Maintain Proficiency

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Maintain Proficiency

Postby fugops » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:46 pm

P/P recently started flying again with CFI in order to take BFR. Given the costs of flying these days I am at a point where I can only afford 2 to 3 hours a month and once I pass the BFR maybe 4 to 5 hours a month. Looking for advice on how many hours a month one should fly per month to stay proficient and during that time what would be best to practice? Just running through a rough time now but in about a year will be able to afford more hours. Thanks

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Re: Maintain Proficiency

Postby champguy » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Trying to stay current in an expensive cross country machine can cost enough that in the end you can't afford to actually go cross country.
If your goal is to enjoy flight and flying, then think small. Smaller planes are more responsive, more fun to fly, and cost much less to own and opperate. So a cross country trip takes an extra day, thats a good thing, not a problem.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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Re: Maintain Proficiency

Postby Landis » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:29 pm

My suggestion is to fly as much as you can - whether it be in a plane or in a chair thinking about being in a plane. Whatever hours you can fly in your head you can add to the time in the plane. Practice landings and patterns. Do short trips to a controlled field from your uncontrolled (or vice versa). But the big cross countries that you can't afford now, you can do by planning them and flying through them in your head. I wouldn't say that the private pilot maneuvers are a waste of time, they're not, but going out and doing stalls and steep turns may not be the best use of your time. Do those occasionally because you don't want the only time you do those to be during your flight reviews, but get out there and enjoy flying the plane. Keep yourself motivated.

And 4-5 hours a month is actually pretty good. I know plenty of people who can only do 10-15 in a year. Keep reading Flying and Flight Training and AOPA pilot and definitely listening to UCAP and others. Flying is 90% mental, the other half is practice. :)

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Re: Maintain Proficiency

Postby cozy171bh » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:42 am

For proficiency, think frequency over quantity. With a budget of 4 hours a month, you could fly a 4 hour trip, or four 1-hour trips -- once a month or once a week. You will be more proficient by flying more often vs. longer.

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Re: Maintain Proficiency

Postby cphillips103 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:10 pm

I have a few suggestions that really help to stay in the game even if not flying every month...

1>AOPA Air Safety Institute interactive courses and safety quizzes. Also, they have several webinars live and on archive. They also have some safety seminar videos on archive.

All free. And the interactive courses and quizzes are available for FAA Wings credits and keep you up to date with FAR's.

2>Air Safety Institute live seminars. Again free, and available for FAA Wings credits. Also, these also help to lower insurance costs. People that participate in these tend to be safer pilots.

3>Flight Sims. There are some for free online as well as some cheap older ones. I use them to stay frosty on IFR between flights. Not for logging time, but just to constantly stay on top of things like
partial panel, holds, ILS, GPS, VOR approaches. You don't need much equipment. I've used several, but right now I'm mostly using Microsoft Flight Sim X. I like the ATC component while on an IFR plan. And it has GPS. I trained for my instrument ticket on training devices that use X Plane. The devices are setup to be fully certified to log time, but the exact same software can be used at home for practice. They also allow you to fly to unfamiliar places and get a feel for things. Also, I can set them up for equipment failures to practice partial panel and other emergencies.

4>Podcasts, message boards, magazines, e-newsletters, books, documentaries, Sporty's AirFacts DVD's, museums, air shows. All keep you in the game.

As far as monthly hours to fly, I find that if you're generally flying the same machines, you don't necessarily have to fly every month. You could fly every other month, take a flight somewhere really interesting, and by flying the same planes every time you really get to the point of working hand and glove with the machines. Then you're not spending time trying to reacquaint yourself. Some schools/FBO's have policies of logging time at least 60 or 90 days. One decent trip every other month keeps you flying, takes a little pressure off the wallet, and all the other activities keep you in the game.


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Re: Maintain Proficiency

Postby jackhodgson » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:53 pm

Good suggestions.

// Jack

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