Flight review endorsement question/discussion
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Open
Interesting question that came through the Pilot Information Center, wanted to see what the group's opinion was.

Here's the question: I did the flight portion of a flight review last month with a client, we completed the ground portion today. What date do I put on the endorsement?
*for examples sake we can say the flight was conducted on 02/07 and the ground was completed today (03/03).

One answer would be to sign them off the day that all the requirements were complete (today), but this would give the client an additional month on their flight review currency. The other would be to sign them off with a date of the flight, even though they really didn't meet the requirements till today. Both options have their own pros and cons.

Unaware of any guidance from the FAA on this one and wanted to see what the other opinions are out there.
3 Replies
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One could take guidance from the limit placed on practical tests, per 61.43(f) ...

If a practical test is discontinued, the applicant is entitled credit for those areas of operation that were passed, but only if the applicant:

(1) Passes the remainder of the practical test within the 60-day period after the date the practical test was discontinued;...

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I think you can be guided by the FAA WINGS system.  You qualify for a flight review on the date you complete 3 Ground School Credits and 3 Flying Credits.  Earned credits are valid for 12 months before they expire.

So the system allows (and FAAST Managers encourage in their briefings on the topic) you to earn credits across 12 months.  Suggesting you take Ground School credits as appropriate and spread your three flying credits across the year - demonstrating currency and proficiency.

The effect of this in the system is that any time you hit 3 Ground + 3 Flying CURRENT credits you are considered to have passed a Flight Review and receive notification of this by email with a certificate to that effect.  Credits CAN be up to 11 months old to count towards your 3+3.  The review is awarded and dated the day you hit the 3+3.
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1147 Posts
First, I can find no Chief Counsel interpretation on point.  Beyond that, reading the regulatory language:
 

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (f) of this section, a flight review consists of a minimum of 1 hour of flight training and 1 hour of ground training. The review must include:

(1) A review of the current general operating and flight rules of part 91 of this chapter; and

(2) A review of those maneuvers and procedures that, at the discretion of the person giving the review, are necessary for the pilot to demonstrate the safe exercise of the privileges of the pilot certificate.
...
(c)...no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft unless, since the beginning of the 24th calendar month before the month in which that pilot acts as pilot in command, that person has—

(1) Accomplished a flight review given in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated by an authorized instructor

...I believe that until the flight review is completely "accomplished" including both the ground and flight portions, it is not a flight review.  If the ground portion is done in February and the flight portion is done in March, then the date it was "accomplished" (i.e., completed), is the date in March on which the last portion was "accomplished".  This is supported by the endorsement recommended by FAA AC 61-65H:

A.65 Completion of a flight review: § 61.56(a) and (c).
I certify that [First name, MI, Last name], [grade of pilot certificate], [certificate number], has satisfactorily completed a flight review of § 61.56(a) on [date]. [emphasis added]

Additional support is provided by the FAA Pilot Proficiency "WINGS" program, which meets the flight review requirement for 24 calendar months from the completion date of the last item accomplished, with each item having been accomplished ("completed") within a 12 calendar month period.

Of course, this begs the question of how soon the second portion of a flight review must be accomplished after the first portion, but one can only guess about that without the obtaining an interpretation from the Chief Counsel.  That said, absent such an interpretation, given the WINGS rule, I suppose an argument could be made for a window of up to 12 calendar months for completion of both the ground and flight portions.  And as always, if someone really "gots to know", they can send a request for interpretation to AGC-200.