Instrument and Commercial Completion
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is training handled for a pilot that has completed
most of the requirements, but is not ready for the
A: A pilot at this stage needs an individualized training
program that will fill the gaps without unnecessarily
spending time on areas where proficiency meets or
exceeds Practical Test Standards (PTS) requirements.
A detailed discussion about previous training, a
logbook review, and a short fight will usually uncover
the areas that need more work.
Q: I have completed requirements for my instrument rating,
based on a major vendors syllabus, but are nowhere near
proficient enough for my Practical Test. Did I receive
A: Not necessarily. Unfortunately this happens when there
is not continuity throughout the training. This is
often caused by training that is spread over a long
period of time, gaps between lessons, or changing
instructors without adequate handoff. Each individual
lesson may have been superbly conducted, but resulted
in a poor overall outcome. You are ultimately
responsible for managing your training, if you are not
in a regular course of instruction. Ask your instructor
to help you with this.
Q: What are the typical areas that require additional
training for a "finish up" student?
A: For the Insturment Rating, it is usually something
early in the previous training, such as not developing
an adequate instrument scan. Perhaps the student
learned it well enough to "get by" at the time, but did
not truly master this crucial skill. A couple of
intensive simulator sessions will usually improve this.
For the Commercial, problems are usually caused by
trying to fly the airplane mechanically, or undue
dependence on the instruments. Most of the Commercial
maneuvers require constant changes in the flight
controls and cannot be flown by rote. Generally,
the best route is to first review the Private
maneuvers with emphasis on flying by visual references.
Sometimes, flying a different make and model airplane
for a couple of hours helps.
Q: My instructor is telling me that I should do multi-engine
training during the time after the Instrument Rating
and the Commercial. Is this a good idea?
A: This depends on your objectives, time frame, and budget.
Ask you instructor the reasons behind the recommendation,
or write me with your specific situation.
Back to the Top
© 2002 George T. Palecek.
All Rights Reserved.
Last modified 10/23/03.