Instrument Express Ground School

Current ground school begins on Sunday, February 9 and runs through Sunday, April 19! Call AeroDynamic RHV today at (408) 320-9614 to sign up for any or all sessions.

If you are…

1. A current (or soon-to-be) instrument student, looking to complement your self-study and test prep with real-world, scenario-based study for the core aspects of instrument flight – weather, flight planning, and reviewing/briefing the procedures.

2. An experienced instrument pilot, looking to come up-to-date on newer features such as WAAS, RAIM, alternate requirements, and ICAO IFR flight plans. You may be looking to better understand the nuances of newer procedure types such as LPV, LP, and GLS approaches, or RNAV 1 obstacle departures.

3. A VFR pilot, looking to learn more about the weather and flight planning tools available to instrument pilots, and what you can incorporate into your VFR cross-country flights.

This course offers from 3 to 15 hours of ground training in instrument flight planning and operations, depending on your interests and background. It does not replace online test prep and self-study in preparing for the written. Instead, it uses scenarios and interaction with your fellow pilots to better prepare you for a successful oral exam during your check ride, and to better illustrate some of the situations you will encounter as an instrument pilot flying “in the system”. Remember, the real world of aviation is not a multiple-choice test.

Our topics and schedule are…

Session 1: Weather Hazards and Instrument Flight (February 9, 2020)
Session 2: Advanced Weather Sources (February 23, 2020)
Session 3: Instrument Flight Planning, including SID, STAR, and cross-country routing (March 8, 2020)
Session 4: Briefing the Procedures (March 22, 2020)
Session 5: Capstone Flight Scenarios where you team up with fellow pilots and test yourselves against several beginning-to-end scenarios (April 19, 2020)

Each session is held at AeroDynamic RHV, and they are scheduled every other week to make it easier to deconflict your busy schedules. Every session includes handouts and we will discuss online resources and a bibliography for your further study, but there will be no homework or mandatory reading assignment. I want this to be “more fun”, not “more work”.

All five sessions are available for $200, or you can pick the individual sessions that matter most to you for $50 each. If you sign up for all five and have to miss one, I will record the presentation and audio, and make it available to you online.

Here are a couple of our key resources for weather…

The FAA and NWS offer innumerable Advisory Circulars, pamphlets, slideshows, and other online resources for planning and operating in weather. A great place to start is with the 36-page General Aviation Pilot’s Guide to Preflight Weather Planning, Weather Self-Briefings, and Weather Decision Making. It’s not completely up-to-date on current forecast products and tools (this version dates from 2009). Regardless, it clearly outlines planning workflows and their relationship to personal minimums. This document is a key reference in the instrument ground school and the weather workshop.

The Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) is the new “go-to” tool for reviewing most (but not all)  weather forecast products that are relevant to IFR flight planning. GFA is new enough that there are few guides to its use. Terry Lankford, a retired Flight Service briefer and all-around weather guru, has recently prepared a 30-page Graphical Forecasts for Aviation User’s Guide. Check it out!