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Description

Product Description

An underpaid, overworked Certified Flight Instructor cheats death while attempting to teach a cast of incompetent student pilots to fly at a skeezy South Florida flight school; all in the quest to build flight time so he can get a “real job” at an airline. The planes break, the regs break, metal gets bent, students are lost at sea, and a Top Gun wannabe student, who has four hundred hours of flight instruction, still hasn’t made his first solo flight. “CFI! The Book” is an over-the-top satirical aviation comedy that’s loosely based on real world experiences of flight instruction, but if the FAA asks, this is all strictly fictional.

Review

Step into a world where student pilots repeatedly overshoot runways, foreigners desperate for a pilot''s license are casually extorted for an upfront nonrefundable fee of $10,000. And their instructors are all so broke that they spray Windex on their dress shirts every day to avoid the expense of washing them. 
Is this comical fiction or appalling fact?
Flight instructor-turned author Alex Stone isn''t saying for the record. But his hilarious look inside one hapless flight school employee''s life is enough to make you wonder if the skies above you are safe or if an incompetent student pilot isn''t about to suddenly nose dive into your house. It''s possible & even arguably probable if this book, with its memorable, offbeat characters and uneasy message are to be believed. But in the end, it''s probably just a harmless good read.
Stone delivers a solid, well-written narrative with an ensemble cast of fallible, believable players, like George, the perennial student who can''t seem to find the airport at which he''s supposed to land even when he''s flying right over it. Then there''s the beyond-weird father and his look-alike five-year-old son who show up for a demo ride, saluting and giggling right up to the moment he panics in-flight, seizing the controls in a dangerous death grip.
And finally, running this sleazy fly-by-night flight school is Todd, the owner who would rather see one of his planes disappear with all hands on board so he can collect on insurance than perform anything like proper maintenance on his ratty fleet of Sixties-era aircraft.
It''s a dysfunctional gathering of misfit students and desperate pilot instructors that populate the pages of this rare glimpse into just how the pilot of your last commercial flight may have paid their dues down in the likes of this Florida flight school, where instructors are cheating death every day just trying to earn enough flight hours to move up one more level to a flying job that is more than a cut above the national poverty level.
Five stars to CFI!. It''s a heckuva good book -- but don''t read it if you''re about to go up in a private plane. You might seriously wonder if you''ll ever come down again in one piece.  - Publishers Daily

About the Author

Alex Stone grew up in Munster, Indiana. He''s been flying since age fourteen and received a Bachelor''s Degree in Aviation Science from Western Michigan University. He has worked as a flight instructor and was a "Freight Dog" in the air cargo industry for seven years. In 2009 he published his first novel Hauling Checks and in 2018 he published his second novel CFI! The Book.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
247 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Deb's Guy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Really fun Reading!
Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2019
This may not be as funny and real to anyone not associated with aviation, but those of us who have flown even just to the Private Pilot stage, can recognize the events in this well-written book. I suggest you also read the author''s first book, "Hauling Checks," which is... See more
This may not be as funny and real to anyone not associated with aviation, but those of us who have flown even just to the Private Pilot stage, can recognize the events in this well-written book. I suggest you also read the author''s first book, "Hauling Checks," which is just as seriously amusing. These books are claimed to be fiction, and the experiences may not all have happened to the author, but they have happened to all of us who have flown airplanes.
13 people found this helpful
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Kevin R Poole
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hilarious
Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2019
I bought this book because I''m a pilot and it popped up on the list of books I might like. Amazon was right -- I did like it. There are a few grammar and punctuation mistakes here and there, which caught my eye because I''m also a history professor, but the content of the... See more
I bought this book because I''m a pilot and it popped up on the list of books I might like. Amazon was right -- I did like it. There are a few grammar and punctuation mistakes here and there, which caught my eye because I''m also a history professor, but the content of the book was great. I''ve had several CFIs, some young and some old, and I''m around some of them from KOSU sometimes. The stories I''ve head from some of them completely resonated with me as I was reading this book. There were a few places in the book that I thought were a little exaggerated, but that''s part of narration. And yet, who knows if they were exaggerations -- some of the stories I''ve heard about private aviation schools and clubs, as well as about some of the asinine flight instructors and ignorant students, make what I''ve read seem perfectly plausible. Soon I''ll read this author''s other book about flying checks -- a topic I was just talking about today with a CFI friend.
6 people found this helpful
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Dennis E. Smirl
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A interesting look into an important part of our transportation system.
Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2019
This is one of the most enjoyable books I''ve read in a long time. I can say, without reservation, that I stopped to laugh out loud at least a dozen times. The characters are wonderfully bizarre, the settings are fully developed, and the events that drive the story are... See more
This is one of the most enjoyable books I''ve read in a long time. I can say, without reservation, that I stopped to laugh out loud at least a dozen times. The characters are wonderfully bizarre, the settings are fully developed, and the events that drive the story are insane. The author hints, in his words to his audience, that all these things might have happened. No doubt they did, but the names were changed to protect the guilty. Buy this book. Read it and laugh. I read it several times and laughed each time. Then I gave the book to a friend and now it''s her turn to laugh. Five stars, all the way!
5 people found this helpful
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L D Jones
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Mildly entertaining, but a poor example of flight training
Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2019
While mildly entertaining, this is an extremely poor example of flight training. In almost 40 years of instructing I''ve NEVER found the need to YELL at a student! It''s completely counterproductive in any learning environment. If your a student, find a different instructor.... See more
While mildly entertaining, this is an extremely poor example of flight training. In almost 40 years of instructing I''ve NEVER found the need to YELL at a student! It''s completely counterproductive in any learning environment. If your a student, find a different instructor. If you''re an instructor who subscribes to this teaching method, find another way to build your hours.
7 people found this helpful
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RamD
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Badly written, and if true shows lack of ethics.
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2021
No self-respecting instructor would allow a student pilot to go 400 hours without a solo. Seems like a lack of ethics on the part of the Author. When I was instructing, I fired students, when they had no hope. I did not instruct to garner flight time but for the love of... See more
No self-respecting instructor would allow a student pilot to go 400 hours without a solo. Seems like a lack of ethics on the part of the Author. When I was instructing, I fired students, when they had no hope. I did not instruct to garner flight time but for the love of aviation and the desire to teach. Aviation was not my day-job. If the only goal of the author is flight time, he was disingenuous. I suspect that ‘ George’ only exists in the author’s imagination. Today, in order to get a job in commercial aviation you need to be an ATP with 1500 hours. In the “old days” you only needed a commercial license. I do not know where the author’s 1000 hour requirement came from. The book, if true, is an indictment of the Author’s lack of ethics as well as competence. I am very sympathetic to aviators who have to pay student loans and work hand to mouth to get into commercial aviation. I have not known aviators such as the author, who would prostitute themselves for flight time.

I read the book as it was available on kindle-unlimited and, sadly, it is an unremarkable book. I understand, if the Author’s stories are true, the FAA would like to know about him.
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MM
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderfully funny!
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2019
Alex Stone''s portrayal of a fictitious flight school and its CFIs, nails the frustration CFIs must suffer a one time or another in trying to teach their students. This is a must read for any CFI, student pilot or anyone who has every taken a fight in a small airplane.I was... See more
Alex Stone''s portrayal of a fictitious flight school and its CFIs, nails the frustration CFIs must suffer a one time or another in trying to teach their students. This is a must read for any CFI, student pilot or anyone who has every taken a fight in a small airplane.I was not a "natural" student pilot to say the least. And I am sure I scared the hell out of a number of my CFIs. Just like in Stone''s "Hauling Checks" the characters are ridiculous, but they share enough reality to make you laugh & worry at the same time. Comedy & satire are hard to write. Alex Stone has a knack for it.
Tom K
2 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer Stormdriven
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A little expensive
Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021
And. A little funny. A lot like flying. An ok read. Different from the techno spy-war and sci-fi I ordinarily consume. Many times, I''ve thought about getting Flight Certificate. Just to do it, grasping at some shred of evidence that I can still learn something, completely... See more
And. A little funny. A lot like flying. An ok read. Different from the techno spy-war and sci-fi I ordinarily consume. Many times, I''ve thought about getting Flight Certificate. Just to do it, grasping at some shred of evidence that I can still learn something, completely different. Maybe someday....
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dray
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Bounced from snorting to biting fingernails...WTF?
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2021
This book is for pilots. Were I not a pilot, I would never fly again after reading this. These experiences were at once incredulous, horrifying and occasionally head-shaking. I couldn’t stop reading, and I’m left praying that such flight schools don’t really exist....please... See more
This book is for pilots. Were I not a pilot, I would never fly again after reading this. These experiences were at once incredulous, horrifying and occasionally head-shaking. I couldn’t stop reading, and I’m left praying that such flight schools don’t really exist....please God!!!
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Top reviews from other countries

Marcus Saunders
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Five Star rollercoaster read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2020
I am a pilot and currently training to be a flight instructor. When I saw this book on Amazon I bought it immediately and I’m so glad I did! Alex Stone’s portrayal of the working life of a Certified Flight Instructor is glorious, filled with humour, tension, intrigue, and...See more
I am a pilot and currently training to be a flight instructor. When I saw this book on Amazon I bought it immediately and I’m so glad I did! Alex Stone’s portrayal of the working life of a Certified Flight Instructor is glorious, filled with humour, tension, intrigue, and real laugh-out-loud moments. If you have a love of aviation or just an interest in your fellow man, this is definitely a book for you. I just wish it were longer, I really didn’t want it to stop!
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Terrifyingly familiar
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2019
This book seems to have been written primarily for pilots, and especially CFIs. The language - although defined in a glossary at the back of the book - is unashamedly full of pilot speak, and that is to be expected. The concern, however, is that until they get to the back...See more
This book seems to have been written primarily for pilots, and especially CFIs. The language - although defined in a glossary at the back of the book - is unashamedly full of pilot speak, and that is to be expected. The concern, however, is that until they get to the back of the book, groundhogs might find some of the prose hard to understand. As to the stories, they reminded me of my own CFI days in Georgia, so that it was more like sitting with a bunch of pilots trying to see who had the most outrageous tale of woe than reading a book. It''s a quick read, and worth it just to see the desperation of someone trying to get enough hours to take the next step. If you are a pilot, or better yet, a CFI, it''s a no brainer. You may, however, recognise yourself in it.
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Vyshnavi T S
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The funniest aviation novel!
Reviewed in India on April 8, 2019
There is a general pressure for creators to deliver in their second work because of the expectation they set in their first . However, Alex Stone has out done himself with this short but wonderful prequel which technically becomes the first book, so no pressure! I love how...See more
There is a general pressure for creators to deliver in their second work because of the expectation they set in their first . However, Alex Stone has out done himself with this short but wonderful prequel which technically becomes the first book, so no pressure! I love how he opens with this amazing joke-".. hours of boredom followed by seconds of sheer terror, followed by several minutes of screaming, and then we did it again, over and over..." . It truly left me laughing with tears in my eyes. I mean! Alex has managed to pull off what seems to be the funniest aviation novel, much better than his previous book- Hauling Checks. I feel less sorry for him than I did last time, because really, when he himself is able to laugh it out, why shouldn''t we? Besides, apart from the several near death experience, everything seems to be blatantly funny . In an attempt to collect the required amount of flight time before looking for a full-time job, Alex joins a company and becomes a flight instructor only to be surrounded by lunatics at work and head weighted, whining students who are either disinterested or completely lack the knack of flying. To top it all, Alex lives a sorry life with 10 other flight instructors in small space with nearly nothing to eat, a lousy boss and a colleague who quits in the last minute. People who are capable of laughing at themselves are the best kind of people and you can truly see it in Alex. I can almost imagine him shaking his head as these events unravel itself his life. His sarcasm is gold when he describes his experiences traveling with friends in a single car, going out with people and just losing his head over students who ignore the rules. He boldly jokes about instances that I am sure are most likely illegal. But hey, this is all fictional, isn''t it? His approach and ability to turn some of the most painful and traumatic experiences into a sequence of comical events is just commendable. These preposterous and totally absurd episodes are completely distinctive and yet very familiar.The sarcasm of the narration is sometimes so stealthy that one might confuse it to politeness. A lot of incidents in the book keeps you guessing and makes you think if its actually true.His jokes are fast and spontaneous. the exchange between the instructors, the students or "the customers" as the boss calls it is just all over the place and makes you want to smack your forehead and wonder how he stayed for so long. But then you think about Hauling Checks and be like this is luxury compared to that.
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Mike Morgulis
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
light hearted read that highlights instructing pitfalls
Reviewed in Canada on November 27, 2019
The book was a pretty cynical and funny insight into what has to be one of the worst fictitious flight schools. As a flight instructor myself, I can associate with some of the trials and tribulations. It was a pretty quick read, lighthearted, and the characters were...See more
The book was a pretty cynical and funny insight into what has to be one of the worst fictitious flight schools. As a flight instructor myself, I can associate with some of the trials and tribulations. It was a pretty quick read, lighthearted, and the characters were plausible for sure. Like the sequel, Hauling Checks, it should definitely be a Hollywood movie!!
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Alex Paegle
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Easy reading
Reviewed in Brazil on January 19, 2021
I’m an airline pilot and felt right back at the flight school with these special characters perfectly described by Mr Stone. Had some good laughs and recommended the book to fellow pilots!
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