In Depth Look at Sporty's updated Flight Instructor Refresher Course (eFIRC)

Sporty’s has developed a fresh new option for flight instructors looking to renew their CFI certificate, using a modern online learning system to deliver innovative content. Sporty’s fully FAA-approved eFIRC, newly updated for 2023, will get you up to speed with the latest technology and new developments from the FAA, vastly improving your teaching skills. The best news? Sporty's FIRC is completely free! Let’s take a look at some of the unique features.

Why use an online FIRC?

While there are a variety of ways to renew your CFI certificate (including a meeting with your local FAA inspector), most flight instructors elect to use an online course because of the ease of use and flexibility offered. 

To meet the strict FAA requirements, all FIRC courses must contain at least 16 hours of training content. Fortunately, you can complete the course up to three months before your actual CFI expiration date, so there’s no pressure to rush through it in a weekend. You just need to make sure you complete the course before your CFI certificate officially expires. 

Using the course

After logging into the course you’ll 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 the local FSDO to process the renewal. Or, for just $49.95, let Sporty's handle the paperwork with our paperless CFI renewal service (ACR processing). You can have a renewed certificate without visiting your FSDO. Please allow three business days for processing.

What you’ll learn

Sporty’s eFIRC was developed from scratch 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


Sporty’s eFIRC has a new, 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 pick right up on another.

Sporty's FIRC on iPad and iPhone

Available free for CFIs

Sporty's complete FIRC—including all lessons, videos, review quizzes, one flight instructor graduation certificate, and one ground instructor graduation certificate—is available free for active CFIs and educators. That's right, we are making our FIRC available free, as an aid to flight instructors! Paperless renewal is an additional $49.95. You can sign up here, which provides 365 days of access. 

It's all part of Sporty's CFI Portal, a comprehensive suite of tools to make flight training safer, easier, and more fun. You can track your students' progress in Sporty's courses, access helpful reference documents, and take advantage of special offers exclusively for flight instructors. 

Sign up for Special Offers

Stay up to date on new arrivals, email exclusives, and more.