Not Your Ordinary Flight Review

From NAFI's Chair

Not Your Ordinary Flight Review

Over the past few months, I've had the pleasure of giving a flight review to a friend. As many of you know, I am definitely not a believer in "one-hour ground, one-hour flight" in giving a flight review. Instead, I want to ensure that the pilot who is getting the review has had an opportunity to clarify any questions they may have about regulations, as well as ensuring they meet the Airmen's Certification Standards for the rating they hold. For a proficient pilot this usually equates to about a four-hour session counting the ground and flight portions of the day.

However, you may have noticed a disconnect in the first paragraph, where I said, "over the past few months." That certainly doesn't equate to a four-hour session in anyone's math. As you may have guessed, I'm giving a flight review to someone who can be classified as a "rusty pilot."   In fact, he didn't indicate quite how long it had been when we started the ground portion. Imagine my surprise when I found that my signature in his logbook was for his first flight in 33 years.

The good news in this is that my friend has been digging into the books, relearning everything from the regulations to aerodynamics. It's been fun to have him ask me challenging questions as he's been reviewing the material. On the flight side, he's been very patient with the process of learning how to fly again, along with the challenge of transitioning from a Cessna 152 to a 182. My only complaint, if, I have one at all, is that he's harder on himself than he needs to be. But, as I tell all of my students, I'd rather be in back of them nudging them along than in front saying, "What makes you think that's a good idea?"

If you ever have an opportunity to take on this kind of client, I urge you to take advantage of it. I'm convinced that in many ways, the teaching process will be a great refresher for you because you will have to find new approaches to how you teach. Not only that, this type of pilot will most likely not take anything you say at face value, which is also a huge benefit for that pilot, you, and your other students. Finally, although it is always a joy to pass on what we know to any student, watching a returning pilot have their "Aha!" moments is particularly gratifying.


Bob Meder,
NAFI Board Chair
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