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Helicopter Flight Instructor Refresher Course

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Well the 2 years that the FAA gives us Flight instructors is slowly creeping up on me. My certificate does not expire until May 2015. I am worried by the time I am hired I wont build enough time with students to override my expiration. I realize that I still have quite a bit of time but I just want to make sure I got all the info I need. Any tips or info you guys and gals have is much appreciated! What have you done ?





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Other than basing renewals on recent instructional experience. There are several ways to renew your CFI with varying pros and cons.


I'm currently renewing mine with the Gleim online FIRC. I've used it regularly for the past 10 years or more and it gets less painful each time. This time I could easily breeze through it in a short day if I wanted. Go through it as fast or slow as you want, they'll renew for you and you get as much or as little out of it as you choose.


Attend a weekend FIRC. I did this once and swore I'd never do it again. Granted I have to travel cause none are given close to my home but what I got out of it was far less than my online renewal experiences and with hotels and food, cost was way more too. I've heard there are some good ones but I can't talk myself into trying it again.


When I was a relatively new CFI my preferred method to renew was to add on another instructor rating. Any instructor rating will count towards renewal. Cross off the BFR requirement, expenses tax deductible and ANY instructor rating counts. Need a CFII? A glider rating? Fixed wing? Why not expand your resume, experience and knowledge base. You will never have too many ratings or too much time in this field. If you have until May of 2015 you might bargain for further instructor ratings from the school that hires you as part of your package.


My biggest piece of advice is to NEVER let your CFI lapse. Even when/if you leave instructing for greener pastures. It will always be of value to you, is too easy to renew and a pain in the a$$ to get back once it has lapsed.

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