November 23, 2004

Getting Checked Out to Fly in New Locations

studentpilot.jpgWith the holidays approaching and having the opportunity to visit friends and family I thought I should learn about the process for being checked out to fly rented aircraft from Fixed Based Operators (FBO) at airports in cities I plan to visit.

Not knowing what the process is I posted a message to one of my favorite pilot resources, I asked "What is the process for getting checked out by an FBO to rent planes? Do you simply go up and prove you are proficient then they sign you off? Is that sign-off usually good for only a certain amount of time? Do they charge an instructor rate for that person to go up with you?"

I received some great feedback. What I learned is that a checkout usually consists of a verbal knowledge test that proves the pilot is aware of the critical information found in the Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) - V-Speeds, fuel burn, emergency procedures, etc. Additionally, you fly with an instructor and prove proficiency in common maneuvers that were part of the practical test: slow flight, stalls, emergency procedures and pattern work. Most people estimated it would be about an hour of flight and instructor time. Personally, I think when flying in a new area it is beneficial to spend some time with an instructor who is familiar with the area anyway.

If you pass the checkride that you get signed off and are approved to rent aircraft from that FBO. If you fly regularly they may not require another checkride unless you want to fly different types of planes. If you fly there infrequently they may require a new checkride as recently as within 90 days of your last flight with them.

Lastly, if you are flying in areas with terrain or weather conditions that vary from your home base it is wise to spend additional time learning about local conditions and concerns.

Posted by at November 23, 2004 10:01 PM

Which areas are you interested in flying from? Looking forward to your further adventures!

-- Similate

Posted by: Similate at November 28, 2004 9:51 PM

I think I am most interesed in flying along the skyline of Chicago and flying over the fields and lakes of Wisconsin.

Posted by: Todd at November 30, 2004 10:13 PM