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Thread: Freelance CFI?

  1. #1
    WMU Pilot Guest

    Freelance CFI?

    Does anyone have any good info or links on how to go about freelancing as a CFI?
    Do most who do this own their own aircraft, or do they arrange something with a local FBO?
    What are the advantages/disadvantages over working for a flight school?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    cessna126 Guest
    Most freelace CFI's that I know work for people that have their own airplanes. The only down side to that is that sometimes you dont know how well the plane is maintained. Whereas for a flight school normaly they do their own maintenance.

  3. #3
    hogan Guest
    Other FBOs allow CFIs to be private contractors. Often involves the CFI carrying extra insurance. have you checked with the National Association of Flight Instructors on the issue? They might be able to help you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Raleigh-Durham, NC
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    Whether or not you can do it through an FBO will, of course, depend on the FBO. But generally, you will find that in some parts of the country, most FBO-based CFIs are FBO employees, while in other parts of the country, an "independent" CFI model."

    Unless they are extremely busy, those with an employee model will tend to be more interested in protecting their employees than allowing a freelancer to crash the party, even if the freelancer hopes to bring in business. Those with an independent model might be more amenable to a freelancer, but may still have loyalty to the inside group.

    Advantages/disadvantages are those that apply to any situation in which you have a choice of being someone else's employee or running your own business. Employees get unemployment insurance and workers compensation coverage. Freelancers don't. Freelancers get more leeway in hours, methods, and freer deducibility of most expenses than employees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    KRDU
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    If you freelance INSURANCE, INSURANCE, INSURANCE...A CFI buddy had a student bend one this past week. The fact that he was an employee saved his bacon on the dollars side of things. If he would have been on his own, he would have been in the AIG crosshairs.

  6. #6
    WMU Pilot Guest
    What insurance is required for a freelance CFI over an employee? And more importantly-where do you get it/how much? I still have a lot to learn as an instructor =)

    Do most CFI's working for a flight school carry some insurance on their own, or is it typically provided by the flight school?

    I guess part of what I am driving at is, if someone wanted me to give them flight instruction towards an instrument license, or a flight review etc.. could I do that safely without having an insurance policy?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Raleigh-Durham, NC
    Posts
    9,138
    What insurance is required for a freelance CFI over an employee?
    There are a lot of "it depends" here.

    The easy part first. Insurance isn't "required" in the sense that you legally have to have it. But it's usually a good idea for a CFI - just in case.

    If you are freelancing in other people airplanes (not through an FBO) then you need to have your own. A lot of people think that they can get covered by their student's policy. No matter what anyone says, that is not true. There's a lot of different terminology that gets tossed around, but even if you get names "as an insured" on the owners policy, that does not protect you from something that happens when instructing. And even subrogation waivers only means that your student's insurance company won't sue you.

    If you are working through an FBO, it depends. Some will cover you; most will not. Be careful here also. "You're covered on our policy" usually ends up meaning "the FBO is covered on our policy if you do something, but you are on your own."

    They're not intentionally lying. Insurance policies are very complicated contracts. They probably think you are covered when you are not.

    And more importantly-where do you get it/how much?
    AOPA's and NAFI both have sponsored policies. You can also get one through AVEMCO. You're probably talking about 600-800 for halfway decent coverage (even the best they offer is limited). The policies are essentially non-owned aircraft (renter) policies with a CFI liability add-on.

    Do most CFI's working for a flight school carry some insurance on their own, or is it typically provided by the flight school?
    Again, it depends o the flight school. If you're an employee I'd hope you'd be covered, but I haven't had a chance to look at on eof those policies. The flight schools around here use CFIs as independents and the amount of coverage runs from zero to pretty good.

    I guess part of what I am driving at is, if someone wanted me to give them flight instruction towards an instrument license, or a flight review etc.. could I do that safely without having an insurance policy?
    Sure. So long as nothing happens. If you figure the risk of something happening that was arguably your fault is low enough to not worry about, that's you choice.

    BTW, yes. I carry CFI insurance.

  8. #8
    WMU Pilot Guest
    Thanks Mark, that helps to shed some light on the subject. I am going to do some more research into it.


 

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