Formerly called a Biennial Flight Review (or BFR), the Flight Review is required of every active holder of a U.S. pilot certificate at least every 24 calendar months. It consists of at least 1 hour of ground instruction and 1 hour in-flight with a qualified flight instructor.
The flight review is not a test; there is no pass-or-fail criteria. It is simply a chance for you to work with an instructor to show that you can still safely exercise the privileges of the current certificate you hold.
If you’re a pilot of Robinson helicopters, it’s important to remember that there are specific flight review requirements for these aircraft:
The minimum FAA requirements are simply 1 hour of ground school, and 1 hour of flight time. Usually only active commercial pilots and instructors will complete a flight review in such a short time.
Most pilots need a little time to knock the rust off before they are back up to speed for their certificate level. Combine this with the fact it can take up to an hour just to go over the Robinson-specific parts outlined in the SFAR, before even getting on to Part 61 and 91 topics.
We typically tell people to budget for 2 hours of ground school and 2 hours of flight.
The flight review is basically a way to ensure that your knowledge and skills are still at the level of the pilot certificate you hold.
In addition to covering the SFAR topics (energy management, mast bumping, low rotor RPM blade stall, low G hazards, and rotor RPM decay), your instructor will essentially be using the Practical Test Standards for your certificate as a guide.
Your assigned instructor will go over a detailed post-flight briefing with you, explaining the areas that might need a little work. As there is no pass/fail of a flight review, the flight would simply go in your logbook as Dual Instruction. After a little work on the areas of weakness, you can fly with the instructor again.
Once the flight review has been successfully completed, and the instructor is happy with your performance, he/she will place an endorsement in your logbook to that effect.
If you have completed a flight instructor refresher course (FIRC) within the preceding 24 calendar months, you don’t need cover the Part 61 and Part 91 topics of the flight review. You do however still need to review the SFAR 73 topics if the flight review is conducted in the R22 or R44.
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