Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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Frequently Asked Questions:

<>Accelerated IFR Training

Full Program Details

Navigation:   General Info Instrument Rating | Instrument Rating Lesson Plans | 7-day IFR Rating IFR Adventure | Instrument Ground School | Safety Pilot | Holding | IFR Risk | Trip Reports | Flight Profiles | Rating Requirements | After the IFR Rating | Checkride Reviewer | Visi-Hold | Are you ready?

Cessna 182T

Why should I choose this program?
  1. This is a quick, efficient, structured training program to get you through this training with minimum pain, maximum quality.
  2. We constantly evalute our competitors to ensure that our program provides the highest quality at the most reasonable cost in the country... compare for yourself.  We're not beat by anyone.
  3. You are PIC for the entire program receiving PIC credit in your logbook for 100% of the flight time.
  4. Safety:  techniques for safe instrument flight are emphasized by your instructor which is also a Designated Aviation Safety Counselor and speaks to groups on these topics frequently.  
  5. Your instructor has been teaching since 1996, is a Master Instructor (NAFI), Advanced Ground Instructor rated (FAA), a Gold Seal Certificated Flight Instructor (FAA), an Aviation Safety Counselor (FAA), and a former airline pilot.  Your instructor is a highly qualified ATP-rated, FAA Gold Seal, NAFI Master instructor with 100% pass rate.  None of the other providers use an instructor of this calibre.  See the bio for more information.
  6. Personal attention is provided as you progress through your training program.  You'll never wonder about your progress.  You will never fall through the cracks.
Is this guaranteed?  No one can predict student performance.  But we do everything possible to ensure students are trained to pass their checkride. Folks show up at all levels of pilot skill and we must ensure that you get to a checkride not only showing proficiency with instrument maneuvers, but also qualified for the certificate you already hold.  That includes good checklist discipline as well as being able to demonstrate proficiency in the "FAA Special Emphasis" areas of collision avoidance, runway incursion, wake turbulence, and crosswind technique.  We will ensure that you meet these requirements before we send you for a checkride.

The biggest single predictor of student success is their own commitment to succeed.  Combine a willingness to succeed with freedom from distraction and you'll accomplish your instrument rating on schedule.

Do you have aircraft available for rental?   No, I am not in the business of aircraft rental nor do I affiliate with FBOs to provide rental aircraft for this program.  Nor do I wish to compete with the beginning flight instructors at the FBO who are often scraping by on $10-15/hour.  This program is designed for aircraft owners and helps them to not only get rated but become comfortable in their aircraft.
What if a weather causes a delay in my training?   In the event weather causes a delay in your training, there are no additional instructional charges.

How does this compare with other programs?   This program is very competitive with other programs.  Compare for yourself:

7-day IFR finish up training (ifrnow.com) & IFR Adventure.com
, $3,000 + your
10-day IFR Instrument Rating Training (ifrnow.com) & IFR Adventure.com, $4,000 + your aircraft
SPIFR, $3,950 + your aircraft
2-Eagle, $4,995 + your aircraft
7-day IFR.COM, $4,500 + your aircraft
SafePilot.COM, $3,950 + your aircraft
IFRSolutions.COM, $4,500 + your aircraft
FlightTrainingCoalition.com, $5,000 + your aircraft
Why is it so much cheaper?  No advertising, no $3,000 ads in magazines, and low overhead.  What's it like to save $1000 - $2000 compared to other programs?  Its enough to pay the fuel/oil, ramp fees, and hotels for your next big trip!

Which program is right for me?

10-Day IFR program

7-Day IFR program

IFR Adventure

  • You want a slower pace program.
  • You are doing the program in a TAA, complex, or multi engine aircraft.
  • You are starting with zero time and need to go from VFR to IFR rated.
  • You already have 10-15 hours of training.
  • You are already proficient under the hood: You can hold heading, altitude, and airspeed during climbing, descending, and straight & level flight. 
  • You already meet the minimum requirements to get the rating.
  • You need to build your confidence in the IFR system.
  • You meet PTS standards and want to brush up prior to your checkride.
10 day program (slower pace) in your aircraft  $4,000 7 day "finish up" program in your aircraft  $3,000 3 day program in your aircraft  $1,000

What discounts are available?
  • Two students trained at the same time are offered a slower pace 12-day program $3,000 each - 70% more training for the same cost.
  • Certain aircraft, because of their complexity, require additional time to become confident in real world IFR conditions.  If your aircraft burns Jet-A, has more than one engine, or is a helicopter, you get an extra day of instructor time.  Free.
  • Helicopter?  See the 7-day helicopter instrument rating training.
What if I need more time to complete my training?
Its easier to schedule students when I know your needs up front.  If you have any doubt, schedule a 10-day training program.  Additional training days are available at a discounted rate.

Where is the training performed?   Either Tampa or Minneapolis depending on time of year. 

Can you come to me?
Absolutely.  Training can be performed in your locale.  Additional expenses will be applied to the cost of your training including  accommodations, meals, and transportation during your training course.  The IFR Adventure is the capstone of your training and would be customized to your region of the country originating from your city.

What materials are provided during my training?

Includes FREE:
  • Unlimited flight and ground instruction, during the alloted training period.
  • Ground Training Materials, four week study plan, prior to flight training: 
    • Instrument Rating Practical Test Standards
    • Book: Getting the Most from Your Flight Training (126 pages)
    • Book: Oral Exam Prep Guide (250pages)
    • Book: Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer (308 pages)
    • Book: Checkride Study Guide - Airports, Airspace & Runway Markings
    • Book: Checkride Study Guide - Instrument Rating Ground School
  • Free LOAN of additional training materials while in training, as needed, including textbooks and a set of training DVDs.  Additional deposit required to ensure return.
  • Any required endorsements are included (high performance or complex) at no additional charge.
FREE LOANER:  This set of training DVDs is an exclusive collection of DVDs to assist the instrument student.

What are the requirements for an Instrument Rating?

  • have a passing score on your  instrument written, 
  • have at least 50 hours PIC cross country, 
  • have at least 40 hours of instrument time
  • meet PTS requirements
  • Curious about the instrument checkride?  See the Instrument Rating Checkride Plan of Action

Do I need to have my written done before attending training?

Yes.  There is much work to be done in your training program that you wont have enough time to worry about a written exam.  Get a hold of an Instrument Rating written exam review guide (Gleim, ASA, etc) and study it so that you can take the written and make the best possible score.  See the pilot store for materials you'll need.  Practice tests are available at www.mywrittenexam.com.

What Should I Bring?

The following are requirements for your checkride:
  • Pilot Certificate, Medical (at least 3rd class)
  • Evidence of citizenship: passport or birth certificate with government issued picture id.
  • Sunglasses & Shorts during the Summer.
  • Headset, foggles, logbook.
  • Written test results
  • Current FAR/AIM
  • E6B
  • Supplied textbooks
  • The balance due for your training program.
  • The set of training DVDs that were loaned to you.
  • Aircraft, must provide logbooks to prove:
    • current annual & IFR status,
    • all ADs have been complied with,
    • pitot static & transponder certification within preceeding 24 calendar months

Are you qualified in my aircraft model?

Yes.  I have skills in most of the common aircraft models out there, including:
  • All glass cockpit implementations, and most stand alone GPS units.
  • All models of Cessna 172, 182, 206, C185.
  • All models of the Piper PA28 and PA24 lines.
  • All models of the Grumman AA5 line.
  • All models of the Piper PA32 line from the Cherokee 6 to the newest models of the Saratoga.
  • Most models of the Piper twin line including Seminole (PA44), Seneca (PA34), Aztec (PA23), Twin Comanche (PA30/39).
  • Most models of the Cessna twin line including 310, 340, and 414.
  • Most models of the Beechcraft twin line including BE76, BE95, BE55, and King Air(C90).
  • All models of Bonanza from the 33 to the 36, including the new G36.
  • All models of Mooney Aircraft.
  • Cirrus SR22
  • Several helicopter training aircraft including Schweizer 300C/300Cbi, Hughes 269, R44, Hiller, and Bell 206.
  • A few experimental aircraft including the RV6 and Velocity.
If you need an insurance checkout, its a great way to complete those requirements and build time towards your rating. You must provide proof of current inspections (Annual, Pitot-Static, Transponder) to begin your training as well as for your checkride.  GPS equipped aircraft should have a current database.

Will I really be finished in 7 or 10 days?

Yes.  If you commit to succeed and give me consecutive days of uninterrupted time, you will complete your rating.  Because you will live, eat, breathe, and sleep IFR, the intensity of the training guarantees you'll retain the material long after you leave training.  To continue building proficiency, I provide these services for my students:
  • an "after care" syllabus to ensure students are building confidence in their abilities,
  • follow up contact about challenges faced and results, and
  • the IFR Adventure to expose the student to new training opportunities such as long range flight planning, weather decision making, and international flight planning.

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All content is Copyright 2002-2010 by Darren Smith. All rights reserved. Subject to change without notice. This website is not a substitute for competent flight instruction. There are no representations or warranties of any kind made pertaining to this service/information and any warranty, express or implied, is excluded and disclaimed including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. Under no circumstances or theories of liability, including without limitation the negligence of any party, contract, warranty or strict liability in tort, shall the website creator/author or any of its affiliated or related organizations be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages as a result of the use of, or the inability to use, any information provided through this service even if advised of the possibility of such damages. For more information about this website, including the privacy policy, see about this website.