September 4, 2006

Biennial Flight Review Passed

It has been two years and a month since I earned my private pilotís license. As part of the Federal Aviation Administrationís regulations, pilots are required to pass a Biennial Flight Review if they wish to serve as pilot in command of an aircraft.

I had scheduled my BFR a month earlier but during pre-flight, noticed the airworthiness certificate was missing from the plane. I thought it was the Certified Flight Instructorís way of testing to see if I did a thorough pre-flight inspection. It turned out it was lost and the plane had to be grounded until it was found. It was not found until days later, unfortunately. Happily, this time out to the airport all the paperwork was in order.

For a few days leading up to the BFR I reviewed my Sportyís Private Pilot DVDs and the Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual (FAR/AIM) book that contains all the regulations that pertain to flying as a private pilot.

During the Biennial Flight Review the Certified Flight Instructor does a one hour long verbal flight review that covers regulations and concepts related to flying (e.g., Weights and balances, weather, etc.). My CFI and I spent about an hour and fifteen minutes and for the most part I was able to answer all but a few obscure questions. After the verbal part we went out for the one hour flight review. We departed Sturgeon Bayís Cherryland Airport for one of my favorite airports, Ephraim Airport. I showed my experience with pilotage, flying from one point to another using maps and ground references, to get us to Ephraim. Once there we took advantage of the beautiful turf strip there. I performed short field and soft field take-offs and landings on the turf. I truly love the nostalgic barnstorming feeling of landing on turf runways. After performing some nice crosswind landings we departed and headed back to Sturgeon Bay where we performed a wide variety of maneuvers demonstrated in most Private Pilot Check Rides or insurance check-outs: Turns around a point, stalls, 45&Deg; bank turns, etc.

When we got back to Sturgeon Bay I new there would be one more part of the test, a landing with a failed engine. Sure enough as I entered the pattern to land at Cherryland Airport my CFI announced my engine had failed and pulled the power out to simulate an engine failure. I cut the pattern short to ensure we would make the runway and brought the airplane down gently. Upon completing the landing I was informed I had passed my Biennial Flight Review.

Posted by tmacrock at September 4, 2006 9:35 PM

Congratulations Todd! How many pilots don't pass? Is it completely up to the instructor? Sounds like a difficult yet fun time -- glad you didn't have to do the relatively rare challenge of parallel parking.

Posted by: Similate at September 5, 2006 9:13 PM

I didn't think BFRs were pass/fail - I thought they were just reviews?

Posted by: Jason at September 5, 2006 10:17 PM

If your instructor feels you are not proficient then you can no longer operate as pilot in command until you have received a passed review. When you pass the review the CFI signs an endorsement in your logbook an you are good to go for another two years.

Posted by: Todd at September 6, 2006 6:39 PM

I just did my BFR today. It was awesome to be flying again. It has been 10 years (I agree, I'm stupid for taking that much time off, flying is way too fun). I was surprised how much I remembered after all that time. good job

Posted by: Bubba at September 13, 2006 12:57 AM