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My IFR story

An ifr story

I finally did it this December I passed my instrument rating so I’m now a commercial land and sea instrument rated pilot single engine. It definitely took a long time to do I started instrument flying about 10 years ago. It wasn’t that I never wanted to get my instrument rating it’s that I ran out of money.

I got my private pilots certificate in the fall of 2008 in the spring of the year I got married. I was going to Arizona State with ambitions to become a commercial pilot. By the time I got my private license the financial recession that happened that year in the next few years after was starting to manifest itself. I continued flight training seeing all my instructors leave for the airlines and then less than a year later come back to CFIs. By the end of the spring of 2009 I had changed my major to aviation management degree and decided to pursue aviation using part 61 I saw that I needed to pinch every penny that I could I still had ambitions to become an airline pilot but could see that I’d have to make every dollar last. I taken out a good number of loans in order to pursuemy aviation career. By fall of 2009 I was finishing up my commercial hours as well as working on my instrument rating. At the end of the year I applied for more loans in order to finish up my training. By then I was over 250 hours and had probably 30 hours of instrument training under my belt. But I was rejected no banks were handing out any student loans that I could find because of the recession. I had to throw in the towel not because I wouldn’t have finished just on loans but I was a new husband and a new father and at the time even if I did have all the certificates that I needed and was lucky enough to get a regional job the regional guys at that time weren’t making much more than 20 grand a year I definitely didn’t want to support a family on that. So I had a decision to make I could either finish my commercial rating or finish my instrument rating I wouldn’t have enough money to do both I had taken the written for both already.

I found a flight school up by Lake Havasu that did commercial land and sea ratings. Since I wasn’t going to go any further in my aviation career I decided to have some fun on my way out and get my seaplane rating at the same time. So that’s what I did I got my seaplane rating in January 2010 and was a commercial pilot without an instrument rating for almost 10 years. I continued to go to college through 2010 the whole time talking to a Navy recruiter when 2011 rolled around I didn’t go to that semester and entered the Navy in April 2011. The Navy benefited my family and myself more than I’ll ever know and I served four years getting out in April 2015.

Shortly after getting out I found a law-enforcement career and a few years in I was able to pursue flying once again. So I started studying for my written test again and once I passed in May of 2019 I went looking for a flight school. I had over 30 hours of instrument training from 10 years ago and needed the long IFR cross country. I had some G.I. Bill benefits that I wanted to use from the Navy but finding a flight school where I wasn’t a primary student and wanted to just finish up my IFR training using my benifits and take Uncle Sam’s money was like twisting peoples arm. I finally found a flight school a few hours from my house in Scottsdale. It wasn’t my first choice because they were a little pricey and far away but the training was superb and they helped me finish up.

So now I did it I’m finally an instrument rated pilot it’s kind of crazy to think about having gone 10 years being that exception to the rule a commercial pilot without an instrument rating having a limitation on my license saying I can’t fly passengers over 50 miles. It took a few weeks to sink in that I now meet all the qualifications for those job applications that say you need to have an instrument rating and a commercial rating pretty crazy. And that’s my IFR story.


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