Thumbnail Image

Scenario-based evaluation of the skills of newly-certificated instrument pilots

Uhlman, Mark
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of airman instrument rating training and testing. Using a scenario-based flight in a flight simulator, newly rated instrument pilots were tasked with completing an IFR flight involving realistic instrument pilot tasks. Task importance and pilot performance were both considered in the analysis of the data.
Findings and Conclusions: The results of the study indicate that instrument pilot training involves too much artificiality and not enough real-world experience. Specific tasks that proved under-practiced by new instrument pilots include the execution of IFR clearances, and elements of holds and instrument approaches. It was concluded that the current instrument training paradigm should be modified to include more practice on certain instrument pilot competencies, particularly the execution of clearances involving federal airways, unfamiliar holding procedures, and go/no go decision making at approach minimums.