March 2022

CFI Certificate Expiration Dates Planned To Be Eleminated.

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Currently, Flight Instructor Certificates expire every two years on the last day of the month they were issued. The FAA is working on eliminating the expiration dates. These are the only certificates, issued by the FAA that have an expiration date. This leads to a lot of work, and expense, for the FAA in the renewal of the certificates. There are currently around 120,000 flight instructors in the airman registry and all of these certificates need to be renewed and a new card generated every two years.

There will be a new requirement to keep the certificate valid. You’ll need to prove they are an “active” CFI. What does that mean?

Well, in past instances, the FAA has defined being an “Active”, CFI as a person who has endorsed a person for a practical test within the duration of their certificate. Of the 120,000 CFIs, only a small portion do that. Around 8,000. Left this way, that would really reduce the number of CFIs.

CFIs can be active and not recommend people for practical tests. They can give flight reviews, proficiency checks, airplane checkouts, provide type-specific training, and so on, which doesn’t necessitate the need for an IACRA or Paper application submitted to the FAA.

So, for those of you that are “active”, this is great because you won’t need to do anything other than have a record that you’ve recommended at least one person for a practical test and you’ll be good for two calendar years from then. But what about the rest of the CFI population?

This was asked of the FAA in a recent meeting by AOPA and the answer gave everyone a big sigh of relief. If you don’t meet the recent experience requirements, you need to do a Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic, FIRC. That can be done online through various FIRC providers such as AOPA, King Schools, Gleim, Sporty’s, American Flyers, and the like.

Not having to complete a FIRC will be a real blessing to some of us. The content is pretty stale and it takes a considerable amount of time to complete it. The FAA requires 16 hours. So, I think it’s a win for both the FAA and the CFI population. The only losers here are the FIRC providers because some number lower than 8,000 “active” CFIs won’t need to do a FIRC.


The FAA recently issued a new version of FAA-H-8083-3C, the Airplane Flying Handbook. In this new version, they added a new chapter, Energy Management.

Here is my take on the chapter. It’s way too long. It’s over 20 pages long and reads like a chapter of high school physics. I am a big fan of teaching people how to control the energy of an airplane. It’s what separates real aviators from what I’d call “Cookie Cutter Fliers”. Those that do things the same way and can’t change things up on the fly.

If I wrote this new chapter, it would be about 3 or 4 pages. I could summarize the entire chapter in a sentence or two. I’d say:

There are two forms of energy that we need to consider, Potential and Kinetic. Potential is stored energy, like altitude. Kinetic energy is energy being used or manipulated now, like airspeed. Your job as a pilot is to manage this by moving potential energy to kinetic or vice versa. Knowing what energy is available and what is being consumed allows you to determine whether or now something can be done, and if so to what extent.

In a practical sense, energy in an airplane is contained in the altimeter, airspeed indicator, and the tach. You can convert altitude to airspeed, airspeed to altitude, and power to altitude or airspeed. Knowing how much of each you have and how to exchange one for the other is the art of flying.

I guess I’d talk a little more about it, but I think you can see where I was going with this. The chapter is too long. Get to the point.


The FAA recently clarified a recent NOTAM prohibiting Russian citizens from receiving flight instruction or renting airplanes in the US.

The clarification was that this applies only to Russian citizens that are named on the US sanctions and not for anyone else.


Last week, CFI Bootcamp completed its 92nd power hour. If you don’t know what a power hour is, it’s a one-hour show, hosted by Mike Shiflett, from noon to one Eastern Time every Saturday. The shows focus on an aviation or instructor topic. Past shows have covered, Marketing 101 for CFIs, A deep dive into eights-on-pylons, Apps CFI Bootcamp uses for training, and so on. There are also guests like Gary “GPS” Reeves (IFR Expert), Hobie Tomlinson (Multi-Engine Training Expert), and the SAFE Spots (Society of Aviation. Flight Educators), that do a power hour every so often.

We are counting down to the 100th show, which will be on May 7th. CFI Bootcamp is going to do something special to mark the occasion, so be sure you join in on that show.

To get a link to the power hour, which also sends you a few reminders so you don’t miss it, go to Free Power Hour Link.

Join us every Saturday for the “Power Hour”

Every Saturday from 1700 UTC (12pm Eastern Daylight time) until 1800 UTC we do a live webinar. Always entertaining and loaded with great content. Its FREE to everyone. We have covered “deep dive into chandelles and lazy eights”, Marketing 101 for flight instructors, what you can and can’t do with your Private and Commercial Pilot Certificates and lots more. There are between 50 and 200 people who show up for the Power Hour.

To get the link to the show just click this link. It’s totally FREE!