Real Answers from Real Pilots

CFI and MEI Deferral Option

I noticed that there is an option to defer the CFI, CFII, and MEI portion of training with the option of coming back later to finish. It also states that if you choose this path, you are not able to instruct at ATP in the future.

Has anyone gone this route and what would be the benefits/downsides to this?


The only scenario I can see is if someone has another gig lined up or just doesn’t believe they need to instruct, bypasses but then realizes perhaps they do or the job falls through?



I would really recommend against doing that. By doing so, you are severely limiting your options and might really come to regret it later. There are not a lot of way for pilots to build flight time outside of flight instructing, it is the tried and true way. Even if you do manage to build all of your time without being a CFI, it still looks good on a resume to have your CFI licenses.


Thank you for your insight. I was just curious as it popped up while I was on ATPs website.

I appreciate your feedback, I will definitely go through the entire program. I was just curious as it came up while I was on ATPs website. I agree and definitely want all options available to me when I complete my training.

I think that is a very wise decision. The option is there for those with specific circumstances already lined up upon graduation. But for the vast majority of enrolled students, the full program is completed. I think I knew one student in my entire time as a lead at the KJQF location defer CFI. A few months later, that opportunity fell through and they ended up getting their CFI at a local school because their options were so limited without it.