FIRC recommendations that don’t suck

ZapBrannigan

Old School
I’m looking to find a new FIRC. Typically when I ask about this the top-voted answer is one of the ones that includes lifetime renewals because they're the cheapest. I don’t care about that this year.

Is there a FIRC whose content is actually interesting (i.e. doesn't feel like watching paint dry or death by PowerPoint?) Would like something engaging that requires user interaction, or good videos or something as opposed to just reading text on a screen and then taking a test when the time runs out. Maybe a podcast I can listen to in the car?

I’ve used ACECFI and Gleim. Hate them both.
 
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MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Your solution is probably a live FIRC whether really live or online. The in-person ones I've seen and done have been fun, especially at breaks when you can get to know people. Interaction in, say a Zoom FIRC is probably going to be limited to the ability to ask questions. Video has gotta be more interesting than text - I'm planning on trying the King TSA renewal one this time around.

Here's the real problem. These courses and their contents are reviewed and approved by the FAA. They must cover certain topics and they must go 16 hours. I quite literally spend 90% of the 16 hours just waiting for the timer to let me take the quiz. That's a lot of paint drying.
 

bike21

9-5 Ruins Lives
I used Sporty's this year, overall nice presentation and decently slick interface. Didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out so there's that, also was super cheap since they had a deal going on at the time. But I share your feelings about wanting to pay for a good course rather than the cheapest. If I'm going to spend 16 hours of my life on something might as well be worth it.
 

Space Monkey

a law for the rich and another for the poor member
I’m looking to find a new FIRC. Typically when I ask about this the top-voted answer is one of the ones that includes lifetime renewals because they're the cheapest. I don’t care about that this year.

Is there a FIRC whose content is actually interesting (i.e. doesn't feel like watching paint dry or death by PowerPoint?) Would like something engaging that requires user interaction, or good videos or something as opposed to just reading text on a screen and then taking a test when the time runs out. Maybe a podcast I can listen to in the car?

I’ve used ACECFI and Gleim. Hate them both.
King Schools Online is actually pretty decent. It's at least faaaar better than most of the online detritus passing as FIRC.

Another way of saying that is... Most online training sucks pretty hard, but after taking the King FIRC, there is at least a high likelihood that you will have actually learned something new and useful. King constantly updates it's content to reflect important recent changes...

The "paint drying" problem is one of applying "simple" solutions (e.g. LCD requirements) to complex problems. FAA mandates X number of hours for "training" events whether needed or not, and regardless of the occurrence of any actual learning.

With occasional exceptions of the ethanol tests, there's not a test in the FAA battery I couldn't pass on-demand, right now... The problem is NEVER THE TEST; the problem is GETTING TO THE TEST. Except for the drug test, which I MUST get to immediately, I can't get to any test 'til I've clicked through 20, or 40, or 60 hours of slides labeled as "training". By the time I do that, I'll be so fatigued, distracted, confused, drunk, or pissed off that I'll probably fail the test.


 
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MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
This time next year...

Once I work out what I’ve forgotten, or never knew, I will develop that course. For you, and me. And the thousands who will follow!

Good luck!
It would be interesting to see how that works out, including a description of the FAA approval process.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
FYI, I just did a third of the Gleim course on a rainy day in Hawaii. You can sort of run it in the background while you do whatever else you do. It's silly but really painless in the overall scheme of things. You do a pretest for each section, then review the material while multi-tasking whatever else it is you do, then take the test after multi-tasking for 45 minutes. I just did six lessons but I'm on my 4th beer thought so I should probably stop....
 

Space Monkey

a law for the rich and another for the poor member
It would be interesting to see how that works out, including a description of the FAA approval process.
Probably like almost every other FAA "approval process"... You know, the opinion (and sometimes, mood) of one random inspector in one random FSDO.

"Process? Frankly, Sir, I don't see any process at all."
 

Space Monkey

a law for the rich and another for the poor member
Hey. Seriously. If you want to go the glider CFI route, gain a new skill/perspective, and have a really fun and beautiful time doing it, get your ass up to Stowe, VT airport. I mean, check first to ensure it's still a thing. But Stowe used to have a great program where you could convert powered-to-glider in a little over a weekend. And, if you hit it right, Oh! what a weekend it will be.

Glider flying will make you all the pilot you can be. It's better than even 100 hours of tail dragger time, even if those 100 hours include no runway-excursions, wing-strikes, or ground-loops.
 
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CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
Don't forget that are a couple exemptions that could alleviate the need to attend a FIRC. Pass rate, involved in pilot mentoring, working in your company's training department, etc.

14 CFR 61.197
 
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