IFR Mastery

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IFR Mastery Monthly Scenarios

“The Most Convenient Way To Gain IFR Experience”

  • Master the finer points of Instrument flying
  • Hone valuable decision-making skills
  • Gain a better understanding of IFR procedures
  • Learn to recognize and avoid common traps

“One of the best training aides I’ve used in my 40 years of flying.”
–  John Graff, Colorado

Online Scenarios That Build Confidence

There is no substitute for actual flying experience – pilots that train and fly regularly are typically confident and proficient. While we can’t put you in an airplane, we can do the next best thing by immersing you in the mental aspects of IFR flying.

IFR Mastery is a continuing series of online, scenario-based workshops. Each month we provide a challenging, real-world IFR scenario that tests your knowledge and hones your decision making skills.

It’s more than reading another article or watching another video. IFR Mastery delivers a powerful way to keep your head in the game and gain valuable experience from the comfort of your computer.

The best part of IFR Mastery is you will get maximum return for the time you invest! Because you are actively engaged, you will learn and retain the lessons in far less time. And because it’s fun, you will want to do it more often.

“When it comes to exercising IFR thinking, the program that I was most impressed with was the IFR Mastery Series from PilotWorkshops. It hits a sweet-spot mix of material to do on your own schedule and interactively, especially if you spend time in the discussion groups.”

IFR Magazine

Regular Exercise For Your Pilot Brain

Each month, IFR Mastery subscribers get a new online scenario. Our instructors follow a proven, step-by-step process that will test your knowledge and help you learn in a fun and effective way.

1. Watch

Start by watching a short briefing video that puts you in the pilot’s seat, and details the scenario you’ll be evaluating.

2. Think

Each scenario briefing ends with several options. Here, you will review weather forecasts, aircraft data, IFR charts and more to help you choose.

3. Choose

Choose your favorite option, then compare your choice with other pilots on our live poll.

4. Learn

After making your selection, watch the instructor’s video and learn which option they chose. They provide step-by-step instruction and offer a detailed explanation of their thought process.

These segments are full of IFR tips and techniques!

5. Listen

Our instructor roundtable discussion includes a panel of award-winning flight instructors who discuss and debate each scenario. They don’t always agree…and that’s the fun part, where a lot of learning happens.

6. Discuss

After going through the scenario, visit the members-only online discussion forum where great IFR tips, techniques and stories are shared. It’s valuable hangar flying with our instructors and other IFR pilots.

Meet The IFR Mastery Instructors

Learn from top professionals who share their tips, techniques and strategies. Instructors include:

Wally Moran

DPE, NAFI Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

Wally Moran is a retired airline captain and spent much of his career as a training instructor and check airman on aircraft including the Boeing 747 and 767. He has held a flight instructor certificate for over 50 years. He is a Designated Pilot Examiner for gliders and has given over 4500 hours of flight instruction in single engine, multiengine, gliders and seaplanes. Wally has been awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and is designated a Master CFI by the National Association of Flight Instructors. In 2017 Wally was elected to the NAFI Flight Instructor’s Hall of Fame.

John Krug

CFII, FAA ATC Instructor & QA Specialist

John Krug’s 27 years of experience as an Air Traffic Controller combined with his experience as an active flight instructor and charter pilot, allow him to assist pilots in gaining a better understanding of the ATC system and how to best operate in it. While with the FAA, he was an On-the-Job-Training Instructor for new controllers and worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist, responsible for conducting in-flight evaluations of the Air Traffic System and investigating accidents and incidents.

Doug Stewart

National CFI of the Year, DPE

Doug Stewart was the “National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2004. A Master Certified Flight Instructor, Gold Seal Instructor and Designated Pilot Examiner – he is based at the Columbia County Airport (1B1) in Hudson, NY.

Doug owns and operates his own flight school specializing in instrument training and has logged over 12,500 hours of dual instruction given, with over 5,700 hours of that being instrument instruction. He regularly gives instruction in aircraft as simple as the J-3 Cub, and as complex as the Piper Malibu / Mirage.

Dave Hirschman

ATP/CFII, Aviation Writer, Aerobatics Instructor

Dave Hirschman is an ATP/CFII who specializes in aerobatic and tailwheel flight instruction. He has provided more than 2,000 hours of aerobatic dual instruction in airplanes including the Decathlon, Pitts S-2B, Extra 300L, Stearman, WACO, and T-6. He has flown piston singles in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Mexico, and the Bahamas and performed air-to-air photo missions in those places.

Dave is the author of “Hijacked: The Heroes of Flight 705,” and he has been on the editorial staff of AOPA Pilot magazine since 2008. He has logged more than 8,000 flight hours in single and multi-engine land and seaplanes. He has a masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan.

Tom Haines

Former Editor in Chief, AOPA

Tom Haines was Editor in Chief and Senior Vice President of Media, Communications, and Outreach at AOPA. He earned his pilot certificate in his late teens and has logged more than 4,000 hours in a wide variety of general aviation airplanes. He has a commercial pilot certificate with multiengine, instrument, and seaplane ratings, and holds type ratings in the Eclipse 500 and Cessna CJ business jets and has a second-in-command type rating in the North American B-25 Mitchell. He owns a Beech A36 Bonanza and uses it regularly for business and personal travel.

Mark Kolber

CFII & Aviation Attorney

Like many who fly for personal business or pleasure, Mark Kolber came to aviation later in life. Mark had been interested in flying since childhood, but his first three lessons were a birthday gift from his wife, hoping to get it out of his system. She claims she hasn’t seen him since.

Thirty years later, Mark is a single-engine commercial pilot and CFI/CFII. He focused early on pilots coming to flying in mid-life as he did, and provided many hours of mountain flight instruction during his 20 years in Colorado. Now primarily involved in transition and recurrent training, Mark brings the perspective of an attorney who has represented pilots, mechanics and businesses in FAA enforcement and other aviation-related matters. He speaks to both legal and pilot groups and is a regular contributor to IFR Magazine.

Bruce Williams

CFII, FAASTeam Rep, Aviation Author

Bruce Williams is the owner of BruceAir, LLC, an aviation consulting, training, and pilot-services company based in Seattle, WA. He has been a pilot since the early 1970s, and he is a certified flight instructor and FAASTeam representative in the Seattle area. Today, he focuses on training in technically advanced aircraft (TAA), the Beechcraft Bonanza series, and stall/spin/upset recovery courses in an Extra 300L aerobatic aircraft. He also instructs at Galvin Flying Services at Boeing Field. During a 15-year career at Microsoft, he worked on six versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. In the 1980s, he edited the Western Flyer (now the General Aviation News). He is also the author of two books about using PC-based simulation to complement flight training, plus many features on a variety of topics for aviation-focused periodicals.  Bruce publishes an aviation blog at BruceAir.

Catherine Cavagnaro

2020 FAA Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year, 2022 NAFI Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

Catherine Cavagnaro (CFI-I, MEI, ATP, DPE) offers spin and aerobatic instruction in addition to her position as Professor of Mathematics at Sewanee. She is a monthly contributor to AOPA Pilot Magazine and serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner for the Nashville FSDO. Catherine is the 2020 FAA Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year and the 2018 FAA Safety Representative of the Year. In 2018 she was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame.

Kevin Plante

FAA ATC Specialist, Commercial Single/Multi Instrument

Kevin Plante has been an Air Traffic Control Specialist for 16 years and has been fully certified in several different towers and TRACONs.  His ATC experience has been in both USAF and FAA facilities.  Kevin currently works at a busy TRACON controlling a wide variety of aircraft into airports of every airspace classification.  Additionally, Kevin has worked with the design and modification of PBN procedures, implementation of new equipment/software into ATC facilities, and On-the-Job-Training of new controllers.

Kevin has been flying since 1997. He flies for personal travel as well as working as a contract pilot for corporate and charter operators.

Tom Turner

NAFI Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

Master CFI Tom Turner holds an ATP certificate with instructor, CFII and MEI ratings and has a Masters Degree in Aviation Safety. He was the 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year and the 2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year and has logged over 2,500 hours instructing. In 2015 Tom was inducted into the NAFI Flight Instructor’s Hall of Fame.

Tom was a Captain in the United States Air Force and has been Lead Instructor for the Bonanza pilot training program at the Beechcraft factory. He now directs the education and safety arm of a 9000-member pilots’ organization.

JP Dice


JP Dice holds degrees in Meteorology from Mississippi State University and Broadcast News from the University of Florida. He was also one of the first AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologists in the country and was a television meteorologist for over 25 years. During that time, JP was also a pilot, airplane owner, and flight instructor. He left broadcasting to pursue aviation full-time and currently flies a Gulfstream IV as a corporate pilot as well as actively flight instructs in GA. He still owns and flies his Mooney M20J. The combination of flying and meteorology is a passion for JP.  He is particularly interested in teaching pilots aviation meteorology and how to help them safely plan trips and make “go and no go” decisions by utilizing the vast amount of weather data available today.

Jeff Van West

Vice President, Product Design and Strategy, CFII

Jeff Van West is PilotWorkshops’ Creative Director with the primary responsibility for managing the development and creation of the company’s pilot proficiency training programs, including our flagship IFR and VFR Mastery programs.

For 19 years, Jeff ran many noteworthy aviation media projects with his own firm, Van West Communications, including magazines, books, videos and live seminars. Jeff previously served as editor-in-chief of IFR Magazine and co-editor of Aviation Consumer, and his work appears in AOPA Pilot, Flight Training Magazine, Plane and Pilot, and AVweb. He’s an experienced CFII/MEI with ratings for single- and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and gliders. Jeff was the creator of the first pilot transition program for new Cirrus aircraft.

Ryan Koch

CFII, Director of Product Development

Ryan is responsible for the design and development of our new online training courses and pilot-friendly manuals, and oversees the course development team. He is also an active flight instructor specializing in instrument flight, is a flight simulator expert, and has experience doing remote flight instruction via simulators.

Ryan was the driving force behind the development of several PilotWorkshops online courses, including Instrument Rating Accelerator, IFR: The Missing Lessons, Garmin GTN: Next Level, and Advanced IFR. Ryan is also a contributing expert for PilotWorkshops’ IFR Mastery series and is a regular participant in the Instructor’s Roundtable. He teaches ground schools, runs ATC communications courses for both IFR and VFR pilots, and has developed curriculum for a variety of IFR proficiency programs, and a simulator-centered high school aviation program.

Bob Nardiello

DPE, CFI of the Year

Bob Nardiello was the “Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2004 and “FAA Safety Counselor of the Year” in 2006 for the Windsor Locks Flight Standards District Office. He has over 14,000 hours of total flight experience, with more than 7,500 hours as a Flight Instructor. He currently holds CFI, CFII, MEI, and ATP ratings and serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner. Bob was the Chief Flight Instructor at a Part 141 Flight School and is also a seasoned charter pilot flying a Cessna 421, Citation Ultra and Citation Excel.

Bob Martens

USAF (ret) Safety Officer, FAA Safety Program Manager

Bob Martens is a nationally known speaker, consultant and aviation safety expert. He retired from the FAA after spending 17 years as a Safety Program Manager. In this role, he delivered hundreds of live seminars devoted to General Aviation safety. Bob retired from the USAF (rank of Colonel) in 2000 after 30 years of active and reserve duty. He was an Aircraft Commander in a C-5A and also served as Flying Safety Officer and Chief of Safety with the 439th AirWing. Bob has logged thousands of flight hours in both military and GA aircraft.

Dr. Scott Dennstaedt

CFII, author & former NWS meteorologist, founder of EZWxBrief

Dr. Scott Dennstaedt is an FAA-certificated instrument flight instructor and former NWS research meteorologist specializing in aviation weather training. He is the founder of EZWxBrief. Scott is the author of The Skew-T log (p) and Me: A primer for pilots  and co-author of Pilot Weather: From Solo to the Airlines and has written over 300 articles for various aviation magazines including IFR, Plane & Pilot, Pilot Journal, Flying, Aviation Consumer and Twin & Turbine magazines.

Keith Smith

Founder, PilotEdge

Keith Smith is a highly accomplished instrument pilot and founder and developer of PilotEdge, the award-winning network that provides real (human) ATC interactions for pilots flying and training on flight simulators. This experience gives Keith a unique perspective on what pilots struggle with when communicating. Keith also has deep experience with flight simulators, from the desktop to full-motion sims used in commercial applications.

Keith flys his own Lancair 360 in the Real World IFR and Real World Coast to Coast products and he flies a 172 in Real World VFR. He has logged over 600 hours in his Lancair and routinely flies it in a wide range of weather conditions at airports ranging from 1800 ft non-towered strips to JFK, Atlanta Hartsfield, DFW and everything in between.

Katrina Linder

Air Traffic Controller, ATP, CFII-MEI

Katrina is an air traffic controller with 14 years of experience in tower, approach, and center on both the east and west coast. She started her career as a pilot and has logged over 5000 hours, including Part 121 and Part 135 flight experience. She returned to General Aviation when she became a controller and is an active flight instructor in a busy metropolitan area when not controlling airplanes from the scope.


Your IFR Mastery Membership Includes:

New Monthly Scenarios

Receive unlimited, online access to all new scenarios every month. Includes scenario overview videos, resources and tools for additional analysis, live polling and detailed instructional videos. We email you when new scenarios are published.

Discussion Forum

Unlimited online access to the “Hangar” (members-only discussion forum) where pilots discuss and debate the scenarios. You can join these discussions any time, or ask our instructors a question. Some of the best learning occurs in the forums.

Roundtable Audios

We get the instructors together and open the microphones. They share personal experiences and additional, detailed observations on the scenarios. Downloadable MP3 audio.

Monthly IFR Quizzes

Prepare to be challenged! These quizzes are short but will really test your knowledge. You will get feedback on all answers to reinforce your understanding of the topics. We email you when each new quiz is published.

WINGS Credit

Receive 3 WINGS credits for every completed IFR Mastery scenario. We’ve issued credit for thousands of completed IFR Mastery workshops! Add your email to the form on our website and we’ll do the rest to make sure your credit is issued by the FAA Safety Team.

Sign Up Today And Get Instant Access To The Entire Library Of IFR Mastery Scenarios Below!

Scenario Collections

47 Scenarios

Approach Scenarios

Approach Scenarios

Making the Call at Kingston

Kickapoo Cancellation Complications

Best Forward Speed

Foggy Thinking

Vertical Guidance Give and Take

Wanna Walla Walla

No Second Chances

Trusting Your Training

Doubt About The Dalles

Missed‌ ‌Below‌ ‌The‌ ‌DA‌

Baffling Options at Bend


Agile in Montgomery

Boston Bait and Switch

Poor Choices over Richfield

No Approach Here

Lowball in the High Country

Evasive Action in Norfolk

Smoke Circles in Montana

Traffic in the Pattern

The Route to Limbo

Which Approach At Frederick?

Paying The Water Bill

A Lack Of Integrity On Final

1000 Feet Over Ashe Country

Curve Ball At Palomar

Which Way To Winnemucca

Hanging Out Over Groton

Phantom Aircraft At Erie

The Tower At Santa Maria

Maintaining Personal Minimums

The Hills Around Sydney

Getting Into Greenville

A Different Kind Of Approach

Charts At The Ready

A Dizzying Approach

Disappearing in the Fog

GPS Approach at Charleston

Localizer Approach at Suffolk

Circling Approach In Michigan

Fog Over Georgia

Localizer Outage at Nantucket

A Danbury Approach

Approach to Mena

Night Approach to Minimums

Super Bowl Arrival

Circling Approach vs Tailwind

22 Scenarios

ATC Comm Scenarios

ATC Comm Scenarios

Cleared Through Gateway

The TAA at Tillamook

Changing Plans at Southern Pines

Deviate on Departure

Nice Guy in Newport

Not Cleared for the Visual

Flow Control into Portland

Mixed Messages Over Medford

Lonely In Paradise


Blind Climb At Richwood

PIC Of The Right Seat

To Turn Or Not To Turn

Confusion In Silicon Valley

Three Hops To Oshkosh

Cloud Surfing

An Easy IFR Training Day

North Country Approach

The Hanscom STAR

Trouble Near Palomar

Vectors to New Haven

Lost Comm at Teterboro

23 Scenarios

Departure Scenarios

Departure Scenarios

Anticipation Near Anaheim

Ely Departure

Tillamook Takeoff NA

What’s Up in Watsonville

Which Heading Out of Harvey?

Making It Up at Macon

The Walls Around Berlin

No VORs Today

Departing Under WATTR

Controller Conundrum

Exception Out of Fullerton

Murphy's Law of Departures

Vectors Out of McMinnville

Getting Out Of Houston

Wilderness Trip

Departure at Northampton

Granite State Departure

Am I Safe?

Night VFR Departure

Night Takeoff at PDX

Charleston Takeoff

North Adams Departure

Van Nuys Departure

10 Scenarios

Navigation Scenarios

Navigation Scenarios

Rocky Approach to Plymouth

Wrong Way Out of Ramona

The Day ATC Went Zero

Tight Turn with RNAV

Descend Via STAR

An Off-Airway Dilemma

Canadian Overflight

Night Visual to Pompano Beach

Diversion Decision

GPS Loss Near Rutland

33 Scenarios

Emergency Scenarios

Emergency Scenarios

Overvoltage in IMC

Who Needs an Autopilot, Anyway?

Palo Alto Procedure NA

Capital City Confusion

Alarm Out of Albany

Stuck Selector in SoCal

Looking for a Bright Idea

A Handheld Approach

Zero Vis at Driggs

Rapid Return in Portland

What Can You Trust?

Load Shedding Over Deadman Bay

Bump in the Lights

The Other Kind of Alternate

Attitude Issues at Half Moon Bay

Trimmed For The Approach

Trapped Above The Ice

Not A Warm Feeling

How Much Fuel Is Left?

Heat Of The Moment

Ice Fishing In A Mooney

An Escalating Gear Issue

The Real Best Glide

Night VFR Flight

Cheap Fuel at Logan County

When The Glass Breaks

Unwanted Adventure Over The Rockies

A Serious Attitude Issue

Discovery Near San Francisco

Mechanical Trouble Near Millville

Medical Over New Mexico

Electrical Failure Over Iowa

Partial Panel Emergency

31 Scenarios

Weather Scenarios

Weather Scenarios

Dummy in Duluth

Heading Straight to Nashville?

A Quick Hop to Birmingham

Snowfall in North Texas

Crystal Ball for the Windy City

It’s Only Wausau To Wautoma

Severely Shaken by Richmond

Dataless Over the Dakotas

Sucked into a Thunderstorm

Deviant Behavior

Cruisin' into Steven Bean

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Clear As New York Snow

Thunderstorm On Final

A Tiny Slice Of IFR

The Lights At Columbia County

Yellow's Not That Bad

Cold Reception In The U.S.

Quick Decision Needed

Who's In Charge?

Foggy Night at Bridgeport

Snowplows on the Runway

Bad Weather At Little Rock

Thunderstorm over Western PA

Icing Over West Virginia

Martha's Vineyard Accident

Icing Near Worcester

Thunderstorms to Nashville

IFR Reroute to Kinston

Headwinds to St Louis

Unexpected Icing Over Oregon

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if this is for me?
The mental challenge of thinking through these scenarios, and learning tips and techniques from these experts, is time well spent for any aviator. Over 15,000 pilots have joined PilotWorkshops’ Mastery programs, so you’ll be in good company, and you’ll see this reflected in the quality of the comments found in our private discussion forum. Having said all that — the best way to know if it’s for you is to try it. You can cancel any time and with this free trial there is no risk.

What if I don’t like IFR Mastery?
No problem — you can cancel any time; during the 30-day trial or afterwards. You can cancel by phone, email or on our website. We make it easy  because we only want paying members who really want the training.

What if I forget I signed up?
You can cancel and get a refund; but it will be hard to forget. We’ll send you a reminder email 3 weeks into your trial. We also send out two emails per month when we publish new scenarios or quizzes.

What if I miss a month?
No problem. The entire scenario library is available to you at all times during your membership. A “Watchlist” feature lets you keep track of scenarios you want to see, and a “Logbook” tracks your completions.

Will it run on my Computer and iPad?
Yes. IFR Mastery runs on Windows PCs, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. The only requirement is an internet connection and a web browser. Over half of our current subscribers watch the IFR Mastery scenarios on their iPads.

90 Day Money-Back Guarantee!

If you aren’t completely satisfied we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked! PilotWorkshops.com has been an A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau since 2006.

WINGS Approved!

You can earn 3 WINGS credits for each monthly IFR Mastery scenario completed: 1 basic, 1 advanced and 1 master. An easy way to stay current within the WINGS program!

IFR Mastery Free Trial

  • Your first 30 days are free so you can check it out.
  • Your credit card will only be charged if you decide to continue beyond 30 days.
  • We’ll send you a reminder email before you are charged.
  • Cancel anytime online, by phone, or by email. No commitment required.

Price after 30 days: $19/month

PilotWorkshops is proud to support AOPA and its membership in their mission of advancing the growth and safety of general aviation.


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