Seeking Advice: How to Regain Recency and Get Back to Flying

Hi everyone,

I haven’t flown in 6 years due to health issues and the impact of COVID. Fortunately, I’m now healthy and ready to get back in the cockpit with a first class medical that’s current.

I have 8000 hours on the Boeing wide bodies, including plenty of PIC hours, and nearly two decades of passenger flying experience outside the US and now I’d like to fly in the states.

Before anyone asks, I am legally qualified to fly in the States, but my career was abroad due to family reasons, which is why I don’t have Part 121 flying hours in the US.

The main challenge I’m facing is the recency requirement. Both major and regional airlines have turned down my applications because I don’t have 250 (and more in the case of the majors) hours in the last two years. It’s the classic chicken and egg problem: I need to fly to build up the hours, but I can’t get hired because I don’t have the recent hours.

I’d really appreciate any suggestions or advice on how to solve this conundrum.

Thanks in advance!


I respectfully disagree, it’s not a chicken/egg scenario and I reject your “I can’t get hired” premise. The reality is you have no Part 121 experience and no recent flight experience so for all intensive purposes (despite your Commercial experience overseas) you’re essential a newbie. That means you need to lower your sights from the airlines to first getting current, and second finding some entry level flying job. It’s not that you can’t get hired, you just can’t get hired where you want (or feel you should) be. They’re are jobs out there, it just won’t be in a Boeing!


Thanks, I’ll keep this in mind.


Recent flight experience doesn’t need to be in a Boeing! Go rent a Cessna or a Seminole and go flying. IFR cross country flights if you have the money to do that or a flying job at your local airport. Once you check the box of recency, I’m sure the application process will go smoother.


Thanks Hanna, This is encouraging and I’m in the process of trying to get that recency.


What’s wrong with a nice cross-country flight in a Cessna or Piper? There’s something about getting into a single- or multi-engine piston and just enjoying the views, relaxation and love of aviation flying GA. You can be safe and enjoy it, while being safe and regaining proficiency. Find a local school and CFI, get some refresher flights and just enjoy it. Keep updating the applications and don’t be closed-minded, think of all the options and rewards from each offer.