I became an instrument rated pilot in 2006, and it was one of my favorite ratings. Everything that I learned as a private pilot was practiced and fine-tuned even more during my instrument training. I think most pilots would agree that the instrument rating is a confidence builder in aeronautical knowledge, flight proficiency and safety. After obtaining my instrument rating, it was easy to maintain proficiency by obtaining other certificates, ratings and flight instructing. Recently, I let my instrument proficiency lapse and had to get an IPC. Considering my flight review went so well, I decided to do my IPC at the same flight school and with the same instructor. My IPC was equally as enjoyable as my flight review.
Just like my flight review, I was very prepared for my IPC and maybe even more so considering how much time had passed since my last IFR flight. Prior to the flight, my instructor created a plan which I used as a study guide. The resources I used to review for my IPC are very similar to what I used for my flight review with the addition of a flight simulator.
My go to resource for anything aviation is AOPA. Again, I used AOPA’s online learning courses to review anything IFR related. One of my favorite IFR courses is IFR Charts and all the chart challenge courses too.
The Instrument Rating Airplane – ACS provides a guide for the IPC. The ACS indicates the tasks that are to be checked along with the standards for those tasks. The ACS also provides a link to Advisory Circular 61-98, Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check.
I like using my old ASA instrument oral exam guide as an overall review along with the current FAR/AIM to update any outdated material.
I also used the Elite v8.6 flight simulator along with the Elite GNS 430 WAAS to fly the approaches at the airport and all flown in the comfort of my home. I’ve used this flight sim all throughout my training and have nothing but praise for this amazingly beneficial tool. This flight simulator has saved me time and money in flight training and review. If you are thinking about buying a flight simulator for home use, do it!
After reviewing the resources above, I was very prepared for both IPC ground and flight. During my IPC, the ground review was very thorough and went smoothly. I knew a lot and learned a lot. I was more nervous about the flight portion but knew all the flight sim flying would prove beneficial. The sky was busy and so was ATC, but I loved every minute of it. I was impressed by how the instructor responded to various situations during the IPC flight. Because ATC was so busy, we were denied a variety of approaches and requests. The instructor took it all in stride and kept coming up with different options for me to fly. The IPC worked me hard. I left a lot of sweat in that plane but walked away a satisfied instrument current pilot. I don’t plan on letting my IFR currency lapse again, but if I do, I know where to go to get the job done!