IFR Accelerated Training Options That Don't Break The Bank

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by USAF-LT-G, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey guys -

    So I've had my written done now for quite some time. It was the first thing I did. The "original" game plan I had in mind, was to use my Veteran benefits to go through and pay 100% of my IFR ticket, which requires it be done under Part 141. The one school in the entire state that is a 141 and accepts veteran benefits, has been painstakingly slow, and the pace is just not working out at all for me, and I don't really care for the way they train either. Not to mention, the paperwork process is completely to new to them (apparently I'm the first student ever with VA benefits), and it's been held up because they don't know how to file it properly.

    Needless to say, I'm fed up. I wanted to have my IFR done by August 1st, and it's now November and I've got little to show for it, plus a loss of retention due to the ridiculous "months" of lag in the hurry up and wait game.

    As a result, I've pretty much abandoned the idea of a 141 school / VA benefits and am looking for other options. The biggest challenge I have, is that I still do not have my own plane. I'm mostly flying / renting a DA-40 currently. I will probably buy a twin when ready, and go down the multi-instrument rating when ready.... but right now, it's just not in the cards.

    I won't beat around the bush, I'm looking for a "deal" that's not gonna break the bank. A 7 to 10 day accelerated course that provides me a plane and real-life practical and gets me to the point I'm prepared for the oral and practical. I've got 13.4 Actual IMC logged + 2.1 SIM, + 4.6 Hood. Against aprox. 1000 hrs PIC. I've got bills, bills, bills, that have to be paid.... but I'm fed up and strongly desire to get my IFR done. I've got Hotel / Airline / Travel points up the wazoo to go to wherever I need to go to get this done..... but at the same time, on a dime.

    Looking for options.
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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  3. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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  4. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did PIC and it worked well for me. Call them, at least. They can often arrange airplane rentals along with providing the instructor.

    The other option is to keep hunting around for a 141 school that will do an accellerated program even if you have to travel. The biggest issue is that the 141 syllabus is set in stone and usually isn't geared up for the rapid pace.
     
  5. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    At this point going Part 141 won't help. Schools have an approved syllabus they have to follow so basically you'd have to start with lesson 1 so you're existing time still counts but you'll still need to satisfy the syllabus. You're 20 hours of hood time away and I assume with 1,000hrs PIC you've already got the 50 hour PIC cross country. My advice would be to go the part 61 route with an independent CFII.
     
  6. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    In your case, I'd check out Sheble's in the SW, especially in non-summer months. Wx almost always good, highly experienced CFIIs that understand accelerated training. Tell them you want a discount for time-served.
     
  7. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Did you say where you were? No personal experience, but this guy could probably get you trained for your budget: http://www.obxflight.com/flight_programs
     
  8. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks, yep I e-mailed him. Semms like a lot of good reviews. I'm in Illinois, but can go anywhere. I've got Marriott points / American Airlines points up the wazoo. So i'm sure I could fund the stay for close to Free.99.
     
  9. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    I believe Scott Best (@SbestCFII) posts on here from time to time too.
     
  10. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Perfect - Yea, I'm anxiously awaiting a reply. I've been itching to get this done for some time now.
     
  11. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    I did a 10 IFR course at American Flyers in Addison and used my Post 9/11 bill. it was easy and painless to use. Give them a call, it can be any American flyers.
     
  12. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    Assuming his instrument time up to date is with CFII (he only needs 15), only time he needs is safety pilot closer to 40, and enough instruction to pass the checkride.

    Here's my shoestring solution:
    This obviously is not ideal, but since OP is concerned about the budget - find a local 150 with an owner who wants to fly with you, split costs and fly 20-30 hours with a safety pilot for maybe $30-40/hr per person, buy a home flight sim setup for maybe $200, and fly the snot out of it to get the procedures in your head. Then do maybe 5 hours with a CFII ($1000 inc plane rental) and get your checkride done.
    $2000-2500 all in to finish up.
     
  13. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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  14. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @simtech - So this probably would have been the option of my choice.... but.... I just got off the phone with them, and they want the $12,500 up-front to train because and I quote "...the VA is inconsistent and unreliable in providing payment." I don't have $12,500 right now to come up with in advance for this.
     
  15. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    And providing all the money up front for the training isn’t the best of plans.
     
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  16. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    That's strange, American flyers wanted it all up front? Now I will say I paid as I went with my own money and it being 10 days the money went fast. Then I got reimbursed from the VA. But they were NOT inconsistent and paid me fast. At least 4 years ago they were fast.

    But yes had I not had the money it would have been hard. Guess you can alway credit card it and pay off once the VA pays you. But then you're hinging on you getting your money within the payment period to avoid paying interest. But I wouldnt pay up front for all..no way.
     
  17. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Wowzers 12.5K for an instrument rating is ridiculous
     
  18. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That actually seems about par for the course. Everywhere there is some "structured" program, it ranges from about $12k - $20k. Keep in mind, they're charging for the plane, dual, ground, all that stuff. Wish I had a plane. I really do need to get one.... but I really need to knock this Instrument training out first.

    Ideally, if there was a 7 or 10-day program, that accepted post 9-11 to fund it, and I didn't have to bring wads of money or put training on credit cards to do it... I would be booking it right now. I haven't heard back from OBXFLIGHT yet either.
     
  19. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Wow the Part 61 school I did my PPL at quotes about 8-9K for Instrument Rating. I am doing my IR right now in my Cherokee 140 and with an independent instructor, which saves me quite a bit. Will be about half that cost.
     
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  20. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    One thing I keep in my logbook are expenses. My IR cost $6700. Did my checkride last Feb.
     
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  21. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    ?? $9450 all in including lodging, aircraft and practical test included:
    http://www.blueridgesportflight.com/9 Day Instrument Rating.htm

    no affiliation
     
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  22. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you want to come down to Dallas, TX I can do this. We’d use a local Redbird FMX AATD to bring you up to 20 hours of sim time, then use an IFR-equipped C150 to finish the rating. I also have access to Grumman Cheetahs and a Piper Archer II if you’d prefer to use those.

    I’m based out of Grand Prairie (GPM) which would keep you out of Dallas traffic and has great hotel chains within 10 minutes of the airport.
     
  23. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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  24. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've got some ringers out to folks. American Flyer's are out cause they want $12k up front.

    Waiting on - SbestCFII@Aol.com - OBXFLIGHT
    Also reached out to @Harold Rutila above.

    I may reach out to that downtownaviation here as well and see what they offer.
     
  25. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, way too much. @SbestCFII is a lot cheaper and get it in a week. I'm assuming you have all the prerequisit hours? From his site:

    If you arrive with at least 10 hours of instrument time, and have 40 hours of Cross-country PIC* time in your logbook and have passed your instrument-airplane rating (IRA) written exam, you can earn your rating in about a week, sometimes less, at a reasonable, fixed cost.
     
  26. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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  27. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, Yes, and Yes.... Actually, Under a CFII ferry flight I did earlier in the year (because I needed to do a long haul from Boston back to Chicago and weather was IFR), I logged an over 250 mile X-Ctry under IFR in IMC with 2 approaches (unfortunately not 3, but whatever). Yes Test is done, definately have over the 40 X-Ctry, and 13.7 hours logged actual instrument + SIM time.
     
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  28. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    Here's a link to a PIREP. We posted close to the same time and wanted to be sure you didn't miss it.

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...erated-ifr-with-scott-at-obxflight-com.89421/
     
  29. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Awesome, yea when I read everyone's posts, this seems like the guy to do the training with. Unfortunately.... I've been unable to reach him :) I left a voicemail today, and sent him an e-mail yesterday. I'm hoping I hear back very soon....
     
  30. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah. It may take a few days. I think he's an emergency room doctor.
     
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  31. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Highly respect that :) Anxiously awaiting a phone call :)
     
  32. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    If you do find yourself in the DFW area, there are a few of us know to treat visiting pilots to dinner and even some Fire Ant Funeral Amber beer.
     
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  33. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    ...my IR cost me $2200 all in, including $500 for the DPE.
     
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  34. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I brought my own plane when I used Gatts. It’s was a very good value for me so I recommend them. I don’t know what the charge but they do have planes available and have simulators so they should be able to save you some on the cost.

    You will pass your checkride 7 day’s after you start your training and at least in my case will be very comfortable in actual IMC

    Gary
     
  35. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Checked it out. Use your own plane - It's not "too bad" for costs. Don't have a plane to bring.... Congrats, you're back in the $10k+ range.
     
  36. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Doing what? where? Did you have your own plane? How long?
     
  37. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    Had my own plane. 15 hrs with a CFII is all you need. Rest I flew with a safety pilot and split costs.
     
  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    If I’m reading your original post correctly you have 20.1 hours logged toward the Instrument and need at least 19.9 more, right?

    With most aircraft around here going for about $150/hr you’ve got nearly $3000 in just Aircraft costs alone without instruction, left to go. And another $1000 for the instructor in round numbers not including ground school (I’m assuming $50/hr for an instructor just for round numbers but that can vary wildly. Highly experienced instructors doing accelerated stuff can probably charge that and not bad an eye at it. It’s a bunch of work for the instructor in a very short time frame and sad to say it, but people looking for “deals” can also be the worst possible customers when they need a few more days of flying to knock out some problem or bad habit they fell into right before the checkride...

    That’s all local. If someone has to travel to you, I can see where another $1000 creeps in pretty quick. But you said you’re willing to travel, so that helps.

    Most places that do accelerated stuff all the time also have to plan on the aircraft being completely taken up by one student for the week, and having it ready to do a checkride also, so they have some “down time” between students in case weather, mechanical, or other issues come up and push the checkride back a day or two.

    Did you talk to Harold on his offer in Dallas?

    With the time you have left you MIGHT get it done in $5000. Depends on how much you’ve retained and how much you’ve lost while not flying, and the instructor wouldn’t know where you were at until after they flew with you. They might say “Looks good, you’re where I would expect at 20 hours”, or “we have a lot of work to do in the next seven days”.

    I also saw a sentence in your original post that has me wondering ... you mentioned buying a twin ... I assume you meant a LONG time from now if $10K is making you balk. While $10K isn’t a great deal in the instrument training world, it’s a drop in the bucket in twin ownership and even in rental for the rating. That’s roughly 30 hours of JUST fuel for a light twin, and most folks recommend you fly 100 hours a year to remain barely proficient and safe in one, besides that being the typical break-point on aircraft ownership that most folks toss around.

    Just analyzing a little on what you’ve said so far. Not intending to be offensive or anything.

    I think you’re looking at the low side of price at $5000 to finish what you have left, and might find it with the right instructor and access to a rental. I think you’re WAY low on possible twin ownership if you’re hoping to keep flying that inexpensively overall.

    Just thoughts.
     
  39. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This made me chuckle a little. You have valid points..... if I were 16 and a full-time barista at Starbucks (not that there's anything wrong with full-time baristas at Starbucks). I'm not going to get into details on here, the fact is "at the present" things are a little tight on the ol' finances, but I can't afford to wait any longer on my IFR. I have realistic expectations of "twin ownership," and everything that goes along with it. I fly 100-150 easy now, on long hauls in a single.
     
  40. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    Call up the VA and ask about how long they take to pay. With me it was less than a month. Then go to American flyers and slap it on a cc, borrow from friends, write a hot check. Then VA pays you back and it cost you at most 1200 out of your own pocket. Then pay back cc, friend's, hot check fee.....I am kidding with the hot check thing...Can't get any cheaper than that. Worst case you pay 1 month of interest on CC still cheaper in the end and 10 days from know you have your ticket. Heck if you have half the money pay up as you go with your cash and finish with CC then VA pays you back and all is good. Cheaper interest if it takes longer than a month.