The Flight Review

Your Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) must be qualified in your airplane’s Category and Class.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick review of Category and Class:

If you’re an Airplane, SEL pilot –  your CFI must have currency in an airplane SEL – that’s it. He or she doesn’t need to have five hours of PIC flight time in your make or model of aircraft.

That being said, you may want to seek out a CFI with experience in your Make and Model  Some Aircraft Safety Foundations have Pilot Programs. Your instructor would have lots of experience in your Make and Model, and it should be time and money well spent.

Your CFI doesn’t need a current FAA Medical if you can be the Pilot In Command (PIC). You can be the PIC if you have an unexpired flight review and have current medical.

What to Expect from the Oral and the Flight

The flight review does not involve a written examination. It requires a minimum of:

  • A one hour oral, including a review of flight rules found in FAR Part 91.
  • A one hour flight.

If you are a “15 – 20 hours per year pilot”, or you haven’t flown for a long time, expect a longer oral and flight.

The Oral

To prepare for the oral, you can study a current FAR/AIM, Sectional and your POH.

You can simply read my “Flight Review Study Guide”, available at . You would be wise to also review your POH.

In addition, you might consider completing the “Flight Review Prep Guide” course available at . Bring a copy of the completion certificate to the flight review.

Your CFI may give you a short (no more than 50 nm) cross-country flight plan assignment to an unfamiliar airport. Be sure to consider runway lengths, weather, fuel requirements, terrain, NOTAMs, TRFs, etc. Your CFI could require a manual flight plan, or allow you to prepare using an online planner.

The Flight

Your CFI could ask questions to determine your experience and the type of flying that you normally do, and then determine which maneuvers you’ll perform. Remember that it’s proficiency-based, and the CFI has discretion on how much time and how much instruction is needed to ensure that you are proficient. You must demonstrate that you can safely exercise the privileges of your certificate.

As you fly selected maneuvers, you’ll be evaluated on your basic stick and rudder proficiency. If asked to fly a short cross-country, that’s a good place to sample your knowledge of aircraft systems, and your ability to make good decisions when faced with unusual circumstances, (Aeronautical Decision Making and Risk Management). For instance, you may be asked to consider a mechanical problem or an unexpected weather scenario, which will require a diversion to another airfield.

Use all your tools and resources, including the “Nearest” and “Direct to” functions on your GPS. For more information, see  

Logging Flight Time

You don’t need a current medical to have an annual review, but if your medical has expired, you’ll log the Flight Review time as “dual”. Once you get a medical, you can then fly as PIC.

If you have a current medical, then log the time as PIC.

How Much Should You Train?

There are flight departments of all sizes, from the largest airline, to the company that has one plane to run errands. No matter the size, they all want their pilots to be proficient and highly trained. Every passenger expects their pilot to be full of knowledge, well trained, proficient, and competent.

Is a Flight Review with a CFI every two years working for you? Perhaps that depends on how much you fly, and how much you feel challenged as an aviator. If you feel that you would like more training, please go to and registerfor the Wings program. This basically requires a short flight with your CFI every four months and completing an approved course every four months. Courses take about an hour. Some are free and some require a course purchase.


One comment on “The Flight Review

  1. Thank you for sharing this information.
    It will really helpful to solve my confusion

    Heathrow Medical Services

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