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Plan of Action: Flight Review


This is a basic outline for a complete Flight Review. If a pilot is reasonably knowledgable about these elements, the briefing should take approximately an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how conversational it is. The flight, weather permitting, should include a short cross country flight to an airport 20-30 minutes away, which gives enough distance to practice maneuvers and possibly provide a change from the pilot's regular habits.

I tend to err on the side of slightly longer flight reviews than the 1 hour of ground + 1 hour of flight that the FAA calls for, but I make this clear to the pilot up front as I feel it makes for a better experience. If a pilot is an instrument pilot, it may work to combine this flight with an Instrument Proficiency Check


Start off the briefing by establishing what the pilot's typical operations look like. Do they operate close to home? Long trips? Instrument flying? Whatever they do regularly should be examined, but so should some critical areas that are less common. Typical weak areas include flight planning, non-towered airport operations, and instrument procedures.

What makes the pilot legal?

  • Documents
    • Certificate
    • Medical
    • Government photo ID
  • Currency for passengers / instrument - §61.57
  • Flight review
  • Privileges / responsibility - §91.3
  • Limitations - §61.113

What makes the airplane legal?

  • Inspections
    • Annual
    • 100 hr (for instruction)
    • Phase checks
    • Altimeter & transponder (24 months)
    • VOR (30 days)
    • ELT (12 months)
  • Required Equipment (VFR day) - §91.205
    • Tachometer
    • Oil temperature gauge
    • Manifold pressure gauge
    • Altimeter
    • Temperature gauge (coolant)
    • Oil pressure gauge
    • Fuel gauge per tank
    • Landing gear position indicator
    • Airspeed indicator
    • Magnetic compass
    • ELT
    • Seat belts & shoulder harnesses
  • Required Equipment (IFR)
    • Generator or alternator
    • Radios and equipment appropriate for the flight
    • Altimeter (sensitive)
    • Ball (inclinometer)
    • Clock
    • Attitude indicator.
    • Rate of turn
    • Directional gyro or heading indicator
  • Systems
  • Malfunctions

What makes the flight legal?

  • Cross country scenario
    • Weight & balance
    • Performance
    • Airspace
    • Weather information
    • Weather minimums
  • Communications
    • Flight service
    • Flight plans
    • Weather resources
  • Diversion

Plan of Action

Logbook endorsement per §61.56(a)

I certify that John Doe, Private Pilot #1234567, has received:
1.0 hours flight instruction on 01 Jan 2020; and
1.0 hours ground instruction on 02 Jan 2020.
He has satisfactorily completed the flight review of 14 CFR §61.56(a) on: 02 Jan 2020.

Date, signature, CFI #, exp date

© 2023 Eric Gideon  •  archive