Instrument training Question...


Well-Known Member
Questions... What's the Duration of a tipical Instrument training flight ????
What is / was the most challenging part of the rating ??

Around what part of the training does the info starts to "click" ??

what the diff between a VOR A& B .. does a VOR A stand for VOR "Approach " ( just wondering ) ??

Was it easy Understanding Approach Charts when u started learning them..

Do CFI's train there IFR students in the Soup when the weather isn't VFR. Or are the training normally done in VFR conditions ??
Hey scorp. I can answer some of your questions:

My instrument training flights generally last from 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

The most challenging part (to me) is translating the book knowledge to actually doing the task in the plane - visualizing things like holding patterns, intercepts and the like.

I'm beginning Stage II in the Jepp Syllabus, and it is JUST NOW beginning to click! I think having a VERY competent instructor helps.

I'm reading on VOR approaches TODAY, so I'll get back to you on the VOR A.

Approach charts aren't all that complicated once you get the gist of what everything means - which doesn't take long. In fact, they really flow as far as what is expected on an approach.

It's beneficial to get some actual (in the soup). Although all of my training to date in the aircraft has been in VFR conditions, we will be going up when it's IFR.

It's my understanding that there is NO comparison between being under the hood and being in actual.

Maybe some of the other folks can better answer that one.

GOOD LUCK!! And welcome to Inst. training.


I did my instrument rating in 3 months last winter, flying nights/weekends. Took just about 45 hours of instruction for the rating, and my DFE said it was one of the best checkrides he'd ever seen.

A VOR "A" approach (or "B" or "C") is a traditional VOR approach into an airport that doesn't have the runway aligned within 30 degrees of the approach path - so you have circling minimums. The "A" designator is just to identify the specific iteration of that approach - if is revised, it would be "B" and so on...

I think that it all started to click when we started doing x/c's to other airports - at our flight school, we start out doing multiple approaches into our home airport, so you're constantly trying to learn to apply all the book knowledge, fly the plane under the hood, set up for the next approach, talk to the controllers, etc. etc. Once you start to slow down the process, it gets easier to do cross-checks and everything. Then you can concentrate on the task at hand, which later lets you perform those multiple approaches much easier.

Just keep talking while you're practicing - I found that's the best way to really learn. Even now, I constantly mutter "Ok, on glideslope, within one-dot deflection, on course, correcting for wind, descending out of 2000 for 1640, VSI at 500, glideslope beneath, increasing descent rate slightly, 90 knots, pre-landing check complete, radios set, within one-dot deflection" etc. etc.

The majority of my training was done under the hood, both because we had good weather last winter, and anytime it got nasty, we had to worry about icing anyways, so we couldn't fly in the soup. I really never noticed *that* much difference between the hood and actual (except for the initial "gosh, there really isn't anything out there" thought), mostly because I am much more comfortable flying IFR than VFR. One thing that is a bit unsettling is the turbulence associated with clouds - it's harder to keep the airplane on course, so you should be very proficient at accurate instrument flight before attempting actual.

After I got my ticket, I took baby steps into increasing my solo time in actual. First, I flew some approaches into my home airport with about 800' ceilings. Then got some x/c straight-and-level in the clouds. Then transitioned to other airport approaches, so I never felt overwhelmed.

Hope that helps...
The "A" designator is just to identify the specific iteration of that approach - if is revised, it would be "B" and so on...

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Actually the letter after the name of the approach identifies which approach it is. The first circling VOR approach to the airport would be A, the second would be B, and so on throughout the alphabet.
Okay - it was explained to me that whenever there is a letter next to the acronym VOR, (as in VOR - A) it signifies that the inbound course is going to be more than 30 degrees from the center line of the runway.... meaning a CIRCLING entry.

An example:

Go to the AOPA web site.
Click on Airport Diagrams/US Terminal Procedures
Under City type Flagler
Under State type Florida

The approach is labled VOR-A or GPS Approach.

(I tried to post the link, but it's a pdf and wouldn't work... or I did it wrong)

CFII's... Sound about right?
Yep, you're right. Anytime you see VOR A/B/C/etc... it means that it will have circling minimums because the approach is more than 30 degrees from the centerline. VOR A means that it is "approach #1" VOR B would mean "approach #2" and so on.
Yep, you're right. Anytime you see VOR A/B/C/etc... it means that it will have circling minimums because the approach is more than 30 degrees from the centerline. VOR A means that it is "approach #1" VOR B would mean "approach #2" and so on.

[/ QUOTE ]
and the reason it is A, B C, is to not confuse it with a runway..

the VOR-A is so much better than VOR-1 (it could be confusing if the airport has a 1/19 runway. That airport may have a VOR 1 app. or a VOR 19 app.
Not necessarily guys. At Deer Valley we have a GPS-A approach that's final approach course lines up perfectly with runway 25 left. So you would think that since it's within 30 degrees you should have straight in minimums and the approach should be labeled GPS 25L. Not the case. Doug probably knows that right off the approach end of 25 left there are a couple large hills (some people refer to them as mountains, HA). In order for the plane to have the necessary obstruction clearance the approach brings you in quite high. The missed approach point is over the approach end of the runway and you are pretty much 1000 feet above the runway. Now, the Far's state that you need to be in a normal position to land in order to land on that runway. I don't know of anybody that can safely land on a runway when they are right over the approach end and 1000 feet high. So, the whole discussion of being within 30 degrees of the final approach isn't always true. Hope this makes sense.
actually that approach has the final course has 281 and the runway is 250, so 31 degrees, over 30 by just 1! and 1000 feet is high but the runway is 8000 ft long so it can be done, that is pretty high though.
Actually, mavmb1, I think you're looking at GPS/NDB 25L which brings you in at 281. GPS-A brings you in at 254 which is the exact runway heading. But, you're 1700' above the threshold at FAF which is a 3nm final. From that point the glideslope is about 5 degrees, so it's a circle-to-land approach.
1700 AGL mins. on an approach? Wow!! That's really damn high! A question though for whoever can answer it. I cannot find where it says anything about what would define a normal approach to land in this case. I mean, there obviously has to be an exact number of something for the feds to say that you cannot make a normal decent to land. I've looked in the AIM/FAR/Oral guide/Jepp book, and all it mentions for -A type approaches is the 30 degree limit. I remember reading somewhere that it was a 3.5, or 3.7 degree glidepath maybe? Does anybody know? I'd like to find out before I start my CFII.
Just to clear things up drummin, the mins are somewhere around 1000 feet at the MAP on the GPS-A into Deer Valley. Panamguy stated that at the FAF you are 1700 feet agl. I'd be really surprised if there is an approach that has you that high at the MAP.
There are several approaches out west in mountainous terrain where the 1-2-3 alternate rule is not sufficient. In other words even if you have 2000' ceilings and 3 miles vis, you are not assured that you will be able to land because the MDA is more than 2000' AGL.