IFR Instrument Rating Training in Rockland, ME
Depending on your flight training goals, instrument rating training may be required, but it is a good idea regardless of your goals. There are many places to learn to fly on instruments, so what should you look for when trying to find a school? There are three basic questions that should guide you to a good choice.
What kind of aircraft are available and, after I get my instrument rating, can I rent airplanes for actual IFR flights? Most flight schools offer at least one aircraft that is certified for IFR flight. Some even have several. The question is, do they offer the kind of aircraft you need?
Are you looking for training in a new glass panel or round gauges or both? Your personal preference and goals should be considered before choosing a school. A final consideration, assuming you don't own your own aircraft, is whether the school will rent you an aircraft after you get your rating for flight into actual IMC. This is important because you will want to maintain currency and there is no substitute for actual IMC.
Will We Fly in Actual IFR During Training?
Building off of that last point, ask if you will fly actual IMC during training. There's nothing wrong with simulated instrument flight, as a matter of convenience, but it is important that you experience at least some real instrument flights. It may seem strange, but for whatever reason, some schools don't allow for training flights in actual instrument weather, which can negatively affect your training.
Will we do any night IFR flight training? Absolutely! Another thing to ask is whether you will do any flights at night. Night flying is a required element of the private pilot test standards, but it is not required for an instrument rating. This is unfortunate because as you may know, it is quite different from flying during the day.
You never know when you might need to fly on instruments at night and having the added security of a flight instructor while you learn is much preferable to learning it on your own when you get caught out after dark.
Finding the answer to these three questions should provide you with all the information you need to find a great instrument rating training program that will serve you well. A good program that offers the right aircraft, provides for currency by allowing you to fly into real IMC and offers night instrument training will provide you with a very solid foundation of instrument flying skills.
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Getting an Instrument Flight Rules Rating - IFR Flying is Precise
There are two sets of rules for flying any aircraft: VFR and IFR. VFR stands for Visual Flight Rules and IFR means Instrument Flight Rules. Depending on the weather conditions a pilot may opt for one set of rules or the other.
Not long after you get your private pilot certificate, you will likely start thinking about getting an instrument rating. If you're seeking a commercial pilot career it's just the next step, but even if you're not, it should be the next step. The precision, reliability, and safety of instrument flight are a huge boon to pilots of any kind.
Ask almost any instrument-rated pilot and they'll tell you that their instrument rating was one of the most difficult things they've done. Ask them if they regret it and you're unlikely to hear anyone say, "Yes." There are a lot of things to learn, but the one that is perhaps most difficult, but most useful is the precision learning to fly instruments will impart on your flying. Getting an instrument rating will ensure that you can not only hit a specific altitude or descent rate but that you can hold it.
IFR Flying is More Reliable & IFR Flying Can Be Safer
As a result of all your hard work during your instrument rating flight training, you will be able to fly in many more kinds of weather than a regular private pilot. This may not mean much right up until it clouds upon your cross country trip and the weather isn't expected to improve for days. As a non-instrument rated pilot, you're at the mercy of the weather. As an instrument-rated pilot, chances are you can file an instrument flight plan and continue safely on your way. Providing this kind of reliability is where an instrument rating really pays off.
While the typical VFR flight isn't very risky, instrument flights are even less risky thanks to the extra sets of eyes helping you navigate through the airspace. While flight following is commonly recommended for VFR flights, air traffic control isn't obligated to provide the service. On an instrument flight, however, there are always controllers following your flight and ensuring you reach your destination safely. Should something happen, such as another aircraft popping up out of nowhere or your engine stops, the controller knows where you are and will act accordingly.
If you're seeking more precision, higher reliability, and increased safety when flying, getting an instrument rating is a great idea. If you're seeking a career in aviation, it was probably already on your to-do list, but even if you aren't it should be.
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