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Greenville, IL 62246
(618) 664-9706
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Becoming a Basic Flight Instructor (BFI)



This is a one page guide to becoming a Basic Flight Instructor under the ASC exemption. You need to become a BFI in order to take someone flying in the back seat of your powered parachute. You are becoming an instructor in order to do this.

There are some terms you need to understand before you go forward here.

    1. BFI = Basic Flight Instructor (BFIs are instructors that are certified to fly under a training exemption to the ultralight regulations.)
    2. AFI = Advanced Flight Instructor (AFIs are experienced instructors that test and sign off on BFI candidates.)
    3. ASC = Aero Sports Connection (an organizaion supporting sport aviation.)
    4. EAA = Experimental Aircraft Association (another organization supporting sport aviation.)
    5. USUA = United States Ultralight Association (yet one more organization that supports sport aviation, although they do not support powered parachuting with their exemption)
    6. FAR Part 103 = The Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) relating to ultralight aircraft.
    7. Ultralight Aircraft = Sport aviation vehicles (including powered parachutes) that have one seat, carry less than 5 gallons of fuel, weight less than 254 pounds, have a maximum airspeed of 55 knots and a maximum power off stall speed of 24 knots.
    8. Two-seat Trainers = Powered parachute vehicles that have two seats and are designed for training purposes. In order to take someone flying in a trainer, you must be a BFI or an AFI. You can fly a two seat machine solo with an endorsement from an instructor.
    9. Endorsements = written permission from an instructor (BFI or AFI) to fly a two seat machine under specified circumstances.
    10. Solo = Flying a machine by yourself.

Now you are ready to learn more about the BFI program!

    1. The steps to properly obtain your Basic Flight Instructor (BFI) rating: (example Powered Parachute)
      1. Take instruction from a qualified BFI (i.e., fixed wing, para wing, etc.) to solo. You may legally fly a two place trainer, solo, only under the following conditions:
        1. The BFI must endorse your log for solo and under what restrictions. (typical maximum is a 90 day endorsement, renewable).
        2. The training vehicle must have "TO BE USED FOR INSTRUCTION ONLY" on the side in 1/2 inch high letters and may not be an "N" numbered aircraft.
        3. You must carry a copy of the BFI's exemption paperwork.
        4. The vehicle must be registered in an ASC, EAA, or USUA registration system.
        5. The vehicle must display the registration numbers.
      2. Develop your flying skills so that you are competent and capable to fly a two place vehicle safely. The minimum required hours is 25 hours flying a Powered Parachute prior to starting your instruction towards being a BFI. (This requirement is 40 hours for fixed wing.)
      3. Take your written test from your BFI or AFI. You will need an 80% to pass for BFI.
      4. Take your Fundamentals of Instruction written test from your BFI or AFI. You will need a 70% to pass for BFI.
      5. Take sufficient instruction from your BFI to earn his recommendation. This must be a minimum of 10 hours air and ground instruction (15 hours for fixed wing). Air time must be sufficient to earn the BFI’s recommendation.
      6. Take your BFI application with all your documentation of hours and test scores to your BFI and obtain his recommendation for you to take the check ride.
      7. Take the whole package (including originals of test scores sheets) to an AFI and get your check ride and oral test. The AFI must sign your application passing you for BFI.
      8. Submit the entire application and documentation to ASC. Include $200 for the exemption, which is good for two years. If you are not already a member you MUST submit a membership form and $40 for the first years membership. You must maintain membership for your exemption to be valid. Mail to : ASC, POB 589, Marshall, MI 49068
    2. You will receive your exemption paperwork and an entire documentation package including the "Practical Test Standards" and written tests.

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A class picture from once upon a time.

Pictured (from left to right): Norm Burley, Susan Little, Dave Hammock, Jim Reed, Larry Graves, Roy Beisswenger, Tim Pull

Photo by Tim Pull