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Old 02-26-2017, 09:27 AM
Walt's Avatar
Walt Walt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 6,356
Default IFR rating, a birthday present to myself.

The IFR rating was one of those "bucket list" items for me, and finally after having my private for over 40 years and approaching 2000 hrs, I finally was able to get it done!

This last year all the stars finally aligned to make it happen. The Garmin G3X panel upgrade a couple of years ago and the GTN650 install last year set this all in motion. This year finding a great flight instructor that I really connected with, who had both the type of experience that I was looking for (I didn't want to be training the CFI on glass) and a personality I could deal with (I'm a liberal minded New Yorker that says F&S a lot) was key. Someone easily offended by my NY trash talk and sarcastic sense of humor wasn't going work for me, or them.

I will say this, my flying is now on a whole new level. My understanding and command of the systems and how to make this avionics panel do what it was designed for has ramped up 10 notches.

Really, this post is not so much about me as it is about the great support I received from my wife (who supported me 100% throughout this) and my CFII Matt Hood. Matt is based at 52F, fly's for a large company, has a bajillion hours, owns a Luscombe, and is truly a champion of GA. His passion for flying and all things aviation is evident immediately when you meet him. This guy lives and breathes airplanes and aviation. He regularly brings aviation enthusiastic adolescents around from his church group to the airport showing them around all the hangers, taking them for rides, and teaching them airplane stuff. He also takes them to lunch to debrief about their experience. My point is Matt's a seriously nice guy. His wife Theresa is a seriously sweet gal and is pilot with American. They are a commited aviation family.

Matts knows Glass panels inside out (often comments about how the G3X is identical in function to the jets he fly's) and he understands "real world" IFR. His job of flying rich people around takes him to many outlying airports unlike what the airlines do. His experience in IFR ops closely matches what us small GA guys do like IFR into non towered airports.

So the bottom line is this, if you have been thinking about getting your IFR ticket get your game face on and go for it, if I can do it anyone can.

If you want to hook up with a great CFII around 52F that can really teach you how to use your glass and be a better pilot (and he loves RV's) give a shout out to Matt. I guarantee you won't regret it! He doesn't hang out here on VAF much but his VAF username is "flyinhood" and he asked that you PM him, or contact me and I'll help you reach him
Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
FAA Certified Repair Station, AP/IA/FCC GROL, EAA Technical Counselor
Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 2000+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
Website:, Email:, Cell: 972-746-5154

Last edited by Walt : 02-26-2017 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:32 AM
crabandy crabandy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ks
Posts: 2,317

Congrats Walt, a new world of flying awaits!!
RV 7 590 hours and counting
21 donation done
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:54 AM
Weasel's Avatar
Weasel Weasel is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Brooksville, MS
Posts: 750

Congratulations. Instrument check ride was the greatest accomplishment I have experienced in aviation. I put it above even completing and flying a homebuilt airplane. Way to go.
RV-4 715hr Sold
RV-10 "School Bus" - +1700hr counting
RV-10 N7631T 820hr Sold
RV-8 700+hr
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:58 AM
andyrv andyrv is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Posts: 276


Congratulations on getting it done!

Andy Cobb
Andy Cobb
MO00,KLXT & FL17
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:39 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is online now
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,111
Default Congratulations!!

Good job Walt, many congrats
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:43 AM
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GaryK GaryK is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Zeeland, Michigan
Posts: 411

Congratulations on getting the IFR rating. You made me laugh about being from NY. I've lived in Michigan for 24 years but was born and raised in NY. People at work tell me they only see the NY come out when I get really pissed off at something. Luckily it doesn't happen much as I've mellowed over the years.

Have fun with the IFR rating and practice as much as you can.

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Old 02-26-2017, 11:52 AM
hawkeyestof's Avatar
hawkeyestof hawkeyestof is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 94

Way to go Walt. Now you're really ready for that Alaska trip on your bucket list!! Jerry
Jerry Stofer Georgetown,TX
RV-14 engine on - hello baffles
RV-12 N238GS flying
RV-8A N838GS IO-360 C/S WW prop - SOLD
Flew her to Alaska and Caribbean Islands
Wright Bro Master Pilot Awardee
Double VAF combat exclusion -
double contributions made 2012, ......, 2021
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:06 PM
campi campi is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 215
Default Congratulations!

Nice job Walt! Even if you were never to fly IFR again, I really think getting the ticket makes you a better pilot. But of course, I hope you do keep up with it. It certainly gives you a lot more choices and freedom in your flying.

RV-6 (Purchased and sold)
RV-4 (Purchased and sold)
VAF # 1303
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:58 PM
blueflyer's Avatar
blueflyer blueflyer is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1,084
Thumbs up

I cant think of anything better to get as a birthday present. well done.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:21 PM
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Rick_A Rick_A is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,572
Default Kudo's to Matt

Everything Walt said about Matt is spot on. I was way out of being Instrument current and needed an IPC. I flew a bunch with Matt last Fall and learned a ton.

Even though Matt hadn't done a lot with Garmin glass, he immediately understood functionally what the glass was suppose to do. He showed me how to get the most out of my installed equipment. I was only using about half the capability of my G3X touch, GTN 750 & Autopilot. He also taught me to use professional procedures - using the cockpit discipline he's required to use flying biz jets.

By the time we were done Matt was a Garmin expert and I got my IPC signed off

So I'd like to second Walt on his shout out to Matt Hood.

(Of course I already congratulated Walt in person for getting those 2 words on his pilot certificate
Rick Aronow,
Flying 7A Slider;
Jacksonville, FL
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