How long to get IFR?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by WDD, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    I searched but didn’t find anything in last few years - question is how long to get IFR rating?

    My CFI said at flying 2 - 3 times a week it would be about 6 months.

    Seems reasonable to a little high.

    Thoughts?

    BTW. - what is most of the training ? Holding a course, making times turns, flying to way points at certain altitudes?
     
  2. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm interested in the replies on this thread. One day I plan to get my IFR ticket, but currently all my big aviation plans are on hold until the Navy determines where I will be headed next.
     
  3. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    if you're flying 2-3 times a week I can't imagine it taking more than 2 months. 6 months at 2-3 times a week is insane. unless u just aint got any skillz, then maybe.
     
  4. Dave Arata

    Dave Arata Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It took me about 6 months, but that was flying one every week, often once every two weeks. And sometimes, the weather got in the way of a lesson...ironic, I know.
     
  5. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    Maybe my CFI was thinking of scheduling 2-3 times a week, knowing with weather and what not I'd actually get out 1 or maybe 2, and 6 was the long end of the estimate. And getting a DPE AND good weather around here was next to impossible for my PPL. So a DPE for instrument could alone take a month or 2.

    As well, I am 60 years old. So although still able to make women swoon and give them the vapors as I glance in their general direction, it does take me more effort to learn new things.
     
  6. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Instruments took me a while. Between weather and schedule conflicts and airplane maintenance I think it took about 6 months. Turned right around and started working on commercial after the instrument ride and took that checkride 1 month later.
     
  7. Dave Arata

    Dave Arata Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I feel the same way at 44! About the learning, not the swooing and vaporing. :D
     
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  8. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Let's see, I'm going on 10 years, deverpilot took over 20 years....
     
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  9. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    37.2 hours.
    (I already had 3 hours from the private)
    OK, add maybe 1-2 more hours since I had to do the T/O and landing and the hood was off for maybe 0.1-0.2 on each flight.
    I started mine in September (1 flight), flight school went belly up, winter hit, I resumed in Mid March and took the check ride the first week in May.
     
  10. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ok, so actually flying 2-3 x's per week and "realistic expectations of going thru IR training" are two totally different things. yeah, I'd expect about 6 months if u factor in wx and all the typical bs GA delays we have to deal with.
     
  11. jrcox19

    jrcox19 Pre-Flight

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    I started on 5/16/2020, passed my checkride 7/12/2020. So that's just under 2 months for me
     
  12. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    I'm not from Atlanta, so I'm using a Rosetta Stone translator "Yankee to Southern", and it popped out "swoon" and "vapors".
     
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  13. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Took me four months last winter flying 2-3 days a week on average with a couple cancellations a month for weather (ironically but weather here means ice). Took me right at 45 hours of simulated/actual time. Also was working full time or I'd likely have done some am/pm types of flights.

    I did have an advantage as a Naval Flight Officer with 2400 hours in EA-6Bs we had instrument ratings from the Navy to qualify for dual piloted mins so I have a lot of time for SA and procedures purposes and doing all the comms. It's been a dozen years since I retired before I got back flying and this time in the left seat but all that stuff came back very quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  14. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Started in November. Some winter weather cancellations (Indiana) and 2 months of COVID no-fly. 1 month maintence/annual (now). Have 25 hours logged so far. Dayum...8 months. I work and my instructor doesn’t teach on weekends.
     
  15. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    If you have modern-ish equipment, count on about 40-ish hours of simulated/actual IMC. Depending on where and how you train, figure about 0.5 hours of every flight is not sim/actual IMC. If you're going out 2.5x per week and doing logging 1.5 hours flight time and 1.0 hours sim/actual IMC each time, then that's 16-20 weeks or about 4-5 months or so plus the weeks you can't fly for whatever reason plus the time it takes to get on the DPE's calendar and schedule the checkride.
     
  16. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    like getting the private certificate, getting the instrument rating isn't a race. It takes as long as it takes.
     
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  17. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    And it takes whatever you and your CFI are able to put into it. Can be an 10 day accelerated program if you dedicate 17 hours a day straight or take 6-8 months if you only fly once a week.
     
  18. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    Seems way too long. I did it in a month and 4 days. I was flying regularly but I’m certainly no superstar. If you’re doing 2-3 times a week I’d say 2 months.

    PS. GA late fall. Lots of good flying Wx
     
  19. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    I did it in 10 days working full time. 8 to 10 hours a day in total.
     
  20. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    It was 9 days from my first instrument lesson till my checkride
     
  21. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I got my instrument rating back when there was a 200 hr TT requirement... it took a while to get the XC and TT hours required for the rating.
     
  22. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    I think that seems a bit high. I would say, 6 months if you fly once a week. The required minimum dual instruction is very small (only 15 hours from a CFII).
     
  23. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I did it in 3 months. I did most of it in the sim which was very helpful for me.
     
  24. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Superstar, yes (YouTube).
     
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  25. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    About 5 months, around a busy work schedule (and that of my instructor, who also worked at my institution) and some VFR vacation trips, including a trip to Baltimore to see the Orioles in old Memorial Stadium. Started in March, finished the practical in August. Used the rating to make a long business trip a week later. There are no bonus points for finishing quickly. Take it at your pace. My training got to see three seasons of IFR weather with some good actual which was nice. I highly recommend doing as much actual as practical during training.
     
  26. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    FWIW, IFR training is learning basic power+attitude airplane control, then it's a lot of procedures and some holds, learning to work the ATC system. Throw in some partial panel work for good measure...you'll need it some day, especially if you have vacuum instruments. I did a ton of round-robin cross-country trips, where we did an approach at every airport along the way. The more obscure or strange the approach the better. If you do it right, you will be way over prepared for the checkride when your 40 hours are done.
     
  27. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    bout the same if not a little harder than the private. It's all in how aggressive you work it. It can be done in a few weeks to a month or a year or two.
     
  28. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I didn’t think I’d stick it out through a local FBO, and only flying a couple of times a week, so I used one week’s vacation from work and took the training from Gatts in Kansas.

    I trained in my plane, started one Monday, and took and passed the check ride the following Monday. It was one of the most relaxing vacations I have ever taken and I have been very comfortable flying IMC since then.

    When you walk into their training center you see a sign saying ‘this isn’t boot camp, it’s supposed to be fun’. I thought they did a good job of sticking to that philosophy.

    gary
     
  29. N444MD

    N444MD Filing Flight Plan

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    Man's mind and spirit grow with the space in which they are allowed to operate. — Krafft A. Ehricke
    Just an opinion but if you want to learn the material and have a good time doing it no pressure then you could get the King course (or similar) in which you study for the written and they endorse you to take the test. With the test done you can use the local FBO or a 10 day course like IFR Refresher. If you want to really prep for IFR then get a copy of X-Plane and buy ForeFlight (you will anyway) and tether them together. You'll learn to plan, file, check weather, load your performance profile, fuel, weights, load plates, shoot approaches, etc all from your desk. There are a ton of little details in the IFR world that can bite. Best start sorting them now.
     
  30. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    1) I'm working through King's right now for the written
    2) Can't do a 10 day crash course
    3) I have ForeFlight
    4) Not sure what X Plane is - I'll have to dig into that
     
  31. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I thought the hardest part of training was the never- ending changes while trying to learn the basic skills.

    No matter what you plan and file, everything changes the minute you leave the ground. This is real world but I found it very frustrating.

    Just once I wanted to fly a straight course for 20 minutes. Just get to relax and get a feel for things. Never happened.

    I'm not sure if this was the right way to learn or not. It was only after I got my ticket I realized it wasn't the right way for me.

    My two cents is don't be afraid to tell your cfi what YOU need or want. Don't just roll along with his program thinking he/she knows best.

    I should have spoken up at the time and perhaps I'd still be using my ticket today.
     
  32. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    X-Plane is a flight sim you can purchase and install on your computer. I believe MS flightsim is about to send out an updated sim. If you don't already have a sim that you are using, it may be worth looking into the MS product to see when the latest and greatest product is coming out. I have X-plane on my computer and it does well but I don't use it as much as I could, although I'm not in the IFR training yet so for now its a fun "game" to me that allows me to practice checklist use and some navigation touchups.
     
  33. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    How long will it take you to get the 50xc and 40 sim instrument. I did 10 hours in a BATD and 5 with an instructor. IFR is 90% mental so if your sharp on the ground, have the ability to maintain SA while in the air and can maintain headings/altitude theres really not a reason to drag it out.

    probably 2 weeks of training with a CFI then building time was the long part. Probably took me 2 months start to finish.
     
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  34. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I used PIC, and passed my checkride 9 days after starting instruction. (Did a lot of reading and passed the written before that.)
     
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  35. YooperMooney

    YooperMooney Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Redbird FMX full motion Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) count toward your IFR minimums (I think up to 20 if not at a aviation school). There is an aviation museum in Sheboygan WI that charges $25/hr. You can shoot a ton of approaches in one hour of sim versus real life. Redbird’s web site has a locating tool to find a FMX near you.
    I “started” my training last fall and had to abandon ship due to winter wx where I’m at. The written wasn’t hard; I did the Sporty’s Flight Crew Platinum monthly membership $40 that gives you access to almost all of their training resources. If you studied hard you could do your ground training in less than a month and score high on the exam — all for $40 plus the PSI testing fee.
     
  36. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait

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    My first lesson was 5/20, so about 2 months ago. I had previously passed the written, done some air work working on tracking vor & ils, power settings, and timed turns. I had about 40hrs xc time. I have 37 hours instrument time as of today, with a mock checkride with a different instructor scheduled tomorrow. My instructor thinks I'm ready for the actual checkride; just need to knock out those last couple hours.

    I probably averaged 2.5 lessons per week. I did about 6 hours on xplane at home, but I don't find it super useful as I bought the 'ch products' yoke and spend most of my time fighting that pos. Also the lack of atc makes it less useful as that's one of the biggest parts of ifr flying. I was pretty comfortable on the radios, and have done a few long trips into fairly busy airspace using flight following, so that helped, although it was still challenging.

    As I mentioned on another thread, most flights are 1-1.5 instrument time, and by the end you're wiped out. My plane doesn't have autopilot, and the gps sucks, so I'm sure it would be easier with better equipment. I did all of my hours with a cfii, and I don't think going with a safety pilot would've been helpful. It genuinely took 30+ hours to get to where I can fly everything within acs standards. Things that seem simple on paper.... like a localizer back course.... suddenly become very difficult under the pressure of flying the airplane.

    I haven't flown a loggable simulator, so I can't comment on how useful that would be. The only i know of one within reasonable distance to me costs nearly as much as the actual airplane.

    ETA: To answer your second question, most of the training is flying the actual approaches. I would guess 25+ hours. Again it seems easy on paper, but each one is different and shifting winds will make these simplest approach a challenge. The enroute portion is easy. Holding can also be a challenge on windy days. My instructor says people often struggle with partial panel and unusual attitudes, but they came pretty easily for me.

    Doing the math, use 1.25 hrs/ lesson x number of lessons/ week. My long xc took 4 hours, and we did one shorter xc that was 2.5, but as I mentioned I had most of my xc time already. I think getting the approaches to acs level really takes at least 20 hours, so total time will depend on how easily you pick up the other stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020 at 8:04 AM
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  37. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    Mine took about 45 hours to complete but I had my instructor pass away in the middle of training so I had extra time to get my new CFI up to speed. If you can fly twice/week, that would be 23 weeks. If you fly 3 times/week, that would be 15 weeks. On the calendar, it took me right at 1 year but that included 7 months of looking for a new CFI. Long story short, 6 months sounds about right to me. It will never be as fast as you want.
     
  38. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I got mine in 8 days, and the 8th was only the checkride. I did the PIC class. Oddly about day five, the instructor asked how I felt about the pace. I told him it was fine, why? He said I was the first student that he ever had that he thought he was holding back.
     
  39. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    No, it's learning to juggle 5 balls with two hands. Most of the tasks that you do are simple, and do not take too long to learn individually. It's just learning what you need to do next, and learning to do a lot of things at the same time.

    For what it's worth, here is a link to a prior post I made that outlines what the IFR training is about: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/ifr-training-overview.76676/#post-1608843
     
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  40. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Line Up and Wait

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    I did mine in about a year, flying twice a week. But I did Part 61 right after finishing my private so I spent a couple of months just flying around to different airports to get my xc time built up.