Now that all of the major commercial time building requirements were complete it was time for the 2 week long Instrument ground school. Our instructor Mr. Alexander was a very informative teacher and explained topics from a unique point of view. The focus of classes were thinking like an instrument pilot, how to use resources whilst in the cockpit during high task loads and always thinking 2-3 steps ahead of the airplane. The topics also help in preparing you for the instrument knowledge test and when combined with home study and practice tests passing the instrument knowledge test becomes a breeze. Once ground school classes were complete and I received a certificate of completion I took the instrument knowledge test and passed with no problem. Now instrument flight training can begin!
Instrument ground school
I was assigned a new instructor Alejandro, a very laid back and skilled instructor who is easy to work with. Instrument flight training starts with simulator flying using the Redbird FMX full-motion simulators. The Redbird simulators are very sensitive which makes you very attentive to control inputs. I found that this actually helps when going to the actual aircraft because you become very aware of small control inputs. Instrument training at the start is more challenging than private pilot training because it requires a different mindset. Task saturation happens quicker and you must learn to think ahead of the airplane all while focusing on the instruments for maintaining control, performing maneuvers and communicating with ATC. Always remember though, aviate, navigate and communicate! DME arcs were the most challenging procedure for me but after a few flights I actually enjoyed doing them. Also, learning to perform instrument approaches in the busy south Florida airspace really helps you to become great at radio communications and prepping for approaches quickly but effectively. It is a challenge at first but a good instructor will always guide you through everything and will also challenge you. The challenges help to increase response time of your mind while flying with so many tasks to do.
I was able to progress through Stage 1, 2 and 3 in exactly 8 weeks. By the time you complete stage 3 and begin preparing for the end of course and checkride you start to really understand why the instrument rating is so important. This rating truly makes you more confident and prepared for more situations while becoming more aware of your own minimums or limitations. End of course is like a mock oral and flight checkride to see if you are ready for checkride and to pick up on any things that need refinement. The greatest skill learned in my opinion from instrument flying is task management and resource management. I have completed the end of course and am currently preparing for checkride!
My instrument instructor & I
The training program at Wayman, along with the skilled and helpful staff and high tech learning environment make it an exceptional academy to complete pilot training. I have recommended Wayman to a number of people back home in The Bahamas. Also, being able to write insightful blog content allows me to help other upcoming aviators in their training and is very rewarding to me. All in all, my experience at Wayman Aviation Academy has been very good and the Academy is always moving forward and looking for ways to improve their training environment. What has been your experience during flight training? Leave a comment!