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The NAFI Professional Development Program (PDP) is a means of providing all CFIs with invaluable education and tools to enhance their technical and teaching skills, including improving their ability to interact with their students so that more reach their goal to become a pilot.
NAFI Thanks the Following Companies for Sponsoring the Professional Development Center at 2017 Airventure:

Sim Training for CFIs

NAFI will offer scenario based sim training for CFIs in the NAFI Professional Development Center. Visit the Sim Classroom sponsored by Precision Flight Controls in the PDC and challenge yourself against real life scenarios.


The NAFI Professional Development Program (PDP) is a means of providing all CFIs with invaluable education and tools to enhance their technical and teaching skills, including improving their ability to interact with their students so that more reach their goal to become a pilot.

Educational programs offered in the PDP will come from NAFI members, staff, board members and industry leaders assuring quality and actionable information for all CFIs. Content covers a vast array of curricula that span basic communication skills, human factors, risk management and advanced training for both general aviation and commercial aviation instructors. These efforts will substantially contribute to increasing and maintaining a professional and informed community of flight instructors. For a detailed overview click here

Participation in the PDP is another way that NAFI members, board and staff contribute to growing the pilot population. The demand for professional pilots over the next several years may materially outpace the supply. By 2035, Boeing predicts the need for 617,000 new commercial airline pilots worldwide (1). Many aviation organizations, associations, aircraft manufacturers and suppliers of flight training materials have instituted campaigns to address this issue. These programs have proven to increase interest in learning to fly and to generate quality leads for flight schools and independent instructors. However, research shows that upwards to 80% of student pilots who start flight-training dropout before earning a certificate. Other than the commonly known issue of cost, most often cited are challenges with the flight instruction process as the reason to discontinue pursuit of a pilot’s certificate. Lack of structured training, consistency, professionalism, weak consideration for learning styles, a perceived lack of commitment to the student’s success and poor customer service can all be factors in discouraging individuals from learning to fly (2).

The National Association of Flight Instructors plays a vital role in the efforts of industry colleagues who tirelessly develop interest in flying by facilitating education and training programs for flight instructors that assure more people complete flight training. The NAFI Professional Development Program will develop CFIs that train more pilots and better pilots. With a 50-year track record, NAFI continues to reach CFIs across a wide spectrum with members who work in 30 countries; at flight schools, universities, FBOs, corporate flight departments, in the military and as independent instructors. 

The NAFI Professional Development Center

NAFI will host the first of many PDP initiatives at the 2017 AirVenture in the Professional Development Center (PDC). The Center will feature; a 50 seat theater for presentations by NAFI members for CFIs; a simulator classroom with four Precision Flight Controls AATDs for real-life scenario-based sim training for CFIs; and a Mentorship Cafe for networking with fellow members, NAFI staff and board members.

Many presentations at AirVenture will broadcast on FAASTeamTV. These WINGS-approved presentations are available for viewing by all pilots after filming in the archive on the FAASTeam website www.faasafety.gov. Whenever possible, future seminars and programs will also stream live on FAASTeamTV.

Courses feature risk management in the present and future, critical teaching methods, runway training strategies, best practices, ACS and student behavior. More information and a comprehensive schedule will be available in late-June

The scenario-based training program uses basic aviation training devices to provide the opportunity to test risk management and decision-making skills in real life dual training scenarios. They will address situations in areas such as Physical/Psychological, Technique and Regulatory. The participating CFI will provide dual training with a volunteer “student” briefed to spontaneously present with the randomized challenges.
Volunteer: For information on how you can get involved in this year’s PDC programs stay tuned for the next oppertunity!
Detailed Overview of the NAFI Professional Development Program

Flight instructors are on the front line of pilot development serving as the “distributer” of knowledge and service to students. To be proficient, CFIs need a unique set of skills. The NAFI Professional Development Program provides access for CFIs to the skills they need to enhance their instructional proficiency - for initial certification, periodic review, and continuing education

The NAFI PDP will provide education in four major subject areas:
  1. Physical/Psychological
  2. Legal/Insurance
  3. Business Skills
  4. Technique and Regulatory

Topics within major subject areas will include:
  • Physical/Psychological
  • Aeromedical
  • Stress/Fatigue
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Understanding and acting on Student Learning Styles
  • Legal/Insurance
  • The importance of professional liability insurance for flight instructors
  • Benefits of consulting an aviation attorney
  • Renters Insurance for themselves and their students
  • Educating students about their options
  • Business Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Profit and Loss
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Personnel oversight
  • Financial;Technique
  • Preflight Preparation
  • Preflight Procedures
  • Airport and seaplane base operations takeoffs, landing and go-arounds
  • Performance Maneuvers
  • Navigation
  • Slow Flight and Stalls
  • Basic Instrument Maneuvers
  • Emergency Operations
  • Multiengine Operations
  • Night Operations
  • Post-flight Procedures
  • CRM;Regulatory
  • Structure of the FAA and how it works
  • Endorsements, Testing, ACS;Enforcement actions resulting from student negligence
Additional training areas relevant to flight instruction include:
  • Safety Profile
  • Safety Mirror – personal safety attitude evaluation
  • Real life Human Factors
  • Decision making for high incident industries;Observe - Critique – Evaluate
  • Establishing student – instructor expectations;When to observe when to act
  • Written evaluations skills, formats, forms
  • Resume and Portfolio Preparation;Motivation – Mentorship – Networking Skills
Other topics will develop as the NAFI PDP evolves, including suggestions from members and others in the aviation community.