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
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
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.