I’ve been flying for nearly nine years, however this was the first time I’ve done an actual BFR. Previously, I’ve met the recency requirements either through earning a new rating or participating in the Wings program. I had assumed it was going to be something with more check ride formality than a low-key brush up.
The ground session felt a lot like hangar flying in that we talked mostly about the various high(er) performance systems in my plane, cross country trips, subtleties of the local airspace, and some “what ifs” on instrument approaches in the area. He was challenging my answers where appropriate, just very casually. I enjoyed talking about practicalities rather than rote recitation of the FARs.
Since my plane’s out of service for its engine overhaul/annual, I rented one of the flight school’s C172s. While the instructor was signing off a student for their first cross-country, I did the pre-flight and sat in the cockpit for a while familiarizing myself with placement of everything. The first thing that hit me was the “rental smell,” which is really hard to describe but is some proprietary combination of sweat, oil, mildew, avgas and seat cushions.
It was kind of cool to come back to the basics: no turbo, no retractable gear, no adjusting the prop, just get out and fly, baby! Then I realized how much I missed my moving map GPS; this underscored how “addicted” I’ve become to it as a means (crutch?) of positional awareness.
We did some basic maneuvers under the hood. I had done my six approaches & holds in the simulator the week before, so this was pretty straightforward. He threw a “how would you intercept blah radial off foobar VOR from this position” question at me, and I had to think about it for a little while longer than I should have, and I’d sense a new force whenever I’d get fixated on an instrument for too long because I interrupted my scan to think.
After that, we did a chandelle (my favorite) was followed by slow flight and stalls. It was kind of comical trying to get the 172 to break