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CFI Renewal

Posted By:
Gary Davis
5
Posts
2
#1 Posted: 11/25/2009 08:25:27

OK Guys and Gals,

This is my first post on OSH 365 and I have an important question for the CFIs that have done this for a while. At least long enough to have renewed their certificate a few times. 

Has anyone found a renewal program that you come out of honestly saying it was time well spent, versus time required to fill the squares for the FAA and now the TSA?

I have done this about every way I can think of and am growing weary of trudging through even 16 hours sitting in front of a computer in frustration. Yes, I can remember the 3 day clinics before that rule change and even remember when "online" had more to do with clothes than computers. I got my CFI in 1971.

I have haven't made my living with my CFI for well over 30 years, but I have kept it current because it is part of who I am, it makes me a better pilot, and I occasionally help others with it. This time around however I have seriously considered letting my CFI expire due to frustration with the "system" and liability concerns. But at the end of the day I would really rather renew again and perhaps even help fix the "system".

Blue Skies,

   

 

 



Blue Skies, Gary
Joe Norris
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
328
Posts
137
#2 Posted: 11/25/2009 09:19:43

Hi Gary!

Glad to see you posting on OSH 365!  I'm sure your experience and insight will be found valuable to the members here.

As for renewing my CFI, I have always leaned toward the two day "FIRC"s.  I've done the online thing once and didn't like it at all.  I definitely wouldn't want my CFI to lapse, so I keep making sure I get renewed on time.  In fact we just had a FIRC here in OSH a couple weeks ago, so I'm good to go for a couple more years.  I really like the FIRCs since they offer the opportunity for interaction between the instructors themselves and between instructors and the FAA.

Hope you find the right "fit" for your CFI!

Cheers!

Joe



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Bob Meder
NAFI MemberAirVenture Volunteer
223
Posts
87
#3 Posted: 11/25/2009 15:22:10

Where are you located, Gary?  Each year, the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructor's Association hosts a two-day FIRC in January.  We use about 14 different speakers and the proceeds go towards aviation scholarships.  We work very, very hard to make it an interesting, entertaining, and enlightening weekend.  I'll have more details that I can post early next week.  You can also PM me if you want some preliminary stuff.



Bob Meder "Anxiety is nature's way of telling you that you already goofed up."
Gary Davis
5
Posts
2
#4 Posted: 11/25/2009 16:31:15

I'm in Texas, but my wife is from the Saint Louis area and January is my due month so this could work out quite well.

Thanks to you and Joe both for reminding me that an in person clinic is more interesting  than an online course. I think I had gotten in the habit of the path of least resistance.

Blue Skies,

Gary

 



Blue Skies, Gary
NA NA
Homebuilder or Craftsman
7
Posts
0
#5 Posted: 11/25/2009 19:09:46

 

I happen to be a Sport Pilot instructor and took my first FIRC in Las Vegas about a year and a half ago.  I will have to say that it was the biggest waste of time and money.  Most of the time was spent talking about the commercial side of the business (ATP Careers, etc) or about doing instrument approaches in China!

I am an active instructor and would have liked to have been updated in new FAA rules, instructing techniques or anything that could have been more relevant to primary flight instructors.  In fact, the instructors of the FIRC had little to no knowledge about the sport pilot or LSA rules and I had to answer a few of the questions to a group of about 60 people, that except for two CFIs, none had active primary students at that time.

Since the regs say that I have to renew, when the time comes, I will be looking for a FIRC in Oshkosh or Sun-n-Fun for a more specific refresher relevant to a Sport Pilot Instructor. 

Cheers,

 

Carlos

 



Gary Davis
5
Posts
2
#6 Posted: 11/25/2009 19:45:30

Carlos,

Who put on the FIRC you attended in Las Vegas?



Blue Skies, Gary
Roger Messenger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
5
Posts
1
#7 Posted: 11/26/2009 00:54:06

Gary,

I have done the bulk of my renewals at the same time I was completing a recurrent Part 135 check ride. The last two however I have completed the Gleim FIRC on line course in addition and have found it to be very informative. It was very helpful for brushing up on the book portion of instructing. I am not sure I understand the heartburn regarding the computer course. I found two or three easy evenings and I was done.

The thing I do not want to do is travel 50-100 miles or more and give up a weekend to boot to complete something I can complete in the comfort of my own home.

Hope you find a course that suits you.

 

Roger

 



Roger Messenger
Doug McFall
Homebuilder or Craftsman
4
Posts
1
#8 Posted: 11/26/2009 01:59:41

Hi Gary,

I was in the same boat, but my friends have asked I stay current and I enjoy giving flight reviews and club check outs so I guess I will stay current.  Another CFI friend of mine told me had used American Flyers and the content was average, but he liked the fact you pay one time for the renewal then you can renew as often as you wish at no additional charge.  He has used them twice and I used them last year.  I wan't great training but it was OK, and the best part is for the rest of my life I can renew on line free from now on. (as long as American Flyers stays in business)  It was worth the $125 for these reasons and they have a great on line resource of information and all the sky kings shows as a bonus.  I will still use a clinic once in a while, but it's nice to know i can always do it on line at no further cost. I will say to you what my friends said to me, don't let it go, even if you use it little. Doug from Idaho.



Doug McFall
Bob Meder
NAFI MemberAirVenture Volunteer
223
Posts
87
#9 Posted: 11/26/2009 06:07:47
Carlos Duenas wrote:

 

 

I happen to be a Sport Pilot instructor and took my first FIRC in Las Vegas about a year and a half ago.  I will have to say that it was the biggest waste of time and money.  Most of the time was spent talking about the commercial side of the business (ATP Careers, etc) or about doing instrument approaches in China!

I am an active instructor and would have liked to have been updated in new FAA rules, instructing techniques or anything that could have been more relevant to primary flight instructors.  In fact, the instructors of the FIRC had little to no knowledge about the sport pilot or LSA rules and I had to answer a few of the questions to a group of about 60 people, that except for two CFIs, none had active primary students at that time.

Since the regs say that I have to renew, when the time comes, I will be looking for a FIRC in Oshkosh or Sun-n-Fun for a more specific refresher relevant to a Sport Pilot Instructor. 

Cheers,

 

Carlos

 

 

This is why we're so proud of our FIRC's.  We address these issues and have a mix of speakers, ranging from local ATC employees to active CFI's to representatives from the local FSDO.  We discourage the lecture format and encourage guided discussion.  One of the specific topics this year mandated by the FAA is Sport Pilot regs and it will be presented by the Chief Instructor at a very active FBO with a lot of sport pilot activity.

We know there is competition from the online universe in this arena, so we really try to make this a true learning experience focusing on the practical, presented by professionals for professionals.  Don't let one bad experience color all your perceptions.



Bob Meder "Anxiety is nature's way of telling you that you already goofed up."
Gary Davis
5
Posts
2
#10 Posted: 11/26/2009 07:31:28

Bob,

I found the web site for the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructor's Association and I was impressed with the description of the FIRC they offer. It certainly appears to be an interesting and unique program, and I look forward to attending next January.

Thanks for your help,

Gary

 



Blue Skies, Gary
Tony Johnstone
IAC MemberNAFI Member
61
Posts
15
#11 Posted: 11/26/2009 10:53:58

Bob-

    The AOPA/ASF online FIRC is pretty good value, content better than American Flyers I believe.   If you are within range of the FAA Wings CFI refresher program, you can attend all 8 of them over 2 years and they cover everything through the cycle.  The price is certainly right, and you get an opportunity to interact with the FSDO guys directly.

                                                                           Tony Johnstone



Dick Savold
IAC MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
1
Post
0
#12 Posted: 11/26/2009 14:20:41

Hi Gary,

I'm in the same boat. Coming up on my 75th birthday and feeling the same way. If you have any success let me know.

Dick



Bob Meder
NAFI MemberAirVenture Volunteer
223
Posts
87
#13 Posted: 11/26/2009 14:52:42
Tony Johnstone wrote:

 

Bob-

    The AOPA/ASF online FIRC is pretty good value, content better than American Flyers I believe.   If you are within range of the FAA Wings CFI refresher program, you can attend all 8 of them over 2 years and they cover everything through the cycle.  The price is certainly right, and you get an opportunity to interact with the FSDO guys directly.

                                                                           Tony Johnstone

 

As a FAASTeam Lead Rep, I've taught those classes.  And we're still pretty proud of the FIRC we run each year. 



Bob Meder "Anxiety is nature's way of telling you that you already goofed up."
Michael Jesch
3
Posts
0
#14 Posted: 11/28/2009 01:49:09

I had my CFI reinstated three years ago after an umpteen year lapse by completing a checkride with a DPE.  So, I've renewed by: signing off students, completing a FIRC, and by checkride.  Certainly, the checkride is the easiest, as it's a little more than a half day affair and involves actual flying instead of merely classroom work.  Having said that, I have great interest in all methods of renewal.  Just as I like different IAs to cast eyes on my airplane every year, I'd like to use different methods to renew my certificate.  I finally was able to make it to the FAASTeam CFI refresher clinic, but I've so far not gotten an answer to my questions on that (If I miss a session, how do I make it up?  And, my ticket is up for renewal before the 8-clinic series is complete -- how do I renew then?).  Last renewal I tried to do the online testing thing, but I couldn't stay awake.  I did better in a weekend seminar series, and I enjoy the discussion aspect.  I've got about six more months till I'm due... I wonder what I'll do this time?



Ross Barnett
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
2
Posts
0
#15 Posted: 11/28/2009 11:54:56
Michael Jesch wrote:

 

I had my CFI reinstated three years ago after an umpteen year lapse by completing a checkride with a DPE.  So, I've renewed by: signing off students, completing a FIRC, and by checkride.  Certainly, the checkride is the easiest, as it's a little more than a half day affair and involves actual flying instead of merely classroom work.  Having said that, I have great interest in all methods of renewal.  Just as I like different IAs to cast eyes on my airplane every year, I'd like to use different methods to renew my certificate.  I finally was able to make it to the FAASTeam CFI refresher clinic, but I've so far not gotten an answer to my questions on that (If I miss a session, how do I make it up?  And, my ticket is up for renewal before the 8-clinic series is complete -- how do I renew then?).  Last renewal I tried to do the online testing thing, but I couldn't stay awake.  I did better in a weekend seminar series, and I enjoy the discussion aspect.  I've got about six more months till I'm due... I wonder what I'll do this time?

 

 



Ross Barnett
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
2
Posts
0
#16 Posted: 11/28/2009 12:00:39

Does anyone know of a FIRC in the Detroit area?



Jack Kenton
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
7
Posts
1
#17 Posted: 12/2/2009 19:20:30

I've found that the 2-day mingling with others didn't do anything for me (there was no mingling to speak of).  The AOPA ASF computer course seemed to be the least painful way of doing it to me.



jk
Andrew Ovans
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
133
Posts
39
#18 Posted: 12/3/2009 08:55:59

Michael,

Did you ever consider using one IA and going with the owner assisted route? The best set of eyes on your aircraft are your own in my opinion. This might save you some money down the road, and you really get to know your bird. As an A&P, I always recommend this route.

My .02...

Andy



www.tailwindflightcenter.com Flightline Aeronautics LLC
Bob Meder
NAFI MemberAirVenture Volunteer
223
Posts
87
#19 Posted: 12/14/2009 19:31:30 Modified: 12/23/2009 11:39:11

For those of you that are interested, the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructor's Association Annual FIRC will be held 1/23/10 - 1/24/10. This is a non-profit venture that benefits aviation scholarships in the St. Louis area.  We work very hard to make it interesting with over 14 speakers.   This event is also integrated with  the St. Louis Super Safety Seminar, so any pilots that attend Saturday morning's sessions will also get WINGS credit.  Please see

 

www.gslfia.com

For more details.

 



Bob Meder "Anxiety is nature's way of telling you that you already goofed up."
Rick Robbins
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
12
Posts
3
#20 Posted: 12/18/2009 23:31:05

Like you I have been doing this for a few years.  On-line I have used Gleim and liked it.  Gliem also gives instructors discounts on books and tranning materials.  I like the AOPA/ASF FIRC.  With the 2 day FIRC it is fun to interact with other instructors.  If you are finding it dull perhaps a paradigm shift would be in order.  I always have fun flying and being around the airport and airport people.  In order to keep the grey-matter stimulated I am going to add a SES rating this month.  Always make a game of it.



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