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Exciting And Worthwhile

New Words For A Flight Review

As an instructor, you have an open-ended opportunity to make a significant impact on aviation safety with every flight review that you perform. How you conduct the flight review can make a big difference in pilot performance. Judgment and proficiency are the underlying values of every flight review. But if it's fun, it's better.

Part 61 of the federal aviation regulations (FARs) says that no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft unless that pilot has accomplished a flight review within the past 24 months. Additionally, the pilot must have a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who gave the flight review certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed the review.

To start a review, find out what kind of flying your pilot does. Get acquainted. What are the pilot's concerns? Does the pilot fly only a few times a year? Is the pilot a corporate or charter pilot? A flight instructor? By knowing what the pilot does with the airplane, you can choose training to fit the needs of the pilot. But there are some things you should do with all pilots.

Check the paperwork. Make sure that the pilot can verify the airworthiness of the airplane. Watch the pilot do a preflight. Ask basic questions about systems and components. How is the airplane rigged to overcome torque? Does a stall start at the wing root or the tip? Ask the pilot to describe a stall. What is the recovery procedure? How does the pilot handle distractions?

Ask the pilot to get a weather briefing, plan a cross-country flight, and identify checkpoints on the chart and measure distances. How long will the flight take? How much fuel will be required? What would the pilot do if an alternate destination were needed during the trip? Find the alternate on the chart. How long will it take to get from your present position to the destination? Challenge the pilot on the use of the flight computer to determine wind drift and groundspeed.

Verify the pilot's understanding of pilotage. Take a short cross-country flight. Watch heading and altitude control while tracking a course and identifying checkpoints.

Ask the pilot what maneuvers he or she would like to do. A pilot might like spin training. Can the airplane be spun? How would you know if spins are allowed?

Perhaps the pilot would like re-fresher training on some checkride maneuvers. If the student doesn't ask for anything, introduce something with a special challenge, such as lazy eights, chandelles, eights on pylons, steep turns, or emergency landing procedures. Do emergency touchdown landings on the runway from the traffic pattern. If you're flying a twin, feather an engine.

Ask the pilot to explain the magnetic compass. Practice partial-panel flying. Do some timed turns with the compass. Pilots get rusty on partial-panel flying more quickly than anything else they do in the airplane. Do a nondirectional beacon (NDB) approach. Pilot not instrument rated? So what!

And don't forget to talk about FAR Part 91. The flight review rule requires an hour of flying and an hour of discussion, which must include the rules of the road covered in Part 91. Discuss airspace. Airspace violations have in-creased over the past three years in all categories and types.

Other areas emphasized by the FAA are runway incursions and collision avoidance. Do you have the latest information from the Aeronautical Information Manual?

A sad fact of piloting is that you don't always become proficient and safe with time. You become better with training and practice. But practice alone is not enough because you can practice the wrong thing. This is where a flight review can help.

No matter what else you do during a flight review, make sure that the pilot improves his or her knowledge and flying skill and has fun doing it. It is important to make this learning experience exciting and useful to the pilot if you want the lessons that you teach to stick.

By Ken Medley

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