PIREP – Aeroplane Flight Review… aka BFR

In October 2012, I went for an aeroplane flight review (AFR). This review must be conducted once every 2 years, unless the pilot has conducted a different form of flight testing, for example an instrument rating flight test.  After much (believe me, there was much) deliberation, I decided not to renew the Command Instrument Rating (CIR) which I’d held, as I was not flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) and hadn’t for a year & a half. I figured it best just to do the AFR & if need be in the future, fly another initial issue for the CIR.

The flight review was with Paul McKeown from the Recreational Flying Company (RFC), based at Gympie aerodrome YGYM). The RFC is primarily a Recreational Aviation training organisation, however Paul is able to conduct limited general aviation training, including AFR’s. I found Paul very professional, informative and my time with him educational. He is also an Embraer E-190 Captain for Virgin Australia, having flown as a first officer for the same airline on the 737.

After conducting the required ground theory & flight planning, we set off for the quick 20 minute flight to the Sunshine Coast airport (YBSU). The video clip below covers the takeoff, approach and the touch n’ go…

After departing the Sunshine Coast control zone (it being class D), we made our way to the training area in the Mary Valley. There was quite a bit of smoke around which is a real shame as the Mary Valley is very picturesque. Paul put me through my paces under the hood with unusual attitudes, and then we covered off steep turns, stalls & practised forced landings. Other than the unusual attitudes, this is shown in the following video…

Once we were done in the training area, we headed back to Gympie to finish off with a few circuits… with a twist…

In summary, it was another great aviation experience. Being taught and having my skills honed by an experienced aviator, such as Paul. It highlighted to me areas in my flying that need improvement & certainly enforced the reality of engine failures after takeoff.

Would I recommend Paul and the Recreational Flying Company to others? Absolutely! They can be found at http://www.recreationalflyingco.com

Paul made the comment to me when I called him to organise the AFR that rather than it be thought of as a test, think of it more as an opportunity to learn & practise… that it was.