When to start IFR training?

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Will Kumley, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Will
    As the title says what say you? I've had my Private certificate since March and enjoy flying, but covid has really reduced the amount of time I planned to fly this year. I was hoping to get the family out more and visit locations/diners further away and get a solid chunk of my xc requirements taken care of before starting any IFR training. However, with all the shut downs in my part of the country I've only done 2 or 3 xc flights since March. I've considered doing an online ground school like Gold Seal but am concerned that I will effectively run out of time before I ever get to the checkride. Is it better to build your xc time prior to or during your IFR training?
     
  2. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Messages:
    1,145
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Deelee
    YMMV, but I did several XCs in about five months after getting my PP. During that time, I did start reading things like the IFH, IPH, did the Sporty's course on IR (high level, in my opinion, but not terrible).

    Then, in January, started flying with a CFII. Covid did throw a wrench in there. So did purchasing our aircraft and learning to fly it. I built XC time while doing the IR training, as well. Most IR training flights, we would fly somewhere > 50nm under the hood, shoot an approach, land (full-stop), then do another approach or two on the way back. Before I new it, I had 50 hours XC PIC. And a ton of hood time.

    Again, YMMV on this, but that's what worked for me and got me to checkride in the least amount of time while gaining as much flying and ground knowledge as possible.
     
  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,149
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    Now is a great time. The number of experienced furloughed pilots that have gone back to instructing is pretty high.
    I've been doing some time in our Alsim and it's the best scenario-based IFR recurrency training I've ever received because of the real world experience the instructor is able to bring.
     
    Deelee likes this.
  4. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pugs
    Yeah, that's the more fun way to get the X/C hours in but it's not a big deal to start to get them done on a Saturday flight. It adds up quickly. I did all mine before I started the training and it was something I didn't have to worry about.

    I did the ground school via Sporty's and took the exam about 1/3 through the training which worked out fine and is another thing on the checklist to not worry about and let me focus on the flight stuff. I did the flying over 4 months trying to get in 2-3 flights a week.
     
    Deelee likes this.
  5. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,938
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rgbeard
    Start doing your instrument about the time that simple weather has you frustrated.

    That way - you WANT it more. :D
     
    GRG55 likes this.
  6. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,566
    Location:
    Atlanta / KRYY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WDD
    I got my ppl in Jan, and have been putzing on the Kings Written Prep course on and off. Time to get serious, take the written in Jan. That way I know I have to do the flying in 2021 before the written expires out in 2 years.
     
  7. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,094
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Hang 4
    Can't answer the which is better question, but I would say to make sure you can hold an altitude and a heading fairly comfortably. XC is an excellent way to practice that.
     
  8. Barry

    Barry Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    knoxflier
    Don’t wait jump in now. The longer you wait the more of the basics you will forget for the written. I got my instrument in sept @ 1.5 yrs after my ppl, and I started in February of this year. Wished I would have started sooner. But since I’m not traveling and working from home due to COVID gave me much more flexibility to work on the ifr written and training. I am a much better and safer pilot for it
     
  9. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    2,465
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ari
    Two ideas:

    1. Don't wait. Just do it!

    2. Make it easier by getting the basic requirements done. Pass the written using a home study course like Sporty's. Get 50 hours of PIC cross-country time in the logbook. Make sure your plane is ready to go: pitot, static, transponder tests, pitot heat working. Know how to do monthly VOR checks and do them. Update your GPS databases and practice loading approaches. Get an EFB subscription and practice finding approach plates. All of this will make it easier to finish the rating and prevent you from spending expensive time with a CFII trying to learn how to run your own instrument panel.
     
  10. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,245
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    somorris
    I built my XC time during the training, in fact did a few long XC flights with my CFII. Worked well for me.
     
  11. belbert

    belbert Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2019
    Messages:
    85
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    belbert
    Now--do it!
     
  12. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Will
    I'd like to day I'm decent at holding altitude and heading but can always improve. Right now I seem to just be struggling with perfecting my flying in the Cessna as its not what I trained in. I'm getting more comfortable with it but I'm still much more comfortable in the Cherokee I did my primary training in. The Cherokee isn't IFR rated so its out of the question. But it looks like the consensus is I should at least have the discussion with the wife to decide if we want to take on the cost of and time commitment IFR training.
     
  13. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    2,000
    Location:
    AG5B BE33 MYF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N1120A
    Honestly, you should start IFR training while getting your private
     
  14. guzziguy

    guzziguy Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2020
    Messages:
    133
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    guzziguy
    Exactly why I began the IR last week. Got my PPL 10 years ago, finally got sick of dealing with cancelling/delaying flights for light IFR days.
     
  15. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    13,133
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eman1200
    this

    and this
     
  16. FLY8MA

    FLY8MA Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FLY8MA
    Hey Will, the time is now! Instrument training will increase your proficiency, expand your operational capabilities, and make you a safer pilot. We offer a full IFR Ground School at FLY8MA.com, have a 100% pass rate, and guarantee you'll pass the written or get your money back. You can give us a call any time at 234-738-2582 about any questions you may have or even as you're working through the course, we're more than happy to help you out with any course content and have CFIs standing by to help! We truly will do anything we can to help you prepare and pass the test. Cheers!
     
  17. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,690
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    the sooner the better.
     
  18. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2019
    Messages:
    285
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AlphaMike
    My advice. Enjoy your private! Fly your friends and family around for a while and get really comfortable with flight following. Do some x country flying and enjoy what you have. Soon you will start getting tired of canceling do to a low ceilings and such. Then you will be ready. It’s a lot of work but it’s also the best/ most fun training you when probably ever do! I actually miss the IFR training! It’s an absolute blast! My favorite part of all this flying stuff was instrument training!
     
    Will Kumley likes this.
  19. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    6,093
    Location:
    A Rubber Room
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cli4ord
    You should build the XC time prior and use ATC for all your flights.
     
    Will Kumley, N1120A and iamtheari like this.
  20. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,344
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    Any time is a good time. And when flying for yourself, do some VFR XC with ATC radar advisories to get used to using the system.
     
  21. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2018
    Messages:
    284
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MacFlier
    Same here. Got my PPL in early 2019, flew for a while and after cancelling 3 times in a row due to weather that I could punch thru I said enough and started on the IR training.
     
  22. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,344
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    I think 3 years after getting my PPL, we had a summer in Central New York where it rained EVERY WEEKEND from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I got 17 hours of flight time that year. It was then I decided if I ever wanted to travel anywhere ever again I would need the IR. Most of those weekends the weather was benign, cutoff lows with widespread light IFR or MVFR conditions not conducive to VFR XC. With the IR, this kind of typical late spring weather is no factor.
     
  23. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,605
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom
    Hey some x country flights in to build towards those hours, confidence and comfort with the plane and different areas. Pick airports that seem. To have something going on and not just a sleepy little uncontrolled field.
     
    Will Kumley likes this.
  24. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    7,117
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ren
    My recommendation is to get at least 30 out of the 50 x/c PIC hours required for the instrument rating before you begin training with an instructor.
     
    Will Kumley likes this.
  25. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Will
    Flight following isn't an issue. Being just outside of Seattle's Bravo, I'm more than happy to ask for FF anytime I fly more than a quick hop. Sometimes they tell me to call back later, but most times they are accommodating.
     
  26. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Will
    Great point on which airports to pick. I do usually go to uncontrolled airports so I'll have to add in some busier airports at some point and get comfortable with the system while on the ground.
     
  27. beretta

    beretta Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    beretta
    Hey, y'all, you just convinced me to go for IFR sooner than later - great job! :cool:

    Living in PNW makes IFR mandatory! :)
     
  28. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Will
    Where in the PNW are you?
     
  29. beretta

    beretta Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    beretta
    KUAO
     
  30. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Will
    Nice, I'm up at KPWT. Closest I've been to you was when I went to Kelso for my long cross country during training.
     
  31. beretta

    beretta Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    beretta
    I have not had a pleasure just yet - hopefully soon will pass by you guys on the way to KFHR!

    Kelso is nice - and if you have a chance fly to Pacific Ocean/KAST from KKLS by the way of Columbia river, that is a spectacular VFR flight if you can get a winter sunny day
     
  32. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Will
    FHR is nice for sure. Super easy walk into town as well from the transient parking as well with a gate nearby.

    I'll take a look at the Pacific Ocean route you have and see how doable it is in a rental. Seems like every day I have a plane reserved for is heavy PNW IFR.
    -Actually, just looked and I think I've routed that out a time or two but its never worked out. Hopefully soon as it looks like a great flight.
     
  33. beretta

    beretta Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    beretta
    Yes, KAST is mostly IFR. But in winter it seems that if the inland is VFR so is KAST. There isn’t much marine layer, rather turbulence often if flown by the coast line.

    It only makes sense to get on with IFR as soon as possible living in PNW otherwise chances to fly are slim :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  34. 1SGBrokePilot

    1SGBrokePilot Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    EnlistedPilot
    I have had my IFR for all of 45 days....I waited 3 years and over 400hrs to start my IFR. I regret it. in those 400 + hrs I did have a great time flying all over the place, but there were several times IFR would have made things much simpler.

    on the other side of this subject, I feel like getting all that VFR time in made me a much more confident pilot. I know my plane inside and out. I know some new PPLs jumping right into IFR are still shaky talking on the radio and holding altitude at the same time. I felt comfortable, which means I was able to take more in during training flights without getting task saturated. I still got there but not near as fast as I would have if I was fresh off my PPL check ride.

    That said, I feel that IFR training sharpened my skills that had dulled during the many hrs of VFR. If I could go back I wouldn't have rushed into IFR training right after getting my PPL but I would have started at least 12-16 months earlier.
     
    Will Kumley likes this.