A Deal Too Good To Be True


I went out with some friends this evening; we are all pilots. Ofcourse we started chatting and the usual hanger talk. One of the guys whom I had only meet a couple times drove me home. He is a part-time CFII only really doing it for a hobby, and on the way home he suggested we share sometime, and we could work on my IFR. This would reduce the cost to $35 an hour.

I am sure all of you guys agree this is an awesome deal, heck I would be spending less per week on my flying and getting my instrument all at the same time.

I would like to get my instrument, however I am not sure the time is quite right now. I know from hanging out with Ed while he worked on his, it sounds like a very tough rating that takes a lot of time, and dedication. I have just started settling into my new role as a working man. I work 55-60 hours a week with early starts, and to be honest when my time of comes, I just want to sit around and relax. I know from getting my PPL, that gaining a license or a new rating is not something you can do half heartly.

Do you guys agree that with my prior commitments that starting work on such a rating is probably not a good idea? This is a very generous offer that he has extended to me, and I do think it is awfully kind, however I just worry that if my heart is not in it 110% it will not be fun, or successful. Considering I have not flown too much recently I might ask he will give me a bit of a refresher, for a couple hours to get back in the groove again, as that would be fabulous, but I am not sure I am ready either in my flying (I am still rusty from my 12 hours in the past 2 years), or at this point this year.

It is a super tough decision, I want to do it, but I do not want to start it if I doubt that I am not going to finish it, as that is just DUMB!
Iain, I don't mean to critique your ambitions but am I right in saying that you're happy with your job in the business world and aren't really looking to get a flying job anytime soon? I'll assume so.

In your position, I would not be in any rush to get the instrument unless you plan on taking frequent cross country trips over the next year or two. I would delay getting IR until you can obtain more flexible hours at work and overall settle into things a bit more.

I've only used my IR about 4 times since I earned it 9 months ago. Granted I've been working on my commercial which is a mostly VFR license, but the point is if you get the IR then let it sit unused for a long period you'll find yourself forgetting a lot of what you learned. I would not start the instrument until you could make a solid commitment to fly at least two or three times per week.

On the other hand, if you're really eager to get back in the air, challenge yourself, and learn a lot of new material, go for it. I had a lot of fun obtaining my instrument rating; I enjoyed it even more than the private. Hope this helps.
You will learn something every time you fly. Tell him to go slow because you want to have fun and not be overloaded. If the price is good, just consider it timebuilding. It's not like you need to finish in record time or anything. It's a hard rating to finish but I don't see any reason you couldn't start out slow and informal.
Iain, I'll start off by saying that is a great deal.

Now from personal experience, driving to LGB and back everytime I want to fly is a rough experience. The traffic is ALWAYS bad, and the round trip takes anywhere from 1:15 to 2 hrs depending on the day and time, though on weekends it'll only be around an hour round trip.

Second is the time commitment. I don't mean the actual time it takes to go there, do the lesson, and come back; I mean the time it takes to plan out the flight before each lesson, and study for the written and the ride. Also, after the license, will the guy fly with you and still pay for half the plane? I will definately help you stay current, anytime you want to fly I'll put in my part as safety pilot; however keeping instrument current will take more than three times around the pattern every week and a half; unless you want to do the rating so you can hone your skills without actually intending to use it. Another issue is XC time; if it's part 61 you need the 50, remember.

I don't say this to discourage you, rather to put perspective on it; you seem to be quite busy with the job and everything. If I were you, I'd use the opportunity to fly with the guy on the cheap to brush up on some VFR skills, then take it from there depending on the feasibility of everything, and taking the above into account. I personally had a hell of a good time with the rating, however I knew before I started that I'd be able to go after it 100%.

Just out of curiosity, why do you want to get the IR? It's definately a fantastic rating for anyone; I've just always known you to really enjoy the local flights. Or are you considering flying for a living?
Do you guys agree that with my prior commitments that starting work on such a rating is probably not a good idea?

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Phrased in that way, you tell us what you've already decided.

I wasted several dollars trying to get a commercial certificate during my off times from a job that was 50-80 hours a week. The instructor's time was wasted, my time was wasted, and my brain didn't function any better after the time off. I was too tired to learn. Struggling through an instrument rating with that job would have been impossible.

I should have just spent the time flying, without any instructor.

Clear VFR day, just head off somewhere to have a burger, leaving all the problems and worries behind. Getting better at closing the compartment in the brain called "work" when the one called "FLY" is opened. Replacing the tense "in the midst of a crisis" forehead with one that comes attached to a smile. And if it was cloudy/foggy, just spend the day fooling around at the airport, maybe try building a model airplane or try my hand at ironing a wingsock.

Good luck Iain!

Jedi Nein
Thanks for your answer guys.

Yes I am enjoying my job, and for the time being my professional aspirations are business related. However saying that I want to keep all my doors open. I have been flying the desk for 90 days now (I just got my first pay rise too!) and I can understand why some people do not enjoy it after a while.

The real problem is when getting any new rating you can not just show up to the airport and learn. The preperation you need to do at home, and the time travelling to LGB (the 405 is hellish at 5) is the thing that I do not think I would be able to find the time for with my work schedule, and I know with the instrument rating, that is imperative to success.

I am one of those pilots who is more then happy to just go on short site seeing trips around, and very infrequently goes to other airports unless I am going for a $100 hamburger with a friend. So there is really no need for an IR, apart from the fact that it would be fun, and it would be good for my flying. I probably could maintain it, however I doubt I would be able to fly as much to where I need to be sharp enough to have be happy making holes in the clouds.

I think the best thing would be just to go up and do some flying with this guy, not aim it towards a rating, but just with the aim of just sharpening my skills for flying VFR.