Flight Review

FAA Safety Team Flight Review Prep

Instrument Proficiency
Checklist for Flight Review and IPC in Multiengine

Structure and Intent Pre-review Planning and Recording Post-review

Checklist for Flight Review in Single Engine

GPS Glossary


GPS Practical Exercises VFR


AOPA GNS 430 Basic Operation

The Flight Review (61.56) is an opportunity to refresh your skills (you don't practice stalls with passengers, do you?) The flight review will help you regain your proficiency as required by 14CFR 61.57 but what's even better, is that the flight review will be a challenging and fun situation which will help you understand your current flying abilities. This measure is important in defining your personal limitations, no matter how you are rated.

Like any learned skill, flying requires that safety-conscious habits get reinforced regularly. Your Flight Review will help make sure that your flying habits get evaluated, and it will provide you with an opportunity to do all those wild things in airplanes that your passengers would never approve of (unless they are pilots, too, maybe.)

A good flight review will consist of an interview to evaluate your recent flight experience, from which a plan of action can be developed. The should include as a minimum, a review of Part 61, and a refresher of maneuvers that you have not recently flown. After the review, you should have a thorough post-flight briefing.

Here's a good quiz that you can use for a Flight Review or aircraft Checkout.


With the increasing complexity of the aviation operating environment, CFI’s may want more specific guidance on how to structure and plan a flight review and develop contents which are tailored to the needs of the pilot being reviewed. The flight review is intended to be an industry-managed, FAA-monitored currency program. The CFI must be aware that the flight review is not a test or check ride, but an instructional service designed to assess a pilot’s knowledge and skills.

a. Under 14 CFR Section 61.56(b) no person may act as pilot in command (PIC) of an aircraft unless within the preceding 24 calendar months that person has accomplished a successful flight review in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated, given by an appropriately rated instructor or other designated person. The objective of the flight review is to ensure that pilots who intend to act as PIC have the opportunity to ride with a flight instructor of their own choice within a specified period for appraisal of their pilot proficiency and to seek assistance or guidance if any deficiency is identified.

b. Pilots and CFI’s are reminded that, under 14 CFR Section 61.56(f), a person who has satisfactorily completed one or more phases of the FAA-sponsored Pilot Proficiency Award Program within the preceding 24 calendar months need not accomplish the flight review requirements of this section. CFI’s should encourage pilots to participate in the FAA Pilot Proficiency Award Program (also known as the Wings Program), which is described in the current issue of AC 61-91, Pilot Proficiency Award Program.

c.     Pilots and CFI’s should be aware that, under 14 CFR Section 61.56(e), pilots who have completed certain proficiency checks and ratings within the 24-month review period are not required to accomplish a separate flight review. These accomplishments include satisfactory completion of pilot proficiency checks conducted by the FAA, an approved pilot check airman, or a U.S. Armed Force for a pilot certificate, rating, or operating privilege. However, the FAA recommends that pilots consider also accomplishing a review under some of these circumstances. For example, a pilot with an airplane single-engine land rating may have recently obtained a glider rating, but may still wish to consider obtaining a flight review in a single-engine airplane if the appropriate 24-month period has nearly expired. When approached by pilots seeking advice on such matters, CFI’s should consider the factors described in the following paragraphs.

PRE REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS. Index Before undertaking the review the CFI should interview the pilot to determine the nature of his or her flying and operating requirements. Elements to consider should include, but not be limited to, the following areas:

a. Type of Equipment Flown. The maneuvers and procedures reviewed will vary depending on the category, class, and make and model of aircraft used. For example, a review in a light twin-engine aircraft should be different from one conducted in a small, two-seat tail wheel aircraft without radio or extra instrumentation. The CFI may wish to recommend that the pilot take the review in the aircraft usually flown, or in the most complex make and model used if several aircraft are flown regularly. The CFI may also wish to recommend that the pilot take a review in more than one category/class of aircraft under certain circumstances. For example, a pilot with airplane single-engine land and glider ratings may have flown only gliders in the last 2 years but is also contemplating flying single-engine airplanes in the near future. If a CFI is approached by a pilot who requests a review only in the glider, the CFI may wish to recommend an additional review by a qualified person in a single-engine airplane before the pilot acts as PIC of a single-engine airplane.

b. Nature of Flight Operations. The CFI should consider the type of flying usually done by the pilot before establishing the review plan for conducting his or her review. For example, a pilot conducting long-distance flights between busy terminal areas may need a different review than a pilot who usually flies in the local area from the same airport. The CFI should consider the need for an in depth review of certain subjects or procedures if the type of flight operations is likely to change or if other extending circumstances exist. For example, a pilot who normally conducts only local flight operations may be planning to begin flying to a location with a Terminal Control Area (TCA). Another pilot may only operate a two-seat aircraft without radio but will operate in close proximity to a TCA. In both cases, the CFI should include TCA requirements and operating procedures in the flight review.

c. Amount and Recency of Flight Experience. The CFI should review the pilot’s logbook to determine total flight time and type and recency of experience in order to evaluate the need for particular maneuvers and procedures in the review. For example, a pilot who has not flown in several years may require an extensive review of basic maneuvers from the Practical Test Standards (PTS) appropriate to that pilot’s grade of certificate. This same pilot may also require a more extensive review of 14 CFR Part 91, including recent changes in airspace and other requirements. Another pilot who is upgrading to a newer or faster airplane should receive more emphasis on knowledge of aircraft systems and performance or in cross-country procedures appropriate to a faster airplane. Regardless of flight experience, the CFI should ensure that the review plan includes all areas in which he or she determines that the pilot should receive training in order to operate safely. In some cases, the CFI may wish to recommend that the pilot undertake a complete refresher program such as those included in the current issue of AC 61-10, Private and Commercial Pilots Refresher Courses.

d. Agreement on Conduct of Review. After completing the above analysis, the CFI should review these considerations with the pilot and reach an understanding regarding how the review will be conducted. The CFI may wish to provide the pilot with reading materials or recommend publications for study before actually undertaking the flight review. The CFI should also review the criteria for satisfactory completion of the review with the pilot.

e. Instructor Qualifications. Instructors should also consider their own experience and qualifications in a given make and model aircraft prior to giving a review in that model. The CFI conducting a flight review must hold a category, class, and, if appropriate, type rating on his or her pilot certificate.

Also, the instructor must have a category and class rating on his or her flight instructor certificate appropriate to the aircraft in which the review is to be conducted. Flight reviews conducted in multiengine airplanes must be conducted by flight instructors who hold an airplane multiengine rating on their pilot and flight instructor certificates. For aircraft in which the CFI is not current or with which he or she is not familiar, recent flight experience or sufficient knowledge of aircraft limitations, characteristics, and performance should be obtained before giving the review. In any case, the rating limitations of 14 CFR Section 61.195(b) should be observed.

PLANNING AND RECORDING THE REVIEW.  Index After reaching agreement on how the review will be conducted, the CFI should prepare a plan for completing the review. The plan should include a list of regulatory subjects to be covered, the maneuvers and procedures to be accomplished, the anticipated sequence in which the segments will occur, and the location where the review will be performed. A suggested plan format can be found in Appendix 1. Although not required by 14 CFR Section 61.189, the CFI may wish to retain this plan for an appropriate time period as a record of the scope and content of the review.

a. Review of 14 CFR Part 91 Operating and Flight Rules. The CFI should tailor the review of general operating and flight rules to the needs of the pilot being reviewed. The objective is to ensure the pilot can comply with all regulatory requirements and operate safely in various types of airspace under an appropriate range of weather conditions. As a result, the instructor should conduct a review that is broad enough to meet this objective, yet provide more comprehensive review in those areas in which the pilot’s knowledge is weaker. In the latter instance, the instructor may wish to employ a variety of reference sources, such as the Airman’s Information Manual, to ensure that the pilot’s knowledge meets current standards.

b. The occurrence of incidents and pilot deviations in controlled airspace has emphasized the need to ensure that all pilots are familiar with Airport Radar Service Areas, and other types of airspace. The flight review may be the only regular proficiency and recurrent training experienced by some pilots. Therefore, instructors should place appropriate emphasis on this part of the review.

d. Review of Maneuvers and Procedures.

(1) The maneuvers and procedures covered during the review are those which, in the opinion of the CFI conducting the review, are necessary for the pilot to perform in order to demonstrate that he or she can safely exercise the privileges of his or her pilot certificate. Accordingly, the instructor should evaluate the pilot’s skills and knowledge to the extent necessary to ensure that he or she can safely operate within regulatory requirements throughout a wide range of conditions.

(2) The instructor may wish to prepare a preliminary plan for the flight review based on an interview or other assessment of the pilot’s qualifications and skills. A sequence of maneuvers should be outlined to the pilot taking the review. For example, this may include a flight to the practice area or to another airport with maneuvers accomplished while en route. It could also include a period of simulated instrument flight time. The instructor should request that the pilot conduct whatever preflight preparation is necessary to complete the planned flight. This could include checking weather, calculating required runway lengths, calculating weight and balance, completing a flight log, filing a flight plan, and conducting the preflight inspection.

(3) Before commencing the flight portion of the review, the instructor should discuss various operational areas with the pilot. This oral review should include, but not be limited to, areas such as aircraft systems, speeds, and performance; meteorological and other hazards (e.g., windshear and wake turbulence); and operations in controlled airspace (e.g., TCA’s). The emphasis during the discussion should be on practical knowledge of recommended procedures and regulatory requirements.

(4) Regardless of the pilot’s experience, the instructor may wish to review at least those maneuvers considered critical to safe flight, such as stalls, slow flight, and takeoffs and landings. Based on his or her in-flight assessment of the pilot’s skills, the instructor may wish to add other maneuvers from the PTS appropriate to the pilot’s grade of certificate.

(5) The-in-flight review need not be limited to evaluation purposes. The instructor may provide additional instruction in weak areas or, based on mutual agreement with the pilot, defer this instruction to a follow-up flight.

(6) To assist CFI’s in selecting maneuvers and procedures critical to safe flight, a list of maneuvers for various categories and classes of aircraft is included in Appendix 2. It must be emphasized that this list should not be considered all-inclusive or intended to limit a CFI’s discretion in selecting appropriate maneuvers and procedures.

(7) Consistent with the need to include critical maneuvers, the CFI should construct a review sequence which closely duplicates a typical profile for the pilot who will receive the review.

POST REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS.  Index Upon completion of the review, the instructor should complete the Flight Review Plan and Checklist (if used) and debrief the pilot. Whether or not the review was satisfactory, the instructor should provide the pilot with a comprehensive analysis of his or performance, including suggestions for improving any weak areas.

a. Unsatisfactory Completion of the Review. The instructor should not endorse the pilot’s logbook to note an unsatisfactory review, but should sign the logbook to record the instruction given. The CFI should then recommend additional training in the areas of the review that were unsatisfactory. A pilot who is denied an endorsement for a flight review may continue to exercise the privilege of his or her certificate, provided a period of 24 calendar months has not elapsed since the pilot’s last successful flight review or pilot proficiency check. If a pilot has performed a flight review and, in the pilot’s opinion the flight instructor has unfairly judged that he or she was unable to successfully complete the review, the pilot may request a flight review from another CFI.

b. Satisfactory Completion of the Review. When the applicant has successfully completed the review, the pilot’s logbook must be endorsed by the person who gave the review, certifying that the pilot has satisfactorily accomplished the flight review. The endorsement for a satisfactory review should be in accordance with the current issue of AC 61-65.