I helped two students that hadn’t flown in years get their instrument
rating. One hadn’t flown regularly for 10 years. The other 2 years. It
wasn’t the flying that they struggled with. It was their knowledge. Both
succeeded, but one student required much more attention than the other. It
boiled down to the individual.
One student got a BFR prior to starting ATP. That was VERY smart of him and
I advise you to do the same. It will serve you well, especially when you
have to recall all that private knowledge when you train for commercial.
Anyway, he had a work ethic unlike any I had ever seen. He had an hour and
a half commute and still managed to show up early, even for an 0800
showtime. If I told him to do something he would do it. He was always
prepared for his lessons. He passed his instrument ride with flying colors
and completed the full ATP program. He instructed at an international
flight school in California for 18 months and now he’s flying Centurions on
floats in Alaska before he flies for a regional.
The other student, however, THOUGHT he had gotten a BFR before starting
ATP, but didn’t…no need to ask why. That’s beside the point. But, that’s
definitely not the best way to start out. This student was a handful. He’s
the kind of student that was in it for the wrong reasons. He was more
interested in the “cool factor” than the responsibility. That mentality
quickly changed when he realized how much more effort was required of him.
Commercial was a struggle for him too. He managed to pass his instrument
ride and later received his commercial multi and single and is now flying
for an aerial photography company all over the US.
So, it is possible. Like I said, go get current. It’s not required, but if
you have the time it makes things so much easier.