Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Leaving your aviation comfort zone will open new doors
Many in aviation believe that the one way to improve your flying exponentially is to earn the instrument rating. Even if you never plan on flying in the soup or shooting approaches to minimums on dark, rainy nights, the instrument rating will make you a better pilot. The reason is because instrument training teaches you accuracy. In fact, it ingrains it into your brain. When talking about deviations of one or two degrees and altitude accuracy within a few feet, you can't help but fly with more precision.
The rating isn't easy and might be the most difficult one of them all. You can earn the rating at a traditional FBO over the course of several months, or you can opt for an accelerated course, such as those by AFIT, ATP and American Flyers, that condenses the process into an intensive but rewarding eight- to 10-day period. Ultimately, there are few sights more satisfying than breaking out of an overcast just a few hundred feet above a runway and knowing you did it without ever looking outside.
The Cirrus SR22 has been lauded as the most capable and technically advanced general aviation aircraft in production today. Certainly anybody who has ever flown one will agree that they're one of the best cross-country machines out there, offering speeds of better than 200 knots with the ease of fixed gear and FADEC performance control. Close to 5,200 of the aircraft are out there, and it seems every FBO offers them for rent. Because of their idiosyncrasies and specific procedures, they require a transition course for safe operation.
Cirrus has a global network of Cirrus Training Centers (CTCs) and Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilots (CSIPs) that are dedicated to Cirrus flight training. Most also have Cirrus aircraft available for rental and flight instruction, along with professional instructors to get you the best Cirrus pilot education possible. Though the aircraft is simple to fly, there are things specific to the aircraft owing to its unique manufacturing process and engineering. The airframe parachute is just one of the systems you'll get special instruction on.
Why learn to fly a Cirrus? For one, many of the world's top vacation spots are offering Cirrus-only rentals for pilots wishing to fly in the area. For example, Platinum Aviation in south Florida is one of few FBOs that will rent an aircraft to fly to the Bahamas. Their Cirrus-only fleet includes life jackets and everything needed to fly the islands. Other destinations like Hawaii and Europe have similar rental programs. In addition, insurance companies offer discounts for having completed Cirrus transition training.
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Labels: Careers, Features, Flight Training, Getting Your License, Learning Center, Pilot Skills, What's New, Proficiency