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New Aircraft for Rent in the Chicago Area

Flight Training in our Plane or Yours

Our 10 Day instrument rating course was originally designed for people that owned their own airplane, but that has now changed! We have just purchased an airplane, so we can offer training to those who do not own a plane! Our plane is a 1982 Piper Warrior II and comes with a Garmin 530W.

We’re setting up and moving into our new office at Lake in the Hills airport in Illinois on March 10th and should be ready the following day. You’ll be able to find us in the BIG BLUE BUILDING where the Flight Center is located. Feel free to stop by, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.  If you’ve been waiting until spring to take our accelerated IFR course, get your instrument rating the traditional way, get an IPC, etc. we can now offer you a plane to train in at a very reasonable price!

Special Discounted Rental Rate for New Instrument Students

If you’ve been thinking of getting your instrument rating, now you have a reason to do it! As an incentive to attract students to help us with the costs of our plane we are offering a lower rental rate for the first 3 people to sign up for training by March 31, 2017. Your cost will only be $108 per hour for the airplane rental during your flight training.

This is the perfect time to save some money so why not take advantage of it? You will be taught by AOPA’s 2016 Outstanding Flight Instructor Award Winner, listed in the top 10 of the country. If you’re not interested but know someone that is, pass this along to them and help them save some money. If you’re interested, you can contact us here.

If you’re interested in an accelerated IFR rating program and would like more information on that, you can click the button below. It is definitely a fast-paced course that will require a lot of dedication and hard work on your part but it certainly helps when you don’t have much time and want to get it done quickly.

Disadvantages of accelerated IFR training at home vs away from home

An organized IFR course with a good flow is important

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.

Instructor availability to finish your training

Another disadvantage to an instructor flying to you for your training is flexibility. If there is a delay in training due to a day or two of bad weather preventing you from finishing in 10 days, your instructor may end up having to reschedule a time to come back to finish, deserting you before you finish, costing you more money and an additional airline ticket for the return flight.

By training here at our location, it gives us more flexibility. We don’t have to worry about catching a flight home, or finding another flight home or charging you more money for waiting. We are already home and can do other things while waiting out the weather. We can start up again right away and get you finished without stretching out your training longer than needed. Since we are able to do other things and are not tied to a hotel room waiting, the weather delays don’t cost you money.

Examiner flexibility is important to finishing quickly

Examiner availability is important too. If you have a Checkride scheduled and it turns out there is a delay due to needing an extra day or two, or because of weather, how flexible will an examiner at your location be? What if your examiner is already booked for the next week or two? Getting an examiner that doesn’t know us or get steady work from us to be flexible enough to give you priority will be difficult. You’re a one time student to them and you will get rescheduled when they can get to you.

Our examiner understands you are coming from out of state and that you are on a tight schedule. Our examiner is willing to make you a priority when it comes to scheduling to get you finished as fast as possible.

Additional costs for training at your location

Cost is a factor also. When you have a instructor come to you, the cost of the hotel and transportation fall on you. In addition to that, you will usually pay more for the training due to tying up the instructors time completely. If they are able to stay longer due to weather delays, it will cost you more for their time also.

You will have hotel costs for yourself if you come here but you will be in the middle of town with every type of store available within walking distance so you could save on the rental car if needed. We can also pick you up from the hotel and drop you off when we are done. You will also save on the additional costs of training or delays.

A distraction free environment is important

One of the most important reasons to do your training away from home is that you are putting yourself in a distraction free environment. By staying in a hotel, you will be more likely to keep on track and study and prepare for your next day of training. Without outside distractions you will accomplish more and get more rest, improving your chances of success.

Instrument Rating Airman Certification Standards vs PTS

The new instrument rating ACS and how it will affect your IFR training

If you’re considering an accelerated IFR training program, we suggest you do it before June 2016 because that is when the new Instrument Airman Certification Standards are supposed to replace the instrument Practical Test Standards. The problem we see with this, is that it lists many more things for the examiner to cover on your Checkride. Subjects that may have never been brought up are now written out, opening another door for the examiner to take you into.

Of course, we will keep up with all the current regulations in our training but the fact remains that since there are more things listed in the new Instrument ACS, there will be more things to cover during training. More things to cover will take more time and if you are taking an accelerated instrument training course which is typically a 10 day course, this means longer days, more studying and more to remember in the same short time. When you add this to an already busy program, you will have your hands full.

Below are examples of the PTS and the new ACS format:

PTS –  Cross Country Flight Planning Example

Task C: Cross-Country Flight Planning

To determine that the applicant:

1. Exhibits adequate knowledge of the elements by presenting and explaining a preplanned cross-country flight, as previously assigned by the examiner (preplanning is at examiner’s discretion). It should be planned using actual weather reports/forecasts and conform to the regulatory requirements for instrument flight rules within the airspace in which the flight will be conducted.

2. Exhibits adequate knowledge of the aircraft’s performance capabilities by calculating the estimated time en route and total fuel requirement based upon factors, such as—
a. power settings.
b. operating altitude or flight level.
c. wind.
d. fuel reserve requirements.
e. weight and balance limitations.

3. Selects and correctly interprets the current and applicable en route charts, instrument departure procedures (DPs), RNAV, STAR, and Standard Instrument Approach Procedure Charts (IAP).

4. Obtains and correctly interprets applicable NOTAM information.

5. Determines the calculated performance is within the aircraft’s capability and operating limitations.

6. Completes and files a flight plan in a manner that accurately reflects the conditions of the proposed flight. (This flight plan is not required to be filed with ATC.)

7. Demonstrates adequate knowledge of GPS and RAIM capability, when aircraft is so equipped.

8. Demonstrates the ability to recognize wing contamination due to airframe icing.

9. Demonstrates adequate knowledge of the adverse effects of airframe icing during pre-takeoff, takeoff, cruise, and landing phases of flight and corrective actions.

10. Demonstrates familiarity with any icing procedures and/or information published by the manufacturer that is specific to the aircraft used on the practical test.

ACS –  Cross Country Flight Planning Example

Task C: Cross-Country Flight Planning

To determine the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, skills, and risk management associated with planning and filing an IFR cross-country flight.

The applicant demonstrates understanding of:
1. How to compute fuel reserves.

2. Definitions of minimum or emergency fuel.

3. Conditions conducive to icing, wind shear, microbursts, and turbulence.

4. Symbology found on IFR en route and approach charts and diagrams.

5. Where to locate and how to apply preferred IFR routing.

6. Elements and operational requirements of an IFR flight plan

7. Procedures for activating and closing an IFR flight plan in controlled and non-controlled airspace.

8. Oxygen requirements.

9. Altitude and course requirements

10. Preflight requirements

11. Airspace, cloud clearance, and visibility requirements

12. Selection of an alternate airport.

The applicant demonstrates the ability to:

1. Recalculate fuel reserves based on a scenario provided by the evaluator.

2. Create and file an IFR flight plan for a route assigned by the evaluator.

3. Interpret departure, en route, arrival, and instrument approach procedures.

4. Divert to a suitable alternate.

5. Calculate time en route and fuel.

Risk Management
The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess and mitigate risks, encompassing:

1. Appropriate IFR altitudes.

2. Dynamic weather.

3. Inadvertent icing encounters.

4. Limitations of ATC radar advisories.

5. Fuel reserves and situations that would merit increasing minimum fuel reserves.

6. Minimum or emergency fuel conditions.

7. A route involving significant environmental influences, mountains, and large bodies of water.

8. Human factors that may impact making an initial no-go decision, and the decision, continuing the flight ongoing evaluation of the flight.

9. Areas unsuitable for landing or below personal weather minimums.


The difference between the Instrument rating PTS and ACS


Is there a big difference between the PTS and the ACS?

The information is pretty much the same. Both versions contain the same information, but the ACS is designed to test your knowledge at a deeper level, adding Risk Management into each subject area. We have always made this part of our training process anyway, but the new format which adds specifics that may have never been brought up or really make a difference, makes it more difficult and time consuming to cover all the information, which will certainly result in a longer oral exam.

Ultimately, you will learn the same information whether you train now or later, but if you want to make it less stressful, we suggest you get it done before the change takes place in June 2016. If you have your own plane and have considered a 10 Day IFR course, then check out our program. We have great testimonials as to the quality of our instruction. Our goal is to be better than the rest and from what we’ve seen and heard, we are on the right path.

Pros and Cons of accelerated instrument training

Accelerated instrument training advantages & disadvantages

Accelerated flight training courses have been around for years, but they are not for everyone. Every flight training method has good and bad things to consider when deciding what method is best for you. Below we will discuss some of the advantages of accelerated training, followed by the disadvantages. We will conclude with ways you can minimize disadvantages to make your training easier.

Pros of accelerated instrument training

Takes just over a week

Total immersion every day

Free from outside distractions

Constant review and reinforcement

You will learn a lot of information fast

Cons of accelerated instrument training

Additional pressure of having to finish in just over a week

Total immersion can be overwhelming

No social life for over a week

Information overload

Quality of instruction can suffer

Turning the disadvantages of accelerated flight training into advantages


Additional pressure of having to finish in just over a week

This is really not as bad as you may think. You have to remember that you are totally immersed in training all day long, each day until your instrument Checkride. If you are used to the typical training route, then it is hard to imagine being able to finish in such a short period of time. This isn’t typical training and you are getting 5 times the training you normally get.

By the time you get to the end of your training, you would have reviewed everything so many times and so frequently, that you will know it. If it takes an extra day then it’s only an extra day. No one is going to force you to take your Checkride if you’re not ready. In a worse case scenario, if you absolutely had to get home and didn’t have an extra day to spare, then at least you’d be 99% of the way through your training and you could easily finish up in a couple of flights at a local school. We had a student come to us to finish when he ran out of time and in just a couple of flights, we signed him off and he passed.

Total immersion can be overwhelming

It’s only overwhelming if you haven’t studied and you put things off. Before you start your training you will be required to have your written test done. In order to pass your written you will need to know just about everything you need to know about instrument flying. You will know regulations, how to read charts and approach plates, etc. When you start training you will be constantly reminded of what you already know, so it won’t be as bad as you expect.

The problem comes when you don’t study or remember anything and are trying to learn everything all over again. You need to keep studying after your written so you don’t forget what you’ve learned. When you find a weak area, then study it. Any details will be filled in with your training with scenarios and real life flying in the system. Yes you will be busy, but if you follow our advice, it won’t be so bad.

No social life for over a week

No social life during your accelerated training gives you a break from outside pressures that typically interfere with your study time, flight training time and sleep. Giving up a social life for a little over a week will keep your head in the game and you’ll not only learn faster, you will get more sleep and be more rested and alert.

Information overload

This is similar to being overwhelmed as we discussed earlier. Yes, you will be tired at the end of the day but as long as you know a lot of the facts before you start your training and keep studying the rest of the material each night, then it’s not going to be new information that you are trying to remember, it will just be review. You won’t remember everything and may not understand everything but don’t worry, it will come when you are using it in the IFR system.

Quality of instruction can suffer

This is certainly possible with some places and it is really hard to tell where you will get good instruction. The best thing to do is ask questions before you sign up. We can promise you that our goal is to teach you in as much detail as we can to be sure that you totally understand everything  and know when to use what you know in any situation that may come your way. We won’t leave questions unanswered. We won’t leave you confused and will review as much as needed to make you the best that you can be. Give us a chance to prove it, you won’t be disappointed.

Accelerated instrument training in Illinois

10 Day instrument rating course in the Chicago area

For those of you that are centrally located and are looking for an accelerated IFR training program in your airplane, you no longer have to travel far to get it done. We are centrally located in Northern Illinois and perfectly positioned to offer accelerated instrument training to pilots from Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan that want to stay close to home. If you live and fly in the central United States, why not train here for your instrument rating?

Thousands of hours of dual given

If you want an experienced instructor that is not afraid of flying in actual IMC and will make sure that you get actual whenever possible, then our course is for you. To learn how to fly in the IFR system, you have to use it! We don’t teach you to just pass your Checkride; we teach you to become a safe, confident IFR pilot that can stay ahead of the airplane while handling a high workload with ease. You will hear your instructors voice in your head for years to come, because we know how to make the information you will be learning stick for recall whenever you need it. That is only possible with a professional and experienced instructor.

We have a structured program so you always know what’s next

Many programs claim to be organized but leave you wondering what is next. With our accelerated instrument rating course you will always know exactly what we are going to talk about each day so you can be ready for it. You will have access to the training schedule and we will review each subject area in detail. During each lesson there will be time for questions and clarification of previously covered material so you are never left not knowing. If you’re confused about something, write it down and we will review it.

There are many popular accelerated IFR programs out there that just care about getting your money and getting you out the door as fast as possible. They skimp on proper training and send you to the wolves unprepared for your Checkride and when you fail, you end up on your own trying to finish. Our goal is your success. We make safe, knowledgeable instrument pilots that make good decisions and feel confident with their ability to fly in IMC. We will not sign you off until you are ready. When you are signed off, you can be confident that you will pass. We hope to work with you soon!

Choosing the right accelerated IFR training program

Choosing a 10 Day IFR training course

Not all 10 day instrument rating course providers are created equal, many of them care more about getting your money and moving on, than properly preparing you for success. When we developed our accelerated IFR program, we talked with an FAA examiner in detail about what they’ve seen from accelerated course applicants. We did this because we wanted to be better than the rest. The examiner had done several Checkrides with applicants that have used very well known accelerated course providers for their training.

The examiner said that many applicants from some popular accelerated training programs were not properly prepared and were signed off before they were ready. One applicant came to their Checkride without knowing how to use a VOR. How good do you think the instruction was if the instructor didn’t recognize that the student didn’t understand the basics required for IFR navigation? Another applicant was asked to demonstrate something using equipment he had in his plane and he didn’t know how to use it. The examiner reminded him that he was required to know how to use everything in his plane. He told the examiner that the instructor didn’t teach him because it was broken on the simulator. It wasn’t broken in the plane, so why didn’t the instructor teach him?

If the instructors are not teaching these basic things that are required for applicants to know, then what else are they leaving out? Why are they signing people off for their Checkride if they are not ready? What we learned from this is that details are important. We’ve known it from the beginning and pride ourselves on the details that make you a better pilot. We want you to pass, but we won’t just teach the bare minimum just to get you out the door. We give you the detail you need to be better than average. This is what you should be looking for in any type of training.

What your course should include

The accelerated IFR course provider should use experienced instrument instructors that are comfortable flying in IMC and have no problem flying in IMC with you whenever possible. Flying in actual IMC, in an actual airplane whenever possible will prepare you for real world IFR flying faster than anything else.

You want to find an instructor that is teaching full time because they enjoy it. These are the instructors that usually take pride in what they do. Many instructors are there just to build hours to get a job for the airlines. Their true passion is not your success, but building hours as fast as possible to get out and start their airline career. A full time instructor who does it because they like it, cares about their reputation enough to  protect it.

You don’t need a fancy place to learn but you need structure. Everything has to be organized so you know exactly what to expect each day of your training. Study material should be provided for training and it should be easy to understand. Assuming that one place is better than another because they have a big fancy building, isn’t necessarily true. The fancy buildings cost a lot to maintain and those costs are usually passed on to you. If they aren’t getting you in and out as fast as possible, how are they going to pay for the fancy building? You want someone who cares more about your success than keeping the assembly line going.

You should demand to be held to high standards. If you go into this trying to get by on the bare minimum, then you will set yourself up for failure. You will also end up being an unsafe pilot who makes bad decisions which could put your life at risk. Strict, focused and detailed instruction will make you a much safer pilot. If you’re looking for fluff and someone to tell you what you want to hear then you’re not going to find the right program.

Your success is our goal

We want to be the best accelerated IFR course provider out there. We are focused and detailed. Our structured program is designed for your success. We will immerse you in your training and use every moment we can to teach you everything you need to know. We will constantly review your weak areas until they are strong. We want you to go home happy. We want you to be totally comfortable and feel safe flying IFR. We value you as a customer and will give you our best. We don’t sacrifice quality and won’t sign you off until you are ready and safe.

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