Do you know a certificated flight instructor (CFI) who renews their certificate by cramming a 16-hour Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) into the last week before their certificate expires?  Of course, our flying club instructors would never do that but many of us have a “friend” who does. The Air Safety Institute (ASI) can help. On July 1, ASI launched a brand new online FIRC, appropriately called eFIRC. It has unique features to help make taking a FIRC more fun and convenient than ever before!

First of all, speaking of convenience, eFIRC is tablet-friendly and works on any PC or mobile device. Whether waiting out severe weather in a flying club office, an FBO lounge, or enjoying some down time in your home, eFIRC works anywhere – anytime.

Another convenient feature is that CFIs no longer have to wait for the 4 month window preceding their certificate expiration date to take the FIRC. Now, CFIs can enroll at any time and can use the entire two-year renewal cycle to complete the course at a leisurely pace and to stay continuously engaged. For an average of 10 minutes per week, you can take the eFIRC over a two-year period.

CFIs who take part in ongoing safety education through ASI online courses can receive eFIRC credit. Some ASI courses are modules in the eFIRC so if you’ve taken an ASI online course recently you may have already knocked an hour or two off that 16 hours of coursework—before you’ve even started!

Of those 16 hours, 10 of the topics are mandated by the FAA. The other modules are electives, and ASI’s eFIRC offers choices so you can select the 6 topics that are most interesting to you and most appropriate to your type of flying/instructing. We will continue to add new electives to the offerings so the eFIRC continues to be a personalized training experience.

eFIRC users also will receive these other exciting benefits: a free 6-month subscription to AOPA’s FlyQ EFB; completely paperless “paperwork” submission (it’s all electronic); and a thumb drive pre-loaded with the Federal Aviation Regulations, Aeronautical Information Manual, FAA handbooks, relevant Advisory Circulars, and much more.

So please share this article with that friend of yours who thinks all FIRCs are the same, and is planning on doing another one-week marathon session to complete his or her next renewal.  Encourage CFIs you know to participate in continued education, such as ASI courses and eFIRC. Those are the type of instructors you want teaching in your flying club!

The Air Safety Institute is a division of the non-profit AOPA Foundation. Funding for ASI safety programs comes from the generosity of pilots like you. (

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