For a lot of GA pilots, they find it hard to get out to the airport on a regular basis. Does this apply to you? If so, you need to understand when you are legal to fly.
Currency requirements for private pilots:
- Flight Review
In the preceding 24 months you need a flight review. But wait, it’s not enough to do the review. You must have passed the review and the instructor must make a logbook endorsement.
If you failed the flight review or the instructor restricted you to day only or VFR only, you must comply with those restrictions. I read an accident investigation where a instrument rated pilot failed a review and the instructor restricted him to VFR only. The idiot flew IFR anyway and is now buried 6 feet under.
I also highly recommend you get a flight review EVERY YEAR!! Please, do this!
The less you fly, the more important it is for you to get a check-ride every year. GA pilots crash most often due to loss of control from lack of proficiency.
The professionals all get checked out every year and for good reason. You need constant practice to stay up to date on stall recovery and other emergency procedures. It could save your life.
For more information on flight reviews check out the FAA’s Advisory Circular 61-98C.
- Carrying passengers
The FAA doesn’t care if you kill yourself, but it does take issue with you putting other people’s life at risk. While the only requriement for your own life is a review every 24 months, you have additional requirements if you want to carry your friends.
So, in the preceding 90 days you must have made the following:
- Three takeoffs and landings as the sole manipulator of the flight controls. You must also do this in the same category and class aircraft. If the aircraft you are flying requires a type rating then these takeoffs and landings have to be in the same type aircraft. If you need a refresher on the difference between category, class and type click here to read a quick article.
These don’t need to be made to a full stop. So, do three touch and gos, and you’re good! Go get that $100 burger.
- If you fly a tailwheel airplane, these three takeoffs and landings must be made to a full stop. If you don’t come to a full stop, you’re cheating. The hardest part of a tail dragger is when you are on the ground. So, don’t cheat. It defeats the purpose of getting current!
- Are you flying your passengers at night? If so, you have to do three takeoffs and landings at night. The FAA defines night as: one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. Don’t know when the sunrises? Google it. They also have to be to a full stop. Touch and gos don’t work for the night requirement.
By the way, you can fulfill this requirement in an approved simulator. This more applies to pilots who fly aircraft with type ratings.
For specific wording on the regulation go to 14 CFR 61.57.
Did I leave something out or do you want me to go more in depth? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org