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Flight Reviews – Are You Due?

Have 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.

For 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in need of a flight review, the Flight Schedule Pro system will provide you with a warning that your flight review is outdated or past due.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.