Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

AOPA Rusty Pilot Program Now Available as an Online Course


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Rusty Pilots Online is a fun, interactive refresher program giving you the information you need to get ready to return to flying as pilot in command. Covering the major elements of a flight review, the course will bring you up to speed on radio communications, weather briefings, and preflight planning, while highlighting what’s changed—from medical certification and regulations to airspace and more—since you last flew.

The debut of Rusty Pilots Online, brought to you by PilotWorkshops, gives pilots who have been unable to attend a Rusty Pilots seminar in person the opportunity to join the more than 23,600 pilots who have participated in more than 700 seminars, and join the ranks of 5,800 pilots who have gone on to fly with an instructor, take a flight review, and resume flying as PIC. The Rusty Pilots program and the other initiatives of You Can Fly, AOPA’s multi-pronged initiative to get more pilots flying and keep them flying, are made possible by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation.

In addition to presenting the big picture of the aviation system today, Rusty Pilots Online takes a hands-on approach, guiding you through a review of all the major steps in a cross-country flight scenario, from preflight planning to landing at the destination.

Engaging videos help you get reacquainted with real-world radio communications and provide a 3-D review of airspace. Quizzes you can correct and review as you progress through the course help you focus on the topics that will be most helpful.

After taking the course you will receive a completion certificate and can receive credit for your work in the FAA Proficiency Wings program. You will also be eligible to participate in the AOPA Accident Forgiveness insurance program.

Best of all, you will be ready to schedule some proficiency flying with a certificated flight instructor at your local airport—and when you are ready, take a flight review. There’s no FAA checkride required for your return to flying.

Like many pilots who attended Rusty Pilots seminars in person, you may quickly find that you are a lot closer to regaining PIC status than you expected. That was the experience of Ted Malone, a 300-hour pilot who had been away from flying for 17 years until he let the Rusty Pilots program help him get back out there. (Watch his return to the left seat below.)


“Well, the fact of the matter is you already did all the hard work going through the student program and all of that, and honestly, even though you might feel there’s been a lot of change and everything else, you’ll be so surprised how quickly everything comes back,” he said in a recent AOPA interview.

Malone’s return to flying made him number 5,000 on the list of pilots who have resumed flying after completing the Rusty Pilots program, and several hundred more pilots have done so since he finished.