How Often Should I Fly To Be Safe? (4 Proficiency Thoughts)

Aviation In nutshell. Always try to keep take-offs an landings equal.
Aviation In A Nutshell.

After getting my Private Certificate and my instrument rating, I flew a little, and I asked myself, How Often Should I Fly To Be Safe? I just did not feel I flew enough to fly feeling secure and that my skill and ability were adequate.

How Often Should I Fly To Be Safe?

A very good idea, in the beginning, is to fly a minimum of 2 or 3 hours per week until you reach 100 hours to assure that your abilities and limitations are fully ingrained. Pilots need to fly enough to be confident in putting themselves and other people’s lives at risk. Currency and proficiency are not the same, so you must fly often.

How Often Should I Fly To Be Safe?

1. Getting 100 hours.

The 100-hour mark is the major milestone after achieving the Private Certificate, but it is only the beginning. It is a point that insurance companies will probably give you a break in premiums, but it does not make you the greatest pilot around. It really takes a true commitment to be a better pilot each time you take the Captain’s seat.

There is a saying about the 100-hour wonder being the most dangerous pilot flying. But I have heard that about pilots with 500, 1000, and even 1500 hours. The number of hours is truly irrelevant, as it is the quality of time that is important.

Flying in VFR, (visual flight rules), the cruise is a fun way to fly. However, a pilot needs to expand the skills they have learned by flying the maneuvers that it has taught us all. The benefit is much more important.

Being proficient in all the maneuvers taught in the private pilot and commercial pilot training will prepare you for almost every situation you may encounter because you will learn the feel of the airplane. This will be beneficial throughout your career.

2. The Instrument Rating.

We all know the expense of learning to fly is extreme. It is expensive to go to any school.

If you wish to be an Airline Pilot or any other type of pilot, it is essential to be the best you can be for your own c. The best route is the instrument rating. You can choose another route of training, like a seaplane rating or a multi-engine rating or learning to fly a glider, but by far the best choice is an instrument rating.

The other ratings will be available anytime in your career.

It teaches the best you can learn about flying an aircraft because it teaches how to control an airplane in any weather-involved situation and learning to fly in clouds is really essential.

Far too many accidents involving inadvertent flight into IMC, (Instrument Meteorological Conditions), occur. This can immediately be changed by training.

3. Ratings And Certificates.

As long as you are in flight training, pilot proficiency may not become an issue unless you only fly once a week as a low-time and low-experienced pilot. You just really need to commit to learning.

If you really would rather not pursue an instrument rating, then maybe a multi-engine rating or a float-plane rating, sport pilot, or whatever you would like to do. I would have loved to have made time for lots of tail-wheel time.

I had flown tail-wheels early on and in those days a tail-wheel sign-off was not yet a requirement. It is a very easy way to increase your skill level and keep your experience building.

It will definitely make you pay attention to rudder work on your take-offs and landings. That is a great way to learn stick and rudder technique.

You need to build some good-quality flying time in your first couple hundred hours so you can begin your Commercial Pilot Certificate. Consider getting some complex airplane training because you will need to get that done, anyway.

I had a Cessna P210 that I could rent, so I bought 10 hours in that and flew it while working on my instrument rating and I fell in love with the airplane. I could not afford to buy it but I had a love affair with that plane for 10 hours.

When I got the hours for my Commercial Certificate, I decided I might as well get the Commercial multi-engine done, which made me a bit more employable. It was a great decision.

Shortly after my Commercial, I found a place to get some multi-engine turbine time, and I was on my way.

The timeline for all the training I got took me some years to accomplish, but I am grateful that I had the chance. I just never gave up, and that ultimately paid off with decent flying jobs.

4. Choices.

It becomes a question of choice, since the FAA requires the minimum with its infinite wisdom. 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop within the preceding 90 days. I suggest you read the ruling here if you are unfamiliar or need a refresher, but I doubt any pilot will ever forget.

So reality and a shade of fear can grab you when it has been almost three months since you went out to fly but you must or you need to hire a flight instructor. Not a bad idea if you are low on experience.

I would recommend that all pilots fly with an instructor now and then. The review you must take helps with that. Just make it fun.

I flew with many pilots and instructors, and I learned something from every one of them.

I read many comments on pilot forums about personal experiences. Most pilots were in consensus that even 3 weeks without flying caused their confidence levels to drop.

It boils down to a choice. Just remain safe and never put yourself or your passengers at risk.


To me, flying and aircraft have been my passion, so it consumed me. When I was a young man with a nearly new Cessna 182 I could fly a lot and I always found reasons to make a trip somewhere in the great and vast area called Montana.

I had mountains and weather to grow up flying with, so proficiency was easy for me and I took advantage and honed my skills as a pilot. It was great fun.

Not all pilots have that at their disposal and just staying current becomes a huge challenge from time and money for the thrill of flight. Let alone remaining proficient. So it becomes a choice for us all to answer the question of how often should I fly to be safe.

The opportunities for pilots are vast in the year 2023 and beyond, so if you dream of being an Airline Pilot never give up the dream.

Please leave me a comment if you find this article helpful and let me know your thoughts.

Related: Should I Become A Pilot, A Mechanic Or Both? (5 Knuckle Busting Thoughts.)

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