East Coast IFR Experience

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The “ECIE” is a five day flight training experience that takes pilots through some of the most demanding and most rewarding areas of the East Coast. It incorporates some of the most challenging approaches and varied flying conditions available anywhere in the country.

From the mountains of New England, south-west over the Catskills, Poconos, and into the Appalachians and Smokies, some of the most difficult approaches east of the Mississippi will be flown, often in IMC conditions. Then, it’s south to Florida , before flying the length of the East Coast all the way to Maine (including a stop where it all began, Kill Devil Hill in Kitty Hawk , NC ).

The last day flies the “Narly New England” approaches of the White and Green Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire . Finally back to where the trip started, at Columbia County Airport (1B1) in Hudson , NY .

The approaches flown will include: ILS, LOC, LOC Back Course, ASR, VOR, PAR, and RNAV. Some approaches will entail flying a DME arc. The likelihood of encountering IMC conditions at some point during the trip are good, though not guaranteed. Pilots can expect to log at least 30 hours of PIC flight time and 25 approaches.

Pilots that are insured by Avemco Insurance Company will qualify for a 5% discount on their premiums upon completion of this trip.


The ECIE is designed both for currently rated IFR pilots who wish to gain a genuine IFR experience while also increasing their IFR skills and confidence, as well Instrument students who have not yet gained their rating but are advanced enough in their training to be able to fly both precision and non-precision approaches and holds. For instrument students it is a great way to finish up the rating.

For instrument student applicants, a minimum of fifteen hours of logged instrument instruction prior to taking the trip is required. If the applicant wishes to take their Instrument Practical Test with Doug at the conclusion of the trip, then their knowledge exam must have been completed prior to the trip.

For those pilots flying the trip in DSFI’s Cardinal, a complex endorsement will be gained as well (if not already held). At the conclusion of the course instrument rated pilots will receive an IPC (Instrument Proficiency Check) and Flight Review endorsement, if requested. Pilots that are insured by Avemco Insurance Company will qualify for a 5% discount on their premiums upon completion of the trip.

THE ITINERARY:DAY ONE  departs 1B1 and spends the day in the mountains. We cross the Catskills and Poconos as we head to the Appalachians and Smokies. Precision and non-precision approaches alike will be flown into airports nestled in mountain valleys and surrounded by high peaks. We’ll end the day at Asheville , NC (expect the seat belts to get stretched today, as this air is often turbulent).

DAY TWO takes us across South Carolina and Georgia to Florida . Along the way, we’ll get to fly a DME arc. We will end the day at beautiful St. Simmons , GA.

DAY THREE we fly north up the coast. The highlight of the day is a stop for lunch at Kitty Hawk where we can pay homage to the two brothers who started it all, Orville and Wilbur. After lunch we continue on to end the day in Lakewood, NJ, not far from where the Hindenburg burned.

DAY FOUR is the day our communication skills get tested as we fly through both the New York and Boston TRACONS. Be prepared for rapid fire commands from busy controllers. A PAR approach is possible at Portsmouth , NH . Then, the foggy coasts of Maine await, ending the day in Bangor , ME.

DAY FIVE, the final day of our IFR experience, takes us to some of the most difficult approaches in New England . We’ll fly approaches surrounded by mountains into Berlin and Lebanon, NH, Springfield and Bennington, VT and Pittsfield, MA, ending back at Columbia County with 30+ hours of difficult IFR flying under our belts.

Virtually Fly the ECIE Here


Contact DSFI about booking your trip…

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