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-   -   IFR Rating Experiences?! (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/552168-ifr-rating-experiences.html)

alex79 1st Dec 2014 10:12

IFR Rating Experiences?!

I'm about to start my IFR rating, working on the theory at the moment and was thinking ...

So I know that it takes roughly 40h of dual instruction (my goal is Private and SE), half of it in the sim. But what I would like to from from you, how many flights/sim sessions did you do. Is it better to fly shorter but more often or do fewer flights but 3h long? Or whatever you feel like?

If anyone did the the rating part time, is it realistic to do 2 flights a weekend (ie. one on SAT, one of SUN) ?

Thanks for your comments!

skkm 1st Dec 2014 10:38

Your time estimate sounds about right *I did 40.1 hours' IFR training before my MECIR flight test (not counting ME endorsement training), split about 60:40 aeroplane:synthetic trainer, in 23 sorties of which 8 were in the aeroplane.

50 50 1st Dec 2014 14:01

The length of sorties will depend on which aids you require, and your distance from them. I.E if the nearest VOR is 120nm away then the flight will be a long one.

I suggest you look at the type of aircraft you will be flying after your rating, which instruments it is equipped with, and the approaches available at some of your intended destinations. Remember, private IFR you can nominate which aids you want to be endorsed on.

RNAV/GNSS approaches are everywhere (almost) but unless you are flying into some serious aerodromes, or military, then ILS is probably a waste of your money.

I did the MECIR part time, and as long as funds are available 2 flights in a weekend is certainly do-able.

Ultralights 1st Dec 2014 21:50

find an instructor that will take you in actual IMC conditions..

Howard Hughes 3rd Dec 2014 07:54

find an instructor that will take you in actual IMC conditions..
I second that, best advice ever! :ok:

Bankstown Boy 3rd Dec 2014 10:12

Yeah, but then you just end up complaining about all the blue sky!

I've always HATED the 'hood' ... So what happens every renewal?

100% cavok and deep blue skies!

You can't win!

Homesick-Angel 4th Dec 2014 01:00

And if your in Vic, you can do navs with lots of short legs aid to aid / approach to approach etc and then mix it up with a longer leg NAV if you want. The short legs are good to keep you under pressure.

When you start, Getting your process in order can be the biggest challenge and staying in front of the aircraft. Also your head can go a bit mushy after a couple of hours under the hood particularly at this time of the year with thermals and heat etc. 2.5 hours a pop may well do you until you build a bit more experience.

Do heaps of extra sim if you can get into one cheap.

Use the little IFR nav trainers as well available for desktop or tablet etc.

Definitely get into real IMC if you can find it..

Have fun.. flying IFR is the ducks nuts..

Atlas Shrugged 4th Dec 2014 01:19

find an instructor that will take you in actual IMC conditions..

I second that, best advice ever!
PPrune needs a "Like"button! :ok:

Capt Fathom 4th Dec 2014 01:23

actual IMC conditions
Plenty of Big Cu's around at this time of year...:uhoh:

Bankstown Boy 4th Dec 2014 02:48

I am waaaay too much of a wuss to want find IMC in the inside of a rully big Cu.

I want IMC, not unusual attitude training:)

Howard Hughes 4th Dec 2014 09:52

Plenty of Big Cu's around at this time of year...
Ya don't learn weather avoidance in VMC! And let's face it, that's what it's all about! :ok:

Nose_Wheel 4th Dec 2014 10:56

Three quarters through mine at the moment and have done a couple of longer navs. One from Melbourne to Adelaide! Did plenty of approaches on the way there and back. Had to divert due to storms over Adelaide all in all a really good learning exercise. Going to do a few shorter exercises in the next week and maybe a long nav up north to finish it off before a pre test.

I would suggest finding an instructor that will take you into imc and make you hand fly it for the most part. AP is good on long sectors. But if you get the chance to get into IMC make sure you hand fly it!

Not sure how sophisticated your aircraft is but also be very familiar with all the wizardry (glass) prior. would be good for you to be shown the steam version and glass version of instrument flying. Quite different!

Humbly Reserved 4th Dec 2014 13:58

Advice during IFR training
*use the sim as much as possible (for as cheap as possible) the approaches should be your bread and butter before stepping into an aircraft

*Prep for each flight as much as possible (these will be the most expensive flights you will probably do)

*In the real world unless the sh*t really hits the fan, you'll be doing only ILS and RNAV approaches

*In my view too much focus is applied to the approach end of IFR training. I've encountered too many people who can't detail a departure from a ctaf in IMC/ radio calls for the flight or various cruise procedures (diversions, bad weather, traffic) I suggest you have management plans or even schematics to help make things easier

Remember finally, because you are allowed to fly through CU cloud doesnt necessarily make it a smart idea...


alex79 11th Jan 2015 06:18

Thanks for the comments and I think you are all right saying "get into real IMC conditions". Watched a few things on youtube and its looks much different to my good weather flights ;)

I had a better look at CAAP 5.13-1 - Private IFR, and it only give any required or suggested hours for the FPAs.

Anybody who did the Instrument Departure FPA or the GPS/NPA approach with Visual Circling FPA? Sure it will vary between students, but what would be a good number of hours for the FPAs ?

@Nose_Wheel - I plan to do most of my training on a Archer with 2x G430W and an S-TEC 50 AP.

Many Thanks!

Unusual-Attitude 11th Jan 2015 09:01

Go see Bob Harris in IFL...preferably this time of year. :E

Ramjet555 11th Jan 2015 09:03

A long time ago, I did an Australian ME IFR and did that very long initial flight test etc.

After several renewals, I moved to Canada where I had to do a fresh ride and a type rating.

Then I experienced real IFR not just that fluffy white stuff but real unexpected icing.

I could tell stories till the cows came home but for anyone getting an IFR, I think it is very important to realize that In Aus, you are not really likely to be seeing or experiencing any serious IFR weather.

There is ONE unique Place, Halifax Nova Scotia, where you are dam near guaranteed to have the best IFR weather ever.

IF you check out the cost, its even cheaper to do it in Canada or north east USA than to do it in Australia. Just return, do the IREX and a ride with lots of stories to tell when you get back, stories you will never ever get in Aus.

Now, once I used to fly night freight. On one very dark and dirty night, we looked at the forecast and decided to go. It was a very careful decision. We chose our altitudes wisely.

In the space of about 40 minutes, we were called up twice to call and listen to 121.5 when their transponder went out.

On each occassion, a Cessna Caravan had suddenly disappeared from Radar, and the last one that disappeared somewhere underneath us.

We called and of course there was no answer. Both were fatal. The last one splashed down in a large lake invisible to us.

We had two janitol heaters, one broke down, and not long after, the other broke down, in -40C, and while we were dressed very well, it was still a bit chilly in the cockpit.

You learn all sorts of tricks, like putting a bunch of pepper on your feet covering it in a thin cloth or tissue paper, sock, plastic sock etc, that creates a chemical reaction that keeps your toes toasty in your snow boots.

As we approached Halifax, our alternate went down as did any other possible alternative within reasonable fuel.

We were "cold soaked" and knew we would pick up a hell of load of ice as we descended into warm-er air just packed with moisture, while we were well and truly cold-soaked.

We went for the ILS, and kept upping the approach speed as we saw the windshield turn into a massive ice block.

That's when the electric heater on the windshield failed.

One long final, we left the flaps up, and the tower was accustomed to our call out of numbers to adjust the intensity so that it did not blind us but helped confirm the localizer.

We knew it was down so we planned a blind landing on the ILS.
That cloud was down to around 50ft, with heavy snow, and with a windshield full of ice.

The landing was first class, needles centered all the way.

We came to a grinding halt as if we were doing a Carrier landing in an F16.

We had to sit there for about two hours for a snow plow to make its way to us, and then clear the taxi-way back to the hanger.

It's the Inter-provincial airlines hanger, incredibly famous, and friendly.

We did the usual Freight Pilot stunt, as our huge block of ice was towed into the hanger to melt, we hit the sleeping bags in the loft.

It took several hours or more for that ice to melt.

We both learned from that experience and changed our own rules of how we would decide on the weather in the future.


Cynical Pilot 11th Jan 2015 09:06

Alex if you're doing a SECIR or whatever the approved acronym is under Part 61 then it's just a matter of ticking the boxes on a PIFR application. Circling will be a part of your command rating, you can't pass the flight test without having done at least one (and asymmetric if doing multi)

Capt Fathom 11th Jan 2015 09:49


If you are doing an Instrument Rating in Australia, and plan on flying in Australia, does it really matter that the conditions are much worse in Canada?

I did my initial IF Rating in QLD. It was most eye opening when I ventured to NSW & VIC. Guess what! I learnt quickly an survived!

As professionals we learn and adapt!

AdamFrisch 11th Jan 2015 13:29

I did haphazard training, spread out for many years. Never could get it to work - by the time I got back in the air I had forgotten all essential stuff. In the end I did one of those 10-day intensive courses they have here in the states (PIC). Although mine was 11-days because I did it on a twin. It was flat out. 4-5hours of flying each day, cramming, theory, sim. I breathed, ate and slept IFR for 11 days straight. And I can tell you I would not be an IR pilot today if I hadn't done that. I have terrible memory, so cramming and making it all fit together in one go was the best solution for me. If you can retain info easily and have the ability to digest, then slower training might work for you. It's all individual.

Ramjet555 11th Jan 2015 18:04

Capt Fathom,
It does not appear you read my post.

For those starting out, and considering Where one can do an IFR,
Where you do your training does matter and Australia simply does not have the same differences in air masses or the same extreme range of temperatures that result in some places like Halifax N.S.

Just as you had an "eye opener" when you went south of the Gold Coast, your eyes would open a little wider after another learning experience in Canada.

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