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Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:42 pm
by hunter
Hey guys, I had a quick question I wanted some feedback on. I am a student pilot and I am a long solo xc and some checkride prep away from my PPL. I plan on going for my instrument ticket at some point for sure, but my question is: what does everyone think about these "accelerated" training programs that are out there? I am quite apprehensive about them but then again, maybe the "immersion" would be beneficial. Just wondering if anyone has any experience or insight, thanks! (I know this technically doesnt fall under "Flight Gear" but my choices were limited)

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:11 pm
by jackhodgson
I signed up for a possible IFR ground school. The asked whether I preferred accel. or over 6 weeks.

I definitely prefer 6 week.

I'm not convinced that I would absorb the material if poured into me fast. And also I want "social" experience of going to the airport, and hanging with fellow pilots, to stretch over a period of time.

But maybe that's just me. I think Dave did his very quickly. I'll ask him next time we're in the hangar.

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:41 pm
by hunter
Ok thanks. Ya I also enjoy the social aspect as well, but I am only 17. So my brain is still in peak learning mode :lol:

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:48 am
by champguy
I think an accelerated program would be great if you had a job lined up, and would start using it right away.
But then I don't know how anyone can stay profecient as an IFR pilot without a job that requires flying in the system every day. I know, I'm speaking only for myself. I couldn't stay profecient at that level without that level of commitment.

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:34 am
by lucaberta
I have been a Part 141 student 15 years ago, and got my CPL/ME/IR at FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach, Florida. I went to the academy with my italian PPL ticket already in my pocket, and about 90 hours TT.

Being 100% of your dedicated to learning and flying is a *blast*! Very expensive, but definitely the best way to kickstart a career for a pilot. Not only for the learning and flying in itself, but also for the life that you live on campus, talking about airplanes and flying all the time! Could I ask for more? :D

Now, for medical reasons it turned out that I could not fulfill my dream of becoming an airline pilot, but to this day the level of training that I received back then made it so deep in my system that I find myself being able to fly on instruments without issues even after not having done so for a long time. My CFI friend failed the AI and DG on me last year, and we flew for 1 1/2 hours partial panel without a problem, doing a VOR circling approach into KTCY, followed by 2 turns in the hold, then ILS into KLVK. It had been 15 years since I had done serious partial panel work, yet I could fly without issues. I was shocked, and very happy! ;)

I am very much in favour of accelerated training, if done properly. It must not be a shortcut, but rather a deeper and prolonged dive into training. Getting the ticket faster is only a positive side-effect. The truly important factor is how deep that training will root into the pilot in you.

Blue skies!

Ciao, Luca

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:02 pm
by fordan
I'm probably going to do it "the long way" with my local flight school, but that's at least in part because they have a very nice simulator setup, and I'd rather save my vacation days.

My current plan is to study the books (which for me are on a UPS truck somewhere between AZ and NJ right now), maybe buy one of the video courses, and try and get some VFR time in working on improving my basic flying skill, then approach the school when I'm ready or close to ready to pass the written. I'm trying to avoid some of the mistakes I made with my PP, since learning stuff that's in the books while the Hobbs meter is turning isn't real cost efficient. :D

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:27 pm
by jackhodgson
I should maybe disclose my bias for the slower method.

First of all, I think it would be my choice under any circumstances, but...

I'm not really ready to start the IFR process just yet. My immediate goal is to continue to be a really active VFR pilot through the next year. My flight time has been extremely limited for the past few years, but since last summer I've been able to improve on that. Consistently flying through the winter, and especially next spring and summer, is my first goal.

(I'm even thinking about trying to become an airplane owner next summer, though the poor economy may delay that.)

The only reason I "signed up" for the IFR class is that there was a sheet on the counter at the FBO. I'm clearly in no hurry, so the accelerated course doesn't interest me. And I figured it would be yet another good excuse to go hang out at the airport, so longer is better. And the IFR test score is good for 2 years (I think... I bet that's a question on the test. I better double-check), so I have time to actually do the flying part.

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:37 pm
by hunter
Thanks guys. Ya well for me it is pretty appealing because I want to try to get my CFI sometime during college and I need to get my IR in a timely manner because of other life activities getting in the way, though id rather be flying all the time!

I am hopefully going to earn my PPL after xmas here and then get alot of VFR weekend time under my belt. Then if I feel im ready, and have the money (which may be a problem) I may enter a program in the summer so I can devote all my time to it.

I'll probably ask my CFI about it after I earn my ticket, I am sure he has some insight too. I live about half an hour from Lakeland in Florida, and am hoping to go to Sun n Fun next year with my PPL! Hope to see the gang there!

Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:19 am
by cozy171bh
The opposite of an accelerated program is dragging out the training over an extended period of time. When I instructed, I had some students who because of lack of money or time took a year to earn a certificate or rating. I felt that the result was a pilot who was able to pass the checkride, but because of the drawn out nature of their training, they were not as proficient by the end of their training. My students who compressed their training into a few months became better pilots. As with all education, information is lost over time. The key, as in all flying, is to maintain proficiency.

In my opinion, whether or not you choose an accelerated program depends on what you do with the instrument rating. If you intend to use it often, and currently fly often, then it might be right for you. I earned my multiengine rating in compressed time. But I learned to be a good multiengine pilot by flying often over time. If you go for the accelerated instrument program, make sure you begin using it soon after earning the rating. After the checkride and you are on your own, begin with simple IFR flying, taking on more challenging flights as you gain experience and confidence.

Important: Accelerated does not always equal immersion. An accelerated course may only brush the surface to ensure you can pass a checkride. But to be a safe instrument pilot you need to go deep into your instrument training, I believe. In my experience as a 14,000 hour ATP, good instrument skills have been essential to all my flying. The instrument rating is foundational to professional flying. Every checkride I've taken over the years--whether for a multiengine rating, 737 type rating, or company proficiency check--has basically been another instrument ride at its core with other stuff thrown in just to keep things fun. But even if your goal is personal flying, the instrument rating is still some of the most important training you'll encounter. It will make you a better VFR pilot.

Whatever choice you make, ensure that the training you get is quality training which goes deep. This is a rating worth doing well. There is so much to learn, and as they say, the rating is a license to go out and learn.


Re: Accelerated Programs, yay or nay?

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:59 pm
by rrace123
I used the accelerated method about 20 years ago. I thought it made the most sense both educationally and economically. Immersion training is what the military uses. You will be immersed 24 hours per day. I fly IFR frequently and can't compare to the slower methods but my experience was great. Being young you can easily absorb the material to pass both the ground and air portion...but it is only a license to learn....start IFR real world slowly and build your real world skill and confidence over time. My vote: yay!