Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Instructor Responsibilities and Professionalism Lesson by wifiCFI


To determine that the applicant exhibits instructional knowledge of instructor responsibilities and professionalism by describing:

Aviation instructor responsibilities:

Helping students learn

Providing adequate instruction

Standards of performance

Minimizing student frustrations

Flight instructor responsibilities:

Physiological obstacles for flight students

Ensuring student ability


Evaluation of student ability

Aviation instructors and exams

Professional development

Aviation Instructor Responsibilities Below are the responsibilities of all aviation instructors: Helping students learn

Providing adequate instruction

Demanding adequate standards of performance

Emphasizing the positive

Ensuring aviation safety

Helping Students Learn

Make each lesson a pleasurable experience for the student. 

By doing this the instructor can help the student maintain a high level of motivation throughout their training experience. 

Keep the learning material interesting and engaging.

Providing Adequate Instruction

No two students are alike. 

This is why it’s important to tailor instruction to the student’s personality, thinking, and ability. 

It is also important to assign the proper goals to students. 

Set small goals for students who progress slowly or who may be frustrated with their training. 

Set larger more difficult goals for those students who learn the material and progress quickly.

Standards of Performance

It is important for students to know what standards they must perform to in order to be safe, competent pilots. 

Teach students how to use the PTS standards and always use them as goals to be obtained throughout training.

Emphasize the positive. 

Rather than stating the consequences of ill performance, state the benefits of excellent performance.

Minimizing Student Frustrations Learn to create an environment that encourages learning rather than an environment that discourages learning.

Use an organized syllabus

Motivate students

Keep students informed

Approach students as individuals and not numbers

Give credit where credit is due

Criticize constructively

Be consistent

Admit errors you make, no one is perfect

Flight Instructor Responsibilities

Physiological obstacles for flight students:

Make new students feel comfortable with the differences in flying light training aircraft. 

Noises, G-forces, or other sensations can make students feel uncomfortable and this will inhibit their learning ability.

Ensuring student skill set:

Instructors need to ensure student pilot skill set prior to releasing the student for solo flight. This includes: takeoffs, landings, ability to prioritize, ability to ask ATC for assistance when needed, and proper navigation skills.

Professionalism How to make a professional impression:

Be sincere.

Maintain professional appearance.

Maintain a calm demeanor.

Avoid profanity.

Define common terms.

Motivate the student.

Keep the student informed.

Be consistent.

Be reliable.

Evaluation of Student Ability Always evaluate a student’s ability and his/her progress. 

Be sure to keep the student informed of this progress and spend extra time on the areas in which the student is insufficient.

Aviation Instructors and Exams

Be sure to thoroughly prepare all students for both the written and practical exams. 

When you feel they are fully prepared to pass their exams then it is the instructor’s responsibility to endorse the student’s logbook.

Professional Development

Never stop learning. 

Aviation is an ever changing industry and it is imperative to stay “up-with-the-times” in order to be a safe and proficient flight instructor.

FAA Sources Used in this Lesson

Aviation Instructor’s Handbook

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