Frequently Asked Questions

1. I need to renew my flight instructor certificate. What are the options to renew?
2. How long does the course take?
3. Your FIRC is a “lifetime renewal program.” What does that mean?
4. Is your course iPad compatible?
5. Is there a time limit I need to spend on each lesson before being allowed to take the end of lesson quiz?
6. When taking an end of lesson quiz is it still possible to view/reference the lesson material?
7. Do you send me an endorsement to put in my logbook?
8. What happens if I take the FIRC more than three calendar months in advance of my certificate’s expiration date?
9. What if my flight instructor certificate has already expired? Can I still renew by graduating from your FIRC?
10. I only have a CFII (not a CFI) does your FIRC still renew my certificate?
11. I am a helicopter Flight Instructor does your FIRC still renew my certificate?
12. My flight instructor certificate has numerous ratings on it (single-engine airplane, multi-engine airplane, helicopter, instrument airplane, etc.) do I need to take a FIRC for each rating?
13. Can I use a flight simulator to take a practical test for my flight instructor certificate?
14. I just added a new rating to my flight instructor certificate (not my pilot certificate) (ex. an instrument rating). When do I need to renew my certificate?
15. I don’t have a medical certificate, or it recently expired, can I still renew my CFI with your FIRC?
16. Can I complete your online FIRC in multiple sessions or does it need to be completed in one sitting?
17. I misplaced my flight instructor certificate. Can I still take your FIRC?
18. How early can I complete the FIRC and still retain my original certificate expiration date?
19. What happens if I don’t pass the quizzes or the end-of-course exam on the first attempt?
20. Will the government shutdown affect my flight instructor renewal? Can I still take your course? Do your ACR Services work normally?
21. If I take your FIRC do I still need to accomplish a flight review in the next two year if I don’t add any new ratings to my pilot certificate?
22. Since I can take the course every two years do you upgrade your curriculum over time?
23. What’s the advantage of using your ACR processing to renew my certificate?
24. Can you provide more detail on exactly how your ACR Services work?
25. I don’t plan on flying in the near future. Do I still need to buy your ACR Service since I won’t need a Temporary Airman Certificate?
26. I’m a non-US citizen and/or I am not currently located in the US. Can I still use your ACR Service?
27. When I submit an 8710, or submit an application in IACRA, do I still need to fill out Section III (the record of pilot time)?
28. When I submitted my electronic application in IACRA I messed up. Now it won’t let me edit it. What do I do?
29. I have completed the online portion of the renewal process and am attempting to fill out the 8710 via IACRA. I currently hold a Gold Seal CFI. I have clicked the appropriate boxes regarding the Gold Seal, but when I look at the summary 8710 I see no mention. How do I know that they know to send me a Gold Seal CFI?
30. I’m not sure I want to use ACR Services. Do I have to buy ACR Services at the beginning or can I add them later?
31. How long have you guys been in business?
32. My CFI doesn’t expire for a while. Can I register for the course well in advance? How much of the course can I complete and still keep the same expiration date on my new certificate?
33. Does the course require flash or any special software?
34. What format are the lessons in? Do I need to download anything?
35. My CFI expires at the end of the month. How soon do I need to begin taking the course in order to finish the course AND receive my Temporary Airman Certificate (through your ACR service) before my certificate expires?
36. Does your course meet the requirements for “Flight School Security Awareness Training”?

1. I need to renew my flight instructor certificate. What are the options to renew? Back to top

Any of the five options below will renew your CFI:

  1. Attend an approved Flight Instructor Refresher Course (like AceCFI’s online FIRC)
  2. Take a practical test with the FAA or an authorized designated pilot examiner
  3. Present a record of training showing that within the preceding 24 months you have sent at least five students to their practical tests, and at least 80% of those students passed on the first attempt
  4. Present a record showing that, within the preceding 24 calendar months, you have served as a company check pilot, chief flight instructor, company check airman, or flight instructor in a part 121 or part 135 operation, or in a position involving the regular evaluation of pilots
  5. You may also renew through the WINGS program by:
    1. Holding a current flight instructor certificate
    2. Holding a current phase of WINGS (at any level) at the time of application
    3. Have evaluated at least 15 WINGS-accredited flight activities (any level) during which the CFI evaluates at least five different pilots, and make appropriate endorsements in the logbook of each pilot for each activity
    4. Present a record to an aviation safety inspector (ASI) showing that you have met the requirements specified in Advisory Circular 61-91J within the preceding 24 calendar-months
    5. Present a completed FAA Form 8710-1 to an authorized person for renewal

2. How long does the course take? Back to top

 

The FAA requires that -all- FIRCs (in-person or online) take a minimum of 16 hours. As such, our course is designed to take 16 hours. However, there are no time restrictions (i.e. you won’t be forced to wait for a certain amount of time before you can progress through the lessons).

3. Your FIRC is a “lifetime renewal program.” What does that mean? Back to top

 

“Lifetime renewal” means if you pay to take our FIRC ($99.95) you can take the course immediately AND you will also be able to retake our FIRC every two years without paying again.

4. Is your course iPad compatible? Back to top

 

Yes, the course is fully iPad compatible.

5. Is there a time limit I need to spend on each lesson before being allowed to take the end of lesson quiz? Back to top

 

No. There are no imposed time limits. However, we do highly recommend that you take your time with the lessons to help the material sink in.

6. When taking an end of lesson quiz is it still possible to view/reference the lesson material? Back to top

 

Unfortunately, the FAA mandates that you can not concurrently log on with multiple open windows while taking a quiz or exam. However, you may still print out sections of the material and/or take very good notes for reference while taking a quiz or test. Also, our course allows you to review any lesson you’ve already passed.

7. Do you send me an endorsement to put in my logbook? Back to top

 

No, there is no endorsement associated with a Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC). The graduation certificate you receive after completing the FIRC serves as the basis for your renewal. You can present that graduation certificate to a FSDO to renew your flight instructor certificate, or you can use our ACR Services and receive your temporary airman certificate automatically after completing the course.

8. What happens if I take the FIRC more than three calendar months in advance of my certificate’s expiration date? Back to top

 

In this case, your new certificate will expire two years later at the end of the month from the month that you completed the FIRC (not the original expiration date).

9. What if my flight instructor certificate has already expired? Can I still renew by graduating from your FIRC? Back to top

 

No, in this case the only way to get your certificate back is to take a practical test with an FAA examiner or authorized designated pilot examiner.

10. I only have a CFII (not a CFI) does your FIRC still renew my certificate? Back to top

 

Yes, our FIRC (and any other FIRC for that matter) renews ANY Flight Instructor Certificate regardless of what ratings you do, or do not, have associated with that certificate.

11. I am a helicopter Flight Instructor does your FIRC still renew my certificate? Back to top

 

Yes, our FIRC (and any other FIRC for that matter) renews ANY Flight Instructor Certificate regardless of what ratings you do, or do not, have associated with that certificate.

12. My flight instructor certificate has numerous ratings on it (single-engine airplane, multi-engine airplane, helicopter, instrument airplane, etc.) do I need to take a FIRC for each rating? Back to top

 

No, the our FIRC will renew your flight instructor certificate and ALL attached ratings. There is no need to take multiple FIRCs.

13. Can I use a flight simulator to take a practical test for my flight instructor certificate? Back to top

 

Yes, however only in conjunction with an approved training program at a Part 142 training center.

14. I just added a new rating to my flight instructor certificate (not your pilot certificate) (ex. an instrument rating). When do I need to renew my certificate? Back to top

 

If you added a new rating to your flight instructor certificate (not just your pilot certificate) it resets the renewal cycle. In other words, you’re certificate is now good until 24 months after the month you added the new rating. (example: you passed the practical test on the 9th of May 2013, your certificate is good until the 31st of May 2015).

15. I don’t have a medical certificate, or it recently expired, can I still renew my CFI with your FIRC? Back to top

 

Absolutely, a medical certificate is not required to renew your CFI.

16. Can I complete your online FIRC in multiple sessions or does it need to be completed in one sitting? Back to top

 

Our FIRC is designed to meet your schedule. As such, you can save your spot in the FIRC at any time, and continue when you’re ready.

17. I misplaced my flight instructor certificate. Can I still take your FIRC? Back to top

 

Absolutely, you can still take the FIRC. However, we will need proof that you hold a CFI certificate. This can be attained by contacting the airman certification branch of the FAA (phone number: (405) 954-3261) and requesting a letter of “Temporary Authorization” to exercise the privileges of your flight instructor certificate. Essentially this is an official letter from the FAA which lists your current certificate and ratings held, as well as the certificate’s expiration date. It can be emailed to you within a day if you call the Airman Certification branch so it won’t take long to get it.

18. How early can I complete the FIRC and still retain my original certificate expiration date? Back to top

 

Three calendar months. In other words, if your certificate expires at the end of June, you could complete the FIRC as early as the 1st of March, and still maintain the same expiration date as your original certificate.

19. What happens if I don’t pass the quizzes or the end-of-course exam on the first attempt? Back to top

 

If you don’t pass one of the quizzes on the first attempt you will be required to re-take the lesson. After you’ve completed the lesson a second time you will be allowed to re-take the quiz. If you fail a second time you won’t be able to retake quiz until you have been contacted by our help desk for support (email: support@acecfi.com), and they have cleared you to take the quiz a third time. If you fail on the third attempt you will be removed from training.

The same thing goes for the end-of-course exam. If you don’t pass the end-of-course exam on the first attempt you may take it a second time. If you fail on the second attempt you will need to contact our help desk for support, and they will clear you to take the test a third time. If you fail on the third attempt you will be removed from training.

20. Will the government shutdown affect my flight instructor renewal. Can I still take your course? Do your ACR Services work normally? Back to top

 

The government shutdown does not affect our course in any way. You can still use our ACR services and you will still be able to receive your Temporary Airman Certificate by email after completing the course.

The only thing that might be affected is the time it takes to receive your permanent airman certificate. This is still handled by the FAA, and the government shutdown may delay the time it takes to receive your permanent certificate by mail. Besides that, however, our course isn’t affected in any way and you will still receive your temporary airman certificate after completing the course (if you purchased our ACR services)

21. If I take your FIRC do I still need to accomplish a flight review in the next two years if I don’t add any new ratings to my pilot certificate? Back to top

 

Yes, you will still need to accomplish a flight review in order to exercise the privileges of your pilot certificate. However, our FIRC meets the requirements for the ground portion of a flight review (as stated by 14 CFR Part 61.56(f)).

22. Since I can take the course every two years do you upgrade your curriculum over time? Back to top

 

Yes, the FAA requires that we make changes to our course at least every two years.

23. What’s the advantage of using your ACR processing to renew my certificate? Back to top

 

If you elect to use our ACR processing ($25.00) you will receive your temporary airmen certificate by email within a few days of completing the course. You can print it out and use it right away. Your permanent airman’s certificate will arrive by mail within the next few weeks.

On the contrary, if you choose to not use our ACR processing you will need to make an appointment with your local FSDO, then take the course graduation certificate, along with an FAA form 8710, and proof of identification to the FSDO to in order to renew your certificate. This option is much more time consuming.

24. Can you provide more detail on exactly how your ACR Services work? Back to top

 

When you complete our course you will directed to the “ACR Services” page. From there you will be directed to (and shown how t0) complete the following:

1. Register in the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system (if you haven’t already registered in the past).

2. Submit an electronic application for a renewed flight instructor certificate through IACRA.

After you complete your application, you will give us your FAA Tracking Number (FTN) which is provided by IACRA. You will also provide us with some identification information pulled from either your U.S. issued government ID or information pulled from a passport (for non-US students who don’t have a US issued ID). All of this is handled on our ACR Services page.

Once you submit your FTN and ID information our ACR Team will be notified. The ACR Team will then log into IACRA and review your application. If everything looks good they will send you an email directing you to electronically sign your application.

From that point you will simply log back into IACRA and electronically sign your application (this basically consists of checking a few boxes and hitting “Submit”). Once you’ve signed your application you will just reply to the ACR Team’s email and let them know that the application is signed.

After the ACR Team receives your email, they will generate your Temporary Airman Certificate in the form of a PDF File and email it to you. The process is complete.

Also, since everything is handled through IACRA, the FAA’s Airman Certification Branch will automatically begin processing your permanent airman certificate, and place it in the mail in the next few weeks.

All in all, it’s a very simple and straight forward process.

25. I don’t plan on flying in the near future. Do I still need to buy your ACR Service since I won’t need a Temporary Airman Certificate? Back to top

 

Our ACR Services are optional. However, if you choose to not purchase them then YOU will need to work with your local FSDO to get your new Airman Certificate (whether or not you need it quickly).

If you use our ACR Services the FAA’s Airman Certification Branch is made aware of your new certificate when we issue you your Temporary Airman Certificate.

However, if you don’t use our ACR Services the only way the FAA will know that you completed our FIRC is if you work with your local FSDO on your own to receive your new Airman Certificate (i.e. you will need to present the FSDO with a hard copy Form 8710, two forms of ID, and present your old Flight Instructor Certificate).

26. I’m a non-US citizen and/or I am not currently located in the US. Can I still use your ACR Service? Back to top

 

Absolutely. There is no problem whatsoever with processing a foreign application. All we need to complete the ACR process is information pulled from a U.S. issued form of Government ID OR an international passport (in the case of foreign students who don’t have a U.S. issued ID)

27. When I submit an 8710, or submit an application in IACRA, do I need to fill out Section III (the record of pilot time)? Back to top

 

No, you do not need to fill out the flight time information when completing your flight instructor renewal. However, it’s always a good idea to update the FAA with your flight time in order to serve as a backup record if your logbook becomes lost or damaged.

28. When I submitted my electronic application in IACRA I messed up. Now it won’t let me edit it. What do I do? Back to top

 

Not a big deal. Unfortunately, it won’t let you edit it after you’ve already submitted. However, all you need to do is submit a new application. Once you’ve done that, just email acradmin@acecfi.com and let them know that you’ve messed up your first application and have submitted a second one.

29. I have completed the online portion of the renewal process and am attempting to fill out the 8710 via IACRA. I currently hold a Gold Seal CFI. I have clicked the appropriate boxes regarding Gold Seal but when I look at the summary 8710 I see no mention. How do I know that they know to send me a Gold Seal CFI?
Back to top

 

That’s alright. If you filled in the correct information about your Gold Seal when completing your application it will still be on your new Temporary Airman Certificate. For whatever reason, it does not show up on the electronic 8710 generated by IACRA.

If you have any doubts about whether or not you filled out the correct Gold Seal information when completing the application you can contact the IACRA help desk at 1-877-287-6731They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

30. I’m not sure I want to use ACR Services. Do I have to buy ACR Services at the beginning or can I add them later?
Back to top

 

You do not have to purchase ACR Services during initial course registration. When you complete the course there will be an option to add the services on at that point (for the same price of $25.00)

31. How long have you guys been in business?
Back to top

 

AceCFI was founded in February of 2013. We received FAA Approval to conduct our online Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) on the 23rd of July 2013.

32. My CFI doesn’t expire for a while. Can I register for the course well in advance? How much of the course can I complete and still keep the same expiration date on my new certificate?
Back to top

 

You can register for the course as early as you’d like. However, once you finish the end of course exam your graduation certificate is automatically generated. That graduation certificate has a date on it. The date on the graduation certificate is the date the FAA will use to determine when you renewed your CFI. As such, as long as the date on the graduation certificate is within three calendar months of your original certificate’s expiration date your new certificate will still have the same expiration date two years later. In other words, you can begin the course whenever you’d like. However, if you want to keep the same expiration date then you can not finish the course (i.e complete the final exam) until within three calendar months of your certificates expiration date. If you complete it earlier your new certificate will expire at the end of the month two years later than the date on the graduation certificate.

33. Does the course require flash or any special software?
Back to top

 

No, the course doesn’t require any special software to complete. It is compatible with all Internet browsers on any device with Internet access.

34. What format are the lessons in? Do I need to download anything?
Back to top

 

The lessons are presented in text, illustrations, and charts. When we built the course we found that many people didn’t like video presentations. As such, our courseware requires no downloads, and enables you to progress at your own pace (as opposed to having to wait for video presentations to finish).

35. My CFI expires at the end of the month. How soon do I need to begin taking the course in order to finish the course AND receive my Temporary Airman Certificate (through your ACR service) before my certificate expires?
Back to top

 

The course itself is designed to take 16 hours. You must be finished with the course before you can BEGIN the ACR process. We suggest that you BEGIN the ACR process at least THREE FULL BUSINESS DAYS in advance. We can very often return your Temporary Airman Certificate to you within one business day, but we like to be conservative in our time estimate just in case there are any complications with your application.

All in all, we recommend you begin the course at least one week in advance prior to your certificate expiring.

36. Does your course meet the requirements for “Flight School Security Awareness Training”?
Back to top

 

Yes. Our course meets the requirements of 49 CFR Part 1552 “Flight School Security Awareness Training”. You will receive a certificate for Recurrent Security Awareness Training when you finish the course.

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