View Full Version : Maintaining IR Currency - Costs

18th Jun 2008, 12:17
Hi - I've tried to search the above but can't due to only having two characters in 'IR'. Basic question is regarding budgeting to keep an IR current during a period of unemployment (especially for newly qualified fATPL). The revalidation is ~500yr, though how much/yr do you think it costs to keep an IR current as I'd guess some actual flight experience is required rather than just turning up for the revalidation exercise every year.

18th Jun 2008, 12:36
You're looking at about 500 for the sim, 2500 a/craft (incl. MEP) in alternate years. You can keep up to date IR-wise in a single rather than twin. Also some schools will do block rates of 10hrs ME of you ask around.

18th Jun 2008, 12:47
Wow - 2500 every other year. Basically it's expensive to remain unemployed!! Is this 2500 what it takes to maintian proficiency in order to be confident of passing the test or just to sit the test itself?

Wee Weasley Welshman
18th Jun 2008, 12:58
In the Sim year budget for 1000. In the Aircraft year budget for 3400.

You may come in under this budget by 30% if you are good. If average and not flying in the meantime then you may go 30% over. You can fail or partial your IR revalidation just as easily as your initial and remember how nervous you were about that...


Canada Goose
18th Jun 2008, 13:00
Last year I renewed my MEP and IR in a twin for about 800. This year revalidated my IR in the sim for 440 !

On both occassiosn ther was no 'practise' sessions so it depends on how confident you feel and whether you feel you need any refreshing !?


18th Jun 2008, 13:05
practice an NDB approach.
Land away using visual ILS.

Keeping an IR current can't go below 1 flight plus examiner fee.

200 for the examiner.
130-200 for the plane.


18th Jun 2008, 13:44

Those figures are obscene. What are you basing those on??

Wee Weasley Welshman
18th Jun 2008, 13:47
Not flying all year then needing to get back up to speed ready for the test. Then having a partial and then passing.

I agree that many do it for less. To be fair though if you've less than 200hrs TT earned in less than 27 weeks of flying and then you do NO flying for 52 weeks you will be crap.


18th Jun 2008, 13:53
Most examiners charge around 100 - 200 for a renewal/revalidation fee. I dont think the average student really needs 10 hours(100 sim/300 aircraft) refresher training. Most people I know have all done it with 1 or 2 training trips. Also, most examiners tend to treat the revalidation with much more leniency and from what i've seen most seem turn the test itself into a 'training' flight.

Wee Weasley Welshman
18th Jun 2008, 14:01
You're saying that the standard for revalidation is less than for initial issue?


You are saying that most people are just as competent after a year flipping burgers as they were the day after finishing a Multi + IR course?


18th Jun 2008, 14:07
Thats certainly what Ive heard and I know a couple of IRE's, I've even sat in the back and observed an IR revalidation on a seneca and it seemed much more relaxed than an initial. Then again I just have a crappy FAA Multi IR and my revalidation on the King Air sim could be passed by my Granny, so I've been told anyway!:}

18th Jun 2008, 14:13

Dont dig a hole here, of course 'legally' the standards are the same. In reallity however, examiners are far more lenient with a revalidation. Its not a 'full' skills test as per initial. A precision approach, a non precision, efato on the go around, and some u/p rcovery is about as much as the average examiner seems to cover. Most(certainly all my local examiners) seem to treat the trip as a further training flight, as typically, most of them like to teach. Get something wrong and theyre far more likely to make you do it again. That certainly wont happen on an initial test. When i did my reval recently, I forgot to feather after the efato on the go around. I was simply made to do it again. On an initial I would have partialled that part of the test.

As for competency, of course people wont be as profficient after 12 months. I have yet to hear of anyone however needing 3 and half grands worth of refresher raining! As you are no doubt fully aware, IR skills can get rusty but you quickly learn to 'ride the bike' again after a couple of trips, it soon comes flooding back.

Wee Weasley Welshman
18th Jun 2008, 14:29
Well, I'm no expert these days as my instructor rating lapsed 5 years ago.

I am astonished that revalidations are being carried out to a lower standard than initials.

In my day 12 months of rust took half a dozen hours to grind off. Perhaps with FNPT2's and modern training techniques it is less time now.

If we add in the paperwork and B&B and petrol costs though I'm sure its still an expensive business to keep that Multi IR current. Or are you telling me its cheap these days?


18th Jun 2008, 14:41

You just dont acept it do you. Theres no paperwork costs, its a one off fee to the examiner, typically 100 - 200. Theres no CAA fee. The only addition is aircraft/sim hire.

If your going to scrape the barrell by trying to add petrol/travelling costs etc then your getting a bit desperate. 20 or 30 quid for fuel and 2 or 3 nights b&b at 25 quid a night hardly adds major costs, does it? A saturday night out on the beer costs more!

I am not saying its cheap, as you suggest. I am merely pointing out that your initial estimates of 3 and a half grand are grossly exaggerated.

18th Jun 2008, 14:55
My IR & MEP renewal in a/craft was - 2 x sim rides (350) + 2 x a/craft trips (1200) + test a/craft (500) + examiner fee (180) = 2230 + petrol costs.

I was fairly current in IFR on singles and I may have got away with one less a/craft trip if it hadn't been for wx delays meaning I didn't fly for 2 weeks in the middle. But those are the costs you're looking at.

Localiser Green
18th Jun 2008, 15:00
In the Aircraft year budget for 3400

Good lord that seems obscene! Revalidated mine last year after 12 months of no flying with 2 practice flights then the test flight. Set me back 1500. Maybe + 50 in diesel if we're being picky.

Never heard of anyone needing 6 hours to get back up to standard. It's amazing how quickly it comes back to you actually.

Whatever anyone says the test is less stressful as well - my examiner took much more of a 'training' approach to the test flight and put me at ease throughout. Certainly not a patch on the stress of the CAA initial.

19th Jun 2008, 07:03
I am a current (non IR) professional helicopter pilot doing 300 hrs a year. I renewed my fixed wing IR last month in Florida, taking 2 days out of my theme park holiday. I hadn't flown an aeroplane for 2 years or a twin aeroplane for 5 years. I did just under 4 hours (2 flights) practise in a Seneca1 then did the test. All in with books and charts 1100. Bargain!!
PS. This was the steepest learning curve I have ever experienced!!
PPS. Everyone is different when it comes to flying, only you know how much you really need to stay current. If you are not going to use the IR until the future, save your money and do a concentrated refresher course just before you need the IR for a job. It stays valid on the licence for around 5 years.

19th Jun 2008, 08:18
Thanks to all for your responses. I thought it must be a significant amount but was just surprised that with all the doom and gloom around re:employment, there seems to be very little reference to recurring costs to stay current. I now know!! Thanks again.

Wee Weasley Welshman
19th Jun 2008, 09:24
As the Head GloomMonger (Doom Industries) I have mentioned many times the risks of training, not finding employment and facing both loan repayments AND expensively expiring ratings.

The typical pattern I have seen time and again is that after the first full annual renewal and still no flying job the enthusiasm for the second year renewal is often not there. A feeling of throwing good money after bad and the needs of wives, girlfriends of just getting on with life means people let their Multi IR lapse. From there on they are unlikely ever to work professionally in aviation.

And of course, getting your rating revalidated on minimal hours is just one half of the equation. You need to be good enough to pass the Sim Ride assessment should you get and pass an interview. 4hrs TT in 2 years will mean you fail it unless you're distantly related to the Yeager family.


19th Jun 2008, 14:10
Aaaaaaaahhhh!! Now I understand why my auntie said "Are you alright Chuck?"