Banjo Ben

Preparing for my BFR..

There is a large percentage of Banjo Ben members that also have their wings...might as well talk about it!

Preparing for my BFR..

Postby Banjo Ben » Thu May 03, 2012 10:42 pm

Alright, pilots...I haven't flown PIC in the last 3 months because 1) The plane I normally rent got the prop planted in a local runway by a hotshot know-it-all, and 2) I've been too busy with the album release and this site launch to get to the airport.

I have my BFR coming up later this year. What would be the best way to prepare for that? It's my first one, so I don't know what to expect. Is it a lot like my checkride when I got my ticket, or is it more low-key? Do I need to grab an instructor and hammer away at my s-turns, turns around a point, and stalls? Will I be quizzed on airspace regs and density altitude equations?!?! HELP!
- G LICK!!!
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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby mreisz » Fri May 04, 2012 1:05 am

No worries!
A BFR is NOT a check ride. You cannot fail. The CFI cannot take your certificate. You cannot be told to go directly to jail and not collect $200. It should be much more low key than a check ride. I suspect you will enjoy it. If it's a difficult, tension filled affair, seek another CFI (and tell your friends to avoid that one).

A BFR requires a minimum of one hour of ground and one hour of flight. It may turn out that a CFI will choose not to sign you off after the minimum requirements are met, but in my experience, I have never seen a CFI and BFR recipient in disagreement about whether someone is proficient and ready for signing off. If you don't like the instructor, he/she doesn't sign you off and you never go back, that's not a problem. It's just logged in the logbook as instruction received (and PIC if you are current) and nothing is sent to the FAA. Again, it's not a failed check ride.

In a BFR, I usually try to cover things that one doesn't remember because they haven't used it. An example would be emergency procedures. It's just not something most pilots think about every flight. Perhaps we should, but we don't. Hopefully you will get exposure to something new and useful. I always ask if there is something they particularly want to do or discuss. Talk to whoever you will fly with and I suspect they will tell you what they plan to cover. The plan can evolve as time is spent together, but there are usually things you will do. For a private pilot with relatively low time, I'll plan on things like takeoffs, landings, go arounds, emergency procedures, stall recoveries, traffic avoidance... things that directly impact how safe we make flying.

Flying wise, if you are "mostly" current, you don't NEED to do anything to prepare. Don't go spend your money getting BFR prep. It's not necessary. If you haven't flown for a while and you suspect you might be rusty, a short flight to get the rust knocked off wouldn't be terrible, but not necessarily needed. It might just take a bit longer to get proficient again. On knowledge stuff, try to study up on your weak points. That's just good general advice for all pilots. When you get your certificate, it's a license to learn. You are not going to know everything at all times. Just try to keep the important things accessible in the noggin. If you don't fly above 10000, why do you need to have memorized the oxygen requirements for 15000? It's nice (and preferable) to know, but not need to know. On the other hand, we all need to know if we can fly into a restricted area. If you have an oral prep guide from your private training, set it next to the toilet or bed and hit a few questions each day.

As far as 3 months without flying... no biggie. Most people wiggle the controls just fine after a brief amount of time back in the cockpit. Many flatland glider pilots never fly except in the summer. Getting back in the saddle after 6 or 7 months on the ground is an annual occurrence for them.

I gotta get to bed, but that's a start. I'm sure some others will chime in with their thoughts. I suspect you will find that most comments will indicate that it shouldn't be anything like a check ride.
Mike

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby Stich » Fri May 04, 2012 10:48 am

Boy, Mike is spot on and I'd love to do my BFR with him. My last BFR was with my Instrument instructor and it was basically just a fun check ride. After all the hard training I had to do to get my instrument license it was fun just to fly "normal" again. As a matter of fact, I can remember him saying "lets try something fun" (instrument training wasn't fun in my book) So he had me enter the pattern and fly all the way to flair by using JUST throttle, flaps and trim. No yoke and no rudder pedals. Yes, it can be done safely, and did you know you can do a fairly adequate turn by opening the doors (Cessna, of course) a bit. Produces lots of drag when you do it.
Heck I haven't flown by instruments in so long now I'm sure I couldn't even follow a VOR. I'm strictly a GPS kind of guy now.
But seriously, all's you need to do is like Mike said, go rent the plane for an hour and you'll feel right at home again in no time.

And, have fun, after all--it's flyin'
Jack (aspiring to be a banjo player)
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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby Banjo Ben » Fri May 04, 2012 10:50 am

I want to try THAT!!!
- G LICK!!!
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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby Stich » Fri May 04, 2012 10:52 am

I got LOTS more but you gotta' hold my beer first :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby mreisz » Mon May 07, 2012 10:49 am

Ben,
You asked what to expect. From Jack's description of the control-free approach, you can see that it's not like a check ride and that what you do can vary quite a bit. Let me flip it around on you, what would you want to do on a BFR? A BFR is a good opportunity to cover things you might like to do that you haven't done or aren't comfortable with.
For example, on a recent BFR, a person I flew with had never landed on grass. So, we went and landed on grass. He seemed pretty stoked to have some new experience to draw on.
Have a good one,
Mike

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby Banjo Ben » Mon May 07, 2012 11:10 am

Well, I've never landed on an actual grass strip, and I've never been in a true flat spin or upside down. Any and all of those would be awesome! Haha!

Seriously, I'd like to do all of those, but the biggest thing I'm looking for is emergency procedure review. I do power off landings on just about every landing I do in a 172, but that's where all my experience lies. I'm completely new to planes that you have to "fly" onto the runway, and therefore new to what it would feel like to have no power when trying to put it down safely. Also, a review on Xwind controls would be great. I could go on forever :)
- G LICK!!!
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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby mreisz » Mon May 07, 2012 12:26 pm

Grass strips are fun. Some of my favorite landing places have been off the asphalt. Landing on a grass strip is how I like to cover simulated engine failures. If you are out in the middle of nowhere, you won't be landing on a nicely defined runway, so an open field is more realistic. We can do that.
My 172 won't spin flat. In fact, I can't get it to stay in a spin at all... I guess that's not terrible in the big scope of things. I guess we could load the back with jugs of water and bowling balls, but that sounds like the start of an NTSB report. My father in law's 172 (in S.E. KY) spins like a top but it's still not very flat. Now a Pitts will spin flat if you want it too... you could spin flat and inverted and cover 2 wishes with one maneuver. One of my neighbors has a Pitts S2B and he has been known to give rides... I can't volunteer someone else's time, but it's a possibility if your all's schedules match up at some point.
Mike

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Re: Preparing for my BFR..

Postby gangel » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:22 am

Ben, I'd pass on the Pitts unless you have a really strong stomach! Oh my, it takes a special stamina to do that stuff!! A BFR is done to be current/proficient and safe. Too many pilots do not fly very often and try to just jump in and go and hope it all comes back. Too many accidents happened so the FAA decided BFR's needed to happen, and it was probably a good idea. For those of us who fly every week, its just a time/money expense (minimal), but its usually fun anyway, as Mike indicated, so we just do it. I think it would have been appropriate for the FAA to exempt you if you log a 100 hours or more a year, but they don't. Really love exploring this site!! Oh well, happy flying and God bless ya'll!!
Giancarlo Angelini, D.C.
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