Paul, one of the bloggers on AskaCFI.com, was recently asked a question by a reader that has no doubt crossed the mind of many one-time pilots:
I stopped flying over 20 years ago and would like to start again. What do I need to do to get reissued my license?
To begin his answer, Paul noted that there has been some “really neat advances in technology since 1989, especially in avionics.” This of course is putting it mildly as he is quick to add that “if you get the chance to fly a newer airplane, it’ll blow your socks off!”
Paul then answers the reader’s question by pointing out that if you are a USA based piloted, there are a couple of different federal aviation regulations that pertain to renewing an old pilot license:
- § 61.19 Duration of pilot and instructor certificates
- § 61.2 Exercise of Privilege
- § 61.23 Medical certificates: Requirement and duration.
- § 61.56 Flight Review
- § 61.57 Recent Flight Experience : Pilot in command
He then goes into some detail about each of these regulations and then he comes up with a plan-of-action to get his reader back in the cockpit. This plan-of-action included:
- Call an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) and schedule an appointment for obtaining your FAA medical certificate.
- Once you have a current medical certificate in hand, call a CFI and schedule a biennial flight review (BFR).
- Apply for your new plastic certificate.
Of course and USA regulations aside, the key takeaways for non-USA based pilots is to first determine what the applicable regulations are and then to come up with a plan of action that takes those regulations into account. With this approach, you will soon determine just how difficult it will be to get back into the cockpit again.