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franklin county times
PHOTO BY LAUREN WESTER Bill Wilson (left) hosted the Rusty Pilots Seminar at the Russellville Airport Oct. 7 after organizing it with airport manager Harry Mattox.

Rusty Pilots get refresher on flight rules, regulations

A lot can change over 50 years, including the rules of aviation. For pilots who are out of practice, it is vital that they learn what those changes are. Bill Wilson is making an effort to educate the out-of-practice pilots and aircraft owners through his Rusty Pilots Seminar – including in a session he hosted Oct. 7 at Russellville Municipal Airport.

Airport manager Harry Mattox arranged the seminar with Wilson months ago and said he was excited about the opportunity.

“We want to get these pilots back in the air,” Mattox said.

Wilson said there are many reasons why pilots stop flying, including family issues, economy problems and employment struggles.

“What we do is help them relearn what they had to know when they received their pilot’s licenses and then incorporate all of the new material,” Wilson said.

Some of the new material includes airspace changes, new rules and regulations, new signage at airports, new landing aides that have been implemented and new medical rules, Wilson explained.

The seminar is part one of a two-part plan to get pilots back in the air. Wilson, a flight instructor, said the seminar serves as the ground school that provides the minimum level of knowledge these pilots need to have. Wilson signs off that they completed this portion, and then they are encouraged to move onto part two.

Part two focuses on their kinetic skills, which Wilson said means they will perform an actual flight with a flight instructor at their local airport. To finalize the process, they must complete a flight review, which is required by the FFA every two years.

“Right now, we have a one in three success rate with pilots reaching and completing the flight review, but we are hoping to improve on that next year,” Wilson said.

The seminars started in 2017 and will continue into 2018, Wilson said. About 15-20 people attended the Russellville seminar.

“I’ve even got some of my students attending today. It’ll be a great learning opportunity for them,” Mattox said.

The free event was hosted and funded by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the largest association for pilots and aircraft owners, according to Wilson.

 

 

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