Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Maintaining Currency...but are you proficient?

Maintaining Currency...but are you proficient?

Well, what about currency?  Are you current?  How about proficient?  What do these two terms really mean?

So how about the "so-called" current pilot?  The pilot that is current according to FAA standards (Part 61.56 and 61.57) by satisfying the requirement of the bi-annual flight review of one hour of ground instruction and one hour in the airplane, and of course the passenger carrying 90 day takeoff and landing requirements.  Is this pilot proficient?  Maybe, maybe not......and most likely not.

It is the rare person that can do something once every two years and do it well, especially something as complex as flying an airplane that requires not only sharp mental organization and response, but muscle memory and reflex action.  In addition, one must be knowledgeable of FAR's and airspace, ATC phraseology and able to respond accordingly, to see and avoid other traffic, and react to emergencies quickly, etc., etc., etc.

As an instructor who flies 5 and sometimes 6 days per week, I can say I even feel a little rusty after not flying for one week.

What are your personal minimums for currency?  Do you only complete your BFR to be legal?  Do you actually fly on a regular basis.......once every 3 months, once per month, once per week?  Does this make you proficient?  (Synonyms to proficiency - competent/skilled/adept).  And if it has been longer than three months, do you go up anyway thinking it will all come back once you are in the airplane.......or do you consider calling up your instructor just to be safe?

Recently I have flown with several people that have taken years off from flying and come back to get current.  Each one has unique challenges to deal with.  Congratulations to those who have taken the step to come back after many years.  With a little effort and practice you will once again be current, proficient, and have your wings.

Think about it....you might even learn something new by going up with an instructor on a regular basis.

Two safety procedures that are not reviewed enough, "Escape! (the go-around)", and "Abort, The emergency Procedure".

Sue Ballew

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