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4 Answers

IFR training without a CFII

Asked by: 759 views Instrument Rating

I am unable to find and secure a CFII for my instrument rating.  I am moving through the Sporty's software, am a member of the Pilot Workshops IFR Mastery series program (although I don't understand many of the questions yet, I do take the training and pickup what I can...).

I've asked my CFI if we can go up and simply add hood-time as I only have the required 3 hours...

Here's my question:  Is it worthwhile to increase my hood-time with a CFI vice simply doing the book-work in hopes of finding a CFII?

When returning to PHNL (2-3 flights per week) I always ask for offshore vectors to get more experience flying ATC controlled headings, altitudes and speeds... but this is NOT under the hood... (when I see clouds I see a skull & crossbones)...

Welcome your thoughts! Jeff

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4 Answers



  1. Jeff on Jan 13, 2017

    I’d say any opportunity to practice is good. Your CFI is an instrument rated pilot, so he should be able to provide valuable knowledge. You will still need a CFII for 15 hours of training and to sign you off for your written and practical test, but time spent honing your hood skills should equate to less total time required to work with your CFII.

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  2. Russ Roslewski on Jan 13, 2017

    I’d be careful and proceed with caution, because whether it’s a good idea or not depends on many factors.

    A CFI (non-CFII) will have no experience in teaching how to fly on instruments. While an instrument rating is required to become a CFI, there is no guarantee that your CFI is even remotely current on instruments, as maintaining IFR currency isn’t a requirement. (No, there is no requirement for a CFII to remain current either, but at least presumably one would be teaching regularly.)

    It takes a while to develop good teaching techniques for anything, and instrument flight is no exception. Because of this, if I were a CFI (no -I), and you came to me, I would tip-toe around this issue as well. While I probably wouldn’t outright refuse, I wouldn’t want to given the impression that I’m giving any kind of instrument training. Rather, I would give you “emergency scenario, get out of the clouds” training or something like that.

    Also, while you can legally get some of the hood time with the CFI, there’s no guarantee that it will reduce your total hood time before your checkride. I find that although the CFR’s allow 25 of the 40 to NOT be with a CFII, in practice it pretty much takes around 40-ish of actual CFII training before most pilots are ready for the checkride anyway.

    I will say, that going with a CFI will likely be much better than going with a regular safety pilot. Just you really should have a good understanding of their background first. If he or she has been flying VFR aerial tours around the island for the last 10 years, they may not be much good on instruments.

    And while I certainly encourage getting all the training you can, if you can’t find a CFII, what then would your plan be? Personally, I’d get the CFII figured out, THEN dive into instrument training and focus on it. Until then, you won’t really have a syllabus, study material, etc., to focus your efforts.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Jan 14, 2017

    I agree with Russ’ cautions. I’ll add to the list of factors that many think the instrument rating add-on to the CFI certificate is the easiest, at least for a current instrument pilot. There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with a CFI remaining visual only but part of the inquiry is why this CFI is not a CFII. Maybe it’s the same reason that is causing you problems, lack of a II in the area, or maybe something else. Either way the caution about currency in instrument training techniques is a valid one.

    On Russ’ not wanting to give the impression that instrument training is taking place: For years it was standard practice at some fight schools to have one-Is do some of the training on the theory that the only thing prohibited was counting it toward instrument training requirements. Unfortunately, someone just had to ask the Chief Counsel the question and the result was this unfortunate (and very poorly reasoned, IMO) opinion that all instrument training, even that beyond requirements must be with a CFII. https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2010/grayson-3%20-%20(2010)%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

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  4. Bill Zaleski on Jan 15, 2017

    Good answers, Russ and Mark. The one small correction that I would add is that for a CFII to take an instrument student all the way to completion, he would have to be instrument current as he must file IFR and be PIC during the required 250 nm IFR X-C dual instruction.

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