Staying Current

As my instrument currency lapses tomorrow for the umpteenth time I was thinking about what it takes for me to stay current (both legally and practically). I need to make:

  1. day VFR flights for PIC
  2. instrument approaches/holds for IFR
  3. night flights for night PIC
  4. flights in a complex plane, day and night and, ideally, some approaches
  5. flights in a high performance plane, day and night and, ideally, some approaches

I don’t know how someone with multi-engine ratings would keep everything current! But if I think about the cost of just keeping up with all those things I’m not sure I’d be able to afford to go on any cross-country trips. Right now I’m night current, and will get my (expiring tomorrow) instrument currency back next week, but its been so long since I flew the 182RG that I think I’ll get my CFI to ride along with me before I sit behind the pointy end of that.

Maybe what I need is a calendar with these flights mapped out so I can keep up with it all. How do other people keep current?

3 thoughts on “Staying Current”

  1. The flight School/Flying Club has a ‘reminder’ system that automagically keeps track of currency. It sends reminders out every so often. But you nailed it, the only way to stay currrent is to keep flying. I keep an xls with monthly hours and goals (and expenditures), with a column devoted to check off milestones.


  2. I do use for my online logbook and it gives currency reminders and “what-ifs” but sometimes it seems like I am flying because I have to rather than for the joy of it. Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy it when I’m up there but from time to time it seems that all my budget can handle for the month is keeping up to date.

  3. IFR currency is a little different in Canada. First, we require six approaches and six hours actual or simulated IMC in the past six months — that can be tricky to maintain over the winter, so basically, you pick one of the last warm, foggy days in November and try to do as much IMC as you can.

    Second, we’re required to retake our IFR flight test every two years even if we do maintain recency (the Canadian word for currency). The only advantage is that the IFR flight test gives an automatic year of recency afterwards, so we’re worring about staying current for IFR only every second year.

    Night recency is about the same as the U.S., I think — five night takeoffs and landings in the last six months.

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