Pilot's tip of the week

Proficiency Training: How Often?


Subscriber question:

"Many aviation writers lament how private pilots only see an instructor once every two years. Does the average private pilot really need more than this? What areas should be covered?" — Sam C.


“Think about all the training we went through to become pilots. We worked and studied hard to make it happen. These are skills and knowledge that need to be maintained.

I would recommend that at least twice a year we schedule and fly with a CFI that will challenge us to be the very best pilot we can be. The session should include at least an hour of ground instruction and at least an hour of flight instruction.

The ground instruction should include the Federal Aviation Regulations (Parts 91 & 61), the Aeronautical Information Manual, and the Aircraft Flight Manual. Performance information (POH) should certainly be included. These publications are fundamental to our flying safety and must be reviewed often.

The flight portion must include all types of takeoff and landing options, and include at least one go-around and engine-out landing. Airwork must include stalls, steep turns, slow flight, stall recoveries, and recoveries from unusual attitudes. Some instrument flying should be included even if not instrument rated.

Feedback from the CFI is crucial to determining additional areas to be covered as necessary.

Is there any pilot that would not benefit from this workout on a regular basis? Of course not! But check your logbook for the last time you did it.

Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make!”

Do you regularly perform proficiency training beyond what's required by regulation, insurance, or your workplace?

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