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Staying current?


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Hi all,


I had the opportunity to have some in depth discussions with a cousin who at one time was a Commander in the RAN and CO of two helicopter squadrons in that time. As a new aviator he was also my Commanding Officer on the old Wessex.


Anyway enough of the history lesson, we were talking about the RAN and pilots staying current and the hours were and i believe now still are a minimum of 20 hours per month.


As a recreational flier that figure would be hard to maintain if not impossible. Our discussion went to look at what key areas do you really need to stay current in and duration/practice time/s necessary. We also spoke about emergencies and landings away, engine failures and the like. we did agree that most pilots still have the eyes out the windows looking for a soft place to land and decided that that in its self was not a practice session but good airman ship. We also spoke about do you really need to land in a paddock just to prove your engine out skills, we thought not, if it is certain you would land without incident then good enough. My cousin did point out he used to practice all the way down to 200 feet on many occasions.


As a student my hours would need to be relatively high to have some form of quality improvement. One hour a month or less we felt is ineffectual.


So i am now thinking on what hours would be appropriate for me and secondly the costs and balancing both to get a satisfactory outcome,I have come up with 3 hours per fortnight.


What do the forum members think about their hours, what would keep you on the ball, what could you feel comfortable with what could you afford in financial and time consumed in flying?


Should the RAA have a minimum recommended flying time to stay current per license/aircraft type per year or go like GA plus check flight?


I was also speaking to one pilot who said he felt 1 hour per month for practicing was reasonable and practical for him with all his other commitments as he is in it for the fun and does not do cross country anyway, although I did note he made a point to point 46km trip last year in his unregistered sub 60kts craft- with two landings.(sub note - yes i have spoken to him of the virtues of joining RAA, even gave him the forms):black_eye: Hope to see him in Rockhampton in July(wifes school reunion - its a his wife my wife thing)????





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Hey Bob.. I had a look through the Bible (ops manual) to see what the RAA consider staying current.. For instructors its 1 hour in the last 90 days as pilot in command, while the only other currency regulation i could find is for the carriage of passengers..Its 3 takeoffs and 3 landings in the last 90 days.. So from that we could probably assume that the RAA consider that as being current..But for mine, i reccon theres a fair bit i would forget in 3 months...


Im trying to get hours up to start the instructor endorsment so im flying quite a bit, but if i have a break of 3 weeks i deffinatly notice a differance, and its mainly in my confidance.. I reckon the minnimum when i was a student was 1 hour a week to stay fully on the ball and progress through the training as appsed to catching up..


I'd reckon your cousins chopper crews were operating much more safisticated machines and operating in a more controlled environment which would probably leave a lot of little things a bloke could forget or get rusty on.. for instance, i watched a seaking takeoff once, and it took them about 20 minutes to do there checks and runups..





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Hi Motzartmerv,


Yes i have found the same, leaving the instruction times too long.


The Seaking is a bit of a beast and i think you will find the biggest hold up in take off especally away from a home base is the electronics "up the back". When they first came to Australia some of the engineering staff were authorised to run single engine and spread blades for emergancy flights/work(SAR). With all the training given it was basiclly an easy job, you had a very thouough check list and the speed of start up was more to do with how fast you could read the check list than anything else.



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I just checked my logbook and recently I have been doing about130 mins. per fortnight. Not much really but I mainly local flying and plenty of practice of failures. All landings are done as if the engine stopped at the base turn and there are about 8 or 10 per fortnight. The plane has very simple systems and I am not flying much where radio is compulsory.


I feel happy with this to keep current, but the radio procedures would have to be studied if I wanted to go into controlled airspace.



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