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American Flyers Online FIRC?

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Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Time to renew the CFI ticket. Last time I used the Gleim online FIRC and had good results. Right now American Fliers is offering a lifetime amount of renewals for a one time $100 fee. Gleim is charging $100 each time.

Has anyone used the American Flyers course? If so, what was your opinion of it and how long did it take.

Thanks in advance.
I just took the American Flyers online FIRC this past November. The one time fee of $100 is a great deal, and it is very user friendly. Keep in mind that this one time fee of $100 only applies to the online FIRC, ie. you can't take the weekend FIRC two years from now at one of the American Flyers schools w/o paying for that class. I was currently instructing when I took it so it wasn't that difficult. There are several "pages" of reading material that have all the answers within them if you have been out of the loop for a while. There are, however, some things that kinda' dissapointed me. There were a few type o's here and there; misspelled words, capitalization, and puntuation - no missinformation that I could see. I would have expected more from a school like American Flyers. There is also the 16 hour time requirement that must be accounted for. The FIRC is divided into several "chapters", with a quiz at the end of each one. Each page of text within a chapter has a built in timer that will time how long you are on that page, and it will stop counting after a preset time limit. You can still read the page after this time limit, but it won't count that time towards the 16 hour requirement. So if you already know alot of the information you won't be allowed to take the quiz at the end of the chapter until you have been online for the minimum amount of time for that chapter. Basically what this does is: 1)Prevents someone from going straight to the quiz and taking it w/o reading the chapter. And 2)Prevents you from loading up the first page and then leaving to run an errand or something, then come back and take the quiz (remember each page has a time limit). If you don't pass a quiz, I think you just call an 800 number and speak with an American Flyers instructor about each of your wrong answers. The quiz is then reset and you are allowed to take it again. I managed to finish it in about a day and a half, but I was on my computer for quite a while. Think I got a touch of that carpel tunnel stuff! You can take longer if you wish, as long as you finish before you expire. When you are done you just print out a completion certificate and show it to your local FSDO and get a temporary, or you can mail all your stuff to American Flyers and they will do it for you for a $35 fee. Overall, I would say that this is an excellent deal and does a good job of renewing your CFI. I have no problem recommending it to other instructors. If you want the "whole experience" of a "real" FIRC with tons of stories and meeting both old, experienced CFIs as well as the younger "newbies" as they are sometimes called by the "lifers", then you need to attend one of the FIRC seminars that are offered in some larger cities.

Best of luck!
Thank you. That's exactly the info that I was looking for. One major benefit of the online FIRC is that I can do it on the road as some hotels have public computers.
I have taken both of the AF FIRC and Gliem,s AFRC. I can tell you unequovocally that although you cant beat the price of AF, Gliem has done an excellent job with their product. AF's product as stated above had many grammatical errors, but also did nothing more than regurgitate info. What takes gliem 80 or so pages to provide all of the reqiuired info, it takes AF almost 3 times that. AF's data was at best difficult to get through and descern any new changes while Gliems was explained in an easy readable manner. Matter of fact, I ended up using some of the old Gliem material to get through the AF FIRC. The AF FIRC is almost verbatum out of the books. I guess, in this case, you get what you pay for. Although I have bought a lifetime FIRC from AF, I will probably go back to Gliem. Additionally, I did hear that gliem has significantly lowered their price. I would at least check them out.
I did the American Flyers FIRC the last time around, and it pretty much just lets you check the box. Like Illini said, the timers can be a hassle, since if you finish reading a section in 30 minutes, you have to leave the browser on that screen until the timer runs out and allows you to take the quiz. Overall, the sections are informative, but some seem to be repeated verbatim from the FAR/AIM, FOI, AvWx, etc. There was at least one outdated question on a reg that has since changed.
If you've been actively teaching and have kept up with Part 61 and FOI, then this course would be an economical choice, but if you are looking for a thorough refresher, there might be better courses.
Thanks, that was probably the best politically way to say what I had to say! Both FIRC's are OK by the FAA so I guess each individual can make up his/her's own mind. See Ya! ;)
The last time I renewed, I was short on time, and tired the AF FIRC. To say that I was underwhelmed and disappointed in their offering would be an understatement. The presentations were poorly scanned graphics direct from the FAA texts. No effort was made to enhance presentations. Some of the material was outdated, some was incorrect. The time allotments for given subjects was not in proportion to the importance of the subject; topics needing a lot of attention were given minutes, and topics deserving little more than pass were dwelt upon with fervor.

The timer for the system didn't work. I enquired with American Flyers, and they said it was a common complaint. I could spend sixteen hours on line, or attached to their system, and get four hours of credit. I finally caught on and began logging on just to wear the timer down.

The course is cheap, which describes both the quality and cost. It's a matter of self-certification; one pays American Flyers for the privilege. I was very disappointed in the course. I've had no other experience with AF, other than this course, but based on the showing from that product alone, I will never recommend a soul to that company. It was unprofessional, spoke of minimum effort, and demonstrated a complete lack of interest in the client, and in the product itself.

Yes, it's cheap, and yes it works. That's about it. If you have the time, you're far better off with an AOPA course, or other live presentation that offers up to date materials, and approaches the subject from other than a pre-initial CFI point of view.

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