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A Structured Immersion Process Designed to Get You Instrument Rated & Proficient in Little Time

The fastest way to get an instrument rating is through a well-structured course designed to immerse you completely into your training, living and breathing it on a daily basis, all day long. The constant repetition and reinforcement of procedures used in real life IFR become cemented in your mind much quicker when all your time is devoted to this one goal without outside distractions.

Knowledge & Skill That Will Stick With You For Life, Without Cutting Corners

If you want to get your IFR rating fast, without taking shortcuts that sacrifice quality, then this program is for you. Whether you own your own airplane or want to rent ours, we can help. We take flying and your safety seriously; we are direct and to the point, especially when it comes to proper decision making and performing procedures correctly.

We have a professional, structured program, designed to help you progress rapidly through a logical, natural sequence of training which teaches you everything you need to become a safe, proficient, knowledgeable and confident instrument pilot.

We’ve heard stories about popular accelerated instrument rating programs out there taking money, signing people off that weren’t ready and disappearing. We value your safety and take our reputation seriously. We will not just sign you off because 10 days have passed. We will not set you up for failure. Your safety is more important than anything else. Our goal is to be sure you know everything you need to know, without cutting corners.

Our organized, professional course will prepare you for real world IFR flying and give you the knowledge and skill you need in as little as 10 days, saving you time and money compared to conventional methods that can take several months to complete. We present the details in a way that will help you retain the information and be able to recall it when you need it. We aren’t going to lie, it will be a lot of work and it can be overwhelming at times, so the timid should not apply. In order to succeed with a course like this, you must be hard working and determined and be able to handle a plane comfortably.

No Simulators, Just Actual IMC Whenever Possible

We fly in actual instrument conditions whenever possible. If you’re looking for simulator time, you won’t find it here. Flying a simulator is not the same as flying a real aircraft and will slow down your progress because of wasted time trying to learn the differences in handling between the plane and the simulator.

The Only Way to Get to Know Your Plane is to Use it

Getting the feel for your plane & becoming as comfortable as you can with it in limited time, won’t happen by sitting in a room with a computer. Simulators are good for practicing procedures, but when you’re on limited time, trying to get your instrument rating with an accelerated training program, you can’t waste time on a computer that won’t teach you how the plane handles & responds.

Professional and Experienced

With several thousand hours of flight instruction given, we have gained experience with various aircraft and equipment from the basic 6 pack instruments, to some commonly used GPS systems and glass panels. You will have an experienced CFII that will be committed to only you and your training during your assigned time-frame. Trying to get this done the conventional route will be very difficult, because not many instructors can commit themselves to you only, for that long a period of time.

You Will be Trained to Handle Just About any Problem with Confidence

The safety of you and your passengers is important to us. We will cover many possible emergency situations such as instrument, electrical, engine and communication failures. We stress proper decision making and show you how to minimize workload so you never get behind the plane. Whether you have a full panel or just a couple of instruments, you will be prepared to handle the plane as if it were just another day.

Common Questions

Why should I go to you for training when there are others that will come to me?

The thought of having someone travel to you for your training seems appealing at the surface, but there are some disadvantages. One of the disadvantages of having an instructor come to you for your training is organization. In order to have an organized course, the instructor should be familiar with the area where the training will be done. We are familiar with our area and have put together a program with a flow that works best for your training and will allow you to get the most value for each flight. Everything is close, allowing you to practice all different types of approaches in various different types of airspace. It would be more difficult for an instructor to work out a good flow for your training in an unfamiliar area, creating a less efficient training program for you. There are also other things you should consider before choosing which route is best for you, related to delays, instructors, examiners and costs. See more reasons below.

Click here to see more reasons why you may want to do your accelerated IFR training away from home

What happens if the weather is bad and we can’t fly?

Delays such as icing, thunderstorms or high winds that prevent us from flying are out of our control. Everything we can do to keep the training moving forward will be done. There are plenty of ground lessons to cover which would open up more flying time when the weather is better. In the event that we run into a long streak of bad weather, the only thing we can do is to reschedule. Every effort will be put forth to get you finished as soon as possible after a delay.

Ive heard that accelerated training is only good for short term memory, is this true?

That depends on a couple things; is it a structured course? If you are just cramming information down your throat and expecting  to remember, it will not be very effective. You need a structured course that will not only give you the information, but constantly revisit it, over and over again while using it in real life situations. Remembering what you did is easier than remembering what you read.

Using your newly learned skill is also important. You can’t go home when you are done and not fly any approaches for the next six months and expect to maintain the same level of proficiency. Get out as often as you can and practice an approach or two. Even filing IFR in visual conditions will help you maintain your procedural and communication skills while not having the stress of having to worry about not being able to see.

What if I’m not ready in 10 days?

Accelerated courses have been around for years and wouldn’t still be here if they didn’t work. There still is a chance that you may not be ready because people are different and learn at different speeds. If you need an additional day or so to get proficient and be safe, then that is what is important. We don’t want to put you out there if you’re not ready. If you need a couple extra days, we will be there for you and give you a discounted rate for the extra time.

Will I be proficient enough to fly IFR myself once I get my license?

You may be proficient but you still need to take your time and set personal minimums. The best thing to do is to start with high minimums and work your way down. Rushing out into low IFR right away is not a good idea. Take your time and do it right with plenty of room for an out if you need it.

Is accelerated training more expensive?

Accelerated training is pretty comparable in price to typical training but you get more value with accelerated training because you have an instructor at your disposal 8-10 hours a day, every day, devoted to just you until you are done. It also has to be much more organized and structured so that you are able to remember everything in a short period of time. Flying the conventional route will typically take several months and many more hours to complete.

How does traditional training compare to accelerated training?

Flying once or twice a week for only 2 hours at a time for 3 or 4 months will eventually get you there, but it will take that long to get the procedures and proficiency down. You will also end up with a more hours due to the lack of proficiency. There is nothing wrong with the traditional training route but some people just want to get it done.

Some people don’t mind stretching it out over a long period of time and spending the extra money, but not everyone has that much time. This accelerated training is for the busy person who just wants to get it finished quickly.

Can I use Foreflight for my training?

You will start your training without using any extra electronics or GPS. This will help you to be able to develop good situational awareness without having to depend on luxury items. Once you have demonstrated that you don’t need them to fly and that you can do fine without them, then of course you will be able to use them.

Does accelerated training really work?

Flight departments in the colleges and in the military are teaching their students daily, not just twice a week for a couple of hours. It’s about proficiency and cementing information in your mind. Studying and flying daily, all day long will help you with the process, but just as with any learned skill, you need to use it to maintain it. When you are finished, go out there and start using it, starting with high minimums and working your way down.

Accelerated courses aren’t for everybody; they take a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. Immersing yourself completely in the IFR training environment on a daily basis will certainly help you retain what you learn much faster. If you are a dedicated person and this is something you want to get done as soon as possible and not drag out for several months, then this is for you.

Can’t I save money using a simulator?

Simulators are good for practicing procedures, but when you are on limited time, trying to get your instrument rating with an accelerated training program, you can’t waste time on a computer that won’t teach you how the plane handles & responds. Simulators won’t give you the realistic, true to life experience you need to be comfortable in IMC or handle workload because they don’t respond the same.

You can’t freeze a plane like a simulator to analyze, this is true, but freezing a simulator doesn’t teach you how to handle workload in real IFR. What you learn first usually sticks the best, and if you’re learning to stop everything you’re doing by freezing the simulator, you will struggle in the plane.

Good instruction on the ground clarifies things you don’t understand before you ever get to the plane so you don’t feel the need to freeze and analyze. In real IFR, you can’t freeze what you’re doing, so why train yourself to do that? When things get confusing you are forced to use the aeronautical decision making process on the fly which will teach you to remain sharp and stay ahead of the airplane.

We encourage training in the environment you will be flying in and that certainly isn’t in a comfortable, non-moving room. That’s what ground instruction is for. So in our opinion, a simulator will not save you money and will not prepare you for real life workload.

Are you willing to travel to my local airport?

We’re open to making exceptions and traveling to you for additional costs but the additional costs to you would be better utilized by flying more IFR and getting more comfortable in the system. This program is designed to be able to stay within the course schedule by utilizing known airports and approaches that are close and easily accessible to accomplish all requirements.

By keeping it at our home base (3CK) near Chicago, we can maximize our efficiency to help you learn faster and get you finished easier. By doing training at another airport, the course would have to be modified and redesigned to fit your local airport which may not be as beneficial to you due to distance between airports, types of approaches, etc. We already have an examiner we work with too, and finding one in an unfamiliar area that will be flexible with our schedule will be difficult.


I came to Joe looking to get my instrument rating. He not only got me there but progressed my flying more than I thought was possible during an instrument rating course. I felt enormously prepared and confident going into my checkride and I passed with ease. The FAA examiner said it was one of the best checkrides she had seen in a couple years. And all I did was fly the way Joe had taught me to fly. Joe stands out above other instructors I’ve had because no matter your experience level, he will get you to where you need to be. He demands a lot, but that’s because he knows what you need to do to get better. He motivates you to study hard and sets expectations for your ground training and your flights. He emphasizes precision and will teach you to be consistent, which is the biggest hurdle for a new instrument pilot. Joe teaches the control and performance method of instrument flying and I was amazed by how quickly my airmanship developed. His approach is to fly as much as possible and maintain proficiency. This is essential to doing well on a checkride. During my training, all my time was in the plane, not in a sim, and we flew in IMC as much as possible. Although even when VFR, my training was just as good. He uses products like ForeFlight to increase SA and make the training as real and accurate as possible. It was reassuring knowing Joe wouldn’t send me to the checkride unless I was more than ready. I was definitely ready and he also got me there in a minimum amount of hours. Joe instilled a new level of discipline in my flying and I am grateful for that type of instruction. I did very well in military pilot training, and I attribute a lot of that to what I learned from Joe. He is a phenomenal instructor and I would recommend Joe to anyone who is serious about taking their flying to the next level!

J.B. Scott
F-16 pilot, USAF

My name is Gail LaPook and I am a designated pilot examiner in the Chicago area. I have tested many of Joe Standley’s students over the years. I know that when I get one of his people that I am going to see an applicant that has been well taught and well prepared for his encounter with me. He is a really good, detail oriented instructor and gives his students the benefits of his years of experience. He has always called me to get a de-brief of his student’s performance and asks me if there are things he is not covering completely. Usually, my de-brief is a very positive one as I feel Joe takes his job as a flight instructor seriously unlike other instructors that teach at the surface level and short change their students. I have no reservations about praising Joe as a good choice for a flight instructor .

Gail LaPook
Designated Pilot Examiner

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Joe Standley as a professional pilot/flight instructor for more than 20 years.  During my years as an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector and a Designated Pilot Examiner, I have enjoyed evaluating many of Joe’s students for their pilot certificates and ratings. I consistently found Joe’s applicants to be well trained to a correlative level and able to operate safely and knowledgeably within the National Airspace System.

Joe relied upon his experience with the corporate and 135 on-demand charter arenas to educate his students thoroughly and well beyond the minimums required by the appropriate Practical Test Standards.  It was without doubt a pleasure to issue a pilot certificate or additional rating to his trainees.  Because of his commitment to excellence and high training standards, Joe’s applicants were well prepared and enjoyed an above average pass rate.

I feel that choosing Joe Standley as your flight instructor would be a prudent decision.”

Dave Shadle
Retired Designated Pilot Examiner

Joe Standley is, quite simply, a phenomenal flight instructor. It’s not just what he teaches, it’s his methodology. Years after receiving instruction from him I find myself referring back to his methods in terms of keeping control of the airplane even when weather or the plane itself doesn’t want to cooperate.

There was an occasion on a night flight back from Champaign, Illinois where the weather rapidly destabilized and I found myself in storm conditions that netted some pretty significant turbulence. Without giving it a second thought, I hailed ATC, plotted a new course and safely landed my family at an alternative airport. Everything was so automatic. What to do. Who to call. What’s most important. What’s the plan. I didn’t give any attention to panicking or even worrying.

Why? Because I had great training and a phenomenal instructor. There are a lot of instructors who will help you get your rating. This guy keeps you safe. If you have kids who want to learn how to fly, this is the guy you want to train them.

John Fitch
MEL, SEL, Instrument Rated Pilot



“I can’t speak highly enough of the instruction I received from Joe. He is extremely knowledgeable, and has many years of flying and teaching experience. I have always been impressed by Joe’s dedication to his work & his students. He has made it his mission to ensure that the pilots he trains are completely safe and comfortable in the airplane. He truly goes above & beyond to make sure that they understand the material.

As a professional pilot, I have had many instructors over the years, but Joe will always stand out to me as a great instructor and a friend. He helped pave the way for me to accomplish my aviation goals, and I would highly recommend his instruction to anyone.”

Ashley Pelc
Delta Air Lines
First Officer, Boeing 737NG

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