Plan: Start the IR in a couple weeks...advice sought

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Been working the phones for a few days, calling various places to get a feel for costs/instruction, etc to start doing my instrument. I have been blessed thus far in my flying to have excellent instructors and I want to continue that trend.

Although there are a number of options in AUS for training, I just simply got the best feeling from talking to Stenger Air down in Lockhart. It's somewhat of a drive, but between their reputation and the talk I had with them on the phone, my impression is that they want to create aviators, not just pilots. They have come very highly recommended by a number of people. The fact that they don't advertise - it's all word-of-mouth - helps. I don't want to just pass the checkride - I want to become the best IR aviator I can be.

Now that I've made that decision and worked out the budget, I should be able to do my IR in about 4-6 months based on what I can spend for flight time and instruction.

The advice part...what things can I do to prepare myself for the IR? I know that I need to read the IFH cover to cover, I know that a good set of DVDs might be helpful. But what I really want to know is how to prepare myself as a student. I've been told that instrument flying is, at its core, procedures. I want to train efficiently and not only stretch my dollars but be the absolute best IR student I can be.

What haven't I thought of that will make me a better IR student?

Thanks, in advance, for your advice.
 

skidz

Well-Known Member
read the threads of people who went through it before...here's mine in my signature :)
 

unclenobby

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you are already on the right track. From someone who did it over the weekends - part 61, took about 7 months straight out of the private. Get ahead and stay ahead of the ground course (it was quite bulky) and get the written out of the way in good time so you can concentrate on the ride. It can get tiring flying around with the foggles on all the time, but getting the IR makes you a more competent, more confident, and a more aware pilot, even on CAVU days.
Oh, and you're going to become a lot more obsessed with Weather!! Good luck and enjoy the course.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
My blog (which goes up until the point my plane crashed) may have some good advice. I plan to update when I pick it back up next month.
 

PGT

Well-Known Member
tseal just got his IFR ticket not too long ago and he posted this:


I start in a couple weeks and have been reviewing these things. Although I do have a semester long class on Instrument flight class that but I figure this should put me ahead.

Important FARs for IFR flight.
§ 91.167 Fuel requirements for flight in IFR conditions
§91.169 IFR flight plan information required
§91.171 VOR equipment check for IFR operations
§91.173 ATC Clearance and flight plan required
§91.175 Takeoff and landing under IFR
§91.177 Minimum altitudes for IFR operations
§91.179 IFR cruising altitude of flight level
§91.181 Course to be flown
§91.183 IFR radio communication
§91.187 Operations under IFR in controlled airspace: Malfunction reports
§91.205 Equipment requirements
§91.211 Supplemental oxygen

Important AIMs for IFR flight.

1-1-3 VORs
1-1-4 VOR receiver check
1-1-7 DME
1-1-8 NAVAID service Volumes
1-1-9 ILS
1-1-10 Simplified Direction Facility (SDF)
1-1-19 GPS
2-1-1 Approach Light Systems (ALS)
2-1-2 Visual Glideslope indicators
2-1-3 Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL)
2-1-4 Runway Edge Light Systems
2-1-5 In-Runway Lighting
2-1-9 Taxiway Lights
2-3-3 Runway Markings
4-4-7 IFR Clearance VFR-On-Top
4-4-4 Amended Clearances
4-4-9 Adherence to Clearance
5-1-12 Change in Proposed Departure Time
5-2-5 Departure Restrictions, Clearance Void Times, Hold for Release, and Release Times
5-2-7 DP, ODP and SIDs
5-3-All En Route Procedures
5-4-7 Instrument Approach Procedures
5-4-20 Approach and Landing Minimums
5-4-21 Missed Approach
 

FrankieFlyCRQ

Well-Known Member
tseal just got his IFR ticket not too long ago and he posted this:


I start in a couple weeks and have been reviewing these things. Although I do have a semester long class on Instrument flight class that but I figure this should put me ahead.

Important FARs for IFR flight.
§ 91.167 Fuel requirements for flight in IFR conditions
§91.169 IFR flight plan information required
§91.171 VOR equipment check for IFR operations
§91.173 ATC Clearance and flight plan required
§91.175 Takeoff and landing under IFR
§91.177 Minimum altitudes for IFR operations
§91.179 IFR cruising altitude of flight level
§91.181 Course to be flown
§91.183 IFR radio communication
§91.187 Operations under IFR in controlled airspace: Malfunction reports
§91.205 Equipment requirements
§91.211 Supplemental oxygen

Important AIMs for IFR flight.

1-1-3 VORs
1-1-4 VOR receiver check
1-1-7 DME
1-1-8 NAVAID service Volumes
1-1-9 ILS
1-1-10 Simplified Direction Facility (SDF)
1-1-19 GPS
2-1-1 Approach Light Systems (ALS)
2-1-2 Visual Glideslope indicators
2-1-3 Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL)
2-1-4 Runway Edge Light Systems
2-1-5 In-Runway Lighting
2-1-9 Taxiway Lights
2-3-3 Runway Markings
4-4-7 IFR Clearance VFR-On-Top
4-4-4 Amended Clearances
4-4-9 Adherence to Clearance
5-1-12 Change in Proposed Departure Time
5-2-5 Departure Restrictions, Clearance Void Times, Hold for Release, and Release Times
5-2-7 DP, ODP and SIDs
5-3-All En Route Procedures
5-4-7 Instrument Approach Procedures
5-4-20 Approach and Landing Minimums
5-4-21 Missed Approach
Sweeeeeeet:) thanks for posting that dude! Does anyone else have any regs/study tips to add?
I'm doing instrument checkride prep myself and want to be 100% sure that I am ready for this checkride, NO SECOND GUESSING MYSELF. No matter how long it takes, I WILL be ready baby!
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
PGT - That's good stuff. Thanks.

I guess what I'm really looking for here is the...well...mental process that goes into IFR. I did some extra hood time during my PPL training, and I did pretty well, with that, I thought. The DPE told me I did it very well, too.

There have been dozens of books written on IFR flying...maybe what I'm wondering is how different it really is from VFR. "See-and-avoid" is the watchword in VFR, y'know? What's the main thing in IFR? Why do many folks struggle with it? What's the hardest part of it? What are the common mistakes, etc?

Planning on re-building my home PC so that it's got the horsepower for running FSX/X-plane for practice, too.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
The hardest thing for me to learn -- and I'm half assing my way through the instrument rating and might get it at this point around 2010 -- is to not trust what my body is telling me.

It takes a lot of mental discipline to say, I don't care what my body is telling me, the instruments tell me this and so I'm going to do that.
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
Everything I have to say on the matter is from the stone age. Advised in advance. I'm as capable of shooting a GPS approach as I am of sprouting wings and flying it myself. That said, all of those nerdy flight sim aids that were useless or harmful during your PPL can be of some use during the IR. I don't know what's challenging about flying a GPS to mins (if anything is), but if you're flying steam, the real hangup I've seen is being able to visualize where you are and what's going on vs. what should be going on. The first part of that is knowing what should be going on. When I'm, say, descending to the FAF on a full procedure, how high do I need to be? What's my descent rate. If I cross the VOR at, say 3000 and I need to be at, say, 2100 on my procedure turn inbound and I'm flying at, say, 120, and I want to stay inside the 10nm ring, how fast do I need to get down? How long do I fly outbound? Did I remember to start my time? There's a lot of time to do stuff in instrument procedures, but you can't really afford to forget anything. You know all of those pictures in the instrument/atp test prep guide with pictures of HSIs that say "where am I?" It turns out they're one of the few useful/no-BS things in the written test. You need to be able to read the gauges and see a picture of where you are in 3-D.

It's difficult to give you "global" advice. You just have to sort of get an idea of how the system functions and what the logic is behind it. It's pretty easy to do a "monkey-see, monkey-do" vectored ILS, and a lot of guys will tell you that being able to hold the needles like they're glued is the "true mark" of an instrument pilot. I disagree. IFR is all procedural. It occurs in three dimensions and you can't see anything. Try to figure out WHY you're crossing such and such a fix at such and such an altitude. Why is such and such the FAF? How far am I from the threshold? Is my DME coming off a navaid on the field, or is it on the approach where I need to think about adding or subtracting numbers? Do I need to change my inbound course at, say, a VOR? If you're flying non-precision, am I flying the right airspeed for the time I've selected? Fly a couple of approaches in VMC at +10 knots from your chosen time then look out the window at where you are when the time is up. Scary. Look at a lot of charts and ask your instructor lots of questions. Are you doing NOS or Jepps?

The upshot is try to look at the big picture. Just like any "real pilot" in VMC, an IMC pilot is trying to get all of the information and make a real picture out of it, not just memorizing numbers and approach speeds and crossing his fingers that things don't go wrong.

Also:

ICE-ATM

I - Identify - use the nav feature on your comms. Check that the navaid you've selected has the same morse code as the one you THINK you've selected.
C - Course - Set your inbound course on the HSI/OBI...this can change, as mentioned above. Remember that.
E - Entry - Vectored or Full Procedure?

A - Altitude - What altitude should I be at where? Not just minimums or stepdowns, although those are most important, but if you're at 14k 10 miles out, can you get down in time to have something approaching a reasonable, uh, approach?
T - Time - Know the time for the approach, if applicable, and have it programmed or in mind so that you can set it when you pass the FAF
M - Missed Approach Procedure - Don't have to know the whole thing, just know enough to give yourself time to look up the rest. For example: "Climb to 3000, left turn 030 to join..." That's enough. Don't overload yourself. While you're climbing to 3000 and turning left to 030, you can look at the rest of it again.

Proviso: That's what I do and it works well for me. I'm sure most 121s (for example) have much more codified and strict rules about instrument procedures.

PS. All "freightdog" bravado aside, when you start doing this, do it slowly. Get configured as early as your instructor/examiner will allow. It's one less thing to do later. You don't get points for getting there first until you're in an airplane older than you are full of car parts. ;)
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
If you are able fly at as often as possible and minimize the days off as much as possible.

As you become more proficient see if your instructor will take you into actual. Believe me it is a different game than the foggles or the hood.

When transition from outside to inside (going into clouds) do it early. Waiting to the last second can mess you up.

Get creative with your shothand and taking down clearances. If you can listen to a clearance delivery freq and practice writing down clearances.

Configure early on the approach. The last think you want to do is be rushing at the marker. Rember speed kills, especially if you do any training in a FTD. Also if ATC asks for a speed you are not comfortable giving them it is OK to say UNABLE. Don't let ATC put you behind the 8 ball.

If you are in TAA the A/P can be your friend. But learn how to fly without it first as the DE may break it on checkride day

Lastly, study and stay ahead of the game. You should come to your briefing session before the flight with questions. Near the end of the IR training I had my students talk me through each approach as if they were the teacher. It seemed to help them alot and I never had a student fail and IR ride.

Good luck and have fun. The IR rating is a great accomplishment to receive and will make your flying a lot more enjoyable and less stressful on marginal days.
 

PGT

Well-Known Member
Get creative with your shothand and taking down clearances. If you can listen to a clearance delivery freq and practice writing down clearances.
Is it weird that my favorite part of flying out of a controlled airport is getting the clearance? I enjoy it for reason :)
 

juxtapilot

Snowflake
Flying is the easy part. Study everything. Look at your local approach charts and memorize as much as you can. Practice doing an approach briefing over and over again. That's just stuff that's helped me so.... Have fun.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Thanks all, I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how it's going when everything starts up.
 

taildragger173

Well-Known Member
Study weather and weather theory a lot. Make yourself an expert when it comes to the enviornment that you're working in. Be able to read and understand all of the weather reports, forecasts, products and so on. This is a weak area for a lot of people when it comes to the instrument rating.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
Study weather and weather theory a lot. Make yourself an expert when it comes to the enviornment that you're working in. Be able to read and understand all of the weather reports, forecasts, products and so on. This is a weak area for a lot of people when it comes to the instrument rating.
Knowledge is great but nothing can replace experience. Fly in the soup as often as possible and take extra gas every chance you get. I can't count the number of times I have ran into unforecast weather and had to hold or divert. :panic:
 

EMcx3

New Member
First find an excellent instructor....someone who has experience training instrument students.

When working on an Instrument rating it is very helpful to use a school that has a decent flight training device. A FTD is a much more efficient and less expensive place to study many aspects of instrument flying. Flying the box isn't much fun but if you can find a quality FTD it can really help.

BTW- 121 pilots don't use ICE-ATM or any other sill acronym. We start at the top and just read.
 
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