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It's that time again, gotta re-up my CFI.

I always forget when I'm filling out IACRA whether CFI renewals (in the United States) based on student pass rate percentage are considered "activites" or "duties and responsibilities".

Which of the two, "duties and responsibilites" or "activities" is the appropriate choice when submitting an IACRA application for a CFI renewal based on pass rate?

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You want to check the Activities box.

The phrasing is a little weird, and it certainly doesn't line up with the regs (see 14 CFR §61.197), but that's what you want:

(2) Submitting a completed and signed application with the FAA and satisfactorily completing one of the following renewal requirements—

(i) A record of training students showing that, during the preceding 24 calendar months, the flight instructor has endorsed at least 5 students for a practical test for a certificate or rating and at least 80 percent of those students passed that test on the first attempt.

(ii) A record showing that, within the preceding 24 calendar months, the flight instructor has served as a company check pilot, chief flight instructor, company check airman, or flight instructor in a part 121 or part 135 operation, or in a position involving the regular evaluation of pilots.

[...]

So, best as I can tell, that means:

  • §61.197(2)(i) is activity - 80% pass rate on 5+ students in the preceding 24 calendar months.
  • §61.197(2)(ii) is duties and responsibilities - serving in a position that involves standardization flights or stage checks.

Disclaimer: unfortunately, all of the AOPA material on CFI renewal is designed to get you to buy their FIRC (eyeroll), and the unhelpful FAA IACRA document for instructors says squat as well. I'm having a hard time finding a reference that proves my interpretation, but I know it's correct!

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