IFR Week Training Courses

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by steviedeviant, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. steviedeviant

    steviedeviant Pre-takeoff checklist

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    StevieD
    I am curious as to the opinion, which I sure will be mixed, regarding these 7 day , 10 day, IFR training classes. I have about 10 hours (instrument) with a CFII. When I got my PPL, I took months to get it primarily because of scheduling. IFR, especially in the winter, has been difficult, so I am a little frustrated. Had I been smart about this, I would have done some simulator time in a Red Bird and at least gotten maybe 10 hours out of the way. I know I need 15 hours with an CFII and then I could just get some safety pilots in there with me as well, but even then that could take a while. For the sake of argument, money isn't the issue. I am tired of not being able to not fly just because of some clouds.

    GATTS, and I know there are many, is one that I have been reading about in KS. I could take a week and just get this knocked out and I think it could help with memory due to the ongoing daily training.

    Has anyone done these? What are your thoughts?
    This isn't a career choice for me - I just want my instrument rating done and I don't want to take months to do it. Looking at other local alternatives as well - but was interested in feedback on this approach.

    Thanks,
    SD
     
  2. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If money isn't an issue and you don't want weather to be an issue I'd pick a bigger school in FL, AZ or CA this time of year.
     
  3. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I did the 10 day course at American Flyers in Addison, TX. I had my written done before I went and the only instrument time I had was from my private training.

    It was the roughest 10 days of my life, but I graduated so it's not impossible. They feed you with a fire hose and by day 3 I was wondering what I was doing there. By day 5 it really started to click and while still overwhelming I felt confident. We had lots of actual IMC as well which was nice.

    The typical day was long! 4 hours of sim and academics in the morning, break for lunch, 4 hours of flying and debrief. Then about 3 hours of homework and study at night. Rinse and repeat for 10 days. It was tough but doable and I was done in 10 days.

    Once I came back to my local area I did a few flights with a local CFI both VMC and IMC which really made it all sink in and confirm my training. Overall it was challenging and leaving my state and focusing totally on that was the ticket for me. Otherwise I'd still be working on it and that was back in 2013.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 12:21 AM
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  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I am not a fan of GATTS. They oversell what it is they are able to do for you. And my personal experience with their commercial pilot course was very poor. I don't recommend them.

    If you really want to go to Kansas, reach out to @ja_user and see what he could do for you. Having met and talked with him, I can see the passion in his eyes and voice to do a top level job and create competent pilots.

    However, I did do IFR training with PIC and found their methods to be useful. Primary advice there is to not go for the minimum time mentioned in the advertising. Budget and plan for 12 to 13 days so that if you need a break, or weather gets bad, or you need an extra day to repeat a lesson, you have the aircraft and instructor reserved for it. It's simpler to finish early than to try to scramble to add on.

    the PIC program is a good one, but be prepared for a very active drinking from a firehose training day. Between ground review, sim work, and flying, it's a busy 8 to 10 hour day with some homework at night. If you survive (and you will) you will come out the other end with a good education in IFR principles and solid set of IFR skills.

    The DPE availability may be a challenge at the end of a compressed course. In my area, it's not unheard of that the DPE's are scheduling up to 4 and six weeks out. Programs like PIC like to advertise that after training with their instructor, you do the checkride in the next day or two. That's great if that can happen, but be prepared if it can't.


    There are a few good instructors on PoA that are not affiliated with the well advertised compressed programs, but offer one of their own creation. So if they post to this thread, or you get a recommendation to one, do reach out to them and see how they might help you.
     
  5. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I just finished mine, the only thing that stopped us from flying was too high surface winds (over 20 knots with gusts over 30) ice, or ceilings below 600 feet. If you have an instructor who won't fly in clouds with you, get another instructor. Can't help with the accelerated courses.
     
  6. Gregory Anderson

    Gregory Anderson Filing Flight Plan

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    I used CRAFT out of Charleston, SC. It was a 6 day program. I flew over on a saturday and then the course started on Sunday. The course was

    Sunday - fly their redbird simulator doing holds and VOR tracking and VOR approaches.

    Monday jump in simulator and do holds again and more VOR approaches. Take a break. Go fly and do tracking, holds and vor approaches. We rhen went back to simulator and did approaches.

    Tuesday we went out and flew GPS approaches for a couple hours. Took a break. Flew approaches again. I was doing well so we hit the simulator for ILS approaches. We then flew at night doing ILS approaches.

    Wednesday we did a cross country. We went from Charleston to st Simon's to Augusta to Charleston.

    Thursday we took off because my instructor had an accessed tooth. So unjust studies.

    Friday we just went our and practiced.

    Saturday I took my check ride and passed

    I am an early riser. So each say I was up at 4 am studying for the oral and would be at the CRAFT facility around 9. The end of the day was typically around 7. I would grab dinner. Study for about an hour and go to bed.

    The cost was around $5500. The oral was easy. The check ride was easy. It was a stressful week. I only had 30 hours of recent experience. I had quit flying for 15 years. I only have 360 hours. I used my own plane, mooney m20f.

    Doug Ross owns CRAFT and is good to work with. My instructor was Barry Emerson. I was more than prepared at the end of the week.

    I also ended up with 4.5 hours of actual time during the week.
     
  7. Mitch817

    Mitch817 Filing Flight Plan

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    I looked long and hard at using PIC or GATTS to do/finish up my IFR. In the end it was much cheaper for me to find an independent CFII and contract in our plane booking several days in a row. Push came to shove and some days were canceled by super low ceilings, but we made more days than not and had the flying portion out of the way in short order(written was completed earlier). Then came the wait for a DPE in my area that took more than 2 months and several DPEs to get out the door with the rating.

    I suggest going to your local flight schools and lay it on the line. You want/need to finish and are willing to take a week off work or whatever to get it done, how much time can they book for you on the line/instructor. You might be surprised at their willingness to get you finished up once they know you are known quantity and ready to roll over the finish line. It'll end up being cheaper that GATTS or PIC I'd suspect, given the amount of time you already have if it's relatively recent.
     
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