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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, totalling 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, Shelbume, Vermont 05482 USA


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