Free online FIRC available through Sporty’s CFI portal

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Updated and redesigned Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) offers effective and convenient CFI renewal option

Flight instructors serve a vital role in the aviation community helping to guide and mentor future generations of aviators. The profession requires extensive knowledge and training and demands patience, skill and commitment to succeed. Whether you have joined the teaching ranks or aspire to earn a flight instructor certificate, know that the learning must continue beyond the certification as it is imperative for instructors to have access to the latest information, tools and resources to bring to their clients.

pilot and instructor

It is imperative for instructors to have access to the latest information, tools and resources to bring to their clients.







This is why, unlike other pilot certifications, the flight instructor certificate is issued with an expiration date and the regulations offer various options to renew the certification every 24 calendar months.

Sporty’s has developed a fresh new option for flight instructors to renew their CFI certificate using a modern online learning system to deliver innovative, engaging content. Sporty’s FAA-approved eFIRC, updated for 2023, is part of a collection of online resources available through Sporty’s CFI Portal to help instructors broaden their knowledge base and stay connected to students. And it’s absolutely FREE!

The suite of tools within the CFI Portal also includes lesson plans, FAA resource library, endorsement guide, special offers, and complimentary access to Sporty’s award winning Private, Instrument and Commercial Pilot Training Courses.

Why should flight instructors use an online FIRC?

While there are a variety of ways to renew a CFI certificate (including a meeting with the local FAA inspector), most flight instructors elect to use an online course because of the ease of use and flexibility offered. The FIRC content can be consumed and reviewed when and where the user would like as opposed to being limited by the confines of a classroom. The online platform also offers the flexibility to offer expanded content and optional training modules so learning can be tailored to the individual’s needs.

It’s Mobile-friendly!

Sporty’s eFIRC has a mobile-friendly design that works on any device with a web browser and internet connection—especially convenient for studying on the go with an iPhone, iPad or Android phone/tablet. Your progress is automatically saved in the cloud, so you can start on one device and resume learning on another.

Sporty's FIRC on iPad and iPhone

Using the FIRC

After logging into the course, you will be presented with the main Dashboard view, allowing you to get started with any one of the 16 lessons. There is no requirement to complete the lessons in order, so you can pick the path that makes the most sense for you. This page also shows a graphical representation of both individual lesson and overall course progress.

Sporty's Flight Instructor Refresher Course

Once you start a lesson, you’ll see a list of individual lesson modules listed on the left side of the screen. You’ll receive credit for each module as you study the content in main content viewer, located on the right side of the screen.

Sporty's eFIRC lesson

After completing each required module, you’ll be presented with a multiple choice quiz. This serves two purposes: to help reinforce key concepts in the lesson, and to help prepare you for the final exam.

FIRC review quiz

There’s also a video training section included with most lessons that brings the content to life with real-world in-flight video and motion graphics. This not only makes each lesson more engaging, but gives you another perspective on how to relate key training concepts and maneuvers to students.

Sporty's FIRC video

After completing all 16 lessons, the last step is to take the 60-question, multiple choice final exam in the course and earn a minimum score of 70%.

Paperless CFI Renewal

Once this last step is complete, the course will automatically generate an official FIRC graduation certificate for you to download that you can take to an examiner or FAA office to process the renewal. Or, for just $49.95, Sporty’s will handle the paperwork and issue a new temporary CFI certificate with its paperless CFI renewal service.

What you’ll learn

Sporty’s eFIRC was developed by Sporty’s team of educators with today’s modern CFI in mind so you won’t find just a rehash of regulations and dry FOI theory. Rather, you’ll learn about topics pertinent to today’s flight training environment. Featuring significant updates for 2023, topics covered include:

  • Navigating in the 21st Century: Pilotage to GPS: TAA & Automation
  • Security Related Special Use Airspace: What’s Going on—Where, and How to Stay Clear
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA): What Flight Instructors Have to Know to Stay Out of Trouble
  • Safety Trends in GA: How CFIs Can Directly Contribute to Aviation Safety
  • Pilot Deviations: Their Causes and How to Teach Your Students to Plan Ahead to Avoid Them
  • Regulatory, Policy, and Publication Changes and Updates
  • How to Give an Effective and Useful Instrument Proficiency Check & Flight Review
  • Understanding and Teaching Advancements in Aviation Technology
  • How to Teach Pilots to Avoid Loss of Control
  • Wading Through the Changing Weather Products

Available free for CFIs

Sporty’s complete FIRC is available free for active CFIs and educators. The paperless renewal is an additional $49.95. You can sign up here, which provides 365 days of access.

Learn more and explore the CFI portal resources at

Eric Radtke