New NAFI/IAC Aerobatic Instructor Program Requirements Now Online

Though aviation authorities in many countries have established formal certification criteria for aerobatic instructors, the U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) contain no provisions for a specific “aerobatic instructor” rating or certification. Given the success of industry-based programs such as the NAFI Master Instructor Program and the ICAS Aerobatic Competency Evaluation (ACE) Program, the National Association of Flight Instructors and the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) have jointly developed a broad — and strictly voluntary — aerobatic instruction designation program.

“Our goal in creating this program was to recognize those instructors that are qualified to teach aerobatics and unusual attitudes,” said Vicki Cruse, IAC president. “In doing so, we hope to help those seeking aerobatic training better understand the qualifications of their instructors.”

The aerobatic instructor designation program has three tiers: Flight Instructor-Aerobatic (FI-A); Certificated Flight Instructor-Aerobatic (CFI-A); and Master Certificated Flight Instructor-Aerobatic (MCFI-A). The existing MCFI-A criterion remains unchanged, and it represents the highest designation that can be achieved by an aerobatic instructor. Criteria for the remaining two designations are abbreviated versions of the full MCFI-A program, yet the criteria still allow interested individuals an opportunity to become credentialed aerobatic instructors.

“This program has been in the works since the Master Instructor designation program was first created,” said Sean Elliot, NAFI president. “It’s a tribute to the great partnership between NAFI and IAC, under the EAA family, in our efforts to offer greater flexibility and opportunity to the members of our community.”

Other goals of the program include establishing professional standards, promoting a Code of Ethics, continuing aviation education and self-assessment, and improving the interaction, cooperation and trust among the FAA, aviation organizations, and consumers of aerobatic-related training services.

For more information on aerobatic instructor designations and requirements, as well as an online application for becoming a designated aerobatic instructor, visit

NAFI and IAC are affiliate organizations of EAA.