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The classic commercial/instrument conundrum


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So, say a guy has - between fixed wing and helo time - the requisite number of hours for his commercial cert, minus the ten hours of instrument training and the check ride. Would it be more advantageous to move forward with the instrument ticket BEFORE aiming for the commercial, or get the commercial out of the way and THEN work on the instrument?

 

My thought is that some work opportunities might present themselves with the commercial (you never know, we get a lot of photo work) which might help offset the instrument training costs.

 

I'm interested in your thoughts. I'm also interested in caffeinating... off to make the morning coffee...

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You never got any instrument time in the airplane? If you did, that counts toward the ten hours.

 

If you have the prereqs, and are pretty close to meet the skills, I would get the 10 hrs, then get the commercial. Then start on the instrument right away.

 

The instrument is 40 hrs, so that could take several months if you have a full time job, or run into some bad weather over the winter. You could regress if you're not out doing autos and such during that time. That's why I say, do the commercial ride ASAP.

 

Honestly though, I would try to group the commercial and CFI as close together as possible. It's to the same standards, just from the other seat. Then take the instrument and CFII together too--again--same ride from a different seat.

 

I just steered you in two different directions, so, sorry. What's your goal in the end here?

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You never got any instrument time in the airplane? If you did, that counts toward the ten hours.

 

If you have the prereqs, and are pretty close to meet the skills, I would get the 10 hrs, then get the commercial. Then start on the instrument right away.

 

The instrument is 40 hrs, so that could take several months if you have a full time job, or run into some bad weather over the winter. You could regress if you're not out doing autos and such during that time. That's why I say, do the commercial ride ASAP.

 

Honestly though, I would try to group the commercial and CFI as close together as possible. It's to the same standards, just from the other seat. Then take the instrument and CFII together too--again--same ride from a different seat.

 

I just steered you in two different directions, so, sorry. What's your goal in the end here?

 

Since all my helicopter ratings were add-on's. I was in much the same position you are. Check your logbook over carefully with your instructor to see what instrument time you have and what is usable. Then get what ever time you need for the Commercial. I would also suggest you get it in a fixed wing as it would be much less expensive. Get the Commercial and then do your CFI since you are now at your sharpest point in regards to the maneuvers. The do your instrument and CFII at the same time. At a later date you can do your FW commercial and Instrument as add-on's, if you so desire.

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I did my instrument, then my commercial, then CFI, then CFII. There was less than 2 weeks between my instrument and my commercial check rides though. I did it that way because I didn't have the required hours for my commercial (instrument, PIC or total) until I had done my instrument training. I do kind of wish I had been able to group my instrument and CFII closer together, like my commercial and CFI were. I felt like I had a LOT of review to do when CFII ride came around, since it had been several months since studying instrument procedures. That said though, there will be times when working as a CFI that you may go a few months without doing instrument training - either due to weather or just not having any students working on that rating - so it's likely that you'll need to "refresh your memory" at some point anyway. If it were a possibility, and it sounds like it is for you, I would suggest doing your commercial, then CFI, then instrument, then CFII. I know several people that took their instrument and CFII rides the same day.

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Obtaining your CFII before your CFI will change your CFII check ride somewhat. In the PTS there is a chart that shows what tasks you will be given credit for if you already have your CFI when you take your CFII ride. Personally, I would do the CFI ride before the CFII.

 

 

Only way you can do it, CFI is a prerequisite for CFII

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Did they change if instrument requirements? They had in Vertical this month that it must be helicopter time, no more fixed wing...?

 

Not as far as I know.

 

61.65d, (2), (iv) requires the long cross country IFR to be in a helicopter though. See below.

 

FAR 61.65 (d) Aeronautical experience. A person who applies for an instrument rating must have logged the following:

 

(1) At least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes for an instrument—airplane rating; and

 

(2) A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time on the areas of operation of this section, to include—

 

(i) At least 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in the aircraft category for which the instrument rating is sought;

 

(ii) At least 3 hours of instrument training that is appropriate to the instrument rating sought from an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the 60 days preceding the date of the test;

 

(iii) For an instrument—airplane rating, instrument training on cross- country flight procedures specific to airplanes that includes at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR, and consists of—

 

(A) A distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing;

 

(B) An instrument approach at each airport; and

 

© Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems;

 

(iv) For an instrument—helicopter rating, instrument training specific to helicopters on cross-country flight procedures that includes at least one cross-country flight in a helicopter that is performed under IFR, and consists of—

 

(A) A distance of at least 100 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing;

 

(B) An instrument approach at each airport; and

 

© Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems;

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Only way you can do it, CFI is a prerequisite for CFII

 

Negative.

 

I personally know a girl who has her CFII and didn't want a CFI. Just about every person we could find questioned it, but couldn't find any reason it couldn't be done. The FAA didn't seem to mind either.

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Only way you can do it, CFI is a prerequisite for CFII

 

It is not a prerequisite. You just teach instruments. You are teaching procedures to someone who knows how to fly already. The only catch is that your student has to already have at least a private rating in category/class and be current. To teach instrument in the R44,(or R22) then someone else has to do the PIC transition. Remember that CFII is Certified Flight Instructor Instrument. They are not Roman numerals.

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Only way you can do it, CFI is a prerequisite for CFII

 

Check the CFII PTS and you will see a table that outlines the different tasks that are credited vs required when going for your CFII with without your CFI. Basically, if you don't have your CFI when you go for your CFII, your check ride will be more involved because you don't get the credits you would normally get for already having your CFI.

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Check the CFII PTS and you will see a table that outlines the different tasks that are credited vs required when going for your CFII with without your CFI. Basically, if you don't have your CFI when you go for your CFII, your check ride will be more involved because you don't get the credits you would normally get for already having your CFI.

 

 

I don't have a PTS to see the chart you're talking about but you're right. If the CFII is the initial ride then it will definitely be more involved then doing it as an add-on. I'm sure you will have to do more ground and flight lessons(pertaining to instruments) then you normally would and you will be tested on FOI as well. On the same note, if you do that first then the CFI will be an add-on and then much less involved. Ground, flight, and FOI lessons are already done. Now it will be just a few VFR lessons but the initial stuff is done. I'm not saying it's better either way but is is a possibility which may be and easier option for some situations.

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