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Our specialty at Prairie Air Service, Inc. has always been multi-engine flight training. What makes our instrument training program different from most other flight schools is that we offer instrument flight training in a twin engine Piper PA23-160 Apache, which is equipped with HSI, RMI, DME, RNAV and Loran, as well as the usual dual nav-com, ILS and ADF and transponder required for instrument training. By receiving your instrument training in a well equipped multi-engine airplane you will become comfortable with the operation of equipment you will later on encounter in typical business or airline airplanes, and you will also become very familiar with multi-engine and complex airplane procedures. Many of our international customers have successfully upgraded from the Apache directly to the ATR72 and even the Boeing 737 after returning home.


In order to keep the cost of the instrument training reasonable, you will also receive 16 hours of training on the ATC-610 flight training device ("simulator"). You will first learn and practice the various procedures on the ground in the simulator, which will make it much easier in the airplane.


The instrument training packages described below have worked well for about 90% of our customers who are current and active pilots. These packages are not guaranteed; they are based on average aptitude and a large amount of self study. If you should require additional instruction that training time will be charged at the applicable hourly rates. If you are able to complete your training ahead of schedule, your cost will be reduced accordingly.

Multi Engine and Instrument Rating Course (Multi-Engine): $5500.00 (with IFR knowledge exam passed, must have at least 45 hours of cross country pilot in command experience):  30 hours Apache dual, 16 hours ATC-610 simulator dual, 3 weeks, includes oral exam prep and use of plane for 2 flight tests. 2 examiners' fees additional.


This course is designed for the VFR single engine pilot who wishes to obtain his multi-engine rating and then gain additional multi-engine pilot in command experience while receiving his instrument training in a twin.


Instrument Rating Course (Multi-Engine): $4600.00 (with IFR knowledge exam passed, must have 45 hours cross country pilot in command experience): 25 hours Apache dual, 16 hours ATC-610 simulator dual, 2˝ to 3 weeks, includes oral exam prep and use of plane for checkride. Examiner's fee additional. This course is designed for the VFR pilot who is already multi engine rated.




The VFR multi engine training will consist of the following maneuvers and procedures: Steep turns, stalls, slow flight, Vmc demonstration, emergency descent, engine out emergency procedures (enroute and in the traffic pattern), engine feathering and restart, normal and crosswind take-offs and landings, aborted take-offs and simulated single engine landings. The only difference between a private pilot and a commercial pilot multi engine add on rating flight test are the tolerances.


If you are currently flying complex single engine airplanes and are current with basic airwork you should have no problem getting your multi-engine rating in 6 hours. If you are rusty, have not practiced basic airwork recently, or have not yet been checked out in complex singles, you will probably require an additional 2 hours of multi engine instruction. If you feel that some additional training may be necessary, please allow additional time and let us know when you schedule your training.


Training Schedule :


Day 1:             1.5 hours cockpit briefing

                        1 or 2 flights of 1.5 – 2.0 hours each

                        2 hours multi engine ground school

Day 2:             .5 hours cockpit briefing

                        1 or 2 flights of 1.5 – 2.0 hours each

                        Flight Test (VFR Multi Engine Rating)


We usually fly a training flight on the day of the flight test to insure the student has a feeling for that day’s weather and wind conditions. The VFR multi engine rating can be completed in as little as two days. Some students may however be quite fatigued after 2 training flights and may not want to take the flight test immediately afterwards. For them it may work better to only take 1 flight on day one, 2 flights on day two, and a final training flight and flight test on day three. This also allows for more time to review the material covered during ground school.


Weather Requirements: The FAA requires most multi engine airwork maneuvers to be completed no lower than 3000 feet AGL. Therefore ceilings below 4000 feet can cause weather delays. Occasionally strong winds or turbulence may also make meaningful training difficult. While it may be possible to fly under such conditions, it can be very challenging and usually also requires more flight time to master the required tasks, which will increase the total cost. It is best if your schedule allows you to stay longer in the event of weather delays.



Depending on the student's background, the multi engine training will typically require approximately 6 hours of flight training. The training typically consists of 4 flights of 1.5 to 2.0 hours each. Refer to the multi engine ground school instructor guide for the subjects to be covered during ground school.


Flight Lesson 1: 1.5 hours ground and pre flight briefing, 1.5 to 2.0 hours flight:

            (a) Preflight inspection, cockpit checkout and lesson briefing.

            (b) Start up, taxi, run up, normal take off and climb.

            (c) Stalls, climb power and approach configuration, straight ahead and turning.

            (d) Slow flight, clean and flaps down, straight ahead and turns.

            (e) Steep turns.

            (f ) Engine out drills, straight ahead at approach cruise speed.

            (g) Normal traffic pattern and landing.


Flight Lesson 2: 0.2 hours pre flight briefing, 1.5 to 2.0 hours flight:

            (a) Start up, taxi, run up, normal take off and climb.

            (b) Engine out drills, all phases of flight.

            (c) Traffic patterns, twin engine, normal and maximum performance.   

(d) Traffic patterns with engine failures at different points in the pattern and engine out landings.

            (e) Aborted take offs.


Flight Lesson 3: 0.3 hours pre flight briefing, 1.5 to 2.0 hours flight:

Note: Multi engine ground school and discussion of Vmc to be completed before this flight.

            (a) Vmc demonstration.

            (b) Engine failure in cruise, troubleshooting procedures.

            (c) Feathering, securing checklist, crossfeed, restart.

            (d) Demonstration of effects of airspeed and configuration on performance (this can be combined

                  with (c) while engine is feathered).


Flight Lesson 4: 0.2 hours pre flight briefing, 1.5 to 2.0 hour flight:

(a) Review of all maneuvers and procedures and flight test prep





Note: This section does not apply if the student has already passed the FAA instrument rating knowledge exam before beginning his training with Prairie Air Service.


The ground training for the knowledge exam will be primarily self study by the student, assisted by approximately 20 hours of video materials. The materials used will prepare the student for the FAA knowledge exam (formerly called written exam) and cover the aeronautical knowledge areas required by FAR 61.65 (b)(1) - (10). The course books used are the Instrument/Commercial Manual by Jeppesen Training Products, in conjunction with the 5 video tapes of the Jeppesen Instrument/Commercial Pilot Video Training System. Additional preparation for the FAA knowledge exam uses the King Schools Instrument Written Exam video course, in conjunction with King Schools computerized exam review software and knowledge exam study books by Gleim Publications.


If a student needs additional assistance with any of the required subject areas it will be provided by an FAA certified instrument flight or ground instructor.  This additional instruction is usually part of the ground school received in conjunction with the flight training portion of the instrument rating course. Our experience has shown that the knowledge exam will be easiest for the student after he/she has completed about 75% of the instrument flight training course and is able to use his/her flight training experience and associated ground training to further enhance the knowledge gained during self study.


FLIGHT TRAINING: The instrument flight training will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of FAR 61.65 (c)(1) - (8) and will prepare the student for the instrument rating flight test and applicable tolerances as per the FAA Instrument Rating Practical Test Standard (PTS FAA-S-8081-4B or applicable revised edition). The Instrument Flight Training Manual by Peter Dogan is used as reading material for the flight training portion of the instrument training, supported by additional material compiled or written and supplied by us. The Sporty's Pilot Shop Instrument Rating Video Course and various King Schools and Jeppesen single subject video tapes, totaling approximately 25 hours, are used to provide additional operational information. The flight and ground training will be given by FAA certified flight instructors with an instrument airplane flight instructor rating and/or FAA certified ground instructors with an instrument ground instructor rating as applicable.


The instrument flight training will take place on an ATC-610 flight training device equipped with a plotter that records the flight path simulated by the trainer, and in a twin engine Piper PA23-160 "Apache", which is equipped with dual VOR and VHF communications, ILS, ADF, DME, marker beacon receiver, VOR-DME RNAV, LORAN, a Bendix HSD 880 HSI/RMI indicator and intercom.


If a student desires to take his instrument flight training in a single engine airplane, a Piper PA28R-180 "Arrow" will be used. It is equipped with dual VOR and VHF communications, ILS, ADF, DME, marker beacon receiver, Loran and intercom.

The flight training consist of 6 hours of ground school and briefings, 16 hours of flight training device instruction and 25 hours of flight instruction arranged in 5 phases as  described below. Usually the ground school and flight training device instruction of phases 1 and 2 is completed before the actual flight training in the airplane begins. We will attempt to expose the instrument student to some actual instrument weather conditions, as long as it is safely possible to do so, considering ceiling and visibility, icing, thunderstorms and student skills. The flight lessons of phases 2, 3 and 4 can be conducted in actual instrument weather conditions. It is not practical to conduct the training flights of phase 1 in IMC, and safety considerations make visual weather conditions mandatory for phase 5.

PHASE 1: Attitude Flying and VOR,  NDB and Airway intercept and tracking: 2 hours ground school, 5 hours ATC 610 flight training device, 4 hours airplane. This phase covers basic aircraft control solely by reference to instruments: Climbs, descents, turns, airspeed changes and configuration changes, as well as intercepting and tracking VOR radials and NDB bearings and Airway Segments outbound and inbound. [Ref. FAR 61.65(c)(4)&(5)]. Typically each lesson will conclude with simulated vectors to an instrument approach.


PHASE 2: Instrument approaches, holding patterns and procedure turns: 2 hours ground school, 9 hours ATC 610 flight training device, 6 hours airplane.  During this phase the student will become familiar with the different types and configurations of instrument approach procedures, such as VOR, VOR-DME, NDB, ILS and LOC-B/C, as well as different initial approach transitions and procedure turn variations; missed approach procedures, deviations to unplanned alternates, and different holding patterns (VOR, intersections, radial/DME, NDB). [Ref. FAR 61.65(c)(1)(2)(3)(6)&(7)]. Emphasis will also be placed on wind correction with wind speeds of up to 40 knots. During this phase instrument approach procedures will typically be flown at uncontrolled airports with the instructor simulating ATC communications, and the student practicing IFR phraseology. If actual IFR conditions are encountered, the instructor will handle ATC communications. 


PHASE 3: ATC Communications: 1 hour ground school, 5 hours airplane. During this phase the student will handle Air Traffic Control communications. The flights typically take place at Wichita Mid Continent airport and/or Hutchinson airport (these are the only 2 tower controlled civilian airports within a 50 nautical mile radius of Benton) and involve both radar vectors and pilot navigation approach transitions, as well as published and/or ATC assigned missed approach procedures. The instructor will assist as necessary with the communications. Emphasis will be placed on proper prioritizing of the tasks of aircraft control, navigation and communications.


PHASE 4: IFR Cross Country Procedures: 3 hours ground school, 3 hours airplane. During this phase the IFR training cross country flight of 250 nautical miles with 1 ILS, and 2 non precision approaches at three different airports will be conducted. The flight will be conducted on an IFR flight plan, and the enroute navigation phase will cover VOR airway and direct segments, as well as STARs and SIDs as assigned by air traffic control. [Ref. FAR 63.65(d)(2)(iii)].


PHASE 5: Emergency procedures and Flight Test Preparation: 2 hours ground school, 2 hours ATC-610 flight training device, 7 hours airplane. This phase covers partial panel (i.e. no gyro) procedures, recoveries from unusual attitudes, lost communications, simulated engine failures and simulated engine out instrument approaches (for the multi engine instrument training course)[Ref. FAR 61.65(c)(7)]. At the end of this phase the student will take the instrument rating practical test.


Dale L. Coleman, MS, CQE, RAC

Adjunct Professor of Engineering and Technology Management


2000 April 21


Mr. Herb Pello

Prairie Air Service

Benton, Kansas 67017


Dear Herb:


I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the flight instruction received at your school over the last month. Your training program provided me with my multiengine, instrument, and commercial ratings in only four weeks at a cost that no other school could possibly match.


It will interest you to know that my training has already been put to the test less than a week from returning from your school. I took a business trip from Burlington, Vermont, to Toronto in intense instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). I flew the gauges for over three solid hours and successfully completed an ILS approach into Toronto International Airport.


On the way back, conditions were no better. Midway through, my attitude indicator started telling me that my nose was decreasingly pointed down, despite my steady airspeed and altitude. Knowing there was something wrong with this picture, I glanced at the suction gauge - zero! Your training prevented panic or even serious concern; cross-checking the instruments had prevented an unusual attitude, and ATC was most helpful. I declared an emergency and performed a no-gyro approach into Watertown, New York, 45 miles away. I got the vacuum pump replaced and completed my trip that afternoon - all in IMC.


While getting home is always rewarding, I was especially touched when the line crew that met me gave me a very crisp salute. (It seems that several at the FBO were betting heavily that I wouldn’t get the plane back in time and would be stuck somewhere for the weekend as the weather shut down the Northeast.) I pass that salute along to you and Kenny for a job well done.


I was thankful that my training was so fresh in my mind, and that we took whatever time it took to get it right. It impressed upon me the need to keep those skills current with frequent refresher training. You can therefore expect to see me again.


In conclusion, it is with great pleasure that I recommend Prairie Air Service as a fine and affordable flight school for those who intend to challenge the sky on a less than fair-weather day. I also wish to express my gratitude and provide my heartfelt recommendation to instructor Kenny Hultman. His efforts during ground and simulator training were instrumental to my success.





Dale Coleman 

107 Woodbine Road, Shelburne, Vermont 05482 USA


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