What makes an excellent flying instructor?

Here are 7 of the most important attributes and skills to have when striving to be an excellent flying instructor,
according to our Head of Training, Michael Riesel:

1. Be a natural teacher

An excellent flying instructor can explain things in a way that a child would understand. In my opinion, “being a teacher” can only be learned to a certain extent; either one has the talent to be a teacher, or one does not.

2. Have extensive and excellent technical competence and knowledge

Impeccable flying skills are obviously a prerequisite. But manual flying skills alone do not make an excellent flight instructor. Extensive theoretical knowledge is just as essential nowadays as the ability to handle modern avionics and various software tools (e.g. flight planning programmes).

3. Be open to new things and have the will to constantly improve

We are what we do. An excellent instructor asks themselves what they can do today to learn and move forward for their own improvement. But they should also consider how these skills and knowledge will positively impact the experience of the student pilots they teach.

4. Be a role model in terms of general behaviour

A flight instructor should be reliable, prudent, polite, considerate and punctual. These are also the basic behaviours we expect from our student pilots, and also what airlines would expect from their professional pilots. To this end, we set high standards from day one of flying training.

5. Be able to develop, motivate and encourage students while recognising their strengths and weaknesses

The path to becoming a professional pilot is a marathon not a sprint, and students will need to leap over a few hurdles during their journey. Some of the hurdles are external, but some are internal and individual. A great instructor takes great pride in walking alongside students and helping them be the best possible version of themselves.

6. Adopt a safety-first approach: recognise early dangers and avoid risky situations

Compliance with and consideration of legal, operational and technical restrictions—as well as flight school internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)—is a sign that an excellent instructor heeds and implements all aviation safety standards.

7. Act in a professional manner and not as a hobby pilot instructor

A flight instructor should keep the economic aspect of the company, but also of the student pilot, in mind.

If you’d like to become a flight instructor, call us on +43 664 1022033 or send an email to and let’s discuss how you can fit into our team of professionals.