Live Flight Instructor ClinicsI taught my first flight instructor refresher clinic (FIRC) for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation in 1978 in Stockton, California. Since then I've taught many FIRCs over the years. When I renewed my flight instructor certificate at the AOPA Air Safety Foundation FIRC in San Diego a few months ago, I got to experience this training for the first time from the other side of the podium--and it was a delightful experience.
There are two reasons why FIRCs can be so much fun and so informative. First, AOPA's cadre of wonderful instructors is just remarkable. I had the pleasure of listening to Mark Grady and Wayne Phillips in San Diego. Both are superb speakers who held my attention throughout the two-day, 16-hour program. Second, I got to know some of my fellow CFIs. The experience and wisdom that other CFIs bring to these programs always amazes and pleases me. If you don't do anything other than listen carefully during the breaks, you'll come away a much wiser person for it.
If you're a prospective CFI and want to know more about the world of flight instruction, attend a FIRC--you don't need to be a CFI to attend. You'll learn the latest aviation information and have a chance to associate with some of the most experienced instructors in the aviation business. If you're looking for a way to renew your flight instructor certificate, this can be an extremely rewarding experience.
By Rod Machado