FAA Revises FIRC Advisory Circular

Flight training providers offering FAA-approved Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) programs will need to make modifications to their courses as a result of a recently updated advisory circular (AC 61-83G).

The new 33-page AC includes modified guidelines on how to develop training course outlines (TCO) and updates some of the core topics that must be covered in the approved courses. These core topics are outlined in Appendix 1 of the AC. Several changes were made in the section of the advisory circular directed toward Internet-based FIRC courses, which have become a popular means of renewal due to ease of access and low cost. Stricter guidelines were also provided for classroom courses, which are now limited to a maximum of two hours of continuous instruction without a break.

Most of the changes were a result of input from a public meeting held by the FAA in December last year. The meeting was part of a continuous effort by the FAA to improve the flight instructor renewal program, which was initiated in 1965. Approximately 30 industry representatives and flight school owners attended the meeting and provided input on the issue.

FIRC programs are one of several options flight instructors have to renew their CFI certificates biannually. These courses serve to “keep flight instructors informed of the changing world of General Aviation (GA) flight training, and to enhance aviation safety through continued refresher training of the flight instructor cadre,“ according to the advisory circular.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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