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Flight Review with Formation Flight

Asked by: 2098 views FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor

Two very experienced aviators, one of which is a qualified Flight Instructor for a biannual Flight Review, are going to do a formation flight, each in his own aircraft, and accomplish all the flight requirements thereby. 

They both are ex-military and very experienced with formation flying.

All aspects of the flight will be thoroughly briefed, and executed.

Radio communication between cockpits will be maintained at all times.

This type of "check" flight is done all the time by the military with single seat aircraft and both pilots have done so.

We both having been flying for over 50 years and each have over 10,000 hours.

By doing this type of Flight Review, it should also keep our senses more involved.

What do you think?  Is there any specific clearly stated prohibition from doing this?

Or is it an area that is not spelled out and for qualified pilots would thus be allowed?


2 Answers

  1. Bill Trussell on Jan 10, 2013

    While aircraft requirements for the conduct of a flight review is not covered in detail in the regulations, the conduct of a practical test is under 61.45 Practical tests: Required aircraft and equipment. para c (b) iii indicates (iii) “Except as provided in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, at least two pilot stations with adequate visibility for each person to operate the aircraft safely” with the exceptions being for the allowance of a provision of a jump seat for the examiner. Additional exceptions are for a light sport aircraft with a single seat. In that case the result is a rating of sport pilot only with no passengers and single seat only.

    The scenario begs the question of whether an alternative is available for the purpose of fulfilling the 1 hour minimum flight time for the flight review.

    The intent of the fight review requirement is to ensure that everyone, regardless of experience, receives a minimal amount of recurrent training. Given that the idea is to ensure that bad habits have not been developed one would hope that a scenario could be developed that would satisfy the requirements and allow observation for any bad habbits, something that can not as easily be done in formation.

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Jan 11, 2013

    61.56 (a) requires 1 hour of flight training and 1 hour of ground training.

    61.1 (b)(7) defines flight training as “means that training, other than ground training, received from an authorized instructor in flight in an aircraft.” It doesn’t appear to allow training received from an instructor FROM another aircraft.

    61.51 (b)(1) requires entering the aircraft type and ID in the logbook. What would that entry look like?

    91.109 (a) requires that any civil aircraft (thus exempting the military) used for flight instruction, must have dual controls. This implies that the instructor would be in the same aircraft.

    You say this type of check is done all the time by the military. Given the proliferation of simulators, I would ask in what aircraft are instruction or proficiency checks being conducted as you describe?

    As Bill said, this appears not to be a matter of neccessity, but of desire.

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