With flight reviews being the overwhelming method used by pilots to comply with the Part 61.56 recurrent training mandate, it’s no surprise that there are preparation materials available from a number of sources. Our survey of what’s out there uncovered a half-dozen good ones.
AOPA and the Air Safety Institute have a number of videos, online courses and web pages that provide material of benefit to pilots preparing for their FR. Specifically, other than the acting, we like the 34-minute video specifically on the FR as well as the Pilot’s Guide to the Flight Review put together by the Institute. Both provide solid information and are free.
Better still, and also free, is the FAA’s Flight Review Preparation Course. We were pointed at it by the Michigan Flyers’ Amelia Jayne. It’s a structured, online guide to the relevant regs and advisory materials needed for the ground portion of a flight review. It’s broken into four segments, Pilot, Aircraft, enVironment and External pressures and includes a review and exam. The exam questions are what the FAA calls “mini-scenarios” designed to test a pilot’s understanding of how the regs apply to real-world flying.
Sporty’s (www.sportys.com) offers what we consider to be an in-depth online flight review course for $34.95. It goes into aeromedical factors, airspace, publications, regulations, airport signage and markings and weather. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac and iPad. It has been accepted for FAA WINGS credit and includes a quiz. If you score at least 80 percent on the quiz, you receive an endorsement from Sporty’s Academy stating that you have completed the one hour of ground training required for the flight review—although accepting it is at the discretion of your instructor.
For your iPad or iPhone, there’s Sporty’s Flight Review Aviation App. It includes interactive questions to help you prep for your FR as well over an hour and a half of videos and animation. At $24.99, it appeared to us to contain the materials in the more expensive interactive course and the FAA’s FR publication as well as a quiz, but not the completion endorsement.
Sporty’s also offers a 55-page, spiral-bound guide and reference entitled Biennial Flight Review for $7.95. As the title implies, it’s a bit dated. It also has no index, which we would like to see.
At $12.95 and 160 pages, the ASA Guide to the Flight Review for Pilots and Instructors is advertised as a one-stop guide for pilots preparing for their FR. We like that it has an index, making it a handy reference guide. It may be more than is needed for the FR, but at the price, we think it’s an excellent and handy reference.
King Schools has produced what it refers to as a Flight Review Bundle that is available online or as a DVD for $119. It consists of three of the King courses, Pilot Communications, VFR Regulations Refresher and The Complete Airspace Review. We like the depth and breadth of King courses, but the price, in our opinion, is not competitive.
We think that a pilot who wants a solid preparation for the flight review can get all that she or he needs with the free material from the FAA and Air Safety Institute. Hey, free is not only good, but here it’s good quality. For a handy reference guide at a reasonable price, we recommend the ASA Guide to the Flight Review for Pilots and Instructors.