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Learn about new rules for flight reviews - in effect since 1 September 2014. The full rules are contained in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
This information sheet includes details about two exemptions that have been made which provide alternative requirements for flight reviews. The exemptions are:
- CASA EX92/15, which extends the low-level rating flight review validity period from 12 to 24 months
- CASA EX97/16, which provides an alternative to the aircraft class rating and pilot type rating biennial flight reviews with an aircraft category and multi-engine aircraft requirement.
Who do the rules for flight reviews apply to?
- All pilots.
- All operators.
- All flight instructors and training schools.
What is a flight review and why do I need to have one?
A flight review is an opportunity to receive training that refreshes your flying skills and operational knowledge. Pilots undertake flight reviews to ensure they continue to be competent flying particular types of aircraft or exercising the privileges of an operational rating.
After gaining a qualification, it is normal for some skills to deteriorate over time. A flight review ensures your piloting skills remain - or are brought back up - to standard.
Flight reviews are also used to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization's requirement for countries to ensure pilots continue to be competent exercising the privileges of their licences and ratings.
You need to have a valid flight review if you want to exercise the privileges of a rating that requires one - they include aircraft class ratings, pilot type ratings, low-level ratings, private instrument flight rules (IFR) ratings and night visual flight rules (VFR) ratings.
Read on to find out more about options for satisfying the flight review requirement for a particular rating.
How does CASA EX97/16 work for flight reviews?
CASA exemption 97/16 provides an alternative way of satisfying the Part 61 flight review requirements for aircraft class ratings and pilot type ratings in regulations 61.745 and 61.800.
The exemption means pilots are taken to have a valid flight review for an aircraft class rating or a pilot type rating if they have an acceptable alternative valid flight review. An alternative flight review is acceptable if it is for an aircraft of the same category, and for a multi-engine aircraft of the same category if that is applicable. The exemption means pilots are complying with regulations 61.745 and 61.800 by having an alternative flight review.
Therefore, a pilot doesn't need to complete a separate flight review for an aircraft class rating or pilot type rating. You would be taken to have a valid flight review for the single-engine aeroplane class rating if you have a valid flight review for any aeroplane. You would have a valid flight review for a multi-engine helicopter type rating (eg AS355) if you have a valid flight review for any multi-engine helicopter.To find out more about the exemption, read CASA's information sheet about changes to instrument proficiency checks - July 2016.
How do I meet the requirements of a flight review?
Your instructor is responsible for designing appropriate content for your flight review. A flight review should include training, so it is not just an assessment.
The requirements of a flight review are met when the instructor conducting the review is satisfied you have demonstrated competency for the rating according to the Part 61 Manual of Standards (MOS).
The review can be completed over more than one flight if necessary.
Can I fail a flight review?
If you don't meet the flight review competency standards by the end of the flight, the instructor conducting your flight review will let you know and you will be assessed as not yet competent. If this happens you need to make arrangements to undertake further refresher training and be reassessed before you can continue flying.
What is the general competency rule?
You should keep in mind that every pilot must abide by the general competency requirement which is covered in Regulation 61.385. This regulation means a pilot is only authorised to fly an aircraft if they are competent to do so. That includes being competent in:
- operating the aircraft's navigation and operating systems
- conducting all normal, abnormal and emergency flight procedures for the aircraft
- applying operating limitations
- weight and balance requirements
- applying aircraft performance data, including take-off and landing performance data, for the aircraft. Pilots should consider undertaking training from a qualified person before flying a type of aircraft they have not previously flown, even though they hold the relevant class or type rating.
How often are flight reviews required?
You need to have a valid flight review to exercise the privileges of a rating. The flight review must have been completed within the previous 24 months.
An exemption was made in May 2015 which extended the low-level rating flight review period from 12 months to 24 months - see CASA exemption EX92/15. That means all flight reviews are valid for two years.
Can I meet the flight review requirements for more than one rating in a single flight?
Yes, it makes sense to combine several rating flight reviews into one flight when possible.
You have completed a flight review for an aircraft class or pilot type rating or operational rating if you are assessed as competent in the units specified in the MOS for that rating. Therefore, a flight could cover the units of competency for more than one rating.
For example, in a single flight you can complete the flight review requirements for the following, provided the relevant competency standards are covered:
- single-engine aeroplane class rating
- night VFR rating - aeroplane
- private instrument flight rules (IFR) rating - aeroplane.
How long is my flight review valid for?
A flight review is valid to the end of the month in which it is done, 24 months later (note the low-level rating flight review is valid for 24 months according to CASA EX92/15).
For example, if you undertake an aircraft class rating flight review in January 2015 it will remain valid until the end of January 2017. However, if you complete a flight review any time in the three months before it is due, your original renewal month remains unchanged. This means your review remains valid, even if you do it early.
For example, if you have a private IFR rating flight review and it is due to expire at the end of April 2015 but you undertake it in February 2015, your next private IFR rating flight review will be due at the end of April 2017.
Are flight reviews recorded in my logbook or on my licence?
When a flight review is successfully completed, the instructor must enter the details onto your licence. There is a new section on the Part 61 licence for recording assessments of competency including flight reviews and proficiency checks.
The instructor is also required to send a notice to CASA within 14 days so that your licence records can be updated.
What is the difference between a flight review and a proficiency check?
A flight review should include training, and an assessment. Training is included to bring you back up to the required standard of competency, if you need it. It is normal to need training to maintain a level of proficiency to perform a complex task. A proficiency check is an assessment only, and does not include any training. See CASA's Proficiency checks information sheet for more details.
Do I need to do a flight review if I complete a proficiency check?
It depends on which type of aircraft the check was done in. If you did a proficiency check in an aircraft of the same category then you are authorised to fly aircraft of the same category. If the proficiency check was done in a multi-engine aircraft, then you would be authorised to fly a multi-engine aircraft of the same category.
For example, if you complete an instrument proficiency check in a multi-engine aeroplane, then you satisfy the flight review requirement for single and multi-engine aeroplanes. This also applies to other proficiency checks such as the instructor rating and aerial application rating. More details can be found in the Proficiency checks information sheet.
Who can conduct a flight review?
A flight instructor with a grade 1 or 2 training endorsement can conduct an aircraft class or type rating flight review for an aircraft they are authorised to fly.
A flight instructor with a training endorsement for a rating can conduct a flight review for that rating.
Simulator instructors can also conduct flight reviews in flight simulation training devices approved for that purpose.
CASA can authorise a person to conduct a flight review. For example, there might be a special situation where there is no flight instructor with the right authorisations available and there is a specific operational need for the review to be undertaken.
A pilot conducting a flight review must be authorised to fly the type of aircraft being used for the flight review. If the review is for an operational rating, the pilot must also be authorised to conduct training for that rating.
I am an airline pilot successfully participating in an operator's training and checking system. Do I need to do a separate flight review?
You do not need to do a separate flight review to fly an aircraft covered by your training and checking system as long as the operator has a regulation 61.040 approval that satisfies the flight review requirement for the aircraft you are flying.
You work for an operator that operates CL604 aeroplanes. The operator has a Regulation 61.040 approval and it includes a provision for subregulation 61.800(6) for the CL604. That means the approval covers VFR operations in the CL604, and you can fly the CL604 with another operator - or privately - without having to do a separate flight review.
Also, with the exemption (CASA EX97/16), you would have a valid flight review for the purposes of exercising the privileges of all aircraft class ratings and aeroplane type ratings under the VFR. Note that you still have an obligation under the general competency rule (61.385).
How do I log my flight time when I undertake a flight review?
Since a flight review involves training, the flight time for a flight review is logged as dual. If the review does not include training, you can log the flight time as pilot-in-command under supervision (61.095(3)).
Do I have to do training AND a flight review to fly certain types of aircraft?
Yes. Before flying these types of aircraft, you must complete initial training and a flight review on that type. Once you have completed the training and flight review, the aircraft type is covered by the flight review requirements for the class rating.
For example, the BE90/200 (Beechcraft King Air) is included in the multi-engine aeroplane class, but before flying it you need to complete BE90/200-specific training and a BE90/200 flight review. You can continue to fly the BE90/200 like all other types of aircraft in the multi-engine aeroplane class by completing a multi-engine aeroplane flight review.
Other types of aircraft covered by these requirements include: Cessna Caravan (C-208); PA31T; SA226-T Merlin IIIB; R22; R44; R66; Bell 206; Eurocopter EC120 and Hughes 500.
Remember - you still need to consider the general competency rule: do not fly an aircraft unless you are sure you are competent to do so.
Does a flight review have to be done under a Part 141 or Part 142 operator?
Yes, if the review includes training. CASA strongly encourages pilot to include training within their flight reviews.
Is the Part 61 flight review different to the CAR Part 5 licence flight review?
Under Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) Part 5, flight reviews were related to licences. Under the new rules (in effect since 1 September 2014), flight reviews relate to ratings.
Part 61 also clarifies the standards required for flight reviews. The regulations make it clear that a pilot must achieve specific standards to satisfactorily complete a flight review.
Does CASA provide further guidance?
Yes, CASA provides an updated Advisory Circular on flight reviews, which is published on the CASA website. The Flight Review Advisory Circular is based on Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) 5.81-1.
Want to know more?
Visit the Licensing Regulations section. The new rules for flight reviews are contained in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations:
- Regulation 61.400 - general requirements
- Regulation 61.800 - flight review for pilot type ratings
- Regulation 61.1175(6) - for flight instructors
- Regulation 61.925 - private instrument flight rules
- Regulation 61.970 - night visual flight rules
- Regulation 61.1060 - low-level ratings
- Regulation 61.1525 - glider licences.
- CASA EX92/15
- CASA EX97/16