I recently saw a video that made me think about how long it had been since I had flown. I’ve embedded it below if you need a little motivational push today. The long and short of it is I hadn’t been in the cockpit for about 5 years. There were a number of things that conspired to keep me grounded, but as is often the case, it started with money. As my 30th birthday approached and feeling suitably motivated, I set out to complete a flight review and get airworthy again.

Flight Review Step 1: Renewing my medical certificate

Step one was to get back to the AME for an updated medical. Truth be told, I had felt the call to go get a flight review and start flying again for some time. In fact, I had the budget and time to do plenty of flying, but I kept putting of the medical. It wasn’t even that I thought I’d have any issues, I just kept putting it off. It wasn’t until late April of this year, when I attended the Smoky Mountain Airshow here in Knoxville, that I had decided enough was enough and I filled out the paperwork. A week or so later, I found myself in the AME’s office with a shiny new medical certificate in hand.

Flight Review Step 2: Finding a new flight school

Next on the list was finding a new flight school. I’m not exactly sure what transpired, but sometime between the last time I flew and now the flight school at which I did all my training had closed. This meant I had some thinking to do. At this point, the nearest flight schools are an hour away in either direction. There is one option slightly closer, but it is a flying club that would need a lengthy application process and monthly dues. More on this later, since I have decided I’m probably going to join this club.

In the end I selected the school that was a sister to my first flight school. I called them up and had them set me up with a plane and an instructor for a flight review and rental check out. I’m not sure what they expected exactly, but I know it wasn’t what I delivered. I could tell they were concerned I might be thinking an hour with the instructor and I’d be signed off and good to go.

I reassured them I wasn’t interested in getting it done in the minimum time required by the regs nor was I interested in waking up at the site of the crash saying, “I’m sure glad I saved that extra $500 of dual instruction…” So far I have an about 2 hours toward a flight review. I’m not signed off yet, which I fully support, but I already feel much less rusty. I think another hour will be all it takes, but we’ll see. Stay tuned for an in-depth debrief of the first couple of hours in my next post. Consider this track of the second flight from CloudAhoy as a teaser for that post: