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Best School For Ifr Training


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Mountain View Helicopters out of Springbank Airport (CYBW). All new equipment in the R44, Sandel 3500 HSI, Garmin 430. IFR approved Fly It Sim with Garmin 430, ADF, VOR. Excellent 2 crew training with experienced IFR Pilot/Instructors.





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Hi Bif,

Not sure if you have started your Instrument training....but thought I would pass along some comments for you and other aspiring instrument students.


One suggestion (opinion) I would pass along is to do your homework and "interview" your flight school and flight instructor candidates on their take on IFR training.

Speaking only on experience from our PTS in the US, or as I often refer to the "Not so Practical Test Standards". I feel the FAA PTS has some flaws so I would strongly encourage you to see what your potential flight school will offer in the way of "practical Instrument Survival".


Here is my problem with the FAA PTS...essentially the FAA PTS is (in my opinion of course) is training guys and girls how to fly a light training helicopter in the IFR environment as if they were in an airplane! Yes, any good CFI-I will cover the Helicopter IFR regulation differences but here is my point! Helicopter pilots are not dying because they forget which holding pattern entry to make. NO! They are dying (in many cases) because of inadvertently entering IMC conditions (IIMC)


So, to continue with my point(s) I am all for teaching basic instrument flying, the various approaches and all the neat gee-whiz stuff BUT make sure your instructor is teaching you real world Inadvertent IMC recovery procedures. I realize the PTS requires the proficiency of "unusual attitudes recovery" but does your flight school and your CFI-I have a policy/procedure in place when/if you accidentally fly into clouds during one of your "simulated/hood sessions"?


In the event of an I-IMC is "Attitude, Heading and Torque (or manifold) drilled and practiced routinely? Does your school and instructor have established "emergency escape routes" and know who they will talk to at the appropriate time? If you haven’t already I strongly encourage you to go get some flight time in an airplane in ACTUAL instrument conditions. The "hood" is good (especially hood time at night) but nothing is like the real thing. And experiencing the real thing the first time by "accident" in a helicopter is not good.


At one of my day jobs I am fortunate to work for one of the air medical companies that trains and preaches I-IMC procedures until you are blue in the face.


I'm not implying that you should slack off on your FAA/PTS studies but what I am saying is make sure you prepare yourself for an I-IMC encounter, something in my opinion the FAA PTS doesn't do a good job of preparing us for. I can tell you from experience that the logical process of AVIATE, NAVIGATE and COMMUNICATE has been preached for years and IT WORKS! I’m living proof!

All the best to you and others pursuing that instrument ticket!



Matt Johnson

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