Since many pilots start instrument training almost immediately after completing their private pilot certificate, I wondered if our Facebook friends had any tips for those about to take the plunge. Turns out, you do—probably based on personal experience. As with almost any aviation topic, there were some divergent views. Here’s a sampling:
- “Learn paper! Get the iPad out of the cockpit until you can master paper plates!”—Patrick Smith, seconded by Jim Chambers.
- On the other hand, “Use what you’re going to use in reality. This isn’t primary training anymore so if you’re going to use an iPad for charts use it in training. That way you won’t be fumbling your first time out alone with your orginazatiom of electronic charts. Learn your GPS, it will save your butt in training and in real life.”—Miranda Noble Rydstrom
- Get experience flying in actual instrument conditions—Anne Scheer Wright, seconded by Steven Bristow, Bill Green, Sam Grice, and Brian Harman.
- “As an instrument instructor for Army flight school, I would encourage instrument students to focus on their basic instrument (BI) skills for getting too focused on the advanced (AI) procedures such as departures, approaches, etc. If your BI is bad, your AI will be even worse.”—Wylie Mathis Sr., seconded by Mackey Simbajon, Luca Simioni, and Cm Thrasher.
- Use a simulator to help you practice approaches.—Daryl Sweeney, seconded by Brad Rodriguez, Jim Chambers, Chad Baker, and Alejo Echevarria.
Some had very specific suggestions for choosing the right CFII.
- “Find an instructor who has experience outside of instructing. Someone who has worked as a Part 135 pilot and has flown a great deal in the ATC system.”—Collin Hughes
- “A few things: 1. Make sure you are working with a syllabus that your instructor initials after completing tasks satisfactorily. 2. Interview the instructor to make sure he’s a good fit. 3. Ask the instructor if he is working as a CFI in order to build time to head off to a corporate or airline job. If he is, ask if he is currently interviewing and where he is in the process. 4. Is he willing to use a simulator to accomplish part of your training. 5. How can he integrate the use of a home simulator, like FSX into your training.”—Kevin Jarchow
There were many more suggestions, and you can read them all on our Facebook page. In the meantime, I’ll close with this very smart advice from Damian M. Campayo, because it happens to tie in brilliantly with an article in the upcoming issue.—Jill W. Tallman
- “Keep money in reserve. You’ll need it to keep your currency!”