Adding Instrument Flying instruction onto my FI(A) license

I am getting so much satisfaction out of my Flight Instruction hobby ! So far I logged about 120 hours of PPL and Night Rating experience, and the return I am getting from that is amazing. Not only was I able to teach flying from zero to a tenfold students, my own flying and aerospace knowledge skyrocketed.

So last year in 2022 I set a new goal: to add the Instrument Rating Instruction to my Flight Instructor license. An Instrument Rating allows a pilot to operate his/her airplane in non-visual weather conditions, on an IFR flight plan. I previously obtained my FAA Instrument Rating in 2007, and I converted it to an EASA Instrument Rating in 2014. Since those I did a lot of IFR flying everywhere in Europe and a little in the US. By doing this Instrument Rating Instructor license, I will be ready to give back and teach pilots this important, life-saving and options-enlarging skill.

I choose again Alfako flight school to do this add-on: I teach there and I did my Flight Instructor license there. I did all training with my trusted Chief Flight Instructor Philippe. The training involved teaching all the pre-flight briefings, receiving theory courses on specific instrument topics, and of course about 6 hrs of actual instrument teaching in an actual aircraft. I spread all this over about 3 months.

The practical training involves learning to teach:

  • Basic instrument flying
  • Intercepting and tracking courses on VOR and NDBs
  • Unusual attitudes and other emergencies like partial panel and compass flying
  • Holdings
  • Classic approaches
  • PBN approaches
  • SIDs, STARs

Practical instrument flying at Alfako starts on the Robin DR400 OO-CQD. And is completed on the trusted Piper Arrow IV OO-VHB … the same airplane that I used to fly way back in 2009 !

This week I made an appointment with the Flight Examiner and he had asked me to prepare a course on GPS approaches. So I prepared this course and prepared a short and intense course of flying Kortrijk (EBKT) to Kortrijk (EBKT) using the MAK.1C SID and the RNP rwy 06 approach with some teaching of holdings using a GPS receiver around the MAK NDB.

The day of the Assessment of Competence, the weather was perfect … too perfect for IFR but anyhow. Teaching IFR flying while actually flying on instruments from the right hand seat is not trivial, so good weather kinda helps a bit. I did the briefing and went into great detail on the intricacies of GPS/GNSS/RNAV/PBN flying. Later on I gave the actual course in the Piper Arrow IV OO-VHB. Apart from a hard landing and some minor altitude excursions, it went fine and when I had landed, the examiner told me: “I am sorry to say that … you passed !” … which was a big relief.

We submitted all paperwork to the BCAA via email and guess what: after 5 days I got my new license !

So now I am open to private pilots who seek to get Instrument Flying skills by coaching and flying on their own or rented instrument-capable airplane, or by joining the flight school and obtain a full Instrument Rating. Contact me any time !

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