IFR hood

Ah, the old IFR hood. I have spent many hours wearing this sexy hat going through my instrument training and even more time putting young hopefuls through their training when I was a CFI. Some of those hoods have gotten a little more sophisticated than the ones they had back in my days but the idea is the same. The ones of you who fly instruments are very familiar I am sure.

For the ones of you who don’t have an instrument flight rating: “The hoods” function is exactly as Chuck describes it in the strip. You put this thing on and it keeps you from looking outside the window when you are practicing flying solely by instruments. That way you don’t have to actually be in the clouds (especially if you’re training in areas like California or Nevada where there aren’t a lot of clouds) and the instructor can look for traffic instead of you while flying in perfect conditions. If things go wrong, you take the hood off and just keep flying the way you’re used to under VFR conditions (which means looking outside and enjoy the scenery – for more info on pilot lingo, check out our page.

Let’s hear some IFR training stories from you guys!

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8 comments on “IFR hood
  1. kkrummy says:

    I wore one of those for 45 minutes during my ppsel checkride. The examiner was a bit of a stickler for non instrument pilots being able to fly for brief periods on the dials. We did VOR orientation, unusual attitude recovery, and because I did a fairly competent job I guess, he had me fly an ILS approach. He was a great guy!! Fortunately, I had about 4 hours of actual instrument time (in clouds, not hard to find in Ohio) with my instructor before the checkride.

  2. Fbs says:

    I’m currently doing my IR-ME training and yet all the job done was in a fnpt ii simulator

    You don’t need the hat in these because the wheather is always crappy and worse than in real life as fog + 25 to 40 kt winds is seldom encountered.

    Doing nice hippodromes is quite a job

  3. szebenyib says:

    I had it the other way around on a glider: as part of simulating possible failures we had the instruments covered by a canvas.
    It is different I know, but as a flight simmer I can relate to Chuck in this strip too 🙂

  4. reynard61 says:

    This story comes from my long-lost childhood:

    When I was 11 or so, a friend of my mom’s took us up for a ride in his Stinson Voyager. (Or, as he called it, his “Son-of-Stin Kamikaze Special”.) A few minutes after take-off he offered me the yoke. Being the huge airplane buff that I am, I gladly accepted. Just one problem: At that age I hadn’t yet gone through my growth spurt and I couldn’t see over the instrument panel/dash. Being the practical sort, and having memorized the basic cockpit dials and gauges, my eyes immediately went to the instruments and I flew the plane using my own primitive IFR training. *LOVED* every minute of it!

  5. Chris says:

    While not a pilot my father was. During his training with the hood back in the 60’s the instructor was not paying as close attention as he should have. Suddenly told my father to dive which he did which avoided a mid air. He found out later that the planes passed close enough that the instructor could count the rivets on the other plane.

  6. Dix says:

    Tomorrow it won’t be a “checkride”. Seems rather to become a “chuckride”…

    When he is asked about the meaning of the letters “IFR”, I bet his answer will be “I Follow Roads”.

  7. Allstar says:

    @kkrummy, that’s a bit above and beyond the PTS for private ASEL, ain’t it?

  8. kkrummy says:

    My boss at the time was an ATP flying a Sabreliner for a local company. I think he and the examiner (brother Silent Birdmen) had a bet on how I would do on the checkride. And also this was back in the early 70’s so I guess the examiner had a little more leeway. I enjoyed every minute of my checkride and as I said, the examiner was a great guy and kind of a living legend around Ohio.

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