Cleared for the Approach!

a42e165788536a24baec91ee348cfb47_mdThere is nothing like flying a precision approach to an airport that is near minimum weather conditions….low and behold, you break out of the clouds and the runway is lit up like a Christmas tree right in front of you, welcoming you to land! 

The Instrument rating will allow you to use your Private Pilot or Commercial Pilot rating Most efficiently. You will be qualified to fly above the clouds and land in conditions that would otherwise ground you. The training you will receive will make you a sharper pilot in all areas, and will greatly build your confidence.

What will I learn?

ccf6f089c44a4d8573e9802e60c4e6bdThe instrument pilot must be proficient in flying solely by reference to instruments. You will get quite good at your instrument scan and cockpit management skills. Earning the rating also calls for an in depth understanding of the ATC system, Advanced Navigation and Communication as well as a well versed understanding of Meteorology and weather analysis. There is plenty to learn and master in this rating.

Eligibility Requirements for Instrument Rating

The regulations require that you log 40 hours of instrument flight training toward the rating. This training is best completed in a time frame that is fairly compact. Tropicbird offers a 21 day accelerated instrument-training program. We can also tailor the training program around your personal work and every day life schedule to make it more realistic with the time you can afford to spend.

  • Private Pilot Certificate
  • Third Class Medical Certificate
  • 50 hours cross country pilot in command
  • 40 hours instrument flying experience
  • Pass an FAA Instrument written test
  • Pass an FAA Instrument Practical Test  (Final check ride)

So what will it cost?

IMG_1456You will not find more value for your investment in flight training anywhere on the Big Island. Chief Instructor, Mike Lauro has over 20 years helping pilots earn their instrument ratings and knows just how to guide you through this challenging program. The cost of earning any of the pilot certificates ultimately depends on how well you bring it all together and progress through your training. Ideally the best formula for success is to plan out your time and finances to concentrate on your goals at hand. The most ideal plan would be to attend classes two or three times a week and put in a few hours of study every day. If you have the means, we can set up an accelerated training program around your personal schedule and complete your training in as little as three to six weeks.
One big advantage we have at our school is our awesome Flight Simulator. Our full motion CR-12 allows you to log up to 20 hours of instrument instruction toward your rating. It is most realistic, and the training you get from this system will not only greatly enhanse you leaning but you will save a few thousand bucks!

20 hours Cessna 172M dual flight instruction$6,100
20 hours CR-12 Flight Simulator dual instruction log able toward rating$3,100
15 hours ground instruction and briefings$1,350
Books and supplies$200

Accelerated Instrument Training Course

The Big Island is definitely one of the best places in the nation to complete accelerated IFR training. You will have no problem with weather delays due to low freezing levels or severe weather systems. You will be flying out of the busy Kona International Airport (Class D). Your IFR training will take you across the Big Island and on to our neighbor Islands for your cross country flights, cool stuff!
instrument-rating2IMG_2385Over on the eastern, windward – wet side of the Big Island, we have Hilo Airport. The ‘Hilo side’ of the Big Island sees a mix of sunshine and plenty of moisture riding in on the trade winds. Those same volcanoes that keep the Kona side dry also serve to lift those incoming wet trade winds uphill to produce nice fluffy and misty clouds. Icing is non-existent at the altitudes we operate in and thunderstorms are very infrequent in the Hawaiian Islands.

Combine this mellow, IFR weather with the very quiet, Hilo Airport Class D radar approach control, and you have a perfect setup for highly efficient IFR training. Even flying out of Kona, it is a short hop over to the windward side to do multiple approaches with the friendly Hilo controllers watching over your moves. You will no doubt get plenty of “actual” instrument weather flying right on down to near minimums on approach!

Precision Flight Controls - CR12(2)On the ground, you will also be treated to “flying” our awesome professional flight simulator. Our Precision Flight Controls CR-12 is a high end, full motion flight simulator. It is very realistic and absolutely the way to go for highly efficient instrument training. You first learn the skills and practice them to perfection in the simulator. Then, you will transfer those sharpened skills and put them all together in the real aircraft. You can apply up to 20 hours of simulator training toward the instrument rating requirements, thus saving you several thousand dollars in the process.

20 hours Cessna 172 M dual instruction$6,100
20 hours CR-12 flight simulator dual instruction$3,100
15 hours ground classes and briefings$1,350
Books and supplies$200

Scheduling the Course
We recommend that you give yourself at least 3 weeks to complete your instrument training.
If you are already coming to the course with prior experience, then we may be able to shorten the course to meet your needs. This is where the simulator will really shine, making your training much more efficient. Flexibility is the key and we will accommodate you with what ever time you can afford to spend here on our wonderful Island!

*Costs are based on the required Minimum flight training hours as set by the FAA. Actual costs will be based on factors such as student’s prior flying experience and currency, frequency of training, student’s motivation, and student’s rate of learning.

Note: The regulations require the applicant to have 50 hours of cross country pilot in command time to take the practical test.
Note: FAA Examiner’s fee and taxes not included in costs.

 Instrument flying is when your mind gets a grip on the fact that there is vision beyond sight. U.S. Navy Approach magazine circa WW II.