Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

Getting back into the pilot's seat...

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


New member
Mar 13, 2002

I got my private licence in '96, and logged about 65 hours. Unfortunetly, life had other plans, and I needed to step away from the plane for about 4 years.

As of Feb, it has been 4 years since I was in the cockpit, and I'm getting the itch again.

I have searched through my FAR/AIM trying to find the requirements for relicencing over a period of time, but couldn't find anythign specific.

My medical is 3 years expired, and I know that I need a new one of those. I wouldn't be comfortable hopping back in without ground school again, so that is also coming. But after that, I don't know what is required. Do I have to go through everything again, or is a check ride all that is required?

Anyone who can tell me for sure, let me know.

Nope. Nothing as stressful as a checkride is necessary. No specific amount of instruction is necessary either, as fortunately you got your license before going on to do other things. Since you already have it, all you will need as a new medical and a biennial flight review (BFR). Every pilot must get this once every two years. All it means is that you go up with a CFI, who makes sure you are a competent pilot. Basically you go through the required maneuvers of the checkride, but there is not the pressure of a checkride. If the CFI doesn't want to sign you off, you just go up again until the CFI feels good about it. The specifics of the BFR can be found in the FARs.
Cheers and happy flying.
You rang?

Richard and I must have been on the same wavelength just now! Something compelled me to check the board and whaddaya know!

Richard is right; after an eight-year hiatus I'm thinking about flying again for fun. I got a fresh medical last December.

You do need a fresh medical. Taking a refresher ground school is not a bad idea at all. In fact, in a classroom environment with a fresh start you might learn the material and retain it better than you did before. But, not that much changes and you will be surprised at how much you do remember.

All you need to regain currency is enough instruction to satisfy your instructor that you are safe to fly. Go read FAR 61.56. FAR 61.56 requires 1 hour minimum of ground training and one hour minimum of flight training for a flight review, but your instructor may feel you need more. At the point your instructor feels that you are safe, he/she will sign off a BFR (flight review) in your logbook. That's all you need legally, really. You may want to set limits for yourself, e.g., staying on the ground because of crosswinds, until you feel thoroughly confident in your abilities.

Have fun flying (wish me the same!)!
Last edited:
Thanks Alot...

Thanks everyone for your help.

I think that I am going to go through ground school again, you are probably right, when I first went through it, there were a few things that I didn't get very well (namely weather) and ground school definately wouldn't do any harm.

And good luck to you bobbysamd as well bobby :)
$.02 more

Just thought I'd mention the King ground school video tapes would be a pretty good way of getting back up to par on the regs, rules, procedures, etc. for private pilot flying if you don't have time to attend a full time ground school. It might be cheaper than enrolling in a class or something like that, plus you can do it on your own time.

Good luck!
Re: You rang?

Originally posted by bobbysamd
[Richard is right; after an eight-year hiatus I'm thinking about flying again for fun. I got a fresh medical last December.

You do need a fresh medical.

"A Fresh Medical";

Where do I find that; in the Grocery Store?
Is that near the produce section?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. :)

Last edited:
I would suggest you get your instrument rating. Not only will this make you a better pilot, it will get you current and teach you something that could save your life. These days, after 9/11, there are all kinds of new regulations and it's difficult to keep yourself out of trouble. One way to be safer is to file IFR, and get the controllers to keep you out of restricted areas. Also, if the weather goes south, you won't get stranded. I once got a job flying skydivers, and they wanted me to have an instrument rating. Even though it was all day vfr, they felt that rated pilots knew the system better. You will be a better pilot for it, and learn a lot in the process. Good luck to you.
Instrument Rating

You can find fresh medicals at the checkout stand next to the Enquirers. Safeway is running a special on them this week. :)

Yes, absolutely, get your instrument rating. Not only will you gain safety through filing IFR and being cleared through restricted airspace, you will gain a tremendous amount of valuable knowledge and really hone your flying abilities and control touch.

Once again, good luck with your flying.

Latest resources