• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

How can I re-qualify as a pilot

#1
In the 1960s I held a pilot's license. This was before the creation of the light sport category, so it was a full private pilot license. My understanding is that there was no expiration date for a pilot's license. I have not logged a single hour of full scale flight in fifty years and have not sought a medical certificate in this time either. Does anyone know what my route to restoration of legal flying status would be? Obviously, I would need some instruction, a medical, and a check ride, but I suspect it is more complicated than that. Anyone know?
 
#2
In the 1960s I held a pilot's license. This was before the creation of the light sport category, so it was a full private pilot license. My understanding is that there was no expiration date for a pilot's license. I have not logged a single hour of full scale flight in fifty years and have not sought a medical certificate in this time either. Does anyone know what my route to restoration of legal flying status would be? Obviously, I would need some instruction, a medical, and a check ride, but I suspect it is more complicated than that. Anyone know?
I'd say ask your local flight scool.
 

Piotrsko

Elite member
#3
Last I heard, a medical is optional for light sport class, but I could be wrong, and my pacer wouldn't be legal as it has 3 1/2 seats and 135 hp and a VNE of 165.

Worse case glider license. Or flying lawn chair homebuilt ultrafright

Ditto the above
 

Tench745

Elite member
#4
I'm no expert, but as far as I know you should be able to get your private back easily enough, so long as you pass a medical. If you can't pass a medical but your last medical wasn't failed or pulled, you are eligible for a light sport license. Again, instruction and a check ride will be necessary. Like others have said, ask your local flight school or talk to the FAA.
 

Bricks

Master member
#5
. Or flying lawn chair homebuilt ultrafright

Ditto the above

^^^^^ This gave a me a good laugh as that was one of things about ultra light if I would ever go that way. Sitting out in the middle of nowhere1,000 feet above the ground, with a couple of sticks and fabric keeping my ass up there.
 

Piotrsko

Elite member
#6
You'd be suprised how strong fresh fabric is in tension. Failure points are traditionally structure and glued edges along with the infamous "pilot error" or flying into MVFR. Many UL planes are now stressed for acrobatics so it is effectively the same as being in a Piper cub. Don't forget parachutes either. 50ft agl is dangerous, 1000 ft with a chute, non issue.
 

Arcfyre

Elite member
#7
In the 1960s I held a pilot's license. This was before the creation of the light sport category, so it was a full private pilot license. My understanding is that there was no expiration date for a pilot's license. I have not logged a single hour of full scale flight in fifty years and have not sought a medical certificate in this time either. Does anyone know what my route to restoration of legal flying status would be? Obviously, I would need some instruction, a medical, and a check ride, but I suspect it is more complicated than that. Anyone know?
You'll need a current medical and a what's called a flight review. A flight review is usually less intense than the check ride to go from student pilot to private pilot, but it's basically the same thing. You spend some time on the ground with the instructor going over charts and rules, then perform a flight to demonstrate safe and proficient operation of the aircraft, including several takeoffs and landings. Once you're up to date, you will still need a flight review every two years, called a Biannual Flight Review (BFR) and a current medical to be legal.

Once you have that, if you want to fly with passengers, you need to have logged 3 full stop takeoffs and landings in the proceeding 90 days to be considered current. This requirement does not apply if you are flying solo.

Source: I've had my ticket since 2004 and just need a medical and a flight review every two years to keep it current.
 
#8
Your FAA pilot certificates never expire. Certain other certificates expire, but can be renewed. In your case, your pilot certificate is good for life - but you need to reestablish currency.

You NO LONGER NEED A MEDICAL for most Private Pilot flying. You can fly VFR or IFR s a Private Pilot without an FAA medical. Go to the FAA web site an read about BasicMed. https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/airmen_certification/basic_med/

BasicMed let’s you simply go to your personal doctor and he attests that you are in generally good health. Most Private Pilots no longer need an FAA Medical. Just BasicMed.

Then you need a Bi-Annual Flight Review (BFR). A BFR is required for all pilots to maintain or reestablish currency every 2 years. Commercial pilots can use FAA recognized recurrency training (every year, or every 6 months FAR 135 or FAR 121, or under an AQP program, the interval established by the airline).

In your case, I would recommend more than a simple BFR. If you plan to rent an aircraft, it is unlikely they will let you do it simply with a BFR. Since the national airspace has significantly changed over the last 50 years, you will likely want to spend some time with a CFI in a classroom or briefing room in addition to the cockpit...

Having said all of that, aerodynamics have not changed, and an airplane is an airplane. Many, many of the private aircraft out there are 40+ years old, so you can likely find something to rent that will come back to you... like riding a bike.

Blue Skies, in your most worthy pursuit!
 
Last edited:
#9
Your FAA pilot certificates never expire. Certain other certificates expire, but can be renewed. In your case, your pilot certificate is good for life - but you need to reestablish currency.

You NO LONGER NEED A MEDICAL for most Private Pilot flying. You can fly VFR or IFR s a Private Pilot without an FAA medical. Go to the FAA web site an read about BasicMed. https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/airmen_certification/basic_med/

BasicMed let’s you simply go to your personal doctor and he attests that you are in generally good health. Most Private Pilots no longer need an FAA Medical. Just BasicMed.

Then you need a Bi-Annual Flight Review (BFR). A BFR is required for all pilots to maintain or reestablish currency every 2 years. Commercial pilots can use FAA recognized recurrency training (every year, or every 6 months FAR 135 or FAR 121, or under an AQP program, the interval established by the airline).

In your case, I would recommend more than a simple BFR. If you plan to rent an aircraft, it is unlikely they will let you do it simply with a BFR. Since the national airspace has significantly changed over the last 50 years, you will likely want to spend some time with a CFI in a classroom or briefing room in addition to the cockpit...

Having said all of that, aerodynamics have not changed, and an airplane is an airplane. Many, many of the private aircraft out there are 40+ years old, so you can likely find something to rent that will come back to you... like riding a bike.

Blue Skies, in your most worthy pursuit!
Oh thank you so much!!! I want to be a pilot someday, and I thought I couldn't because of the medical (I have ADHD)
 
#10
Oh thank you so much!!! I want to be a pilot someday, and I thought I couldn't because of the medical (I have ADHD)
There are some pre-existing conditions that don't permit BasicMed, (epilepsy, unknown causes of unconsciousness, some heart procedures or conditions, etc.) - but the idea that Congress had when they mandated that the FAA eliminated the need for a FAA Medical Certificate for most Private Pilots is that for most Private Pilot uses, it should not be much more stringent than the basic health requirements to drive a car.
 
#11
Thanks to all of you for the info. Special thanks to CappyAmeric for all the details. I'm surprised that it seems so straightforward. All I need now is to find an Ercoupe to rent (just kidding) My dream is to get in a taildragger. All of my recent RC planes have been barnstormers. Low and slow for me.
 
#12
Thanks to all of you for the info. Special thanks to CappyAmeric for all the details. I'm surprised that it seems so straightforward. All I need now is to find an Ercoupe to rent (just kidding) My dream is to get in a taildragger. All of my recent RC planes have been barnstormers. Low and slow for me.
There are lots of Ercoupes in Trade-A-Plane!

As for tail wheel, you will need a tail wheel endorsement from a CFI if you want to rent one; but just like most rentals, they will want to fly with you some anyway before turning you loose. Although training can cumulatively get expensive, all good training is worth every minute.

I recommend you get a BFR in a tricycle gear like a Cessna 152.
 

Piotrsko

Elite member
#13
It pains me to mention that finding a taildragger CFI is exceptionally difficult outside of an aerobatic club. Then there is the issue of low time in type obtaining insurance

I agree with @CappyAmeric , get current first, see if it is what you want then progress towards the final goal.
 
#14
Make a pre medical appointment with the designated medical doctor and talk about any medical issues, If everything is good, Then get your medical, You don’t want any surprises that will disqualify you, Go find a flight school or club and go fly with a cfi and get all caught up.

I would also do one of the free online groundschool programs to refresh everything and learn about the changes that have happened since.
 

Piotrsko

Elite member
#15
Well there's 2 kinds of medicals: ones that actually look for issues, and those where the doctor only wants the fee so they do a 6ft stand way off kinda "ok you passed". I had both, prefer the former, hate the latter.

I have also been wondering: you gave up flying for reason(s) What changed? In my case nothing.
 
#16
Not in your position- I'm actually getting close to starting training for the first time. Obviously, the FARs have changed, the AFH/PHAK have been updated, and you'll need a checkride. If I were you (and you may be planning on this) I'd get some time with a CFI. I'm not the person to ask, though, and these are just my (only somewhat informed) 2 cents. Whatever you do, though, good luck! R/C is awesome, but I think the real deal is a lot better. Keep the blue side up! (Unless you're an aerobatic pilot!)
 

AkimboGlueGuns

Biplane Guy
Mentor
#17
In the 1960s I held a pilot's license. This was before the creation of the light sport category, so it was a full private pilot license. My understanding is that there was no expiration date for a pilot's license. I have not logged a single hour of full scale flight in fifty years and have not sought a medical certificate in this time either. Does anyone know what my route to restoration of legal flying status would be? Obviously, I would need some instruction, a medical, and a check ride, but I suspect it is more complicated than that. Anyone know?
CFI here, its true that pilot's licenses do not have an expiration date, and so it is technically still a valid certificate. To fly under part 103 ultralight regulations no medical is required, and you can now use basic med in order to retain some private pilot privileges. Make sure you research what goes into basic med, because there can be some hoops to jump through that I'm not 100% familiar with. You will also need a biennial flight review to exercise private pilot privileges which essentially boils down to a private pilot checkride. I would highly suggest building time getting re-currency training in the aircraft you will do the BFR in. Check with your local FBO to find out if there's a CFI on staff that can answer any specific questions, and get in contact with an aviation medical examiner to find out of you should apply for an airman's 3rd class medical or basic med. I'd also suggest brushing up on the latest issue of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and Aeronautical Information Manual. Expect at least 10 hours of re-currency training before being ready for a BFR. Good luck!
 

Piotrsko

Elite member
#19
I will add: I fuzzily remember something about not being able to return to a regular physical after using the basic med process, or was that self cert...... aaargh.