How do I get current after an extended break from flying?
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Answered By AOPA
How do I get current after an extended break from flying?
3 Replies
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AOPA Staff Answer
All you need to get legal and current is a medical certificate or BasicMed (if eligible) and a Flight Review (formerly known as Biennial Flight Review). The regulations require that the Flight Review consist of at least one hour of ground instruction and one hour of flight time. Depending on how long you have been away from flying, you may need more.
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1155 Posts
Daddis At AOPA:
But, what if your flight review and medical are still current and you own your own aircraft?

In that case, you are legal to to go fly, by yourself, today. A 5-month break may render you a bit rusty, but you are still legal to go fly without any further requirements. If you intend to carry a passenger, you must first complete three takeoffs and landings solo.

I mentioned owning your own aircraft because otherwise, a 5-month hiatus while renting at a flight school will very likely subject you to any recent experience requirements the school may impose, such as a flight every 60 or 90 days, for example. Or, maybe a flight with a school instructor may be required before they turn you loose solo.

Even if it's your own plane and nobody is making you get some refresher training, you might still think about why flight schools would make folks who haven't flown in the last few months get some training before going out in one of their airplanes -- namely, preventing getting their airplanes bent.  This might be a real good opportunity to hook up with a local instructor and do a WINGS syllabus flight or two.  Two birds with one stone -- you not only get someone to look at your flying and see if there's been any deterioration in your skills so you can smooth the rough edges, but you also get some credit you can use towards completing a WINGS stage and filling the Flight Review square for the next 24 months.

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This question comes up more frequently this time of year. The holiday season comes first and then we get into winter, and before you know it, spring has sprung and it has been 5 months since you last flew. As noted previously, a flight review would get a pilot both current and legal. But, what if your flight review and medical are still current and you own your own aircraft?

In that case, you are legal to to go fly, by yourself, today. A 5-month break may render you a bit rusty, but you are still legal to go fly without any further requirements. If you intend to carry a passenger, you must first complete three takeoffs and landings solo.

I mentioned owning your own aircraft because otherwise, a 5-month hiatus while renting at a flight school will very likely subject you to any recent experience requirements the school may impose, such as a flight every 60 or 90 days, for example. Or, maybe a flight with a school instructor may be required before they turn you loose solo.