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Asked by: 2938 views General Aviation

Hi. I got my commercial license 3 years ago then I got my CFI and CFII after that. I started instructing and that did not last for too long, just for couple of months. I got all this at a very young age and did not have a degree, so I decided to start one and slowly I was off track from aviation. Now its almost been 3 years that I flew. I really love to fly but the fact that I forgot lot of things scares me to do it. I am too embarrassed to tell any one that I got a CFII but forgot a lot of things. Is this how it is for any one in my situation? please give your reviews. Thank You.

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6 Answers

  1. JamesCFI on Sep 13, 2011

     Hmmm, just go up with a CFI and tell him you are a recenontaional pilot that hasnt flown in a while and forgot a few things.  
     If you are just planning on flying for fun then you can ignore the following:
    Please dont take this the wrong way, if you dont eat sleep and breath aviation please think twice before using your CPL priviliages and especially your CFI priviliges.

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  2. Ron Klutts on Sep 13, 2011

    As pilots we should all know and respect our limits. Find a good CFI and lay out your goals. If it’s to teach again you’ll really need a refresher to pass the checkride again. It is a use it or lose it issue, especially so for teaching it. Life happens but your back. Go with it! Enjoy.

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  3. Earl Kessler on Sep 13, 2011

    It’s a lot easier to relearn data that you knew.  It is merely a refresher of info that you already learned.  Just hit the books and in a short time you will be up to speed.  As far as embarrassment, come clean and tell the CFI of your choice the real story.  You are paying him or her as your personal counselor and you will be better served by telling the truth and working through the educational holes without playing games.

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  4. Micah on Sep 14, 2011

    I respectfully disagree with James. Like Earl says, it’s much easier to relearn or remember than to learn the first time. Get back into flying with a CFI to make sure your piloting skills are proficient, but instructing is a different game. When you’re back up in the air for a few hours, you should have an idea where your pilot skills stand and whether you want to try instructing. If your CFI isn’t current then you’ll have to retest. But if you’re interested in instructing again, remember that your students won’t learn simply because you have good flying skills (at least none of my have). You may have a long way to go to becoming a good instructor, but I think this has more to do with being a mature person than being a skilled pilot. 

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  5. JamesCFI on Sep 14, 2011

      Who said skilled pilot Micah?    I said you need to devote yourself to aviation, have your heart totally in it, have a passion for it, etc. Skills are a factor; you should at least be able to do all the CPL maneuvers to the PTS level But the big thing is be totally committed to aviation before you try to teach others to fly.

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  6. Bob Watson on Sep 15, 2011

    I recognize this predicament very well as I’ve been in and out of active flying many times. I’ve done a variety of things to keep up-to-date, if not proficient. These include:
    — read about flying as much as you can. From Flying magazine to reviewing bits and pieces of the Instrument Flying Handbook.
    — keep my CFI current. At the very least, it gives you a reason to hit the books every other year. If I can get organized in time, I’ll try to do a seminar so I can mingle with other CFIs, if not, the online courses work pretty well for me.
    — talk to other pilots. The key is to keep up with the lingo. That makes it easier to get back into the plane again.
    — go flying with friends. Even if you’re not current or not actively instructing, riding along as an active passenger who’s watching everything, helps keep you sharp (and knowing what to look for).
    Once you decide to get back into it (as I’ve done many times), don’t rush things. I know my “minimimums” go way up after not flying. What I find fades most quickly is the book stuff (hence the need to keep reading and talking to other pilots). The stick-and-rudder skills come back to me pretty quickly, but still take practice to return to what I would call proficieint enough to teach someone. That’s just a matter of stick time. Getting stick time with a good CFI can help you find and break the bad habits faster, of course.
    But, I agree with the “be honest and up-front” approach, but I’ve found you need to be specific with what you want from your dual instruction. In my experience, some will assume you know more than you do because you can do their “litmus-test” maneuvers well. i.e. if you can do “X”, you must also know “Y” and “Z”, when in fact “Z” might be what you really need to work on. You need to be more self aware and let the CFI know that you’d like to practice “Z” in that case. Other instructors can see through this and spot that you need to work on “Z”. If you can find that CFI, keep ’em! Have them test you to a higher standard to help spot the “rusty bits.”
    I’ve tried to sandbag by saying I don’t know much about flying and found that to be very unsatisfying for everyone. The CFI will keep things simple (to the level of someone who hasn’t flown much) so you’ll get bored quickly AND the CFI will figure out something is up pretty quickly when you demonstrate more proficiency than you let on. Pretending to not know something is very hard (and not really worth the effort). Besides, do you want to be flying with a CFI who can’t figure out you already know how to fly?
    I just got instrument, night, and ME current for the the first time in 10 years (I’ve flown off and on in VFR during that time). While I’ve logged some time and I’m “safe and legal,” I still have a ways to go before I feel proficient enough to teach anyone. That’s just a matter of practice.

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