FAA policymakers assured SAFE today that FIRCs are not going away and that “ALL CFIs will be able to meet the recent experience requirements.” These are both direct intentional quotes they wanted to be publicized. Look at CFR61.217 for how (non-expiring) ground instructors work (multiple pathways for currency). Kinda cool that your CFI will never expire?
The reason there are not yet more details is “this policy is still on the assembly line” and details need to be resolved and consistency assured throughout the agency. The full rule, and all the details, will be published in the Federal Register soon. The public will have an extensive comment period in accordance with the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) system.
The primary cause for this change is to meet the FAA’s “unified agenda.” The CFI certificate is the only one that expires and this is both costly and quite frankly inconvenient for everyone. The future CFI certificate will never expire; you will continue to “exercise the privileges” by meeting the “recent experience requirements” (still in conference). And to repeat: “ALL CFIs will be able to meet the recent experience requirements.” The FAA interpretation of “active” is NOT just signing 8710-1s for flight tests – a big concern expressed – but rather giving instruction at any level. This includes tail wheel, spin, transition checkouts, flight reviews, etc; basically signing logbooks and doing the CFI job (and there will be the FIRC as a fallback). Obviously more questions and details to come, but I think a lot of the hysteria is unwarranted and we have quite an extensive opportunity to comment. Fly safe out there (and often)!
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