During the Biennial Flight Review, Reveal Your Weaknesses

Every two years, whether you’re current or not, you have to complete a biennial flight review with an instructor. The BFR is not a test – there is no such thing as a pass or fail. Your instructor simply needs to feel confident that you’re a competent pilot before endorsing your logbook. But rather than leaving the plans for the BFR up to your instructor you’re better off taking charge of its content. It’s a great opportunity to improve your areas of weakness and your instructor will most likely have no clue what those weaknesses are. Only you do.

So take a few minutes when you schedule your BFR to discuss what areas you would like to focus on. Perhaps you’re an instrument pilot who is very proficient with ILS and GPS approaches, but haven’t flown VOR approaches for a while. It’s also likely that you haven’t done holds in the recent past. And, whether you’re an instrument pilot or not, I would highly suggest doing a few unusual attitudes under the hood since you most definitely can’t practice those maneuvers alone.

Other maneuvers that you most likely don’t practice by yourself are stalls and slow flight. Take the opportunity to practice them and remind yourself of proper recovery techniques with an experienced pilot by your side.

If you don’t fly regularly at night, your BFR could be a great time to get recurrent. But realize that your instructor will probably want to see other maneuvers as well, and it’s certainly not a good idea to do stalls at night. Perhaps you can suggest going out to do a few maneuvers just before sunset, do the ground portion of the BFR while it gets dark and then go out again to practice night flight.

Whatever your weak areas are, the BFR is a great opportunity to improve upon them and make yourself a better pilot.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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