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Flight Reviews – Are You Due?

by Joel Pierce

feature_intro_1-1Have you ever experienced that embarrassing, head-scratching moment when you realize you’ve been flying without a current flight review? It’s a good idea to include a quick check to ensure you are current and legal as a normal part of your preflight preparation. Although a private pilot certificate never expires, there are a few basic currency items that can be easily forgotten — and they can make it technically illegal for you to fly. Among other things (day/night takeoffs and landings, instrument approaches, etc.), the flight review is one of those FAA currency requirements that can be easily overlooked. To read about these requirements, refer to FAR Part 61.56 regarding the flight review, and FAR Part 61.57 regarding other pilot currency requirements.

Although there are multiple currency items to monitor, I’d like to take a moment to focus on the FAA’s requirement for every pilot to complete a flight review every 24 calendar months. Let’s say I just obtained my private pilot certificate on 6/1/2012. This means I will need to complete a flight review with a flight instructor by the end of June 2014. There are a few things that can alter this requirement, however. For example, if I completed my private pilot training on 6/1/2012 and then completed my instrument rating on 9/30/2013, my flight review expiration date would be reset to 24 months later, on 9/30/2015. So, can you guess where I’m going with this? Yes, go ahead and upgrade your pilot skills by achieving your instrument rating, and in so doing, reset your flight review expiration date.

feature_intro_2For those of you who are already private pilots or better, you will soon notice a slight adjustment to ouronline flight-scheduling system. It will ask for your flight review information. If you are in need of a flight review, the Flight Schedule Pro system will provide you with a warning that your flight review is outdated or past due. We hope this will help reduce the chance of you ever experiencing that embarrassing moment.

If you decide to complete a normal flight review rather than upgrade your pilot certificate, why not learn something new while you’re at it? This might be your perfect excuse to get behind the controls of our new Diamond Star DA40. The FAA simply requires that you receive at least one hour of ground instruction covering current regulations, and at least one hour of flight instruction. Once your instructor is satisfied with your knowledge and performance, he or she will provide you with a logbook endorsement that will reset your flight review expiration date.

Joel Pierce

General Manager & Chief Flight Instructor

A fan of flight ever since childhood, Joel earned his private pilot certificate in September 2002. In 2003, he attended the International ALERT Academy, where he obtained his instrument rating along with his commercial and flight instructor certificates. After graduating, he joined the ALERT faculty as a flight instructor and an assistant department manager. During this time, Joel met his wife, Laura. They married in 2006 and now have two children. In 2008, Joel became the flight operations director for Smith Field Air Service and now leads the staff at Sweet Aviation. Joel has over 5,000 hours of flight instruction and is driven by a passion for helping customers achieve their dreams. Joel is type rated in Sweet Aviation’s Cirrus Vision Jet, certified to fly a customer’s T-28, able to go fly some aerobatic maneuvers in the Super Decathlon, and on top of all this, he gets to share his intense passion for flying with so many other aviation enthusiasts in the Fort Wayne area.