Why did you not complete IFR Training?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by iWantWings, Dec 4, 2016.

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  1. iWantWings

    iWantWings Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Year of 2016 is coming to an end and 2017 is the year I will start my IFR training. I'm pretty excited about it - enough to be jumping the gun as I don't yet have a concrete "start-to-finish" plan, other than to start reading lots of book material on IFR before the instructor training.

    I'm (still) a low time pilot and I have never witnessed anyone fly IFR ('xcept youtube).

    So I wanted to ask this: for anyone that started their IFR training but did not complete it, or took a lot longer than initially anticipated, what were some of the reasons/factors?

    Thanks a lot for any info.
     
  2. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It took longer than initially anticipated because the tach failed on the checkride. Prolly not what you were looking for...
     
  3. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It took me longer than usual because I was young and dumb and decided to procrastinate taking my written. I was checkride ready and all I had to do was pass the written. For some reason I thought it was a good idea not to study for it:confused:
     
  4. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    It took me longer than I expected, in part because life intervened and I was only able to train a few times per month. Also, in part, because midway through I bought a plane with a panel that had a pretty steep learning curve, and which my CFII had no familiarity with. I don't regret doing that however, since when I did finally get through the checkride, I was well enough prepared to take the airplane into hard IMC, and to fly an approach to minimums if need be.
     
  5. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I had a complete electrical failure, the plane was down for 3 or 3-1/2 months . . . I flew some in a rental, but flying along in a 172, almost at cruise to run 90 knots approach speed, is just a much different experience,with so much less to do . . . And the practice tests I was taking--my scores ranged from mid-30s to mid-90s depending on how many questions I got on ADF approaches, the crazy "here's what the needles show, where is the plane" questions. I've never flown with a functional ADF, and my plane doesn't have one. Nor do I have an HSI, so those questions were tough, too.

    Knuckle down and study learn about the instruments you don't have. It's a slog, but it's worth it!
     
  6. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    Stupid freaking 40 hour hoodtime requirement. 5 hours in we had done our xc and all the local approaches on a mock checkride. Did 10 hours messing around in the sim for the rest of my required instruction. Then proceeded to waste 2-3 months trying to get a safety pilot to fit my schedule to grind those hours out. Eventually I was just like screw it and paid an instructor for the last 7ish hours. If I had money to burn I'd just do a 7 day crash course.

    If anyone wants a safety pilot I'm not flaky and willing to grind out 8 hours a day if thats what you want.(east TN)
     
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  7. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My airplane went in for annual, while that was happening my instrument instructor got a new job. I was busy with other things shortly after this and didn't get around to finding a new instructor right away.

    Started looking again and found out there are no longer any instrument instructors at our airport and I dont really know where else to go.
     
  8. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    I did finish my IFR ticket. My goal was to get my ticket so that I could occasionally get thru a marine cloud layer common to my area.

    On my very first solo ifr flight I learned the fallacy of my original goal. I learned there is no such thing as being good enough to fly occasional ifr. That perspective almost killed me.

    I wished someone had told me this when I started my training. You are either 100% current and proficient or you are an accident waiting to happen. Staying current and proficient is a serious commitment of time and money AFTER you have gotten your ticket.

    I guess the possible exception to this is if you are working towards other ratings that require the ticket.

    I wish i had taken the $8000 I spent on my rating and didn't the money on flying adventures with my wife. I would have had a ton of memories and a boat load of flying experience.

    Just something to consider...

    On the positive side, i really felt like i was a real pilot after I got my rating. I felt I learned a lot about my aircraft and how to properly manage it. Also learned a lot about weather and how to make intelligent go/no go decisions.

    Still would have rather had all the memories that $8000 would have bought.
     
  9. ZeroPapaGolf

    ZeroPapaGolf Line Up and Wait

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    I DID finish mine, and have used the crap out of it. All of my flying is XC of at least a few hundred miles, so the ability to go in weather is priceless. It also made me a much better pilot overall, especially with regards to situational awareness and being ahead of the aircraft. And it made the insurance company happy.
     
  10. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    :yeahthat: Same here...
     
  11. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Note the trend with the airplane owners who have posted in this thread so far. Most, if not all of them had setbacks in their schedule due to airplane problems...

    I was no different. I started working on the instrument rating in my old Cherokee. Then the attitude indicator went bad, which I had overhauled and the overhaul was no good so I had to send it back again. That took several months to cure. Then about six months after that I decided to buy a different airplane so I sold the Cherokee and was without an airplane for several months while shopping. After I got my new plane home and did a bit of needed work to it I buckled down and got the rating. It went pretty quick once I was done fiddling around with airplanes, but the whole process took me almost the entire 24 months that my written test results were good for to finish it up.

    As Lndwarrior mentioned, instrument skills are perishable. I've seen students who were checkride ready that took a couple of weeks off and the first couple of flights after the break were almost like starting over again. I'd keep a fairly aggressive schedule to get the instrument rating completed, then keep flying and using it.
     
  12. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For me, the reason was: I moved from one end of the country to the other.

    I started working on my IR right after I finished my PPL when I was in RI. But instructor wasn't always available, so it dragged out. Then the Navy moved me to San Diego.

    I started my Chief Engineer tour and didn't touch an airplane for over a year. Once that experience was over I finally got current again and did an accelerated 4- day finish up course. Worked well for me.
     
  13. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    It took me longer to finish than I would have liked. There were a couple of reasons. I had some scheduling issues with my first two CFIIs that made it difficult to get in the air on the schedule I wanted. Note that I am not blaming here. (At least not as to my first CFII. He got an airline job and was mostly doing me a favor training me for cheap until that time anyway.) During the entire process, we also had our son, which took me out of commission for a while and limited my availability thereafter. It also took me longer to learn the control I needed for a stabilized approach. I think this leads back in part to the training methods used by my CFIIs. No attention was given to learning the proper power settings for the phases of flight. After being frustrated with the scheduling, and my lack of progress, I stopped calling my second CFII, went up and figured out the proper power settings, and found a new CFII that finished me up. I had mostly taught myself the power settings so all he had to do was refine my techniques. The moral of the story is that those folks on this site that preach about not flying approaches right away and instead spending a lot of time learning power settings and controlling the plane, and flying pattern A and B are dead-on right. I really encourage you to make sure that you are learning the proper foundation right up front. It will pay off in the long run.
     
  14. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    The checkride itself took longer than expected because a) the ILS was out of service at the home field (DPE was NOT happy about that) and b) winds were 20 gusting to 30. I flubbed the hold but DPE gave me points for endurance.
     
  15. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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  16. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    Because I didn't complete my PPL yet.....:eek::D
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There is one thing I wish I had done different which would have helped me. I had very little time in a plane when I started instrument training. I wish I had ridden along with instrument rated pilots so I could just watch what happens. A lot of learning is visual and watching someone else would have help me tremendously. Which would have shortened the time it took me to get to the checkride. And saved me money.
     
  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I took a ground school back around 1985 and passed my written. I never got around to flying at all.
    Around 1989 or so I went and got the John and Martha King (then on VHS tape) and passed the test again. I started to train with a rather disorganized instructor and we really didn't progress in a timely fashion. I switched instructors and again just got busy at work.
    Finally around 2004 I decided I'd had enough. I had been studying the technical aspects of IFR flight. I had an IFR GPS in my plane. I had read all about IFR flying. I had read IFR magazine for years. I needed to knuckle under and fly. I got Irwin Gleim out and crammed for the written again and passed. I called PIC up and booked an instructor and blocked out a week to do nothing but. Oddly, the instructor kept asking if I was OK with the pace. I asked why, and he said I was the first student he's ever had that he thought he was holding back. Anyhow, we ditched the simulator early on and just flew. I finished in eight days. The check ride was a breeze.

    What ever you do, get an instructor (with a good syllabus) and a plan for getting it done in a timely fashion be it weekly flights in a traditional mode or something like PIC. If you try to schedule it ad hoc, even with a syllabus, I fear you will end up like and many others and let so much time go between lessons that you forget what you already learned.
     
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  19. jeremyk13

    jeremyk13 Pre-Flight

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    I signed up for an accelerated course back in February. Shortly after my ground school came in, the amount of time I was spending at work or travelling for work kicked up a few notches. Several delays later, I had finished the ground school, passed the written, and was all set to drive up to Addison on December 4th. On December 2nd, I found out that the school is no longer a Pt. 141 school. They would have to reschedule to early next year for me to train with them. So, I opted for a refund and have set up a "semi-accelerated" schedule with the flight school I used for my PPL. I'm grinding through another round of online ground school this week in order to be compliant with their 141 certified syllabus and will be starting my training this Saturday.
     
  20. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    I started right after PPL in 2007, and never completed. At the time, my CFII didn't seem prepared for lessons, the rentals were always down, falling apart or had failing parts in flight. I suspended IFR training in order to hunt down the Tiger you see in the avatar. Honestly, I should've flown "for fun" after PPL and not jumped straight in on IFR training. I live in the desert SW, so we get exactly ONE useable actual IMC day per year (the rest are thunderstorms in summer or contain ice in winter IF you can climb high enough to reach IMC). I now have about 700 hours (100 night time). I own my own business, and it's been really demanding after completing PPL. Work permitting, I hope to complete it this year (training requirements are done, just need refresher flights and take the written). Remaining proficient to my standards and not the 6 in 6 is one other reason for delaying. I fly a TON of long XC and have had exactly 3 delays (two California marine layer days that burned off an hour later and once in San Antonio that took 4 hours). Most of the weather that occurs on my flights I want to be VFR under to see where the bad areas are and not in IMC worried about an imbedded cell. All that said, it WILL make you fly better and make better weather decisions ... if you live an area that gets IMC, then you should consider getting the rating.
     
  21. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    $$$$$$ I got my PPL in 1991. Went through IFR ground school, passed the written, but never had the money to fly (got married instead). Here I am 15 years later with access to a plane but it doesn't have any radios. If I could win the lottery, I would get the King videos as a refresher, install $30,000 worth of radios, and have my instrument rating in less than 6 months.
     
  22. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    I was hesitant to get my IR for the very reasons that others have posted. I didn't want to be one of those "occasional" users of their rating that ends up an accident statistic. But after two accidental encounters with IMC, I decided it was time. (Plus, I was tired of my wife telling me I wasn't a "real" pilot.)

    I was originally going to do the accelerated course, but scheduling problems arose when the nearby instructor quit. Glad I didn't go that route, because it would have been tough for me. I tried doing it in two months locally, using two instructors; a newly minted CFII for the actual instruction, and my old CFI for the extra hood work. That worked well, flying three times per week. But eventually, I had to take a a month off to do stuff that pays the bills. Ended up scheduled for a check ride 4 months after I started, but rescheduled a few days before because I just didn't feel "ready". (Good thing, because I barely squeaked by when I took the ride a month later.)

    I almost ended up having to postpone again, due to intermittent problems with the AP, the TC, and then a fuel gauge, but they all turned out to be the result of a faulty ground issue that was easily resolved. When I finally got my ticket (5 months after starting) I had 60 hrs of hood time (20 of it instruction) as well as another 40 hours of me just shooting approaches VFR on my own, a lot of them late at night. I also had at least 10 hours of ground review with my instructors, even though I had gone through both Jeppesen, Kings, and a weekend prep class.

    All in all, I think I spent a little over $10k, but I like to practice a lot. It was worth every penny, because I am convinced that I am a much better pilot now than I was prior.

    If I was doing it again, I would've spent less time using the autopilot as a VFR only pilot, and more time hand flying. When I started IFR, I sucked at holding course, altitude, and speed within tolerances. I also wish I would have taken the time to get to know my 430 better. Would have saved me a lot of time correcting for errors made while trying to figure out the GPS under the hood!
     
  23. tmcquinn

    tmcquinn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The only instructor I really liked quit to care for her mother. Business took off and the kids were growing. It looked like it would never happen. Then there was a time when there was no work for me out there. I found a new instructor and we flew every day. I got a really bad case of bronchitis and was on narcotic cough suppressants for a week. This, for me, was the secret to making it through the King course. I could barely walk so I just watched it all repeatedly until I was acing the practice tests. I scored in the high 90s on the test. Finally I took the check ride and passed. But the whole thing was a marathon for me. I think 3 years elapsed from starting on the rating to actually completing it.
     
  24. JoseCuervo

    JoseCuervo En-Route

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    I took a weekend crash course on the IFR test, passed on the Tuesday with a 90+, almost 30 years ago. Never took a single Instrument lesson in a plane.

    Decided I wasn't going to fly professionally, so my plan of Private-Instrument-Commercial-Airlines got tossed aside, and, then, soon my even being current with a Private became old news, and I went 25 years without flying.

    Now, 5 years ago, I got current, bought a 182 with a Garmin 430W in it, and have been toying with the idea of getting Instrument Rated.

    Getting my motor overhauled right now, and then I can decide what I do next. Half-tempted to start IFR training, and thinking it might make me a better pilot.
     
  25. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    Well, wife #1 walked out on me right around the time I was starting training for the IR. Money became an issue, and I found I really enjoyed the times when I could dink around VFR and enjoy flying. Never got back to the IR training.
     
  26. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Ron's story, and others, all mention the 24-month window on test results. That's part of why I didn't do the Test-First approach, never had to worry about timing. Started flying with the CFII in July; plane broke in late Sept. (Just before XC); fixed in Jan; written in Feb; checkride at end of April. The broken plane slowed me down, but I had no worries about having to take the stinkin' test again!

    Besides, having flown many approaches and done enroute navigation, hold entries, etc., I knew how to do a lot of the things covered in the test (except those annoying questions about old technology that I have never seen or used . . . ).
     
  27. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    I was about half way through when my wife asked where I was going one day and I said to do instrument training and she said what's that for and I said so we can fly in the rain. She said we weren't flying in the rain so I better quit. I kept going but before too long I left the Marines and we moved. I talked to allot of folks at my new aeroclub and it seemed that everyone with an IFR ticket was spending all their flight time doing holds and approaches while I was on my way to Memphis or the beach. I've only been "weathered out" a couple of times and they have been for thunderstorms that I wouldn't go through even if I was IFR. I think if I was up north where the weather lingers I would go back but the fact is hear in Alabama the weather is good enough two out of three days even when the thunderstorms roll through so I'll just wait it out.