22s and the guys that came in trying to learn those things with 0 hours and big pockets often left with the same attitude but the FBO and CFIs were glad since they were too hard to train in the air and on the ground.

Good luck, but it sounds like you may need to compromise a bit.

I wonder what Frank would have to say…as he is a CFI also…

Dont get me wrong - just trying to be as careful as possible
with my life and my money (dont havemuch)… Im reasonable
I just meaning boss is I’d expect as much effort and all from the cfi as I do from myself and would hope to get the best cfi possible available…
and yeh he might be Chuck Yeager but terrible teacher - so that matters alot
And I would quickly change/switch/try out another cfi instead…
If flight sch or fbo balks at that - then see ya later to them.

Yeh forgot about cabs and buses… but lil different. Was thinking more like
hitching a ride home from stranger like when car broke down for ex…
And airline pilots - I dont have much choice But with picking a fbo or cfi to fly with I do have more control or choices.

How bout these FBO’s and flying clubs…
I just found on Youtube (of all things) a very local accident at one
of flying places at airport I fly from and just last summer they had a
serious accident - it made it on local TV news for about 2 minutes that day… I never knew or heard about it… I musta missed the newspapers that day…
There aint no notice or billboard of course today advertising this mishap/accident occurred anywhere in the fbo/flt school today sooo …

And what about the specific aircraft that was involved.
Is that accident plane (after its repaired) gonna be back in rotation and I get it next to train in ?
How would I know for sure if ac had a prior accident or incident ?
And even if I do know - is it really ready safe to fly ?
(think Id wait a few days/weeks for some others to go up in it for while)

Now supposed I go in and ask that FBO or Flt school -
“Have any accidents or incidents recently - past year or two”

They are prob gonna blow me off and of course say No no problems…
because I am very potential customer with willing green cabbage coming out the pockets maybe…

So do I have to go thru the FAA or NTSB online database of accidents to verify/ confirm the facts ?
I have read some and noticed there are usually no names of pilots or companies listed… so I guess that wont help much

If the fbo place said “No no accident” when I know they DID have one less than a year ago -
Would you still fly or rent or train with them ?

Why do I need to depend on a Youtube video to find out about such things ?
How many other accidents or problems happen that dont make the news or onto youtube - guess at mercy of the people running these places.
(doesnt seem too good)

Wow. I should stop myself from posting, but really?

You’ve blown the truth off of the whole gig.

Not only are all the aircraft you train on damaged from accidents, they’re rebuilds of previously destroyed aircraft. Each and every one of them.

Why don’t you go and invest in a good flight simulator set up where you can have complete control over the weather, the aircraft, and the instructor, who I hear is very uniform in his instructions.

There is a certain level of risk associated to flight. If you can’t get your mind around that risk, then you shouldn’t even bother flying. Keep in mind as well that every time you swap out CFIs, you’re setting your own training back at least two lessons. While you may trust the new CFI, they’re not going to trust you with complete control over the aircraft until a few lessons in.

I’ve flown in aircraft that had prop strikes (you replace those), bird strikes, and a few cracked windshields, again it comes with the territory and believe it or not, the manufactures made their aircraft to withstand such accidents.

Same instructor and now owner that I spoke of above. This aircraft is beautiful. Shortly after purchasing the aircraft, a renter took her out for I believe one night and upon arrival at LVK, had a very very hard landing.

Gear was messed up and there were firewall issues. Not only did Komanetsky openly discuss it, he put up a webpage associated to the aircraft updating its status, listing repairs, and speaking very sternly of the man who abused his aircraft (who denied it, could not be held accountable, not welcomed back to the FBO).

*NTSB Probable Cause Narrative

substantial damage to the airplane during unknown phase of flight for undetermined reasons.

NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident

Substantial structural damage was found during a maintenance inspection. The date, time, and location where the damage occurred remains unknown. The pilot and any other occupants who may have been on board at the time are unknown, and it is presumed that there were no injuries. During an inspection, the airplane’s mechanic found that the firewall was structurally damaged. The operator stated that she does not know when, where, or who damaged the aircraft. She further stated that there were three individuals who flew the airplane after its most recent 100-hour inspection. All the pilots and their previous passengers stated that their past flights and respective landings were uneventful; there were no witnesses to state differently. The operator added that the damage done to the airplane was not externally visible and could not have been detected during a preflight inspection. The date, time, and location utilized for this accident is referenced from the last flight for computer entry purposes only. A determination was not made regarding the identity of the pilot(s) that caused the damage to the training airplane.*

If you’re still worried at this point, again, try out the simulator option.

As the CFI can I ask the student to see his driving record and school transcripts? After all, if the student is gonna try to kill me learning to fly, I want to make sure he/she doesn’t have trouble keeping a car on the road and isn’t some kind of idiot in a special ed class. I don’t have a special ed teaching certificate and my teaching ability shouldn’t be judged by exceeding a reasonable teacher’s limitations. :stuck_out_tongue:

What if the student doesn’t drive? My brother took flying lessons before he knew how to drive!