Instrument training tips


New Member
Hey guys I start my instrument training tommorrow, from what i hear its about the hardest rating to get here at the academy, any of you guys got any tips for me? Other than study like crazy, what else helps the learning process?
1. Always visualize where you are
2. Know what the next two things are
3. If you are not doing something you are doing something wrong
You should actually READ the introduction included with Jeppesen approach plates. They include a wealth of information. You should also READ the FAR Part 91 rules for instrument flight, as well as the sections of the AIM that deal with instrument flight (including the Pilot/Controller Glossary). I cannot tell you how much this will increase your understanding of the rules and requirements of flying under IFR. Alot of students are lazy and do not do this. If you read and UNDERSTAND this information you will know more that quite a few CFIIs when you are done with your rating.

I also recommend the Instrument Oral Guide published by ASA. It is a little red book that fits nicely in your flight bag. It is one of the few books I carry around all the time. The Trevor Thom Instrument Manual also by ASA is also a very good book, much better than the Jep text.

When you are not reading the above info, Microsoft. Instrument flying can be practiced at home for free, as much as you want. I have MS2000 and it does fine. My computer will not run 2002 and although it is much cooler, 2000 does everything you need. I recommend the CH products USB yoke with the throttle, prop, and mixture controls at $100. Well worth the money. It is easy to set up so you can put your gear up and down, move the heading bug, CDI, etc. When you practice use the Mooney, 182, etc. Do not fly around in the 747 as this does you no good.

The instrument rating is the hardest rating you will get. It is also the most important. You have to do something really retarded to kill yourself VFR. Only a small mistake can seal your doom when IFR. If you work hard it will be much easier. Alot of students just show up for their lessons and never study. Don't be one of those students.
Anon got it right. I prefer FLY! instead of MS Flight Sim. The comunication is much better in FLY!, plus it's in a 172 rather than a 182, it's better for speeds and throttle. When you do fly the computer, go through all of your checklists as if you are in a real flight, the whole M-I-C-E---A-T-M thing, before landing checklist, everything.

Good luck!, I just talked to my old instrument instructor on the phone last night. He's now an FO on the 70 seat RJ for Comair. Hang in there!
I know you will hear a lot of people telling you to study, study, and study, but something I think may be as helpful, if not more so, is to backseat as many flights as you can. I am currently in the multi program and would guesstimate that backseating has saved me more than a couple hours of flying that I would have had to pay for (in the Seminole that could be $1000's). See if you can "partner" up with another student your instructor has at about the same point you are and backseat each other's flights. The reason I would suggest your own instructor is because you know your schedules won't conflict. However, I will say that flying with other instructors is a good idea too, that way you might pick up on something your instructor may not have taught you. You will be able to more clearly visualize exactly what it is you are doing while "under the hood" as well as see someone else make mistakes that you can learn from. As an instrument pilot, I feel the big difference from a Private pilot is procedures. Yes, you are still learning to control the aircraft with more finese which I think can only be learned from behind the controls yourself, but the quicker you learn the procedures and can see what the aircraft is doing while someone else is under the hood, the better pilot I think you will be, and the quicker you will get through the program and move into Commercial. Good Luck!
chairfly, chairfly, chairfly

quick, before it gets too hot out there, sit in one of those cockpits on the ramp and go over procedures. have another student that is approx where you are in training act as atc and have them vector you around and stuff. it isn't the real thing, but it helps a ton and will save you many $$$$

good luck!
READ THE AIM. Very important for instrument training, along with the approach plates, study them, and study them, and study them.
Thanks for the tips guys, sounds like most of them are for the flying portion of the training, how tough is the FAA written? Looks like there is only a couple of chapters in the gleim of stuff that ive never seen before. How hard did you guys find it?
I don't know if this has been mentioned before but read the Standards Manual (spelling?) for the C172. I don't know if you are a Comair student or not but if you are than that is that blue, hard plastic cover binder. It was red for the 152. Page to the section called "normal maneuvers" and read the appropriate sub-section that applies to your next flight.

For example I’ve never known from ground school that I would have to call out altitudes while flying an approach. I also did not know what was the appropriate way of giving the instrument check while taxiing, or how you have to perform a "stack check". Comair expects you to do it in a certain way so why not memorize it for the first time and save some $$.

Btw good luck with IFR. And remember, the moment you will think: “I will never ever going to be able to do all this at once.”… at that moment you’ll probably only be some 3-4 lessons away from being able to do it just fine.
The FAA written, in my opinion, was not tough. However, I say that having gone through Comair's Part 141 ground school. Those 4 weeks should more than prepare you for the Gleim errr FAA written test. The LRC is also a great resource; you can go in there and take practice tests on the computers as well as talk to the tutors re: anything you may have trouble grasping. My advice, go through the Gleim as many times as possible. Not only will you see this information on your instrument FAA written, but the CFII written is the same information from the same Gleim. The better you learn the material now, the better off you will be come that time. Again, good luck and most importantly HAVE FUN!!