Safety Starts With You

As we grow in our passion for aviation, pilots always need to keep their skillsets sharp. The FAA requires a minimum of time in the classroom and time in the air.  For a flight review, the Code of Federal Regulations (14CFR) 61.56 states:

Sec. 61.56 — Flight review:

(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 code continues to talk about what must be included.  For the most part it is left up to a Certificated Flight Instructor to decide what will be covered in a flight review.  As far as logbook endorsements, it is not required to say exactly what you did to satisfy this regulation, all that is needed is to state that the pilot satisfactorily completed the flight review.  This is required every other year.

In addition to the Flight Review, the FAA requires that a set number of takeoffs and landings within a certain time period.

Sec. 61.57  Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.

(a) General experience. 

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crewmember unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days.

All of this is done to keep a pilot proficient.  These requirements are the bare minimums.  So why focus on these two regulations?  Out of all the pilot groups, the FAA has statistically shown that the General Aviation pilot group has a higher accident rate than the commercial airline pilots.  

Keeping skillsets sharp in a classroom or in the actual aircraft is a must in aviation.  There are many ways to keep skillsets sharp.  We can listen to a seasoned pilot talk about experiences that they had and learn from those. We can hire a flight instructor to provide one-on-one training. We can use the Internet to refresh our skill sets.  The 
FAA Safety Team (FAAST)  website  allows you to  sign up for a few free courses.  

On the FAAST website you will learn from subject matter experts on topics for the type of flying you are doing.  Not only will you learn something new, these courses will provide you credit towards the “Wings” program.

Jeppesen offers training for many avionics systems to help familiarize yourself and to stay current on your avionics.  Jeppesen also offers online training for all ratings from Sport to Private Pilot to Commercial. These courses not provide great content for initial training, but can serve as excellent content for refresher training as well. Courses like these will give you more familiarization on core topics and help equip you with the knowledge needed to make more educated decisions as you pursue your passion for aviation and flying.


Keeping our skillsets sharp is important, as well as flying within personal safety margins.

About the Author: Tom is a Functional Analyst at Jeppesen and is a native of Colorado, born in Durango. He learned to fly while in college at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he received a BS Degree in Aviation.  Tom holds a Commercial Certificate ASMEL, I-A. In addition, he also holds a CFI-ASE, an Advanced Ground Instructor and FAA 121 Dispatch certificates Tom is currently the Director of Safety for Jeppesen Employees Flying Association (JEFA),  as well as a FAAST team Representative. Tom's passion is promoting aviation to the next generation of pilots.

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