Aviation Solutions of Guelph, Ontario, completed its 2020 schedule for the Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC), renewing just under 200 flight instructor ratings.
Aviation Solutions explains a traditional year would have seen approximately 75 renewals, but demand due to COVID-19 shutdowns resulted in tripling the number of courses originally scheduled for 2020.
In order to accommodate flight instructors from across Canada, Aviation Solutions developed and delivered the only fully online FIRC accepted by Transport Canada for rating renewal.
“We are proud to have served our flight instructor colleagues during this challenging time by having added six additional courses in 2020,” said Michael Schuster, chief instructor and owner, Aviation Solutions. “Early in the pandemic we were also able to offer our clients deferred tuition during uncertain times and froze our tuition fees at 2019 levels.”
Aviation Solutions explains, that in order to maintain effective instruction and an interactive environment, class sizes were limited to ensure clients remained engaged and had a very similar experience to what they would have received during a traditional in-person course; including lectures, break-out groups, assignments, and class discussions.
“This was the best FIRC that I have ever participated in in 40-plus years of instructing,” said client Lenora Crane, a pilot examiner and former Transport Canada inspector. “Aviation Solutions’ experience and expertise really showed. This would have been extremely difficult if they hadn’t done so many in-person classes before.”
The online program also assisted pilots who, due to travel restrictions, may have otherwise lost their ratings entirely. “For me, this was the only way I could have renewed my rating,” said client Martin Tubbesing. “I’m in Laos right now and was not able to travel to Canada this year – due to COVID, I cannot leave this country.”
Aviation Solutions notes its 2020 clients also logged in from Germany, France, Iran and Hong Kong. The company will continue to offer fully o-nine courses for the duration of the pandemic, targeting spring 2021 to resume an in-person option.