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"The Most Convenient Way To Get Valuable IFR Experience"
Try IFR Mastery scenarios on your computer, iPad or smart phone.
Master the finer points of Instrument flying
Hone valuable skills and decision making
Gain a better understanding of the IFR system
Learn to manage common emergencies
Get the most out of your next IPC
"One of the best training aides I've used in my 40 years of flying." - John Graff, Colorado
Online Scenarios That Build Confidence
There is no substitute for actual flying experience – pilots that train and fly regularly are typically confident and proficient. While we can't put you in an airplane, we can do the next best thing by immersing you in the mental aspects of IFR flying.
IFR Mastery is a continuing series of online, scenario-based workshops. Each month, we provide a challenging real-world IFR scenario that tests your knowledge and hones your decision making skills.
It's more than reading another article or watching another video. IFR Mastery delivers a powerful way to keep your head in the game and gain valuable experience from the comfort of your computer.
The best part of IFR Mastery is you will get maximum return for the time you invest! Because you are actively engaged, you will learn and retain the lessons in far less time. And because it's fun, you will want to do it more often.
"When it comes to exercising IFR thinking, the program that I was most impressed with was the IFR Mastery Series from PilotWorkshops."
"PilotWorkshop’s IFR Mastery Series hits a sweet-spot mix of material to do on your own schedule and interactively - especially if you spend time in the discussion groups."
- Jeff Van West, Editor - IFR Magazine (Feb. 2012)
A Focused Structure For Busy Pilots
IFR Mastery offers a structured approach that makes learning fun and highly effective. The scenarios follow a format that is simple and straight-forward.
Step 1 - Get a Quick Briefing:
The first step is to watch a short video that sets the stage for your IFR scenario.
You will get a full briefing of the situation and a detailed explanation of all the factors you must consider.
Step 2 - Evaluate Your Options:
Here, you will further assess the situation and choose your course of action.
The resources are specific to each scenario and may include weather data, aircraft specific information, performance charts, IFR enroute charts, approach plates, airport information and other relevant data.
Step 3 - Make Your Choice:
You will be given a list of options for how to best manage the situation. Select your choice using a live polling feature on our website. This way, you can get instant feedback and compare your choice with other pilots.
Step 4 - Learn From Instructors:
After making your selection, you will watch the instructor's analysis video and hear which option they chose.
They will provide step-by-step instruction for each scenario and offer a technically detailed explanation of their process for completing each flight.
These segments are full of tips and techniques!
Step 5 - Visit The Hangar:
This is our members-only discussion forum. After going through the workshops, you will enjoy spending time in the Hangar.
You can read the forum posts where pilots share a story or ask the instructors a question. There are lots of valuable discussions that come out of these scenarios and you are free to join them if you wish.
This is also the place where you can listen to the Roundtable Audio where all our instructors get together and further dissect each scenario.
Finally, you can access the monthly IFR Quiz to see how much you learned...and don't forget to read the lively discussions that the quizzes are sure to instigate.
"..a great learning tool for any pilot who wants a painless path to the experience typically gained by scar tissue." - Edward S. Florida
Take the Video Tour
In this short video, Pilotworkshops Founder Mark Robidoux walks you through a typical scenario and shares some valuable lessons.
Meet The IFR Mastery Instructors
Bob Nardiello was the "Flight Instructor of the Year" in 2004 and "FAA Safety Counselor of the Year" in 2006 for the Windsor Locks Flight Standards District Office. He has over 10,000 hours of total flight experience, with more than 7,000 hours as a Flight Instructor. He currently holds CFI, CFII, MEI, and ATP ratings and serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner. Bob is the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at a Part 141 Flight School and is also a seasoned charter pilot flying a Cessna 421 and Citation Ultra.
Wally Moran is a retired airline captain and spent much of his career as a training instructor and check airman on aircraft including the Boeing 747 and 767. He has held a flight instructor certificate for over 50 years. He is a Designated Pilot Examiner for airplanes and gliders and has given over 4000 hours of flight instruction in single engine, multiengine, gliders and seaplanes.
Wally has been awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and is designated a Master CFI by the National Association of Flight Instructors.
John Krug's 27 years of experience as an Air Traffic Controller combined with his experience as an active flight instructor and charter pilot, allow him to assist pilots in gaining a better understanding of the ATC system and how to best operate in it. While with the FAA, he was an On-the-Job-Training Instructor for new controllers and worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist, responsible for conducting in-flight evaluations of the Air Traffic System and investigating accidents and incidents.
Bob Martens is a nationally known speaker, consultant and aviation safety expert. He retired from the FAA after spending 17 years as a Safety Program Manager. In this role, he delivered hundreds of live seminars devoted to General Aviation safety. Bob retired from the USAF (rank of Colonel) in 2000 after 30 years of active and reserve duty. He was an Aircraft Commander in a C-5A and also served as Flying Safety Officer and Chief of Safety with the 439th AirWing. Bob has logged thousands of flight hours in both military and GA aircraft.
Your IFR Mastery Membership Includes:
New Monthly Scenarios - receive unlimited, online access to all new scenarios every month. Includes scenario overview videos, resources and tools for additional analysis, live polling and detailed instructional videos. We email you when new scenarios are published.
Discussion Forum - unlimited online access to the "Hangar" (members-only discussion forum) where pilots discuss and debate the scenarios. You can join these discussions any time, or ask our instructors a question. Some of the best learning occurs in the forums.
Roundtable Audios - we get all our instructors together and open the microphones. They share personal experiences and additional, detailed observations on the scenarios. Downloadable MP3 audio.
Monthly IFR Quizzes - prepare to be challenged! These quizzes are short but will really test your knowledge. You will get feedback on all answers to reinforce your understanding of the topics. We email you when each new quiz is published.
WINGS Credit - receive 3 WINGS credits for every completed IFR Mastery workshop. We've issued credit for thousands of completed IFR Mastery workshops! Fill out a 3-field form on our website and we'll do the rest to make sure your credit is issued by the FAA Safety Team.
Sign Up Today And We Will Waive The $199 New Member Charge.
The $199 new member charge covers the value of all the monthly IFR Mastery scenarios we have previously published on our website. With this offer, you'll get access to all these scenarios for no additional cost.
Includes Instant Access To 20 Additional IFR Mastery Scenarios...
|Non-Radar Approach to Mena
In non-radar environments, it is up to the pilot in command to fly an instrument approach legally, safely and efficiently without the assistance and protection that ATC provides. This can be especially challenging since most of our approaches are flown with ATC's assistance and we may not have experience flying approaches in non-radar environments. This scenario will test your readiness to fly a challenging non-radar approach in low conditions.
|Approach to Minimums at Danbury
Non-precision approaches can be very challenging, especially when the weather is at or near minimums. The risk increases further when the airport you are flying to is surrounded by terrain in all quadrants, demanding strict adherence to the published approach and missed approach procedures. Add to that a new, high performance airplane you are transitioning into and a wet runway and the ingredients are in place for a challenging scenario. See how well you do.
|Localizer Outage at Nantucket
During the final segments of an instrument approach, the workload is highest for the pilot. This is the worst place for an unexpected equipment failure! Ride along on this scenario which John Krug based on a real situation that happened to him. As you will see, it is best to consider these situations ahead of time so you can execute properly under pressure when the stuff hits the fan.
|Fog Over Georgia
This scenario introduces a number of risk factors. You have a new glass panel airplane that will enhance your IFR flying, but you are not Instrument current or proficient using the new equipment. You are planning an important business trip in the new airplane but are concerned you may have to file IFR. A local CFII whom you've never flown with offers to make the trip with you. Add in some pressure to get there with challenging weather conditions and you have the recipe for an interesting scenario.
|North Adams Departure
In this scenario, you are departing a non-towered airport before dawn into a non-radar environment. This is a challenging departure which requires accurate planning and solid execution at an hour when you should still be in bed. The scenario is based on a real, fatal accident and could have easily been prevented. Don't miss the roundtable discussion where our instructors explain the steps that should have been taken to avoid this tragic ending.
You are flying your family to Orlando, Florida so your daughter can fulfill her lifelong dream and "swim with the dolphins" at SeaWorld. Because of a few weather delays, you are up against it and need to depart immediately in order to make it there for your reserved time. Although the weather is challenging, the departure is doable as long as everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, it doesn't and now you've put your family in a potentially dangerous situation. Lots of good discussion points to chew on in this one.
|Night Takeoff at PDX
This month's workshop is a little different from the previous ones. It addresses a critical part of Instrument flying (and VFR flying) that is often overlooked. Ride along and discover how something that seems so easy can actually overload pilots of all skill and experience levels. John Krug offers a unique perspective and valuable lessons on this important issue.
It's not unusual for an instrument flight to present challenges that we couldn't have predicted before departure. Let's face it, stuff happens! However, we can reduce some risks by making good decisions on the ground before we depart, while other risks come up in-flight and must be managed real-time. This scenario provides the opportunity to work on both of those critical decision making skills.
|Martha's Vineyard Accident
Having a highly capable airplane and an Instrument rating opens up a world or new possibilities. In this scenario, you use your airplane to travel to your vacation home on Martha's Vineyard island. You are highly experienced, have made this trip dozens of times and fly a very capable airplane. While these factors should work in your favor, they can also stack the deck against you in the right circumstances. This scenario raises some important topics.
|Night Visual Approach to KPMP
A visual approach can be a valuable tool for both the pilot and the ATC system. It can expedite traffic and save fuel while retaining an IFR clearance. However, visual approaches are not without risk. In this scenario, the weather is good VFR; it is a familiar airplane and familiar airspace. How then, did our scenario pilot almost fly a perfectly functioning airplane into the ground under good weather conditions? Ride along and see how you would handle this critical situation.
This month, you and a friend are flying to Wisconsin to join a few hundred thousand fellow aviators for a week of airplanes, sun and brats. Your planned route from the East Coast was to fly the south side of Lake Erie, however because of weather in the area you decide to take the northern route over Canadian Airspace. This should not be a problem, however due to an unexpected issue with your airplane - this decision comes with additional consequences.
|Icing Encounter Over West Virginia
This month's scenario will test your tolerance for risk when flying near areas of forecasted icing conditions. You are "on top" cruising along in the clear, but below you is a widespread cloud layer containing areas of forecasted icing. As you continue along your intended route, the weather conditions you encounter are not consistent with the forecast and the situation deteriorates to the point where you need to make a decision now. Test your decision making skills in this critical area of IFR flying.
|Thunderstorm over Western PA
Anytime thunderstorms are in the forecast, pilots should proceed with extreme caution. In this scenario, the pilot was painted into a dangerous corner when his equipment was telling him one thing, while his eyeballs told another story. It happens! As you will see, it's easy to get into trouble when you are operating near a line of thunderstorms. Finding your way out of this one will help you to never get there in the first place.
|Bad Weather At Little Rock
In this scenario, you get an urgent call from a friend whose wife and daughter have been involved in an automobile accident hundreds of miles away. He asks if you can fly him to an airport near the hospital right away so he can be with his family. Unfortunately, thunderstorms may impact your route of flight, so you must balance safety with your friend's urgent need to "get there now". See how you would weigh the risk factors on this flight.
|Mechanical Trouble Near Millville
You are planning the "trip of a lifetime" to the Bahamas with your family. First though, you need to have a few maintenance items taken care of by your local A&P before the long flight. The day before the trip, you pick up the airplane from the maintenance shop and return it to your home airport. It's a simple, 20 minute flight - what can go wrong? Think your way through this difficult situation.
|Scary Discovery Near San Francisco
In this scenario, you are motoring along at cruise altitude over the San Francisco Bay area when you make an alarming discovery. You have a problem with your airplane that could be a minor inconvenience or a full-blown emergency situation. Learn how to evaluate this potential problem in-flight and take the necessary actions that will give you the best possible outcome.
|A Serious Attitude Issue
As Instrument pilots, we are dependent on technology and cockpit automation to keep us out of trouble. This equipment can be a blessing since it reduces our workload and helps us fly Single Pilot IFR safely in the soup. It can also be a curse, especially if we are too reliant on it. Ride along with our scenario pilot and see how a small technology glitch almost pushed him over the edge in an instant.
|Trouble Near Palomar
Most pilots have experienced frequency congestion on the radio where it becomes difficult to communicate with ATC. If you're flying VFR, it may not be a big deal. But when you are on an IFR flight plan and approaching a critical segment of the flight, frequency congestion can turn from inconvenient to downright dangerous. This scenario is based on a real accident report and deals with a common problem that can lead to big trouble if not managed properly.
In this scenario, the pilot has recently stepped up to a faster airplane that is capable of flying at higher altitudes. Even though he received transition training to build his operating proficiency in the new airplane, he discovered a significant gap in his IFR knowledge while on a routine flight at higher altitudes. We will review the procedure this pilot should have known before he departed to avoid a difficult situation.
|North Country Approach
Flying instrument approaches to remote airports can present unique challenges. See how this approach to a backwoods airport went from straight-forward to highly challenging in the blink of an eye. We will explore this potential IFR trap and provide solutions to reduce your risk in this type of operation.
IFR Mastery Q&A - answers to common questions
Q: Will it run on my Computer and iPad?
A: Yes. IFR Mastery runs on Windows PCs, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android devices and even Kindle. The only requirement is an internet connection and a web browser. Over half of our current subscribers watch the IFR Mastery scenarios on their iPads.
Q: How long does my IFR Mastery membership last?
A: It's month-to-month. There is no long term obligation or commitment, you can easily cancel at any time.
Q: Why one new scenario per month?
A: Focus. We understand that pilots are busy, so we focus our attention on the most important IFR topics. We cover these topics from every angle to ensure that you have a deep understanding before moving on. This focus improves your retention of critical lessons.
Q: What is the "New Member" fee?
A: First, realize that you do not pay the $199 new member fee during this special offer. But normally, this fee covers the value of all the monthly workshops we have previously published on our website.
Q: It sounds good, can I try it for a month or two?
A: Sure. That's the beauty of our monthly membership. Obviously we want you to get value from your membership and improve as an instrument pilot. However, if it's not for you...you can cancel at any time (easily done on our website, email or over the phone) and billing will stop immediately. This puts you in control without investing a lot of money up front.
Q: Will you ever raise my price in the future?
A: No. Your price will never increase as long as you remain an active member.
Give it a try - you have nothing to lose!
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IFR Mastery Online Membership
Access new monthly scenarios and all previously published scenarios
Cancel any time
Note: Your membership will automatically renew with new monthly scenarios until you decide to stop. This can easily be done by email, phone or on the web site.