What Our Customers Are Saying
We value our customer’s feedback about our proven process!
Accelerated IFR Training Reviews
Michael, I want to thank IFR6 and especially my instructor Zach Dodd for the great training last week. Zack sure had the knack for pushing me as far as I could go but not over the edge. I have retired airline pilot friends that told me that a 74 year old man could not pass an IFR check ride. Zach and I proved them wrong. After 6 days of training with Zach in the Sim and in the Aircraft , the check ride was actually pretty easy.Shelby Gunter, January 2022
I was absolutely amazed at the skill, dedication and customized instruction technique that my IFR6 instructor Bettina displayed during our 6 days together preparing for my instrument check ride. I could not have done this without her. Thank you Bettina and IFR6!Ryan Bliss, January 2022
Your program was fantastic!!Professionally run and well organised the syllabus hits hard on all the important aspects and the perfect amount of time is slotted for it to be achieved. Harrison is a fantastic instructor he has a great energy while being very cool calm and collective. Also he was very respectful of my aeroplane and accommodating and willing to help with anything I needed throughout the week. I wish him all the best and future success.Big thank you to all of you again!!I look forward to coming to see you for my commercial!!Ben Wright, December 2021
I have owned White Hawk Aviation for nearly 22 years. We are primarily a maintenance shop with a small flight school. I could not do my IFR training with my own people because there is way too many distractions and I’d never get done. So I started looking for somewhere to get my rating done quickly that was far enough away, and close enough if needed. I’ve been privileged to know countless instructors. Some good ones, some less than desirable. I showed up at your facility in a Navion. A plane very few know anything about. Throwing an instructor in a plane he knows nothing about with a pilot he’s never met or flown with was going to be quite an interesting experiment in my opinion. What happened next was such wonderful experience.
Chai Smith happens to be one of those people you instantly connect with. His insatiable curiosity and need to learn was only shadowed by his infectious personality and wonderful ability to teach. And teach well. I had such a good time with him. His sense of humor was very relaxing in this difficult and intense course. He was patient, tolerant and professional. He thinks outside the box when needed. He genuinely cared about whether I was getting it or not. Very well spoken and very intelligent. This is someone who has to do well in life. He deserves it. I’m proud to have his signature in my log book. It really means a lot to me to know that he has done well and that he knows the difference he has made in my life of aviation.Kevin Woodside, November 2021
Thanks for getting me together with Bettina to finish up my training. She’s one in a million for sure but she did what was needed for me to get past this IR checkride.Rick Turriff, November 2021
Kirk was amazing and has a wealth of information. I’m flying home tomorrow filing my first IFR flight plan.Dale Heppe, November 2021
I would like to thank IFR6 and especially Indy for the help and training to get me ready for my checkride. Having the simulator and all the in flight time really makes you confident getting ready for the test.Terry Freeman, September 2021
The IFR6 program is an amazing program and even better instructors. Chai Smith was my instructor and he helped me out and told me what to do differently where my weaknesses lied. He gave me great tips on how to prepare for my oral and my flight portion which helped me pass it all. If I was to rate him out of 10 stars then I’d give a 10 out of 10. Definitely a great person and even better instructor!Connor Rowan, August 2021
Hey Mike, I’ve seen a lot of training environments in my career of 10 years as a Corporate Pilot and 20 years as a Airline Pilot. I must tell you I am very Impressed with your program. This is the first training program I seen designed like Flight Safety and Airline training programs, but for the Instrument Student. It just makes since to include the Redbird Training Sims along with the flight instruction. I first saw your program on an AOPA video and it was very much worth the time and expense for my son. I will also say I was very impressed with Connor’s instructor Chai Smith. He was very knowledgeable, had a great attitude and helped Connor with his training. I would very much recommend your IFR6 program to pilots wanting to add an IFR rating.Brian Rowan, August 2021
I, like many pilots I know, have been working on my IFR certificate for about a year. The training was not consistent enough to be really meaningful. Part was because I would get busy, or my CFI would get busy, or our schedules would not match up. I did accomplish my 250 NM cross country with 3 approaches and had around 40 hours of actual or simulated IFR, but I was far from being competent or comfortable flying in IFR conditions. Your program is, in my opinion, the only way to learn and get competent and comfortable flying in IFR conditions and flying in the IFR system. I believe that the immersion style of learning is the best way to get the skills and habits solidified to make a safe Instrument pilot. Between my plane and the sim, I logged over 30 hours of instrument flying with a fantastic instructor critiquing and helping me find my way to gently controlling my Bonanza while flying by the instruments. We also found the appropriate power and configuration settings that make it easier to fly an approach in my aircraft. In the end, I was very prepared for a successful check ride. If you want to get comfortable and competent, I highly suggest the IFR6 program.Don Gatlin, July 2021
After completing my private 3 years ago and never seeming to get enough instructor time to get my IFR, I decided the only way it was going to happen was to take a week off from work and get it done. I researched COPA, talked to several CSIPs and ended up with IFR6. I was a little hesitant because it didn’t look on the surface that they had a lot of Cirrus specific instructors. Well, was I wrong! Kirk spent the whole week showing me better ways to use my SR22. Very impressed with the whole organization, I watched the other instructors interact with clients and they do a great job, very professional. The whole staff is committed to doing whatever they need to get the job done. Only two pieces of advice, Charleston is hot in the summer (bring shorts) and be very proactive with Atlantic (they are not the best Atlantic FBO).Don Morin, July 2021
IFR6 is more than just getting an instrument rating in 6 days, it’s learning everything thoroughly with the best instrument instructors out there. I worked with Kirk who is a brilliant flight instructor and CFII. He made sure I was comfortable in every aspect of the curriculum by check ride day. We even went out for lunch each day and chatted about our lessons and flying. The simulator is challenging, but very helpful in training. The simulator made flying the actual plane a lot easier in IMC. Best of all, I was very comfortable come check ride day and flew home through real IMC on a IFR flight plan! If you’re looking for the best instrument instruction out there and to finish it all in 1 week – I definitely recommend this program!Sagar Patel, July 2021
IFR6 is a very complete IFR training program. I felt ready for the checkride and more importantly, prepared to fly IFR back home! The instructors are willing to put in as much time as you need and customized my curriculum to concentrate on the areas where I needed the most help!
Chase Scarbrough, June 2021
Just wanted to say thanks for putting on a solid program. Don is an amazing DPE, I want to do all my checkrides with him!
Daniel Sarkis, May 2021
Many thanks to Zach at IFR6. After some intense training, my instrument skills started to come together quickly. The training format was logical and complete. Each day builds on the next and in no time I was passing my check ride. After successfully completing IFR6 I have flown in actual IMC and just complete my first IMC circling approach. In the past two days I’ve filed 5 IFR plans and can write clearances down without issue. A few weeks ago it was a challenge for me. IFR6 and Zach taught me holds, all the approaches and writing down clearances to the point where I can can continue to hone my skills with a solid foundation. I’d recommend IFR6 to anyone.
Tim Williams, May 2021
Mike, I just want to say that my experience at IFR6 was terrific. It is clear that a considerable amount of effort was put into the process of IFR training. My instructor, Ricky, was excellent. He is very professional, capable and calm. Although I lost the use of my airplane for a day during the training, he got me ready. I passed my check ride and the next day flew single pilot IFR home. I will be back when it is time for commercial certificate. Many thanks.
Brian Roberts, May 2021
IFR6 was exactly what I was looking for to complete my Instrument Rating. The course flows in a way that sets you up for success, and Chai is one of the best instructors I’ve ever worked with. You have truly figured out the best way to accomplish IFR Training. I will be recommending you to anyone looking to earn an Instrument Rating.
T. Dalton, April 2021
To all future IFR pilots- IFR6 is a great way to get there. I struggled for many years to get this ticket. I finally realized that I needed to go to school full time and immerse myself in getting this ticket. I had a great instructor in Chai Smith who kept everything positive during the day. In the evening I would go back to my hotel room and study for the oral part of the flight test. Flying, studying full time for six days. It worked and I flew home IFR!
B. Holby, March 2021
IFR6 is a successful business that understands its customers and how to meet and exceed customer expectations while operating safely at all times! All of the background scheduling was expertly accomplished making time in Sim and Aircraft very efficiently focused. I arrived in CHS with 25 hours of logged instrument time, and left with about 55 hours and an instrument ticket.
Having read the reviews on this page, I can state that I agree whole heartedly with all of the common themes. I had come back to flying a few years back after 20+ years away, and recognized I needed to attain an instrument rating to be safe while flying in the Northeast. Working with local instruction was fine, but schedules for aircraft and instructor got in the way of efficient learning. That is where Mike McCurdy’s program shines with the seamless use of Redbird simulators combined with a dedicated aircraft and instructor and a structured curriculum that builds skills.
I consider Mike and instructor Will Tucker new friends. They took the time to know my skill level and needs and helped build capability and confidence. Weather was severe clear but there was enough turbulence on several mornings to be able to have strong echoes of Will’s voice in my headset telling me to fight for the heading, airspeed and altitude. I spoke with several other students and instructors while there and was impressed with the professionalism of all of the IFR6 crew. I can’t recommend IFR6 enough for anyone that wants to take their flying to the next level.
RJ Ham, March 2021
The IFR6 program was everything I had hoped for and more. I completed my written test over a year ago and “life” kept getting in the way of any consistency in my instrument flight training. I had heard positive things about IFR6 and finally decided to just block out the time and commit to it! The course was very organized and my instructor was positive and encouraging while still challenging me. My knowledge and comfort level of instrument flying increased significantly and I was well-prepared for the IFR oral exam and checkride. Receiving my instrument certification is such a sense of accomplishment! Thank you Michael, Sam and Team IFR6!
Rex Query, March 2021
Very good training program. They will make you a very safe and confident Instrument Rated pilot in only 6 days. Highly recommend!
Cliff Lane, November 2020
Completed my IFR Checkride tonight. I spent 6 very productive days with IFR6 in Charleston. I enthusiastically recommend this program.
My Instructor Ian K. Burke made the process easy for me. Thank you for your effective training.
Les Miller, November 2020
I’ve had an ASEL private pilot license for over 26 years. In that time, I’ve contemplated getting an instrument rating. Many years ago, I attempted the rating but the military and life got in the way of completion. In the mean time I became a professional helicopter pilot with a mid-sized police department. We still didn’t require an instrument rating, if you can’t see the ground, you can’t see the bad guy! Fast forward to August 2020. I decided I was going to retire from 40 years of wearing a uniform and it was time to finish my ratings for my next flying gig. I painfully researched many accelerated IFR programs available on today’s market. I can assure you there are plenty out there. And the cost of each is plentiful as well. There was no doubt I wanted an accelerated program. There were 14 -day programs, 10- day programs, 30 -day programs, and of course my local flight schools several month program, Part 61, Part 141 schools and on and on. In my research I came upon “IFR6.” Huh? A 6- day IFR program. Interesting!
I continued my research and liked what I was seeing. I sent an inquiry email to IFR6, and received my answer the next day. Mike McCurdy, the owner of the IFR6, answered all my questions and was upfront with me about the pricing. I can tell you the price was the cheapest of all the other programs that I looked into. That got me thinking, “you get what you pay for” right? Although the ratings and comments were all good, the price was too good to be true, there had to be something wrong. I spoke to Mike over several emails and he answered all my questions to satisfaction. I didn’t have my own plane, so I had to rent one while in Charleston. Mike gave me an estimate on the time I would need in the rental, and even with the rental, the price was still well under several of the other programs I had looked at. I jumped in feet first, and signed up.
It’s not all peaches and cream. There were some prerequisites that I had to accomplish first. Completing the written test, getting 10 hours of IFR training prior to arriving in CHS and some other minor tasks to complete. But once that was done, my 6 days was booked and south bound I was headed. At the completion of the course, I left CHS with an instrument rating in my wallet.
I think it is important that you, who may be reading this and contemplating getting your IFR rating, realize something; I worked hard to get this completed. From the time I decided to get the rating to completion, was 2.5 months. I purchased an online ground school course, and other study material. I studied every night prior to taking my FAA written test, which I scored a 90% on. I took lessons at my local airport with a CFII. Oh yea, and I studied every night! Once at CHS, I was introduced to Kirk. Kirk was personable and easy to get along with, which made the training that much better. On a side note, all the instructors that I met was were very nice and helpful. Once the initial prerequisites were met, we jumped into the Red Bird simulator. It was my first time, so Kirk was easy on me. I found the simulator harder to fly then the real airplane. But after the 3rd day, I realized that if I can master headings and altitude in the simulator, it made it so much more exacting in the airplane. Don’t fool yourself, this is not VFR flying, you MUST hold altitude and headings. By day 4, I still felt a bit frustrated with myself and how I was doing. I took the night off from studying and just relaxed. That seemed to help, back in the Red Bird and airplane it all seemed to come together. I felt relaxed and my confidence was on the up rise. A couple days later and I had my instrument rating and was headed back home! I do recommend the “IFR6” program and the good folks at IFR6. But you must prepare yourself first. Study, do well on the written, study, get with your local CFII and get that 10 hours of training, headings and altitude holding are must do tasks to master before taking your check ride. I cannot emphasize that enough.
Most importantly, I feel confident to fly in the IFR environment. In all honesty I plan on getting with my local CFII and fly an actual IMC flight with him for my first time. Why you may ask? well for me, it gives me a chance to show off what I’ve accomplished over the past 2. 5 months!
Reed Ray, November 2020
It was like drinking out of a firehose- so much work, and yet I never felt rushed. We would work in the simulator, then take a mini-break, and out to the airplane for a flight, and then back to the simulator. Whatever it takes to get you flying right. They ask a lot of their clients coming through the program, but I flew home IFR and I have flown IFR nearly every flight since.
Dean Dunford, October 2020
I had an awesome experience with the IFR6 program! It was all that was advertised and more. The weather was great, the instructor was awesome, and I was well prepared for my checkride. I would recommend IFR6 to anyone looking to obtain their instrument rating in a time-efficient manner! I look forward to doing their commercial pilot program in the future.
Richard Chatwin, July 2020
Michael & SamThanks for a wonderful experience with IFR6. Your team is top notch and your methods and dedications allowed me to pass the Checkride, realizing a long term objective to be an IFR PilotWell done!
Mark Twaalfhoven, July 2020
The IFR6 program was exactly as described and on day 6, I passed my check ride. Now… I’m contemplating participating in their Commercial program!
Brian McIlnay, June 2020
Wanted to take a moment and thank you and your organization for guiding, training and prepping me for the commercial check flight (COM3.) Zach did a great job in making sure that I was well prepared for the evaluation. It was pretty windy last Thursday so I used every bit of training to accomplish what was expected of me in the tight parameters required by the ACS. I cannot speak more highly of Zach and his approach with instruction. His patience is one of his trademarks. Some of the maneuvers were challenging for me to build the muscle memory to repetitively accomplish them. Zach was patient and would only say, “Let’s try that one again”.
Again, thank you for the great service
Chuck Henry, June 2020
Had a great week doing IFR6 with Ian at CHS flight school. It’s a great program, great philosophy, very good instructor.
Mark Griffith, June 2020
I would like to start off with saying after flying for 32 years of VRF only, I had my resevations about becoming IFR competent in 6 days. I had some hours with local instructors, but nothing to compare with the knowledge and practical flying I recieved while at IFR6. After my check ride I flew home in IMC conditions and had complete confidence in my 1st IFR actual flight plan.
Thanks again for all the patience and encouragement to complete the course!
Michael DeVault, June 2020
IFR6 was the perfect school for me. The CFII was extremely helpful in making sure that I had the knowledge, skills, and confidence to leave the program with my IR. A huge thanks to Ian Burke and Mike for such an awesome experience. IFR6 provided the best opportunity for me to work around my schedule by allowing me to receive my IFR training and pass the test in such a short period of time. I was even able to file IFR the same day for the trip back home.Donny Hall, June 2020
Thank you IFR6! I earned my Private Pilot certificate in 2013 and used it to put 400 hours on a Cherokee 235. I had recently purchased a Mooney M20K and flying a plane that capable simply requires in instrument rating. I had been working for months with several CFII’s in my area – all very busy and seemingly impossible to get anything predictable on the schedule. And, who wants to do their IFR with three CFII’s anyway? It was then that I made the decision to use IFR6 to finish up my instrument training. And, what a great decision that was! I chose IFR6 after spending time on the phone with Mike. I like his attitude and their approach. The ‘morning in the sim…afternoon in the plane’ resonated with me. I also liked the idea of flying in a part of the country I had never been before – the little time I spent with the hood off – what a view!
I arrived on Thursday morning and after reviewing logbooks, written test and other checklist items showing that I was good to go…I was in the sim. After the first day I remember thinking, “How the heck am I going to do this?” but my CFII Will Tucker assured me I was doing well and was on track. The curriculum is predictable and well done. I knew where I was at the end of each day and what we were going to be working on the next day. I was also able to get almost 7 hours of ‘actual’ IMC during my training! On two days in a row, I didn’t even need to use the foggles and we were shooting actual approaches to near minimums in IMC. What a fantastic experience! Lastly, can’t say enough about my new friend and CFII Will Tucker. For the rest of my flying years I’ll hear him in my headset, “Fight for 3,000…fight for the glideslope…fight for the centerline…”. Overall, fantastic experience and great group of folks.
If you’re looking for a professional, well organized, and top-notch group of CFI’s to help you achieve your instrument rating, IFR6 has it down to an art. I arrived with a passed written and only 11.2 hours of simulated instrument time. Ian, my CFII, had me ready for my checkride in just four days. On day five, I passed my oral exam and checkride without any hesitation. I would highly recommend the IFR6 team. Ian Burke made the whole experience painless. But most importantly made me a safer pilot.
-Gerhard Ungerer, January 2020
-Chris Stater, January 2020
What an outstanding experience to go through your program. Everything was well organized and Will Tucker was a pleasure to work with. The Sim experience was a great way to learn at a very efficient and effective pace. Will was also well versed in all the instruments in my plane which made the flying experience all that more pleasurable. Even the check ride was a learning experience with Wally Moran. I want to thank you for putting together such a great program and helping me achieve a life long goal to check off my bucket list!
-Robin Knopp, January 2020
The team at IFR6 is truly amazing. They are personable, professional and very experienced instructors. If you have been dragging your feet trying to get your instrument rating, give them a call. It’s been the most rewarding flying done yet in my 15 years and 1,000+ flight hours.
-Michael Bullock, December 2019
|I recently enrolled in IFR6 at chs to get my ifr rating. I’m glad to inform you I passed my check ride and now am ifr rated. It was quite a milestone for me at the age of 64. It was hard training, no doubt about it. The program is geared to obtain your rating in 6 days, and I’m sure it’s doable, however it took me a few days longer. Iwas impressed Mike and his team never gave up on me and we succeeded. Guillaume was my cfi and I can’t say enough good about him. He honestly took my education as a personal challenge. I’ll never forget him in my ear saying Needles Track Altitude Airspeed. Thank you IFR6 you made my dream come true|
-Steve Ross, November 2019
I have had the goal to become an instrument rated pilot my entire adult life. At age 31 as a young aspiring entrepreneur I finally had the funds, but not the time. I discovered IFR6 while researching fast track IFR training programs. I chose IFR6 because I felt that learning instruments in a non-G1000 aircraft with no autopilot would quickly force me to sharpen my skills, and their experience with flight simulators would keep the program costs within reason.
I arrived on a Thursday morning and met with Mike and CFII Will Tucker. A quick review of my hours and written test result confirmed I was eligible for their program and I began training in the simulator that same morning. The simulator is much more challenging to fly than the actual airplane, and at first I didn’t know this and was very concerned with my lack of confidence! However, once we transitioned to the airplane I quickly realized they perfected this program to an art: learn in the sim and practice in the airplane. I got to Tuesday morning (checkride day) and had to shoot an approach in IMC to minimums to get to the checkride. It was confidence inspiring and I was well prepared for the checkride and received my instrument ticket. Along the way I made a couple of great new aviation friends (Mike + Will) and I cannot recommend their IFR6 program enough. When you get to the point in your aviation career where an instrument rating is your goal, I believe IFR6 is the best program in the country.
-Jacob Vaillancourt, September 2019
Got my ppl in a 172 in 2010 and didn’t fly much for 8 years after that. Then last December, I transitioned into a new Cirrus SR20 and logged about 40 hours over the next few months getting my ifr requirements in order. Unhappy at the pace of learning at a regular flight school I found IFR6 after a google search, read the reviews, contacted Mike and signed up.
A last-second glitch prevented me flying the Cirrus, but Mike said I could fly one of their 172s, so I showed up in Charleston, a 100 hour pilot with 10 hours instrument time wondering how it was going to come together in a plane I hadn’t flown in 8 years.
Already behind the 8-ball after not being able to fly the first day due to weather, I was thinking there’s no way this is going to work, I can’t learn all this in five days and pass a checkride. But then something remarkable happened; after two days it began to click and i was flying ILS and GPS approaches smoothly and effortlessly, and without an autopilot!
I can’t say enough about Kirk’s instructing style. You think you’re having a pleasant conversation about flying an approach and all of a sudden you know how to do it! Affable and absolutely unflappable, Kirk’s special forces training is apparent on your first flight. If you mess up, which you will, he’s perfectly composed and calm with a distracting story to take your mind off of it. Never a harsh word or slap on the wrist, he makes you feel completely at ease.
On the day of the checkride, I had to fly nearly three hours to make up for that lost first day and was exhausted going into my oral exam. By the time we got up in the air late Wednesday afternoon, it was 97 degrees and we’re getting thrown all over the place in thermals and downdrafts. Under the foggles, I spaced on the avionics into the first procedure turn, but I took a deep breath and just focused on remembering Kirk’s instruction and it all came back. I completed the turn, lined up and executed the approach, and the rest of the ride went smoothly and successfully.
An immersion course in instrument flying is probably one of the most concentration intensive exercises you’ll ever do in your life. It’s not easy. But like all rewarding experiences, risk and hard work are part and parcel. Already planning to go back next year for their new Commercial6 course!
-David Patton, July 2019
Now I’m a “real” pilot! I finished my PPL a year ago in New York City and wanted to continue learning, but was struggling with the limited rental options and the chaos of learning in New York’s airspace. My biggest tip to all— arrive prepared and you will have an awesome experience! It’s a daunting task to spend six months reading about something you’ve never done and the simulator works wonders to bridge that gap. After a few hours in the Red Bird, all the practical applications of my studying started to click together. Taking a moment to pause and think aloud helped solidify my book knowledge into strong habits and procedures to be used in flight.
Each daily flight with Guillaume brought new scenarios, weather, and destinations that built into a strong foundation for my check ride. He was persistent and highly engaged every minute we were in the plane while still managing to recognize when I was overloaded or needed a break. Guillaume was fully committed to me as his only student for the week. His high touch engagement ensured no questions were left unanswered or situation unexplored. I appreciated the professionalism and organization of Michael’s syllabus— it was concise and expertly outlined how we would be managing our accelerated timeline. Michael runs a professional and tight operation and I left feeling like I got a value for the education I purchased. Good luck, and fly safe!
-Greg Dreisen, June 2019
I honestly can’t say enough good about Mike McCurdy and this IFR 6 school. It was life-changing and God sent for me. I worked on my Instrument rating for 1 year and 11 months. The full-time job always takes priority and gets in the way.
The cost of the school is expensive. That is no secret but I honestly would have saved money if I have done this much earlier in my training. I did show up prepared and I highly recommend that. It is long days and brutally exhausting. Don’t show up thinking it’s a party week or family vacation week. It’s hardcore but I left there on day 7 as a confident instrument rated pilot.
The instructors there are amazing. The owner Mike McCurdy is amazing. The DPE’s they use Wally and Don are old school, top shelf, fair examiners. The instructors you get for IFR6 are all experienced true professional flight instructors. You are not getting some kid trying to build hours. You are getting someone with the heart of a teacher.
They prepare you for the oral. They make you confident and proficient. I had Guillaume Petin as my Instructor. He was the best instructor I have ever had. He was very calm, thorough, and very safe. I learned a ton from him that will stick with me my entire life. I was very blessed to fly with him
The school is worth every penny. If you do not leave IFR6 as an instrument-rated pilot it’s no one’s fault but your own. They will prepare you for it and they will do their part. They care if you succeed!!
-Adam Watson, May 2019
I recently attended IFR6 where I earned my IFR rating in Charleston, South Carolina. I was incredibly impressed with the educational process, staff, and the personal attention that the program offered. I highly recommend IFR6 for anyone who wants the premier training experience.
My situation was not typical. I received my VFR rating over 30 years ago and then stopped flying as family responsibilities evolved – only having 70 hours at that time. I always wanted to get back into flying. Last year after a 6-month process, I completed my bi-annual review and began flying VFR again. This process took much longer than I expected because of rental plane availability at my local airport. To avoid this during my IFR training, I opted to purchase my own plane and began training in the North East where I live. After passing the written exam, my goal was to complete the IFR flight training within 3 months. Although I had a very well qualified instructor that certified me in a high-performance Debonair, I was only able to complete 20% of my scheduled lessons over a 3 month period due to weather cancellations and “no instructor availability” when re-scheduling canceled lessons. I realized that at the rate I was going, it would take me almost a year to get my IFR rating. This is when my research for other options began.
I originally began to look at locations in AZ and FL as these programs were well known as destinations for expedited training options with favorable weather conditions. After calling these locations, I quickly discovered that I would be on a 2-6 month waiting list to have a semi-dedicated instructor. At the same time, most of these programs were up to 4 weeks of on-site training due to low instructor availability. I continued to search and was eventually referred to IFR6 in Charleston, South Carolina.
From my first conversation with Mike McCurdy, the owner of IFR6, I was immediately impressed with the program and training experience that would be provided. After answering all of my questions, my next concern became how to get my plane down to SC from Philadelphia if IFR conditions existed on my start date. I was then introduced to my assigned Instructor, Guillaume Petin. He quickly made me feel comfortable with the options and provided the solution of having me fly him to Philadelphia commercially and then fly back to Charleston together as an IFR cross country. Upon arrival at IFR6, Mike met with me and gave me a complete overview of the program and how the mix of Sim and actual flight training would be an advantage. I then began a daily program with Guillaume. He is an incredible instructor who answered all of my questions, provided consistent training, and offered creative ways for me to visualize concepts that had once seemed challenging. Guillaume kept the training on track even when I encountered some instrumentation issues that needed to be fixed and grounded my airplane temporarily. Not only did he get my plane back in the sky safely and quickly, but also selected a very qualified mechanic to do the work for me. While my plane was being fixed, it didn’t become a waste of time as it could be with other flight schools but became an opportunity to build additional hours in the Sim (no downtime).
I was also impressed with the relationship that IFR6 has with the 2 local Examiners that I met when I was there. My examiner was Don Hay who was incredibly fair and informative about the evaluation process, gave an overview on what would be expected, and informed me how the testing would be conducted, something that my flight instructor had also helped me understand well prior to the test. After the test flight was completed, the Examiner and Guillaume met me in the conference room where we reviewed the flight in detail. I was very pleased to be informed that I had passed my exam and now had an IFR rating. I’m looking forward to continuing to apply everything that I learned at IFR6 as my instrument hours begin building in the future. I Look forward to staying in touch with the team there and am very grateful for all of their help and support during my training. I continue to hear Guillaume in my ear ” Needle, Track, Altitude, Airspeed”. One thing I was told prior to enrolling in the program was that one instructor would be assigned to me for the entire week. That was the case: a dedicated instructor and what an incredible advantage it was to have someone as skilled, patient, and knowledgeable as Guillaume next to me the entire week.
If you are considering the best program available and don’t want lessons to become your full-time job for the next year, this investment will be perfect for you. The program is well worth the investment!
-Brian Filippini, April 2019
In early December after four months of trying to get my private pilot license I passed my checkride. The struggle was getting hours from the flight school. It took twice as long as it should have been and cost a small fortune. I asked the DPE after my PPL checkride – what would he suggest. Get as many teachers as possible for the the next few months and learn all sorts of little things from all them – then go accelerated. That’s exactly what I did – I booked IFR6 and a few days after landing in Charleston I had my instrument rating. Please do not overlook the value of the simulator – the stick and rudder skills and multitasking you accomplish in the simulator are what will save you. Focus on the patterns when you can do them without over-saturation you know you are ready for anything. Kirk was my instructor and had a ton’s of stories and experience that everyone can benefit from. These are not fresh CFI’s – these are experienced flight instructors that will do whatever is necessary to make you a better pilot.
-Dennis Cox, April 2019
After extensive study of all my accelerated IFR options across the nation, I chose IFR6. It met my expectations and was a tremendous experience. Mike runs a first class operation and Kirk is an incredible instructor. It was organized, intentional, efficient, and strategic. It was exactly what I hoped for and I highly recommend IFR6!
-Peter Swann, April 2019
Like many private pilots out there, I had the desire to get my instrument rating but it’s tough to be able to get it all done in a short time frame with weather, availability of instructor and/or airplane at the local flight school, get the amount hours, etc.
The IFR6 solution is a great idea for the many pilots out there who thrive in flying many hours a day in a full immersion course. The instructor, Kirk Bray, was amazing to work with. He has an immense amount of knowledge and flight experience coupled with a background with his time in the army, which makes him a great instructor for this course because he will quickly find whatever you need to work on the most and focus on that to get you ready for the checkride.
Another positive aspect of this course is that it will push you to get things done. I scheduled my date a couple of months in advance so it pushed me to take the written. It also pushed me to get hours they have as prerequisites for the course…Then every day it will push you into learning something new (RNAV, VOR, ILS, etc.). The simulator is a great teaching tool and in many ways harder to fly than the actual plane, so I feel like once I had a good handle on the simulator, actual flying was made easier.
Another great aspect is the fact that this is located at KCHS with airline aviation, Boeing, USAF, etc. Every day had an exciting twist, we taxied and flew around with C17s, 787s, F18s, T38s, Antonov AN22s, Airline planes…It’s honestly a great experience that you cannot get at your local non-towered airport.
At the end of the day, what makes this course and flight school top notch is the people, Mike McCurdy, Kirk Bray, Guillaume,…the staff is friendly, helpful, hospitable, and I would 100% recommend to anybody willing to put in work and fly a lot.
-Hector Takahashi, March 2019
After studying and passing the written IFR exam in the spring of 2018, I was enrolled in a local flight school with intentions of taking lessons two-three times per week to finish my instrument rating. With good intentions, I was able to make my scheduled flight times twice the first week, after which a busy work schedule prevented me from making my flight lessons, so I abandoned the idea. Realizing that I needed to finish the IFR while the written knowledge exam was fresh in my mind, I was given information about IFR6 from a previous student that successfully received his ticket in 6 days!
After making contact with Mike and setting up a time, Kirk Bray met me at KLIT for the six-hour flight to KCHS. I feel this time was valuable, as it let us get acquainted on a long cross country flight (in a C172). It also gave Kirk an opportunity to evaluate my abilities. We spent simulator time in the mornings and flew in the airplane in the afternoons. My whole experience was professional and positive in every way! Kirk Bray was awesome in his teaching, and I am sure he adjusted his teaching to my deficiencies. After six days, I successfully completed my check ride with examiner, Wally Moran, who was also great to work with. I realized that an immersed study would be the only way I could finish this rating. I was able to disengage from everyday responsibilities and pass my check ride! Mike, Kirk, and Guillaume do an awesome job! I highly recommend IFR6!
-Greg Asberry, January 2019
Simply stated, IFR6 is everything they claim to be. The reviews here are a testament to a program that delivers. If you are reading this you are probably having a hard time finding a flying school or instructor compatible with your busy schedule or have a desire to quickly and efficiently get your IFR rating. After a long hiatus from flying, I found myself in that frustrating situation so I starting researching ways to get the job done in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The IFR6 program and instructors are top shelf and allowed me to achieve my goals. Special thanks to my down to earth instructor Kirk Bray who was not only knowledgeable but a great educator which is exactly what I needed.
-Jeff Pyne, November 2018
Unless you know a guy who knows a guy, IFR6 is an unbeatably efficient and effective way to get your instrument rating. IFR6 scheduled DPE Wally Moran, who was refreshingly reasonable and fair, for my checkride before I ever showed up on Day 1, and I had ZERO surprises on my oral and practical thanks to Guillaume, my instructor, who flawlessly prepared me for success. If you have airline aspirations like me, justify the cost by accepting the fact that seniority is everything – don’t waste time playing scheduling games at a traditional flight school. Time is $; you can do it!
After finishing my private pilot in January 2018 and taking my 1st Part 121 dispatch job in March, I put my instrument rating off while time building, knowing that I would eventually get it, but uncertain as to when.
That all changed after scud-running under low ceilings for the entirety of a 300nm xc flight in August that resulted in a more memorable flight for my passengers than I ever intended. I knew I had to prioritize getting my IFR rating as soon as I could secure a 6-day stretch off from work.
Then one day while slaving away at the desk, I saw in a celebratory Facebook post that my former classmate at American Airlines flight attendant training Isabelle (seemingly magically 😂) got her instrument rating through IFR6. I was so inspired that I finally came up with the funds and set off in my 1969 Cessna 172 for a long cross-country from Appleton to Charleston, SC.
After running into freezing rain and clear icing for the 1st time in KY and N. Carolina, deviations turned my planned 787nm journey into a 1000+ nm 12 hr marathon, where I ultimately made it to South Carolina before getting stuck 50 miles north of Charleston due to 700’ cloud ceilings. How fatefully ironic that IMC got in the way of the start of my IFR training! I kept IFR6 updated on my progress, and WOW Mike called me the morning of Day 1 to let me know that he and Guillaume would drive the 1.5 hrs to me to help fly my plane in – true customer service!!!!!
I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect IFR training experience: the weather in Charleston is so pleasantly mild in the Fall; taking off over the flotilla of C-17s parked on the ramp at Charleston Air Force Base was amazing; driving by the final assembly line of brand-new 787 Dreamliners on the way to and from the airport every day was the best motivation that an aspiring airline pilot could dream of. The highlight of my week was getting cleared for takeoff before a heavy 747 Dreamlifter!
If you still have any doubts about choosing IFR6, read all 20 reviews below like I did just now while reflecting on my personal experience. I’ll highlight Matt Morris’ comment that the RedBird simulator is gold because if you make a mistake or need time to process, you can simply pause/restart instead of pissing away expensive flight time repositioning.
When you decide that IFR6 is for you, ask for Guillaume, who was relentlessly upbeat and jovial every day, and an even better human being. It’s amazing to think that in 6 short days, I went from having never shot an approach before to being signed off for a checkride.
-Jonathan Chen, November 2018
I was probably not the typical IFR6 student. I had plenty of “hood time”, was comfortable shooting approaches, and had a good scan. So what’s the problem you ask? For me, it’s check rides. I have never walked into a check ride feeling confident. I had a DPE tell me I was the worst case of “check-ride-itis” he had ever seen. I could ride with my instructor or a complete stranger with no problems but you put a DPE next to me and I get really anxious and make mistakes. After multiple instrument check ride failures my instructor recommended IFR6. I signed up and flew to KCHS and met with Michael (the owner) and Guillaume (my instructor). When I explained my issues to Michael and Guillaume they said let’s go for a flight to see what you’ve got. We did and I shot approaches into airports I’ve never seen before with no mistakes. Upon landing Guillaume pointed out my weakness. The problem wasn’t my flying (my technique and ability was fine) but I had no system, no routine, no flow. Guillaume fixed that pretty quick! We worked on a flow that took me from pre-flight to taxi to take-off to cruise to approach to landing. He taught me to stay ahead of the airplane no matter what. We worked the flow in the simulator. We worked the flow in my plane. We worked the flow under the hood, partial panel, in real IMC. You name it, we worked it. I especially liked the simulator because if you make a mistake you can simply pause and restart instead of spending precious flight time repositioning yourself. Guillaume and IFR6 instilled a confidence (not arrogance) that I’ve never had before. By the end of the week it didn’t matter what you threw at me I felt like I could handle it because I was always ahead of the airplane. So for the first time ever I walked into that check ride with confidence and passed. I cannot thank them enough for this course. I am a firm believer of spreading the word about a solid product and IFR6 is one.
-Matt Morris, October 2018
I was a little skeptical that you stuck me with the instructor with the weird name, but Guillame Petin is the best instructor I have ever had. He was relentlessly upbeat, never doubting the outcome. Frankly, I was. You and Guillame helped create one of the best days of my life. When Wally Moran shook my hand after the last approach and said congratulations on being an instrument pilot, I actually cried a little tiny bit. Not enough to notice. Thank you!
-Steve Abernathy, October 2018
The week literally flew by and I honestly had a lot of fun everyday. The curriculum is intense and I feel that I left Charleston a better, safer pilot. You have an awesome team made up of some quality individuals who truly enjoy what they do; that is what makes the experience. I really appreciate everything you all have done for me and I will forever have great things to say about IFR6.
-Jon Burchfield, September 2018
Let me just start by saying thank you for a fully immersed IFR training experience. From day one and up to the checkride, it was quite an experience. The Redbird full-motion simulator is an essential tool to prepare you for the workload that is to come when you are actually flying approaches. Then there was the vast selection of surrounding airports near KCHS that were just minutes away allowing the necessary training forthe various approaches. And “Thank You” to Kirk Bray, my instructor, for the preparation during all phases of the training that successfully guided me through the oral exam and checkride.
-Jeremy Ross, September 2018
After working on my instrument rating off and on for almost 2 years, IFR6 was the solution I had been looking for to get my ticket done. If you’re like me and have an extremely busy schedule, or just can’t seem to get the IFR rating knocked out, I would highly recommend IFR6 to help you get across the finish line. Thanks to Guillaume for his great instruction and the entire team at IFR6 for helping me get my instrument rating effectively and efficiently making me a safer pilot in the process.
-Tyler Harper, August 2018
My experience at IFR6 was exactly as advertised. Fly in VFR and go home IFR! I can’t say enough about how accommodating and professional the IFR6 team was. Guillaume was the best instructor I’ve ever flown with and he did an awesome job of making sure I was proficient at every single task before the check ride. The sim training was incredibly helpful and being able to hit pause and discuss approaches and procedures was great! I believe that these 6 days of intensive IFR training are the only way to get an instrument rating and feel comfortable putting it to use. If you want an instrument rating, this is the only way.
-Aeron Fount, July 2018
I had been working on my IR for several months and making steady progress, but a combination of work, aircraft maintenance, weather and schedule conflicts made me realize that completion would take time and that “real life” would continue to get in the way. IFR6 gave me the perfect environment to get me over the finish line. By spending 6 days in an intensive, focused environment away from home and work distractions, I was able to finalize and polish my skills with a great syllabus that was geared towards getting my rating successfully. My instructor Kirk Bray was excellent – a great, low-key teaching style that was perfectly suited to letting me figure out where I needed additional work and helping me find the confidence in my instrument skills. Once the exam started, I wasn’t really nervous – the oral was an enjoyable conversation about instrument flying between two pilots. During the flight test, I had confidence in my ability to fly the airplane and complete the required elements. It was actually a fun experience! I can’t recommend IFR6 highly enough if you’re looking to get the IR behind you and get confidence in your skills. The next day, I filed IFR for a family visit in Charlotte (and did my first approach in actual IMC), and then flew all the way back to Houston under an IFR flight plan with some of that flight also in actual IMC. You really will fly in VFR, and fly home IFR!”
-Joel Mack, June 2018
Best training program I’ve ever come across so far! I had a great time and y’all are awesome! I’m already referring you to all my friends.
-Isabelle Streng, May 2018
Thanks so much to Guillaume and the IFR6 team for walking me through instrument training. I’d been putting off the rating too long for lack of time and the IFR6 style of training was exactly what I needed to get through it. The redbird sim was an incredibly efficient way to learn each procedure without the downtime between preflight/departure/droning between waypoints required in the airplane. There wasn’t a wasted moment as Guillaume worked me through the syllabus. I’m planning my first IFR-flight-planned flight later this evening! Feel free to use my info as a reference if anyone is curious about the training.
– E. Ross, May 2018
IFR6 should be the industry standard! Show up with the prerequisites completed and there is no reason why you cannot walk away an instrument rated pilot after day six. Mike and his team have the syllabus down to a science; they use the Redbird simulator to train the task, then use the airplane to reinforce it. If an approach gets away from you, it’s simply reset, discuss, and rerun. No more wasted time in an airplane where the distractions are many. Mike, Kirk and Guillaume are personable and easily approachable; top notch professional who can field any question thrown at them. If an accelerated program is what you are looking for, look no farther!
– J. Swan, May 2018
The only way to truly become comfortable in IMC and/or IFR training is to immerse yourself in the knowledge and skills. IFR6 has solved the problem of “half-assing” the process. Allow me to explain, you dedicate the time (6 days) you show up and fly, whether it is the simulator to test and repeat your areas of weakness, or being around the A grade instructors to learn from them. Flying in IMC and being able to apply these skills learned in IFR6 makes you a better pilot! In my opinion every private pilot should be required to go through IFR6 it is the only way to be an IFR pilot who is confident in IMC.
– J. Weathers, January 2018
IFR6 is the only way to train for your instrument rating! On day one, I was in the simulator within twenty minutes reviewing power settings, programming the Garmin 430w and flying patterns. That afternoon, Kirk , the CFI-I, and I departed KCHS VFR on Rwy 15 with winds 170@17g24 for practicing what I learned in the sim. The ceilings continued to fall and we had to file IFR to return back to KCHS. After forty-five minutes in actual IMC at 2000 feet being vectored to the ILS Rwy 15, we broke out at 800 feet with Rwy 15 in front of us. What a feeling! The Redbird simulator does a very good job of building the confidence and skills to take to the plane. The Redbird is also incredibly efficient. Instead of a preflight, getting a clearance, taxing and flying out of Class C airspace to the practice area and the short trip back, the sim is set up at the beginning of the pattern or approach. I figure this gives you at least an extra hour of actual IFR practice for every trip in the plane not to mention the time needed to get reset up for the next approach. Flying out of KCHS gives you the practice needed to become comfortable with ATC. I came from a small field where it was a treat to have more than me in the pattern. Six days later, on my check ride with my DPE, I’m holding third in line for takeoff behind a 737 and a King Air waiting on a 747 cargo to clear the runway. Kirk is awesome. He will have you prepared for the check ride. These guys live and breathe aviation. It’s fun to hang around folks with the same passions. By the end of the first hour the nerves are gone and you are totally immersed in IFR training. Bottom line…I highly recommend them for your IFR training.
– G. Mullis, January 2018
A huge thank you to Kirk and Mike for this awesome week with IFR6. After taking a long time to get my pilots license, I decided to do an accelerated IFR course. I really did my research – I made a list of every accelerated course in the country, read their reviews and considered their cost. IFR6 ended up being the winner. Being able to escape the cold for the warmth in Charleston was an added bonus! Every day follows a similar pattern – you spend the morning in the simulator, shooting approaches, or doing other things like scan development or holds as needed. Then, for the afternoon you use the plane (I used their Skyhawk) and do the same things in the air. This method really works – you develop your skills quicker, and it’s much more cost effective since you’ll spend more time in the sim (which is included in the base IFR6 cost) rather than the plane. Kirk is a real asset for IFR6. IFR6 is the main CFI’ing he does, so he knows the program and the common pitfalls inside out. He also has a very gentle and encouraging teaching style that is a stark contrast to many CFI’s! He’s pretty much the perfect type of instructor for this course. The day of my checkride had actual IMC, and I had to file IFR in the system (usually the checkrides are done VFR, but with foggles). The wind was also gusting, making altitudes harder to hold, etc. However, I felt the program had prepared me very well, and the checkride went smoothly. It’s crazy to think that a week before I wouldn’t have felt comfortable or safe doing this, but here I felt totally in control, and I knew I would be fine to fly in real IMC and fit in the ATC system.
– S. Jenkins, Dec 2017
Truly as good as it gets. I did the IFR6 program in September 2017. Mike runs a tight ship, and the instructors are a more-passionate and enthusiastic group than you would find at a puppy-mill flight school. This team is doing it because they love it. The team of instructors and management are humorous and personable more than most of the time, and yet deadly-serious when they need to be, just as you would expect. My IFR6 instructor, Kirk, is in a class by himself among the CFIs and CFIIs I’ve flown with over 26 years when it comes to adapting to the learning style of his student. The entire team encourages you to ask as many questions as you can think up, and if you request them to challenge you in certain ways to suit your experience, style, knowledge gaps, or aircraft type, they are happy to oblige and don’t consider it to be an “extra.” The team’s mastery of their Redbird simulator is apparent and they will let you bang out patterns and approaches til your heart’s content. It may be a little-known fact that the IFR-6 graduates are welcome to come back and practice in the Redbird whenever they like… an excellent perk.
– M. Russell, July 2017
Learning to fly an airplane solely by reference to instruments is almost like learning another language. Most would agree that the best way to learn a new language is by total immersion. Attempting to converse with the waiter in his native tongue once a week is not a very effective way to become fluent. Similarly, the once a week (or less often in most cases) that a student spends with his CFII is inefficient. I was looking for a better way to get this rating and found IFR6 through a google search. I was intrigued by the organization of the curriculum and, after a little more research and a call to Mike, I decided to take the plunge. I wanted to learn in my Bonanza but I live several states distant and the weather was not looking good for a VFR pilot to make it to Charleston. Not a problem as Mike came to Little Rock and we flew back together the next morning. The arrival at Charleston gave me a lot of confidence for the coming week as we had to shoot the ILS into 33 in moderate rain at night. We broke out around 400 feet and let me tell you, no approach lights ever looked better to me! Mike was a calm and reassuring presence in the right seat throughout. The next day I met Kirk Bray who proved to be a fantastic teacher. His calm demeanor and encouraging style was just what I needed. As advertised, we started each day in the sim which allowed me to become completely comfortable with my scan and my ability to control the airplane in turns, climbs and descents improved with each session. The afternoon was spent in the airplane. The time goes by fast and soon it was time for the checkride. I went into it with a nervous confidence but was assured by Kirk that I was ready and I was quickly put at ease by my DPE Wally Moran. The oral was a low stress conversation with another pilot (a very accomplished and knowledgeable one!) followed by the practical. It went well and I flew home 600 miles IFR the next morning. The very next day I made 2 short trips in IMC! The key to success is to come prepared and to come with confidence that you will be successful. Kirk and Mike have been doing this for a while and it is a program that works! Thanks Kirk and Mike!
– R. Lowery, Nov. 2017
Can’t say enough about Kirk Bray, my CFII for the IFR6 course. “Above and beyond” are the right words, because while each day has a 9am start, the day is not over until everything on the syllabus *and* your own list of items in the same topic areas have all been achieved. This is a personal touch by the CFII on a flat rate. Need to jump back into the sim late in the day to see something one more time? No problem. You go home to do the homework each night tired but confident. My favorite part was how they spend all of Day 1 to learn about you, the student, your experience and learning style. This makes the remaining days go smoothly and you get maximum time to hammer away at the sim and real airplane. CHS Flight Schoolhas established a robust curriculum for the IFR6 program, which they consider valuable IP (I agree), but how they fine-tune it to the particular student is the more impressive part. I was able to bring my own list of “soft spots” to work on, which the instructor added to his own list after watching me fly, and together we built a decent candidate for the “additional license to learn” that is the IFR ticket.
– M. Russell, September 2017
One year after taking my written test and making very little progress on getting the practical training done for my IFR certificate I learned about the IFR6 program. While I had done some prep work prior to going to the IFR6 I was doubtful that I could actually get it done in just one week. I figured I would at least make some good progress towards my ticket and finish up after I got home. It turns out the IFR6 training was very efficient. The repetition in the RedBird each morning was very effective at building muscle memory in preparation for the afternoon flight in the airplane. On the afternoon of the sixth day I had my check ride. On the morning of the seventh day I was able to fly three hours of actual IMC safely on my way home with IFR ticket in hand. The program is very well structured and organized and the instructors are very professional.
– Marvin McCreary, June , 2017
The same winning process of learning in the sim and practicing in the plane that they use for the PPL worked exactly the same for the IFR. There is plenty of time to make mistakes and learn from them in the sim. When you get to the plane it feels like you have already “been there, done that”. I received my IFR certificate on April 1 2017, no “fooling”. Fantastic learning environment and people, well worth the investment and time… Many thanks to all involved in such a wonderful experience.
– Kris Miller, April 2017
the IFR6 program was exceptionally professional and well run from start to finish. The syllabus is particularly well crafted to the material and timeline, and the simulator provides an incredible training experience that cannot be duplicated. Highly recommended to anyone considering accelerated or non-accelerated IFR training.
– Gerald “Scooter” Harmon, April 2017
Blown away by the class. You can’t get a grasp at doing IFR training right by doing rides at .7 hour one week, .9 the next. I was worried at first it would be too quick, but I don’t think this training can be done any other way. Best learning experience ever. Amazed at how it all came together at the end. Kirk is fantastic, laid back and calm. I just can’t say enough about how happy I am about the experience.
– Bill Gerard, February 2017
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