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3 Answers

Haven’t flown for 10 years, passed 3rd class, ready to get going… advice

Asked by: 3956 views General Aviation, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

Private, Instrument rated.  780 hours PIC, 79 in actual IMC.  Getting ready to buy a PA32R-301T (Turbo Saratoga).  What would you recommend that I do as far as getting back into the grove.  Thinking about flying me and a CFI to pickup the airplane and fly it home.  Howm uch time dual would you think I need ?  Thanks

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3 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Jun 05, 2012

    They say the average is 1hour of dual for every year you haven’t been flying.  Have you flown a turbo before?  Most likely there will be insurance requirements of 25 or 50 hours of dual before you are insurable.  I would contact them first before the purchase to see what is required. 
    The cross country trip would be a good experience for you but I would get some dual before hand to wet my feet again. 

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  2. Bob Watson on Jun 05, 2012

    I’ve been in a similar position (coming backand getting the rust off) and these are some of my observations (YMMV, of course).
    1) 10 years without flying in IMC (real or simulated) is a long time. (A LONG TIME) Expect a few hours (maybe 5 or 10 or more) of IFR practice before you get back to the proficiency you had back then. There was an article in a recent AOPA Pilot about how returning instrument pilots underestimate how long it takes to get back to profiency. (I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t just done that before reading the article).
    2) Regs: A lot has changed in 10 years so, expect to spend some quality time on the ground with your instructor reviewing the changes and just brushing up, in general (maybe a couple of hours). (like the flight to pick up the plane, maybe?)
    3) If your new plane has advanced flight instruments (glass panel, engine monitoring, GPS, etc.) add in some more time with your CFI to get up to speed on them.
    But, a Turbo Saratoga is a great plane. Depending on your time in other planes, the insurance company will probably be the determining factor for how much dual you need, but there are lots of things to learn and re-learn, so you might as well make the most of that time.

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  3. David Eberhardt on Jun 23, 2012

    Congratulations! You should be able to determine for yourself as to when you feel competent to fly a turbo Saratoga solo (VMC, cross country, night) … just be honest and objective. Have a competent IP give you a tough, rigorous bi-annual exam. Tell him/her you don’t want to kill yourself or family.
    As for IMC – give yourself some practice time with an IP. Make sure you get a few real IMC flights in too. Alot different “than under the hood”. You probably already know this. Again, if you’re totally objective with yourself, you’ll know when your back up to speed. If your skills were good before, they’ll come back but you need to work at it some.

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