[December 18, 2019]

So I did a thing - I got my IFR rating! I was working on this for some time, off and on, and it just wasn't working for me. Between the availability of my CFII and my time, it seemed we weren't making that much progress. So I decided to block off some time and go to an accelerated class. I have heard of a few mentioned in the midwest, but they were not convenient to the Baltimore area in terms of ease to travel to them. I saw a writeup for IFR6.com in a flying magazine and liked what I saw. Here is my review!

IFR6 Review

I have been dragging my feet to get my instrument rating for nearly 10 years. There always seemed to be something better to do than to pursue it. I really had no excuses – my RV-7 was fully outfitted with a glass panel and a Garmin GTN650 GPS navigator. It was certainly more capable than its pilot. My best friend was a CFII but didn’t have a whole lot of time to dedicate to me to get my IFR rating. We would go up every couple of weeks for a lesson, but I ended up just relearning the same information repeatedly. Sure, it was good simulated instrument time, but I wasn’t going anywhere. Tackling the written test was also stalled out. I had bought multiple books and started to review the material, but there was always something better to do.

I had considered an accelerated school, but none of them seemed to fit my needs. The location of the courses was either too far away, didn’t have great weather for December (when I had free time), or their course was too long – 10 days is a lot for me to take off from work.

So there I was, stuck in a holding pattern. This all changed in early September when I was reading AOPA Pilot and stumbled across the “Efficiency: Big payoffs How to save money in training” article. This was the first time I had ever heard of a 6-day course. It seemed too good to be true at first glance – the location was perfect (Charleston rarely has prolonged icing conditions), it was convenient ($99 flight on Southwest from Baltimore) and the cost was reasonable. Surely there needed to be a catch, so I called them up.

I called up Mike McCurdy and he told me everything that I needed to know. If I showed up with 10 hours of CFII time, I could pass the course in 6 days. Right then and there I committed to dates in December and sent him a deposit.
This was the kick in the tail I so desperately needed. I needed to pass my knowledge test and accumulate more hours with my CFII before early December. I started studying for my knowledge test with now a reason and a foreseeable end goal. Everything quickly came together – I passed my knowledge test with flying colors and my CFII friend helped me get my prerequisite hours in. I was ready for IFR6.

I showed up in Charleston and we immediately got to work on the paperwork. Once that was over it was an intensive 6 days with my dedicated CFII, Kirk Bray. We started off in the RedBird sim flying patterns laid out in their well structured and organized course book. The next day we headed off to the airport to do some real flying. I opted to use their Cherokee, as the rental rate was very reasonable, and the Cherokee is much more stable than my RV-7 is for IFR training. It was also one less thing for me to have to worry about.
After 5 intense days of training, I got the good news I was hoping for – I was ready for my checkride. My checkride ended up being pushed back a day due to weather and my examiner being slightly under the weather. This was OK, as it gave me the ability to fly the simulator a little more and review material for the oral exam.

The day of the checkride I woke up feeling very confident. The examiner the flight school arranged was absolutely fabulous. I barely felt like I was being examined, as most of the oral was talking through situation instead of being quizzed. It provided me a good bond with my examiner and he felt like more of a friend than a person who would either make or break my day! The checkride was very straight forward and almost fun. Coming back to land I was very confident that I passed – and my examiner confirmed it upon landing! Wow – hard to believe I went from barely being able to spell IFR to being a confident FAA rated instrument pilot in 6 days.

The team at IFR6 is truly amazing. They are personable, professional and very experienced instructors. If you have been dragging your feet trying to get your instrument rating, give them a call. It’s been the most rewarding flying done yet in my 15 years and 1,000 flight hours.



Last Modified: June 20, 2024