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Sun, Nov 20, 2005

IFR Adventure Training

Challenging Refresher Concept In Rockies or Alaska

When it's time for a Biennial Flight Review or Instrument Competency Check, a lot of pilots look for the cheapest and easiest way to check off these requirements. If that describes you, you can stop reading now.

But if you're looking for a challenge, for real instrument flying with a high probability of real IMC in unfamiliar territory, or for a chance to sandblast the rust off your skills and gain that confidence born of true mastery, Field Morey has a deal for you -- a deal called IFR Adventure Training.

Morey, a well-known mountain CFII now based in Oregon, offers two Adventures. The winter Rocky Mountain Adventure is a one-week round-robin that kicks off in Medford, Oregon with a Sunday brief and planning session and Monday departure. Over the week you fly east through Idaho and Montana, then south through Wyoming and Colorado, before returning through New Mexico and Arizona and then up the entire West Coast. The five-flying-day program costs $6,600 for the 2006 season.

The Alaska Adventure, conducted in the summer, also starts off in Medford, but heads north and west instead, all the way up the Alaskan panhandle past Juneau to Anchorage -- although the actual stops will depend, to some degree, on the pursuit of bad (but not TOO bad) weather. You won't add a lot of states to your logbook, just Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia, but you will add six days of incredible flying experiences to your memory. The Alaska Adventure is $8,100 for the 2006 season.

Morey likes good living and the stops include destinations familiar to readers of travel magazines. "IFR means 'I find restaurants,'" he quips. He has a particular knack for finding resort fields with unusual and challenging approaches and departures such as Telluride, Colorado, Sedona, Arizona, Skagway, Alaska, and Catalina Island, California.

But the purpose of the trip, great adventure though it may be, is piloting proficiency. Morey can begin with a pilot who's not even current, and have him or her at a level of proficiency and confidence previously unimaginable.

In addition to a BFR and ICC, the program (either one) provides complex and high-performance logbook signoffs for those pilots who need them. In fact, the program fulfills the instrument training and complex aircraft requirements of FAR 61.129 for pilots seeking the commercial pilot certificate.

The machine used is the Cessna Skylane RG, equipped with Garmin GNS 530 GPS/Nav/Com and Chelton EFIS equipment (the panel picture predates the Chelton installation). Other equipment includes 3-axis autopilot and Bose noise-cancelling headset (pilots can bring their own headsets).

In all of the Adventures, Morey's students use what he calls the "Apollo principle" -- which is a fancy way of saying that students double up, with one flying while one observes and soaks it up. Each student will log some 30 hours and about as many approaches and departures in five or six (depending on program) concentrated flying days.

Morey's promotional material calls it "an 'Outward Bound' program for the rated pilot who is interested in gaining proficiency and confidence." Pilots must agree; over 500 have attended Morey's Adventures.

FMI: www.ifrwest.com

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