Feedback/Tips on "quick" Instrument rating finish up courses

I'm a private pilot with around 330 hours and a lot of cross country. I've got about 25 hours towards the instrument rating and have passed the knowledge test. I used Kings School for ground school. I own a business and have had a lot of starts and stops with instrument. I am at another stop at the moment. I was thinking to use PIC or someone like them to finish it up. Just take the week off work and knock it out. I understand the concepts, but need to get better at the scan and coordinating both needles on the approach. I have a 182 with two nav/coms and a DME. I have a Garmin aera 660 for information only but otherwise no GPS or autopilot. Has anyone else here used a company like that and what are your impressions of it?


  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    The instrument rating is probably the most difficult and most personally rewarding thing I've ever done. Stay with it, it's worth the effort. And when you get done, we will all applaud your accomplishment.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Not a lot of comments here. I'm going to practice with safety pilots as much as I can for a bit.

  • Good morning. Your context appears complex—Your 330 hours have barely taken you through a transitional state in flying where your judgement and instincts are being fashioned. You may have had a little stress, uncertainty, even an emergency. These events help shape our consciousness and thought process about flying. Without that experience, you have no idea what anxiety can come from “things gone awry.”

    Your avionics sound dated and complex as well. By doing the requirements, you will be granted license by the FAA to do some of the most challenging flying imaginable for GA airplanes—single pilot IFR. The potential for disorientation and loss of control are legion. Trying to tune and identify two VORs, read approach plates, and fly the airplane can be profoundly difficult.

    In my mind, I would slow down and take a good six months or more of study and practice before getting the IFR certificate. During that time, define your personal minimums that relate to your experience level, airplane equipment, home weather climate, IMC conditions, and so on. It’s a lot to consider. All too often, the accidents described in IFR Magazine occur with ATP rated pilots who have lost a sense of their personal limitations.

    This is a good time for “Slow Thinking,”not hurrying to complete a rating.

    The best to you—-Art

  • Hey WBArthur,

    I'm in the exact same boat as you. Although it hasn't worked for me (for various reasons) I recommend setting aside 2 hours a night to study for the written test on the Sheppard Air app. Pass the written, then schedule your DPE. Then fly every other day or so for 2-3 weeks with a CFII who will push you on each lesson. I've spoken with many folks about how to achieve my IFR rating. This plan is the overwhelming consensus. If I followed my own advice, I'd be an instrument rated pilot. I say we should race each other. You in?

  • My history was identical to yours. I’d start then stop then start again never truly absorbing anything. Changed planes a few times and moved to CO from Oklahoma and finally finished the IFR cert. however besides staying current and flying blue sky IFR plans over the divide I never used it.

    There were several times in Texas we waited out weather for the morning layer to pick up. Frustrating to say the least. We then stepped up to 421C for 4 years and I used my instrument ticket all the time and it is a blast.

    it’s hard to do as business owners as I was in same boat. You simply have to set aside time and fly often. It truly is the most rewarding but also the most dangerous if not done correctly. I lost good friend little over a year ago in Steamboat when he went missed too early and turned right into a mountain. Low time spine surgeon in a turboprop who had to get home to see kids band concert.

    Even though my plane was well equipped and more than capable i still would not take off at night or fly night time in mountains. Rarely would it shoot an approach less than 1000’ Agl in the mountains. The darkest night I’ve ever flown was when I picked up that same surgeon with a seasoned instructor in right seat. Clint was late to airport in Rock springs and we took off after dark. No moon or lights for miles and miles. Thank god for instruments cause when I retracted the gear I was in a black hole with no idea where the ground and horizon met.

    Instrument flying will make you a much better pilot, I like to say your will be a great marginal VFR flyer with it.

    The last time I flew the 421 was from T82 (my wife and I’s favorite place) and flew to Waco. IMC most of way and shot the RNAV approach easily without any difficulty.

    For me flying approaches and in IMC os the most rewarding flying. But it definitely takes practice and staying up on your skills.

    pics from last flight

    Just a carbureted guy in fuel injected world!

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