Monday, October 1, 2007


This past weekend my local flying club held a Fly-in breakfast, and knowing I was their new board member hit me up with a number of issues (as they should) One real problem area that I personally didn’t realise was such an issue is our BFR’s

I will bring this up at Board Level but I need to get more feedback on the issues you face. Please email me ( with your concerns. The more feedback you give me the more I can argue on your behalf.

First to the BFR itself. By definition, a BFR is just what it says. A Biennial Flight Review. It is a review of our flying. It is not a pass-fail test. Its purpose it to identify and correct any bad habits or problems in our flying.

Now come the issues. These are as I see them at present, and it is here I need your feedback.

1. Single Seaters. The regulations state the test should be in the aircraft you fly the most. Several people stated they only fly single seaters and Instructors won’t review their flying from the ground.

When this is the case these pilots are told they must do their BFR in the school’s aircraft. These pilots say they feel very uncomfortable doing a “test” in an unfamiliar plane. I need more of your views on this.

2. Instructor Skills. Some pilots with “different” 2 seat aircraft claim any BFR to them is worthless as the local Instructor has never flown their type of aircraft and would have no idea of what is going on. This applies to a Rag and Tube pilot asking an instructor who has only flown hi performance aircraft to do a BFR in the back of his Drifter to a Rag and Tube Instructor doing a BFR for a Sting pilot. I agree with them on this and some solution needs to be found.

3. Insurance Issues. Some pilots want a BFR in their type of aircraft, but not in their aircraft as they carry no crew insurance and don’t know the consequences of an accident. They also ask what are the consequences of an Instructor “taking over”. I don’t know this myself but will ask.

4. Under CASA GA rules a type endorsement also rates as a BFR. This needs to be clarified under our rules. Eg. Does a tail-wheel endorsement or a check flight (endorsement) on say a Tecnam rate as a BFR?

5. Dual certificates. For our GA and RA-Aus pilots does a GA BFR also rate as a RA-Aus BFR.? If not why not. The argument here is it is a flight review of a higher level so should flow down. There has been no suggestion to me (yet) that a BFR should flow up the other way.

As I said in the beginning I was unaware of the depth of feeling on this matter, but being a rag and tube pilot myself, I can see I would be very uneasy if I had to travel to another airport to do a BFR in a plane I had never even sat in before with an instructor I didn’t know. Please give me feedback and I will bring it up with the Board.

John McKeown