Test Prep Software

Military Competency Instructor

** New Military CFI Reinstatement Rules - See question #13 Below !!

** For the New Centerline Thrust Restriction Removal FAA Memo, - See question #10 Below !!

  • Minimum study questions - minimum effort - guaranteed!
  • Laser-guided test prep software with live updates!
  • No surprises on your test, guaranteed, or your money back!
  • You'll be ready for the test in less than 6 hours!
  • 24 hour-a-day personal phone tech/instructor support!

What does Mil Comp to Flight Instructor mean?
It simply means that you just take the written exam called MCI, turn in your paperwork, and get your FAA Flight Instructor certificate. The certificate will contain the instructor ratings comensurate with your military IP background, like Airplane Single Engine, Airplane Multiengine, Instrument Airplane, Helicopter, Instrument Helicopter, Powered Lift, or Glider. It's that easy... no checkrides required.

Sheppard Air is...

  • the only test prep company with a money-back guarantee of no surprise questions on your test.
  • the only FAA test prep company in the world with 24/7 personal, telephone, U.S.-based tech/instructor support.
  • the first test prep company to provide test prep specifically designed for the MCI test.
  • the only test prep company who's databases are updated 24/7, every day.
  • the only test prep company who worked with FAA Washington and OKC to publish the progress of this new legislation since inception.

Military Competency to Instructor, 2+ Years in the Making, Here are the Details:

The legislative change took over 2 years to become reality. It was our pleasure keep you up to date on it here, and to answer your individual telephone and email questions on how it applies to your situation. We'll continue to keep you informed and answer any questions you have, so call or write anytime. As you probably know by now from our previous updates, the very first Military Competency to Flight Instructor certificate was issued the day the legislation became effective (20 Oct 2009). Our thanks and congratulations go out to Mr. Lynch and the others in the FAA who worked so hard to make the legislative change and the new MCI test happen.

What's up now?
Since 20 October 2009, several thousand people have taken the new MCI test using our study course and have received their new Flight Instructor certificates. Everyone's doing great on the test with our system... no surprises on the test as guaranteed, and most everyone is scoring between 90-100%.

Call us to enroll in the study course for the MCI test. You'll study less than 450 questions (down from over 2000) and you'll have no surprise questions on your test, guaranteed... no other test prep company makes this money-back guarantee on its study courses. Your total study effort with the special study features and precise questions in our study course will be less than 6 hours (two evenings of effort). Why study with some other prep company, many of which have you study over 700 questions, and in one cases over 1000.... how much of your time would that waste? Learn more about our course at the bottom of this page under 'Shameless Advertising.'

Don't worry... unlike other test prep programs, you won't be disappointed by finding 25 questions on your FAA test you've never seen before... we won't let you down... we guarantee it.

Click here for our Paperwork Guide for Military Competency to Flight Instructor, the step-by-step guide for gathering and turning in your application paperwork (or see Question #17 below). The Mil Comp Paperwork Processing Feedback link in step #3 on that Paperwork Guide page is being updated periodically and will give you feedback on different examiners and FSDO inspectors with respect to turning in your application for your new Flight Instructor certificate.

Where can the official wording of FAR 61 and the Federal Registry entry be found? See the links in the 'Regulatory Links' section below.

This one-test-fits-all MCI test is good news because it means you'll only have to go to the testing center once to test. And it truly is one-test-fits-all... in other words, no matter what ratings you'll be applying for on your new Flight Instructor certificate (airplane, helicopter, powered lift, glider, instrument), you only take the one MCI test. That's right, whether you're a fixed-wing, helo, powered lift, or glider IP, you just take the one MCI test for everything (yes, Instrument instructor too).

Just as we've done for years, as soon as there's new info available, we'll update this page to pass it along to you. Fly safe. Cheers. -SA

Click here for a flowchart of ratings you are eligible for.

Here are most of the common questions regarding the MCI rules that went into effect on 20 Oct 2009, and the changes that have occured since:

#1: I already have an unexpired FAA Flight Instructor certificate for airplane single engine, but not for instrument (for example). Do I have to take the new MCI test to add Instrument Instructor or Multi Engine if I teach those in the military? No, you don't have to take a test, you can just apply with your military paperwork (read question #13 below if your flight instructor certificate is expired). Click here for the applicable regulatory text.

#2: I retired (or separated) a long time ago, so I haven't served as a military IP for a number of years... am I eligible? YES, and the expiration date on your certificate will be 24 months after your date of application. Click here for the applicable regulatory text.

#3: Can I renew my flight instructor certificate with my military Instructor Pilot checkride (instead of doing an online renewal course or other methods)? Yes. If your flight instructor certificate is about to reach its expiration date, it is possible to renew it with a military IP checkride passed in the preceding 24 months. Click here for the applicable regulatory text.

Note: If you can't renew with a military checkride, check out this online renewal course: www.ACECFI.com

#4: I am a foreign military pilot serving with the U.S. armed forces... am I eligible for traditional Military Competency to a Commercial Pilot certificate with Instrument rating? Yes.. Click here for the applicable regulatory text.

#5: I am a foreign military IP serving with the U.S. armed forces, assigned to a U.S. military squadron... am I eligible for the Mil Comp to Flight Instructor? No, not according to the FSIMS job guide (Volume 5, Chapter 2, Section 15) that addresses this question. Click here for the applicable text.

#6: Has the 12-month lookback limitation on my military history been removed so I can add pilot certificate ratings based on my military experience years ago? Yes, the 12-month lookback requirement was removed from federal law in 14 CFR 61.73 when it was revised in 2009. Also, the previous PIC requirement has been removed as well, which means that co-pilots are just as eligible as aircraft commanders are. Click here for the applicable regulatory text.

#7: Can I use my military flight physical to fly civilian aircraft? Yes, provided the flying you're doing only requires a Class III medical, and provided that your crew position in the military is Pilot (not Nav, WSO, Flight Engineer, etc.) Click here for the applicable regulatory text.

#8: I have only been a military instructor pilot in a UAV/UAS (Predator, Global Hawk, etc). Am I eligible for the Mil Comp to Flight Instructor conversion based on those aircraft? No. The conversion is for converting military instructor pilot certifications and piloting time from manned aircraft.

#9: What pilot ratings do I need on my FAA pilot certificate in order to get a rating on my new Flight Instructor certificate? You need commercial privileges or ATP privileges on your pilot certificate for anything you're going to ask for on your Flight Instructor certificate. So if you only have Private Pilot privileges for Single Engine airplanes on your pilot certificate, but you teach in T-34s or T-6s for the Navy for example, then you'll need to push your Single Engine privileges up to commercial with traditional Military Competency to Commercial pilot in order to get Airplane Single Engine on your Flight Instructor certificate. Keep in mind, under the new rules, you can pull airplanes forward to your Pilot Certificate and Flight Instructor certificate from as far back in your career as you need to.

#10 I've only instructed in centerline thrust multiengine aircraft for the military (F-15, T-38, T-37, F-14, F-18, A-10, etc). Will they give me Airplane Multiengine on my new Flight Instructor Certificate, and if so, will it be restricted to centerline thrust aircraft? Prior to August 1st, 2018, the answer was no, they won't give you Airplane Multiengine on your new Flight Instructor certificate. However, this answer is in the process of changing to YES based on the following FAA Memorandum:

For the new FAA Memo, click here.

- Please click here to also read the FSIMS job guide on centerline thrust.

#11: I've only instructed in multiengine aircraft in the military (C-130s). The Flight Instructor certificate I get from the MCI test will get me Flight Instructor "Airplane Multiengine" and "Instrument Airplane", but not "Airplane Single Engine". How do I get Airplane Single Engine so I can teach my son to fly in our C-172? Click here for the answer.

#12: Where can I read the new requirements for NVG Pilot qualificaion and NVG Instructor qualificaion? What about remaining current? Click here.

#13: I already have an FAA Flight Instructor Certificate, but it has expired. Can I reinstate it with the new 14 CFR 61.73 military competency to Flight Instructor process, or with my military checkride? Yes, sometime after the new federal law goes into effect on August 27,2018. Important basics of the new rule:
The following information was updated 11-10-2018:

- If your expired flight instructor certificate was issued prior to 10/20/2009, the new law allows you to reinstate it by taking the FAA MCI knowledge test and then presenting documentation of a US Armed Forces IP or Examiner checkride conducted after the flight instructor certificate was originally issued. However, if this situation applies to you, you only have until August 26, 2019 to take advantage of this reinstatement option. Please click here to read the FSIMS job guide (and see paragraph 5-620(H)(1)(a) ).

- Otherwise, if your expired flight instructor certificate was issued after 10/20/2009, then to reinstate it under the new law, you may present a record showing that in the preceding 6 calendar months you passed a US Armed Forces IP or Examiner checkride, or received an additional aircraft IP or Examiner qualification.

- For the implementation guidance on the new reinstatement rules, and other military competency guidance, please click here to read the FSIMS job guide.

- As always, you can reinstate an FAA flight instructor certificate by passing an FAA checkride with a Designated Examiner for any rating on the certificate, or any additional rating sought on the certificate.
- Click here for the new text of 61.199.
- Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
- Click here for the Final Rule.
- Click here for the rules as they exist prior to August 27, 2018.

#14: If I've already taken one or more of the three classic Flight Instructor required tests (like FOI, FIA, & FII for fixed-wing or FOI, FRH, & FIH for helo), can I use those test score reports instead of the MCI test to Mil Comp to my Flight Instructor certificate? No, the FAA will NOT accept any combination of the 3 classic tests in lieu of the MCI test.

#15: I wanted to add a type rating, or an aircraft rating, to my pilot certificate (or my flight instructor certificate) at the FSDO, but was told that since I had no time in that aircraft in the preceding 12 months, that I was not eligible to have it added. Is that correct? NO, it's not. See question #6 above. Click here.

#16: I heard that military competency to Flight Instructor is going away? This is just a bad rumor, and it is false.. Click here for details.

#17: What paperwork will I need to turn in to the FAA after taking the MCI test in order to be issued a Flight Instructor certificate? MCI Paperwork Guide - Click Here

Regulatory Links:

  • Federal Register announcement & effective date in PDF. Click here
  • Federal Register pre-release discussion in PDF. Click here
  • New FAR 61.73 actual wording, Click here. (FAR covering military competency conversions)
  • New FAR 61.197 actual wording, Click here. (FAR on renewing flight instructor certificates)
  • New FAR 61.23 actual wording, Click here. (FAR allowing military medicals as a class 3)

Now back to the Shameless Advertising...

Do you guarantee your software?

Yes, absolutely. As with all of our study courses, we guarantee you won't see any scored questions on your MCI test that weren't in our courseware, or your money back! No other FAA test prep company makes that guarantee. So why study over 1000 questions with some other prep company when they don't even guarantee their prep, and when less than half that number of questions can even show up on your test?

Is the study software itself like your ATP, MCA, and FEX study software?

Yes, the same program and study features that made it painless for you to study ATP, FEX, and MCA will guide you thru preparing for the MCI test.

Do you still have 24/7 personal telephone service/support?

Yes, the exact same pro's who've been providing 24-hour support to our subscribers for the last 19 years, who write the software and update the courseware, will still be here to help you thru the whole process of Mil Comp to Flight Instructor... answering your questions, helping you study for the test, and helping you thru the paperwork application process afterward.

What do I have to do to apply for these ratings?

Current/Former Military Instructors and Evaluators: To get an FAA instructor certificate with the ratings on it that you hold/held in your military aircraft, just take the MCI test and then turn in your paperwork to the nearest Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or designated pilot examiner (DPE). That's it. Click here for more details on turning in your paperwork.

What's the cost of your MCI study course?

Military Competency to Flight Instructor (It's the same test for Airplane, Helo, Glider, and Powered Lift): $55
When you get to the testing center of your choice, you'll pay them for the actual exam... usually $150 per test... though you should ask them about $10 AOPA or EAA discounts. Also, many military installations offer the test for free. The FAA raised the price to take a test recently... Click here for more info.

Ok, how do I enroll in the study course?

Call us during our signup hours daily at 940-642-4945 to receive your username and password. The username and password allow you to download and begin the course right away.

Can I see a Free Trial of your study system? ... yes, click here!

How do people like your MCI prep course? Here are some quotes:

"Your method is fantastic!! I highly recommend it. I can't thank SheppardAir.com enough for all the help on the written and the specific instructions on meeting with the FSDO. I took the inspectors guide and the regulation printout with me and he referred to them repeatedly. You guys really have it together for the MCI certificate process. I could not have done it without your help. Thank you so much."


"This is my first experience with SA, but I have only heard good things. Now I know why. The quality of your product and particularly your service is simply unprecedented. Thank you."


"I am an active duty Marine LtCol who is retiring in 9 mos and beginning my transition into civilian helicopter aviation (need to obtain my CFI and ATP ratings before retirement). Just wanted to send my thanks for the great study prep software. I took the MCI test at my local CATS center and when I checked in I was asked if I prepared through Sheppard Air - I responded yes and the lady at the counter stated 'you should have no problems then because everyone who has taken it so far with Sheppard Air prep has been very successful.' I have called your customer support line on several occasions and am very impressed with your support and the entire process. I followed all of the instructions and test prep guidance to the T and easily scored a 100% on the exam. I am a believer after this experience and will not hesitate to recommend you to all who are seeking test prep software for future quals."

Where do I take the test?

Many military installations offer FAA tests for free. Also, CATS and Lasergrade affiliated testing locations can administer FAA tests for a fee. Click on the link below to find your nearest testing locations.

Find your Nearest FAA Testing Location!

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Note: When you enroll in our course, your license to view and learn our proprietary materials is limited to only one person and only one device. There is no way to print the study course content, so you must study at a computer (with the rapid pace of FAA changes, paper gets old too quickly). Your study subscription is valid until the day you take the FAA exam as long as you don't exceed one year. Your study subscription will expire the day you take your FAA exam, or at one year, whichever occurs first. It is best if the computer you study from has Internet access (in order to receive automated courseware updates), though Internet access is not required to study.

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