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Step 4: Flight Currency: How to maintain your flying proficiency

Flying an airplane isn’t like driving a car. If you don’t fly frequently, there are a lot of small procedures you will forget that affects the safety of your flight, the safety of other aircrafts flying around you, and the publics’ safety on the ground. Remember the phrase, “If you don’t use it. You lose it.”

Flight currency is a topic that many students have questions about. After you have earned your pilot certificate(s) and rating(s), it is your responsibility to maintain flight currency and proficiency for the various aircrafts and conditions (i.e. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)) you plan to fly. Maintaining flight currency and proficiency involves continuous flying throughout the year, in which flight currency keeps you legal to fly and proficiency keeps you safe. There is no required amount of flight time you must fly each year to maintain flight currency or proficiency.

However, FAA regulation FAR 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot-in-command requires that all pilots (acting as pilot-in-command):
• Maintain a current medical certificate
• Take a Biennial Flight Review (BFR) every 24 months
• Maintain Instrument Flight Proficiency (for Instrument Rated Pilots)
• Maintain currency to carry passengers
• Maintain Nigh Currency to fly at night


Maintaining Flight Currency

Whenever you fly as Pilot-In-Command (PIC) of an aircraft, you should document the flight time in your logbook. Documenting your flight time will help you keep track of flight currency requirements.

Form many pilot, the cost of renting an airplane from a local flight school or fixed base operator (FBO) is expensive. AvScholars recommend joining a local flying organization/club and rent the club’s aircraft(s). Flying organizations/clubs allow their members to rent the clubs’ aircraft(s) at a reasonable hourly fee. As a member, you will also have to pay membership dues, which are typically used for general business, aircraft maintenance, fuel, etc. Register and search My AvScholars’ Organizations/Clubs Directory to find a Flying Organization/Club near you.

The FAA and other national organizations (i.e. AOPA, EAA, etc.) offer programs for pilots to stay proficient and learn about new/changing regulations, procedures, events that affect the flying community.

Re-establishing Flight Currency

To re-establish currency, contact a certified flight instructor (CFI) at a local flight school and ask the CFI about the process of re-establishing flight currency, costs, and then schedule a few dual lessons. Upon successfully completing the checkride, the CFI should document the information in your logbook. The logbook entry should indicate that you satisfactorily completed a flight currency checkride. The CFI should also sign, date, and include his/her CFI number with the logbook entry.

What's next? >>
Step 5: Job Opportunities

Credit: Written by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004-2007 AvScholars Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. All photos copyrighted by their respective owners.



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Learn to Fly: Become a Pilot is your one-stop source to information on flight training, flying lessons, flight schools, and helicopter schools. Learn about the entire flight training process to help you earn your pilot certificates or ratings such as student pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, instrument rating, and others.

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