Regulations: Recent Flight Experience

One regulation you need to be aware of as a new pilot is 14 CFR §61.57, “Recent Flight Experience – Pilot in command”. Here’s how Bob Gardner summarizes this regulation in The Complete Private Pilot:

14 CFR 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot-in-command. You may not carry passengers unless you have current experience, and that means 3 takeoffs and landings within the preceding 90 days in an aircraft of the same category and class as that in which you plan to carry passengers. You may fly solo to make those three takeoffs and landings, of course. If you are going to carry passengers in a tailwheel airplane, your 3 takeoffs and landings must have been in a taildragger, and to a full stop—no touch-and goes permitted. Touch-and-goes are approved for tricycle gear airplanes. To carry passengers at night you must, within the preceding 90 days, have made 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop in an aircraft of the same category and class during the period from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise. The Part 1 definition of “night” is that period between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight. If you really want them, you can find twilight times at That means that if you are current at night in single-engine landplanes, for instance, your night currency does not extend to multi-engine landplanes, and you must do the 3 full-stop landings at night before carrying passengers in a twin at night. You must be sole manipulator of the controls when regaining currency—you cannot carry passengers, but you could do your night landings with a pilot who is current acting as pilot-in-command.

A current pilot is one who meets the requirement for 3 takeoffs and landings within 90 days, and who also has accomplished a satisfactory flight review within 24 months.

Our office will be closed this Thursday (11/26) and Friday (11/27) for the Thanksgiving holiday, but we will have a special Thanksgiving-themed CFI Brief for you on Thursday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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