Safety Publications/Articles

Flight Review Paperwork

Tim Peterson, a fellow flight instructor from Boise, Idaho, preflights his flight review clients by asking them to fill out a questionnaire at home, in advance of the flight. It's an extremely useful procedure that gives the customer a chance to hit the books, or perhaps find out where he left his books two years before.

Tim's form consists of 36 questions, including queries on V-speeds and weight and balance information for the airplane to be flown. Tim also solicits valuable personal information that helps him to better understand his customers. For instance, he asks the client to circle the words that best describe the person's assessment of his/her overall flying skills: proficient, skillful, capable, adequate, rusty, weak, etc. He also asks, "What are the areas of ability/knowledge you would like to improve?" Each question gives Tim insight into how he can best customize the flight review to make it of maximum value for the pilot.

When the student arrives for the flight, Tim reviews the questionnaire with the person, giving him the opportunity to correct any inaccurate responses and ask follow-up questions to gain further knowledge about who he is flying with. Using a questionnaire for a flight review (or instrument proficiency check) serves a CFI and the student well in several ways. First, it gives the pilot an idea of what to expect during the review. It also provides the instructor with an immediate assessment of a client's willingness to prepare for the flight review.

You will be surprised how much can be learned about a person's attitude, preparation, and capabilities just by asking a few well-phrased questions. Consider developing a similar questionnaire for your flight review and IPC customers.

By Rod Machado

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