How to become an Aviation Ground Instructor
Let me just first say, anyone can become a ground school instructor. You do not need a pilots certificate to
teach aeronautical knowledge required for an FAA examination. The information on this page comes from FAR/AIM 2010.
In order to get a ground instructor certificate you must take at least two exams. The Fundamentals of Instructing (FOI) exam, and the exam appropriate
to the rating desired. The exams generally cost about $150 each. If you have taken one of these and have an updated price figure, please let me know!
Once you complete the required exams, take the score reports to your local FSDO with an application for the certificate.
Ground Instructor Requirements (14 CFR Part 61.213)
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be able to read, write, speak and understand the English language.
- Pass a “Fundamentals of Instructing (FOI)” exam. (Not required if you already
hold a ground instructor certificate, flight instructor certificate, a current teachers
certificate authorizing you to teach at the 7th grade or higher, or are currently
employed as a teacher at an accredited college or university)
- Pass the appropriate knowledge test for the instructor rating sought.
(Basic Ground Instructor (BGI), Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI), and
Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI))
Ground Instructor Privileges (14 CFR Part 61.215)
Basic Ground Instructor
A person who holds a basic ground instructor rating is authorized to provide—
- Ground training in the aeronautical knowledge areas required for the issuance of a
sport pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, private pilot certificate, or
associated ratings under this part;
- Ground training required for a sport pilot, recreational pilot, and private pilot
flight review; and
- A recommendation for a knowledge test required for the issuance of a sport pilot
certificate, recreational pilot certificate, or private pilot certificate issued under this part.
Advanced Ground Instructor
A person who holds an advanced ground instructor rating is authorized to provide—
- Ground training in aeronautical knowledge areas required for the issuance of any certificate or rating under this part;
- Ground training required for any flight review; and
- A recommendation for a knowledge test required for the issuance of any certificate under this part.
Instrument Ground Instructor
A person who holds an instrument ground instructor rating is authorized to provide:
- Ground training in the aeronautical knowledge areas required for the issuance for an instrument rating under this part;
- Ground training required for an instrument proficiency check; and
- A recommendation for a knowledge test required for the issuance of an instrument rating under this part.
A person who holds a ground instructor certificate is authorized, within the limitations
of the ratings on the ground instructor certificate, to endorse the logbook or other training
record of a person to whom the holder has provided the training or recommendation specified
in the above privileges.
Ground Instructor Recent Experience Requirements
The holder of a ground instructor certificate may not perform the duties of a ground instructor unless the person can show that one of the following occurred during the preceding 12 calendar months:
- Employment or activity as a ground instructor giving pilot, flight instructor, or ground instructor training;
- Employment or activity as a flight instructor giving pilot, flight instructor, or ground instructor ground or flight training;
- Completion of an approved flight instructor refresher course and receipt of a graduation certificate for that course; or
- An endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the person has demonstrated knowledge in the subject areas prescribed under §61.213(a)(3) and (a)(4), as appropriate.
- An Advanced Ground Instructor has more privileges than a Basic Ground Instructor.
The Basic Ground Instructor rating is not required to be an Advanced Ground Instructor.
Both exams pull from the same question bank. The only difference is the Advanced Ground
Instructor exam is 100 questions while the Basic Ground Instructor exam is 80 questions.
Both exams have a 2.5-hour time limit.
- Previous editions of the FAR/AIM stated that an Advanced Ground Instructor may provide
ground training for “any certificate or rating issued under this part”. This does not mean
an Instrument Rating. An Advanced Ground instructor is not authorized to give an exam
recommendation for an instrument rating.
- An endorsement is not required to take the FOI, BGI, AGI, or IGI the first time.
If any of those exams are failed on the first attempt, an endorsement from an authorized
instructor will be required for the future attempts.
- A ground instructor is not allowed to give training in a flight simulator regardless of ground instructor ratings held.
Chief Counsel Interpretation - Gatlin
- A first time – recently certified ground instructor is not considered “recent”. Although endorsements are not required
to take ground instructor related exams, an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that you are proficient in
those knowledge exam areas is still required for initial recent experience requirements.
Chief Counsel Interpretation - Metzinger
- An Instrument Ground Instructor is not an “authorized instructor” when it comes to doing an Instrument Proficiency Check.
Chief Counsel Interpretation - Griffith
- Although some exams may be exactly the same question wise (such as the Flight Instructor Airplane, or Flight Instructor Instrument/Instrument Rating Airplane) they may NOT substitute
for the AGI or IGI.