Sporty’s is pleased to offer one of the most popular courses from Pilot Workshops. Their Real World VFR course is a new HD video program that follows a pilot through a series of demanding flights, and teaches the skills and confidence needed to explore new flying adventures.
You Will Benefit From Real World VFR If...
- You're drawn to new flying experiences
- You feel rusty on flying skills or ATC communication
- You fly regularly, but appreciate new ideas and techniques
- You're a student pilot trying to understand how it all works
- You could use a refresher in all areas of VFR flying
Instructional Videos That Are Fun To Watch!
Real World VFR is delivered in a series of ten recorded end-to-end flights, spanning a wide variety of airports and terrain. These flights were designed to be challenging, yet accessible to a proficient private pilot. They don’t require superhuman skill, just more preparation and thought.
Each flight starts with a thorough briefing, then you follow pilot Keith Smith (bio below) through the flights in real time as he tackles unusual takeoffs, approaches, landings, airports, airspace and navigation that could challenge any pilot flying VFR.
As you fly along, Keith talks you through each task and procedure as he completes it. You hear all of his ATC interactions so you'll know the proper phraseology to use. There are no shortcuts—you follow most flights in real time from engine start to engine shutdown. Each flight is followed by a thorough debrief.
Riding along with Keith is veteran Flight Instructor Jeff Van West (bio also below), who designed the challenges that Keith flew. Keith and Jeff discuss the different approaches and techniques that Keith uses in the flights. You'll enjoy the friendly banter that goes back and forth throughout the flights. Jeff keeps Keith on his toes, and you benefit from his wealth of experience as well.
The view over Keith's shoulder reveals terrific insights. You see exactly what he sees and hear exactly what he hears. Watching Keith sweat it out on these flights gives you a window into procedures, techniques, ATC interactions and critical decision-making you can't get any other way. You'll find yourself glued to the screen as the scenarios unfold, trying to anticipate what will happen next. Keith makes mistakes and not every flight goes as planned—because it's real, unscripted flying! That's why this program is so unique.
You may find yourself watching these flights over and over to gain confidence with VFR in the real world, from its simplest to its highest demand.
Here's A Sample Of What You'll Do:
- Find a small, remote island airport at night
- Land at Boston Logan Airport (Class B) VFR in a Cessna 172
- Fly up the Hudson River VFR Corridor, and then land at Teterboro, one of the busiest Class Delta airports in the world
- Depart at night in the mountains, using an IFR technique to avoid them
- Encounter VFR into IMC for real, at night
- Manage system failures, simulated emergencies and other surprises
- Use the power of ForeFlight for VFR planning and in-flight situations
- Navigate cross-country, using only pilotage and dead reckoning
- Takeoff and land on short fields—some grass, some paved, some scary
- Succumb to a "black hole approach," but escape to avoid disaster
- Make an overwater crossing that is eerily similar to the JFK Jr. flight
- And you'll do it all hearing complete ATC communications, in all types of airspace and phases of flight.
Meet Keith and Jeff
In this program, you'll be riding along with pilot Keith Smith. Keith is a highly accomplished instrument pilot. He's also the founder and developer of PilotEdge, the award-winning network that provides real (human) ATC interactions for pilots flying and training on flight simulators.
Keith flies his Lancair 360 extensively on business (mostly IFR). To keep things real, we placed Keith in a Cessna 172 for these VFR challenges. Keith is not an instructor, which further enhances the real-world feel of these videos.
Joining Keith in the cockpit is veteran CFI and flight educator Jeff Van West. Jeff created the missions that Keith flies in the program, and provides a valuable role as both safety pilot and color analyst.
In addition to being a highly experienced Flight Instructor (with certifications for single- and multi-engine airplanes and seaplanes), Jeff is a nationally recognized aviation writer. His work has appeared in AOPA Pilot, Flight Training, AVweb and many other outlets. He was the former editor of IFR magazine and the co-editor of Aviation Consumer. His books include FSX for Real World Pilots (co-authored with Kevin Lane-Cummings), which is still a top seller on simulator-based training eight years after its publication. Jeff was also the creator of the original pilot transition program for Cirrus Aircraft.
Above all, Jeff teaches with a healthy balance of humor and realism, which you will appreciate when you watch the Real World VFR videos.
Flight Videos: Brief—Fly—Debrief
Keith and Jeff selected some truly demanding flights for this video series. To mitigate the elevated level of risk, they performed a thorough briefing before every flight, which is one of the most instructional aspects of the program.
The flights were recorded in real time using high-definition video cameras mounted in strategic positions throughout the airplane. You'll feel like you are riding along with Keith and Jeff. In addition, you'll hear all of their in-cockpit conversations in real time, as well as all ATC communications.
Keith and Jeff debrief every flight, where they grade Keith's performance, discuss his choices and distill the important lessons.
Simulator Videos: Sharpen Your Skills
Before Keith and Jeff launch on the real flights, they use a flight simulator to re-familiarize Keith with the Cessna 172 and get him comfortable with the tricky airports he will visit. They also work on specific skills including takeoffs and landings (all types), night flying, emergencies and other procedures. The exercises Keith completes in the simulator are valuable for any pilot.
Online course works on Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android – just log in and start learning. Your course access does not expire.