What records should a CFI keep to prove they took due care in the quality of their instruction?

Canuk
  • What records should a CFI keep to prove they took due care in the quality of their instruction? Canuk

    I know there has been some cases where a flight instructor is sued after a current or former student does something that gets themselves (the student) killed or causes damage.

    I know that there have been cases where a flight instructor has been acquitted by proving that they took due care in their flight instruction, and the accident was not a result of poor instruction.

    What specifically would a prudent flight instructor do to ensure they are keeping detailed enough records to prove that they are providing adequate instruction and that a resulting accident would not be due to poor instruction?

    What are the records a CFI is legally required to keep, and what are the records they should keep in addition to that?

    This question is in context of CFIs in the United States.

  • Have a well defined syllabus, and then a daily activity sheet where you write down the lesson you did, the time it took, and how the student performed. If anything peculiar happens, make a note.

    Have a well-written lesson binder too. Even if you don't need to use the binder to teach a lesson (like steep turns, that's not really much of a ground lesson), have it in there anyway to show that you know what you're talking about. If you have a page that only says "Teach steep turns" and a lawyer gets a hold of it, there's nothing to prove that you actually know how to teach steep turns.

    AS for legally required records:

    • You must sign the logbook of anyone you have given flight or ground training.
    • You must maintain a record of the following:
      • The date and name of each person whose logbook/student pilot certificate you endorse for solo flight privileges (I keep a record of every endorsement).
      • The date and name of each person you endorse for a knowledge/practical test, and the kind, date, and result of the test.
    • You must keep the records for at least 3 years.

  • Our 141 school keeps records digitally, but before that we used curriculum binders. Each flight in the course had its own lesson plan listing:

    • The planned lesson time
    • The actual lesson time
    • The elements or maneuvers to be accomplished
    • What level of proficiency the student would need to demonstrate on each element in order to be considered satisfactory
    • A space for the student's actual proficiency level per element
    • A space for remarks

    Once the flight was complete, after filling out the logbook, both the instructor and student would sign the lesson sheet. When everything in the binder was PTS or better, the student could be endorsed for the checkride.

    As to the second half of your question, I just copied this directly from StallSpin's excellent answer.

    AS for legally required records:

    • You must sign the logbook of anyone you have given flight or ground training.
    • You must maintain a record of the following:
      • The date and name of each person whose logbook/student pilot certificate you endorse for solo flight privileges (I keep a record of every endorsement).
      • The date and name of each person you endorse for a knowledge/practical test, and the kind, date, and result of the test.
    • You must keep the records for at least 3 years.

    Even though the minimum is 3 years, I keep the records forever.

Related questions and answers
  • I know there has been some cases where a flight instructor is sued after a current or former student does something that gets themselves (the student) killed or causes damage. I know that there have been cases where a flight instructor has been acquitted by proving that they took due care in their flight instruction, and the accident was not a result of poor instruction. What specifically would a prudent flight instructor do to ensure they are keeping detailed enough records to prove that they are providing adequate instruction and that a resulting accident would not be due to poor

  • I'm a student pursuing a US Private Pilot License, and recently scheduled my checkride. I've been training in a 1981 Piper Warrior (PA-28-161), but if its annual goes sour I may have to take my club's 1980 Piper Archer (PA-28-181). I have well over §61.109's 40 hours in the Warrior alone, and only ~10 hours in the Archer. I have a separate club checkout and CFI solo endorsement for each... application...."): A mistake in the applicant's information cannot be corrected after it has been signed by the Recommending Instructor. My prospective DPE explicitly told me that the backup

  • (b) Authorization to perform certain solo flights and cross-country flights. A student pilot must obtain an endorsement from an authorized instructor to make solo flights from the airport where... to another airport that is within 25 nautical miles from the airport where the student pilot normally receives training The student must be endorsed with something along the lines of: I certify that (First name, MI, Last name) has received the required training of section 61.93(b)(1). I have determined that he/she is proficient to practice solo takeoffs and landings at (airport name

  • After answering this question on History.SE, I started to wonder if it would be possible to find out even more detail about the plane now that its serial number is known. I have no idea what kind of flight records the US Army Air Corps kept, however. I know most flight logs today are kept by pilot, but I imagine there would be some way to trace what pilots flew a particular plane. I have no idea if this is possible for USAAC trainer planes in the 1930s. Could I get access to these records? If so, how would I go about it? I'm mostly interested in seeing if I can find out more information

  • When I took delivery of a new Cessna 182T last year, I did a test flight for certification purposes. During the test flight we had to perform a power off stall but that didn't go as planned.... This "mushing" went on for what seemed ages before I eventually applied power and pushed the nose down to gain airspeed again. We tried it again after that and the same thing happened. I had an instructor... this to happen? (My guess is it is CG related) And most importantly: If I would have continued this "mushing" flight, would it be possible to have entered a flat spin or a simple "drop out of the sky

  • to the cloud or a remote location either in lieu of or in addition to the physical devices installed in commercial aircraft. I would think this would be an accident investigator's dream come true...Another enthusiast question. I watch a lot of the National Geographic Channel's "Air Crash Investigation", for better or worse, and it seems accident investigators make tremendous use of the Cockpit Voice Recorder "CVR" and Flight Data Recorder "FDR" to determine the chain of events leading up to- or the root cause of an accident. One of the more recent episodes of ACI (Season 12 Ep. 13

  • There's a standing tradition, at least in the USA, that a student pilot has their shirt cut, signed and dated by their instructor. What is the origin of this practice and what is its significance?

  • On two of my trips (same airline, same kind of plane 777), I noticed that the airplane took very different routes (from New York to UAE). 1st Trip in 2012 (blue): Duration 11h 30m 2nd Trip in 2013 (green): Duration 13h 00m I know that the blue line is the shorter distance, and probably also because of jet streams, it took lesser time. But why a plane would take this green route, even not considering jet streams? Since I am not an important person, I could not ask the captain of the plane this question at the end of journey. P.S.: I observed the flight paths on the entertainment system

  • Piloting an aircraft, if skydivers cannot jump on a flight, what should I take care of when landing? Are there any special recommendations which should be taken into account?

  • I'm a frequent subscriber of airport messaging services where you get notified of check-in queue times, delays in takeoff, ETA + 10 minutes, landed timestamp, baggage claim time and these kinds of information, but not life-dependent messages. However, if something bad happens I assume I won't get a "Flight X crashed and burned" message on my cell, but most likely a "Contact the airline at 555-1212 for more information" or something similar. What's the standard operating procedure in these cases?

Data information