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Flying Hours

Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flying hours on (a) aircraft and (b) simulators is required for each grade and type of RAF flying instructor; and what the equivalent required hours were in (i) 2000 and (ii) 1990. (114187)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: The recommended minimum number of flying hours, on frontline aircraft types, to be considered for entry on to a Central Flying School (CFS) instructor training course is 500 hours. On passing the course pilots will be awarded a B2 (On Probation) Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI)/Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI) qualification.

Instructors can then progress to Bl, A2 and Al instructional categories as they gain experience. Recategorisation can take place when instructors complete the recommended minimum number of hours of instructional duties as set out in the following table.

QFI/QHI instructional category

Recommended minimum instructional hours1,2

Bl (capable instructor)


A2 (above average instructor)


Al (exceptional Instructor)


1 Instructors who gain a distinguished pass on a CFS Instructor course have reduced minimums.

2 At any time the Commandant Central Flying School may permit recategorization before the instructor has reached minimum instructional hours stated above based on written assessment of performance.

There is currently no minimum simulator hours requirement. These flying hours requirements have remained unchanged since 1990.