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7 Things Professional Pilots Shouldn't Forget About General Aviation Flying

No matter where your career takes you, never forget the basics!

1) Airspace Rules

Whether it's Class A or G, special airspace, equipment requirements, or weather minimums, there's a lot you need to know about airspace. When you're a professional pilot flying under IFR, you don't have to remember as many of the rules. But if you take a personal flight in a GA aircraft, you're going to need to brush off the dust on your knowledge...


2) Single Engine Currency

Once they start flying turboprops/jets, many professional pilots lose single engine currency. Keep current every few months by flying with a CFI!


3) CFI Renewal

Keep your CFI certificate current with renewal courses! If you don't to renew your cert, you'll need to take a CFI checkride to get your teaching privileges back.


4) Rudder Control

Does your airplane have a yaw damper? Get back into a light airplane and practice steep turns to knock the rust off your rudder coordination.


5) Traffic Pattern Procedures

It might seem very basic, but having a good understanding of how to fly the traffic pattern and land at a non-towered airport is extremely important. Don't lose your ability to fly traffic patterns, even if you're in a jet!


6) VFR Charts

Even if you always fly IFR, don't forget how to read sectional charts! They have a ton of great information, and you'll definitely need them if you fly outside of your professional airline/corporate job.


7) Pilotage and Dead Reckoning

Your pilotage and dead reckoning skills are just as important as your ability to program a GPS or EFB. As you get started, focus on your scanning skills outside the cockpit, rather than relying solely on instrumentation.


What else could professional pilots do a better job of reviewing before flying in general aviation? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and a First Officer on the Boeing 757/767 for a Major US Carrier. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines, and flew Embraer 145s at the beginning of his airline career. Swayne is an author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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