A Slice of American Pie?

by Georgina Hunter-Jones

Is it worth getting an FAA Instrument Rating before you do the JAA IR?

Now that it is possible to do JAA CPL training in America, at a much reduced price, more and more people are going out to Florida to do so. However, it is not yet possible to do the JAAInstrument Rating in the USA, but students can do the FAA IR while still in Florida, and thus reduce the JAA IR course from 55 hours to 15 hours once they return home, an enormous financial saving, and plus the benefit of actually having a FAA IR as well as a JAA IR, making you pretty much employable all over the world.

However, the question is, does it actually make any difference to the student’s performance when he comes to do the JAA IR over here, that he has already done the FAA IR over there? Does it improve his performance and does it make it easier to do the notoriously hard JAA IR? Alex Stephen, an IR student at PAS (Police Aviation Services, part of Specialist Aviation Services) who did the FAA IR at Helicopter Adventures in Florida, reckons it does, “it means you already know the procedures,” he explains, “and that makes it easier once you start on the JAA IR course.” “And,” adds Milo Brockway, who was on the same courses, “it cuts the price of the JAA instrument rating by about £10,000. Clearly a substantial difference.”

Mike Kent, the PAS Flight Training Manager, however, does not feel it is quite such a simple issue..

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