Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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Welcome to the largest freely available Flight Instructor website devoted to all levels of pilot certification.  If you're a beginner, learning to fly is one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences you can ever have.  Less than 1% of the US population has ever earned a private certificate.  The list of active pilots (current medical) brings that to less than a tenth of one percent of the US population.  Even fewer are helicopter pilots.  Your choice puts you in the most exclusive club in the world.  Want a career?  Read why It's a good time to become a pilot.

Your first step in learning to fly is to connect with a local flight instructor.
With good instruction, you can easily achieve your dream.  Your flight training begins with a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI).  This person is vital resource as you achieve your goal. 
Enter the drawing

Monitor Page for changes
Your future flying career...
Since flight training is a very intense and personal experience, your selection process is critical to your success.  To get started, see Learn to Fly resource page. Further information can be found in the Articles and Private Pilot section.

The goal of this web site is three-fold:
1) to help people get information about becoming pilots, 
2) help current pilots get information on additional certificates and ratings, and
3) provide helpful aviation links and resources & articles.  

Thank you for visiting my websiteIt literally costs thousands of dollars a year to keep this free resource online and expand it.  I fund the website from the stuff I sell in the pilot store (take a look) and the advertising links to the right. If you're interested in making sure this resource remains freely available, see how you can support this website.  My site receives an enormous amount of traffic, and I'm handling about 160 requests for information weekly (all as a public service). I constantly add content depending on requests & questions I receive, search terms used to find this website, and student experiences.  Content is updated & added weekly, so check this website often.  I'd love to hear your thoughts to make it better. 

This site is a US/Canadian based website.  Questions from these countries receive top priority.
Poll:  What's the most common thing you've heard from a CFI?         (Come on, I need more space to write than this!)


Training Services

For Aircraft Owners:
    1.  Airplane:
    2.  Helicopter:  Private - Commercial - Accelerated Instrument
    3.  Insurance Checkouts: (see Bio for aircraft quals)
    4.  Customized, private flight instruction programs tailored
         for your goals, your schedule, and your lifestyle.  This is
         ideal for clients who desire flight training but want it done
         quietly & quickly. ...more info

Request for Comments
I am looking for your thoughts and ideas on these articles.  Please take time to read and post a comment: Take Care of Those Tires | Professionalism | The Timer | Barriers to Pilot Monitoring |   Unsafe Acts | Single-Pilot Resource Management
Best Bets - Most Popular

Instrument Pilots: 

    Are you really ready for the checkride?
    Are you really ready for an IFR Rating?
Visi-Hold - Know Instantly - IFR holding
Helicopter Pilots:
Fatal Helicopter Accidents Factors
Precautionary Landing
    Braking Action | Weather Contractions
    Abbreviations list | NOTAMs Contractions

See the reading library for more ideas.

Support this WebsiteWhat's New...
Planning the Perfect Flight
Unsafe Acts
CFIDarren Newsletter Archive - now online!
Hangar Safety
Take Care of Those Tires
The Timer
Plagiarism in the Digital Age
Catastrophe at cfidarren.com
Casualties of Geocities - Read about how Yahoo killed several hundred free aviation websites 

See Website History for older updates going back to 2003

Stats - This Page Only

"Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not knows no release from little things ~ Knows not the livid loneliness of fear, or mountain heights, Where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings."
- Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

Check this out...
  Home | Login | Schedule | Pilot Store | 7-Day IFR | IFR Adventure | Trip Reports | Blog | Fun | Reviews | Weather | Articles | Links | Helicopter | Download | Bio
All content is Copyright 2002-2011 by Darren Smith. All rights reserved. Subject to change without notice. This website is not a substitute for competent flight instruction. There are no representations or warranties of any kind made pertaining to this service/information and any warranty, express or implied, is excluded and disclaimed including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. Under no circumstances or theories of liability, including without limitation the negligence of any party, contract, warranty or strict liability in tort, shall the website creator/author or any of its affiliated or related organizations be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages as a result of the use of, or the inability to use, any information provided through this service even if advised of the possibility of such damages. For more information about this website, including the privacy policy, see about this website.