Anyone use a Come to you School?

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by MBDiagMan, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    The title is the question. I am frustrated trying to fly with the local instructors. There are a few that are absolutely top notch instructors, but have other commitments or require flying back and forth to another field.

    Do any of you have experience with one of the schools that send an instructor and a simulator to you?
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  3. blueskyMD

    blueskyMD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't thinks they are sent by a school . Most I know are kind of freelance independent contractors
     
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did Professional Instrument Courses who is pretty much the leader in the "come to you" ten day course. It's intense, but if your up to it, it is quite effective. I was very close to actually having Captain Ron (formerly on this board and still over on the red board) as my instructor, but he was busy. After asking what avionics I had in my plane, they sent me out another instructor who was quite well versed in the GNS480 I have.

    This was about ten years ago now so they still had their big clunky ATC610 simulator (I hear they've switched to the pc based touch trainers now). You should get your instrument written out of the way first and a good chunk of your 50 hours of PIC XC time that the rating requires. They'll send you a workbook and a copy of Peter Dogan's book. I wrote this up somewhere on line but it goes like this:

    DAY 1: MORNING- Basic paperwork, basic instrument work, command-performance all done on the simulator.
    AFTERNOON- Work out the six command-performance numbers for your aircraft and do basic instrument work there.
    DAY 2-4: Bookwork and simulator work. Since the 610 obviously has no IFR GPS, we also had GARMIN's 480 simulator on a PC we did some practice with there.
    DAY 5-7: At this point we figured we were done with the simulator, we just flew morning and afternoon doing approaches, unusual attitudes, partial panel, etc..
    DAY 8: MORNING- Final run through AFTERNOON- Mock checkride and Filling out application for checkride.
    DAY 9: Time off for good behavior
    DAY 10: Checkride. Pass, get my picture taken.
     
  5. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I wonder what their success rate is. I know of a few other people who did the PiC thing and, IIRC, none of the others had the same day 10 experience that you did.
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Fairly high, if I recall. It's not unheard of to finish in less than ten days as I did, but most people do make it through.
     
  7. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    The key to the intensive courses is the student/customer committment. A couple here on the board have gone thru PIC and can provide more details.
     
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  8. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Yes, I do have plenty of cross country hours and a recently passed written.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you're willing to dedicate ten days straight, and frankly, despite what some of their prior marketing materials say, expect it to be FULL TIME. Me and the instructor camped out in my spare room for the three days of book/sim work. Every day I felt pretty much tired and not able to do things like help my wife much (she and a neighbor were putting down a new floor in the home office). Several of the early nights there is homework for you in the notebook.
     
  10. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    One thing to consider here, and it's not a knock on PIC or any other accelerated training course: if you jam an instrument rating into ten-ish days (yes, I know there's prep-work which precedes it, but the majority of the training takes place in a tiny bubble of time) you will need to get right out there and use that new instrument rating quite a bit as soon as you pass the course. If you don't, all of those skills will diminish quickly, or even appear to vanish in some cases.

    I've done more instrument, ATP and turbojet type rating training than any other kind of flight instruction. Those are all very heavy on instrument flying and procedural skills. It's not easy to absorb the needed knowledge, understand it, apply it, correlate it, and convert it into actual hand-eye coordination and division of attention tasks in a few days -- then actually retain it for the long haul. Not saying it can't be done, as it clearly can, but the odds are a bit stacked against you unless you really make it a point to go out and exercise the new skills immediately after course completion.
     
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  11. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree. I went through one of the accellrated courses. And while I learned quite a bit and enough to make the checkride happen, it took many hours post check ride of "flying in the system" and doing approaches for the IFR skills to start to gel.

    So once the checkride is passed, do plan on some more flying with a "double-I" or very experienced instrument pilot to improve those newly learned skills.
     
  12. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That is true if you do it in ten days or ten years. You don't use your IFR skills regularly, you're gonna lose them.
     
  13. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    ... but it's especially true when complex skills are learned in a very short period of time. There are unique challenges and issues associated with retention under those circumstances vs. absorbing the information over a longer period of time. Reference Edward Thorndike's Law of Exercise.
     
  14. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    @flyingron how much did PIC end up costing by the end?
     
  15. Sam D

    Sam D Cleared for Takeoff

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    To Ron Levy's credit (PIC instructor and former forum participant to those who don't know), he would always say something along the lines of: that which is quickly learned is quickly forgotten if not quickly practiced.
     
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  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thorndike doesn't say that and in actuality Thorndike would tend to support the PIC method. It says nothing about exercising a skill over months vs. days. It just says you have to exercise a skill to learn it (though this is not universally believed true). Thorndike also talks about intensity and recency which the slow and infrequent method doesn't support.

    I don't believe Ron's rubric either. It is entirely without any educational support.

    Anyhow, to answer the question, I did it in 2005 I believe. The base tuition was $5000. To that I had to put up the instructor for the ten days but I got a heavy discount on that because for a good part of that he decided to stay with his granddaughter who lived nearby and I just gave him money to drive back and forth. To that you have to add your charts (a few hundred) and the DPE fee (running $500 these days) and of course fuel or rental charges for your aircraft.
     
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  17. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    Er, I don't think too many educators would disagree with our take on this. And I believe the Law of Exercise (both the simplified FOI version and Thorndike's original writings on the subject) do support this concept. The opportunity to repetitively discuss knowledge elements and practice skills in the aircraft is greater over a longer period of time; this inevitably results in "more reps" and more times accessing the knowledge. And certainly in my experience as a pilot and an instructor, it has been clearly evidenced to be true more times than I can count (new type ratings, students who came to me after accelerated training, etc.) It is simply a common thing to experience through many certificates and ratings, both teaching and learning.

    But here's another scientific explanation of "forgetting" which I like.

    https://qz.com/1213768/the-forgetting-curve-explains-why-humans-struggle-to-memorize/

    Overcoming the forgetting curve is about more than raw repetitions. There has to be space between the reviews. It doesn’t work to just study a new fact 15 times in 1 hour and overcome the curve. If the fact is already at the front of the mind, no work is being done in recalling it again. But if information is repeated at intervals, the brain has to reconstruct that memory, strengthening it like a muscle.
     
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  18. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    $5000 plus plane costs plus expenses? That's highway robbery!
     
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  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. In my case it was $4500 (got one day off) and that included 30 hours of flight instruction and probably another 30 hours of ground instruction. Maybe good ol' boys out there in Texas are willing to teach for $25/hour, but $75 isn't unheard of here. It does include unlimited sim time as well and a curriculum that's a whole lot better put together than even most Part 141 schools.
     
  20. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    Not being sarcastic. I bet most CFII's in this country would be very happy to teach for $500 a day.
    It also sounds excessive, you only need 12-15 hours of instruction for the rating. 30 hours instruction and 30 hours of ground sounds like overkill to me.
    That's a lot of money for the rating. I paid about half of that including plane costs.
    I strongly disagree with any program that has a set cost that's above the legal minimum required based on "historical averages" or whatever excuses they use to milk more money out of students. Especially if it's an accelerated program. Any average pilot should be able to do it in minimum time required if they don't have long of a gap between lessons. That's the nr 1 reason why it takes longer than minimums.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  21. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like normal fun and frivolity of a free market system.
     
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  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, MT, the MINIMUM is 15 hours of instrument instruction (not 12) and 40 hours of instrument time total. So no, 30 isn't an unreasonable amount of flying.
    While most CFIIs might be happy with $500 for an eight+ hour day, many would not. Further, the PIC instructors are far more qualified than your average timebuilding flack CFI.

    There's no "historical" averages here. You can't beat the 15/40 times. It's hard in the regulation. Historicially, I'll bet that if you did the rating piecemeal, you accumulated more than 15 hours of instruction time. There's two reasons for this. When you space it out, you spend a lot of time relearning and repeating what you forgot. Second, most instructors have no clue as to effective curriculum. Let's go fly some approaches is a lousy use of instructional time.

    If you don't like PIC, don't farking pay for PIC. However, I felt the quality of instruction and the convenience was way worth it.
     
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  23. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    It's 12-15 because if the CFI you did your private with was a -II, those 3 hours count. So you only need 12 on top of it.
    I think 30 hours is a lot. And 30 hours of ground is crazy.
    I guess it works for someone who just wants to be fed a pre-packaged syllabus and doesn't want to do any studying/prep by themselves. To me it just makes no sense - it's so much more expensive than other options and I just can't see the value. But that's just my personal opinion about it.
    If you're happy to pay close to $10k for your instrument rating, that's cool and I'm glad people can afford that. Like Mike said, that's free market at work.
     
  24. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thirty hours of ground is "crazy"? That's less than one week of school! But when it comes to these compressed programs, perhaps you don't see the value, but to some of us, time is precious, and it cannot be replaced with any amount of money.
     
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  25. MauleSkinner

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    While "Go preflight while I have a cup of coffee," and "Good job, see you tomorrow," may be adequate prefight briefing and post flight debriefing to some people, I think 15-20 hours of briefing time for the flight time alone is pretty minimal. Conducting thorough, well-presented briefings that actually involve the student could easily make up that 1:1 ratio.
     
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  26. Gary Austin

    Gary Austin Pre-Flight

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    There is a guy who is a CFI-I, he takes 2 or 3 people and flies around the US , LA, SFO Dallas, NE, all the busy airspaces. one guy flies, the other looks on, then after an hour or so they change places, at the end of a week, the pilots are ready for their checkride and have had lots of fun flying, he's in Oregon, has a new Cirrus and it seems like a C-182RG, just a different way of getting ready for the check ride
     
  27. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Then there was all the time and money I wasted with ineffectual instructors and procrastination which yielded next to no practical instruction. If you've got the discipline and access to instructors to do 12 hours of instruction and no ground school and pass the checkride, have at it. I don't believe it's practical at all.
     
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  28. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    Neither do I. While I don’t think it is terribly hard to be prepared enough to pass a checkride at the 40 hour minimum, I do not believe it is realistic to have very many students that are passable with only 15 hours of instruction out of that 40.

    Of the instrument students I’ve worked with, most have required 25-30 hours of real flight instruction to get them to be passable. Which is exactly what it looks like PIC is offering. Perhaps they made the same observation as I have?
     
  29. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    I think that's what @mtuomi actually did.
     
  30. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, he just says he only paid $2500 for his rating.
     
  31. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    My friend @BrianNC knows exactly how I did it.
    Great CFII (thanks @Lance F !). I don't think I have any skills above average, but it took me 12 hours of instruction (plus the 3 for my private) and a few (2-3) ground hours , and that was it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  32. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    ... was sagely responded to by f'ron:

    I agree with Ron completely. There are outliers and exceptions to everything, of course, but what is viewed by one as "top dollar" expenditures may be a bargain to others. To turbocharge the process and "get 'er done," this can make a lot of sense for many folks who have full-time jobs which preclude the ability to focus on ratings or certificates on a full-time basis.

    Here and there I've come across exceptionally talented pilots who picked things up extremely quickly. To a man, they were all young - in their teens. One may have been 20. I've had the good fortune to track a few of them beyond those spurts of growth and in some cases work with them down the line on other ratings or certificates. Most hit plateaus somewhere, somehow, just like everyone else. Doesn't diminish their God-given talent, it just shows they're human.

    Earning a private pilot certificate in the minimum-allotted time by the FAA is possible and maybe even practical in some isolated cases, but it's certifiably rare in my experience. It also means nothing in terms that the next rating or certificate will be so easy.

    However, I've never had an instrument applicant come anywhere near the minimum - even the good ones. Of course my training profiles were pretty fleshed-out and designed to build a very thoroughly well-rounded instrument-rated pilot. IFR is not something you want to do for minimum cost and time investment. It's a stage of a pilot's development which deserves every bit the attention that primary training should receive -- if not more.

    I can safely say there is no instrument rating applicant I would ever recommend for a checkride with only 15 hours of instruction from me, excluding something like an instructor-to-instructor transfer or some other odd scenario not being considered here. Doesn't matter how well they perform - my syllabus won't cover that, not even close, not even with perfection demonstrated by the applicant.
     
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  33. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Time is something you never get back. Getting an IFR rating in 10 days is a heck of a lot easier and less time comsuming than spending month(s) trying to do it at a local flight school. I spent a year getting my PPL, mostly do to financial constraints. After doing that, the idea that I can get my license in 10 days even if their was a considerable premium would be well worth it to me.

    Speaking of money, every flight school I've spoken to quotes about 10k (renting their plane of course) to get the IFR rating, so where I live PIC may be the same cost or actually come out cheaper, and PIC's instructor are professionals who aren't just doing instructing to build time.

    @flyingron I'm glad I saw this thread & that you mentioned PIC, I spoke with them on the phone today and got some questions answered. Honestly, when I decide to fork over the money to get my IFR, I'll probably go for them instead of a local school.
     
  34. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Tim, I have several friends who did and they all had good experiences with it. Even the ones who used Ron Levy.

    Standard free market system, not highway robbery. I personally wouldn't do anything like that for less than $5k myself. Be gone for 10 days (really 12 when you factor travel on either end) and long days at that? Yeah, gotta make it worth my while.

    I did an accelerated instrument program for a former boss of mine. My flavor was different than PIC. It was cheaper, too, but keep in mind that I was at home every night. I gave him a discounted day rate since it was consistent work and we were both happy with the setup. It was cheaper than PIC but not by much. We were together 10 hours a day for 10 days straight, and we basically did his entire 40 hours worth of required hood time in that period. He was happy with the result and it worked out well. We dedicated the time to the job. He did well with it and, 7 years later, he's still happy he did it.

    There are lots of cheaper ways to do it. Go up with a buddy to do safety piloting and don't do that time with the instructor. Get an instructor who's local and willing to go cheaper. The reason why those often don't work well for people is that many instructors are just time building, so their availability might be bad and they're off to another job as soon as they have the hours. My instructor was dedicated to GA, but getting his availability wasn't always easy, in fact it was a real pain. I was doing this when I was dedicated and single with a job that wasn't too bad on time commitments.

    Now take someone who's got more time commitments and can't chase instructors around, doesn't have (or doesn't want to) mess around with finding friends to safety pilot and make your schedule work with theirs. Take 2 weeks off work, just say "I'm out, BBL" sometimes works the best.

    Accelerated isn't for everyone, but when it makes sense, it makes a lot of sense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  35. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    When you own your own airplane, why the heck would you do your IR with a local flight school?
    To me, PIC sounds like it's a very expensive CFI who comes with a packaged syllabus which may or may not work for you.
    I would have HATED the PIC method.
     
  36. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    You approach this from a different perspective. When you own your own airplane, unless you are living in BFE, why would you want to hire a CFII who has to be gone for 10 days, why not find someone local?
    The way I think about it is - why would I want to pay you to travel for 10 days to see me?

    I did my IR as an "accelerated" IR, I just didn't pay nearly as much for my -II as PIC customers do. I found someone local. I had a couple of great candidates to choose from, I chose the one who said he has plenty of spare time so we could fly every day.
     
  37. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    I'm an average pilot, and after 15 hours of dual instrument (3 during my private and 12 for the IR ride), I was more than prepared for my checkride. I enjoyed my instrument training. It was fun. And I do consider myself a very thoroughly well-rounded instrument pilot. My personal minimums are legal minimums and I'm comfortable operating there.
    Your syllabus sounds very conservative. 15 hours is a long time in the air.
    And I'm in my mid 30's. Not a teenager who learns new tricks like that any more.
     
  38. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Keep in mind that's exactly what I did for my boss.

    The issue is there's not always an ample supply of CFIIs around that fit those criteria. There wasn't in my area, that's for sure. You either stuck with who was available locally with their schedules, or you hired PIC or the like.
     
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  39. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    When I was able to carve out 14 days to get the IFR done, I did ask around to find a local instructor who could also carve out 10-14 days.

    While there were several who could commit to 2, 3, or 4 days in a row, none could commit to 10 to 12.

    And for my crazy schedule at the time, doing it all at once and doing it out of town was the most conducive to making it work.
     
  40. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    I'm glad that you are pleased with your outcome. That definitely could not/would not have happened were I a part of that process. 15 hours is a very short period of time in the airplane when it comes to learning how to fly on instruments.