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A Gold Seal Flight Instructor is an FAA designation for flight instructors with high levels of activity, and whose students have high pass rates on their checkrides.  

The exact qualifications are found in FAA Advisory Circular AC61-65D:

GOLD SEAL FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATES. The specific requirements for the gold seal flight instructor certificate are contained in FAA Orders 8700.1, General Aviation Operations Inspector’s Handbook, and 8710.3C, Pilot Examiner’s Handbook. Flight instructor certificates bearing distinctive gold seals are issued to flight instructors who have maintained a high level of flight training activity and who meet special criteria. Once issued, a gold seal flight instructor certificate will be reissued each time the instructor's certificate is renewed. Applicants for gold seal flight instructor certificates must meet the following requirements:

a. The flight instructor must hold a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating (glider flight instructors need not hold an instrument rating) or an ATP certificate;

b. The flight instructor must hold a ground instructor certificate with an advanced or instrument ground instructor rating; and

c. The flight instructor must have accomplished the following within the previous 24 months:

(1) Trained and recommended at least 10 applicants for a practical test, at least 8 of whom passed their tests on the first attempt;

(2) Conducted at least 20 practical tests as a designated pilot examiner, or graduation tests as chief instructor of a 14 CFR part 141 approved pilot school course; or

(3) A combination of the above requirements. (Two practical tests conducted equal the credit given for one applicant trained and recommended for a practical test.)

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