Try a new VFR challenge each month. It’s a proven way to stay sharp and keep your head in the game!
There’s 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 flying.
VFR Mastery is a continuing series of online, scenario-based workshops. Each month, we provide a challenging VFR scenario that tests your knowledge and hones your decision-making skills.
It’s more than reading another article or watching another video. VFR 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 VFR Mastery is you’ll 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’ll want to do it more often.
"These VFR scenarios make my palms sweat...I enjoy these scenarios because they stretch my thinking beyond the methods and procedures that I have ingrained through so much IFR flying."
Regular Exercise For Your Pilot Brain
Each month, VFR 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.
Start by watching a short briefing video that puts you in the pilot’s seat, and details the scenario you’ll be evaluating.
Each scenario briefing ends with several options. Here you will review weather forecasts, aircraft data, airport information, sectional charts and more to help you choose.
Choose your favorite option, then compare your choice with other pilots on our live poll.
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 tips and techniques!
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.
After going through the scenario, visit the members-only online discussion forum where great tips, techniques and stories are shared. Valuable hangar flying with our instructors and other pilots.
“..a great learning tool for any pilot who wants a painless path to the experience typically gained by scar tissue.”
ATP/CFII, Aviation Editor
Paul Bertorelli is an ATP-CFII and in addition to instructing, he has been a charter pilot and sometime skydiving aircraft pilot. He’s also an experienced skydiver with more than 3,000 jumps. He’s currently editor at large for www.avweb.com and has been the editorial director and editor of Belvoir Media Group publications including IFR, Aviation Consumer, Aviation Safety and IFR Refresher. He has produced numerous aviation videos. He lives near Sarasota, Florida.
Army Combat Aviator
Sarah is dedicated to helping aviators get better at their craft. Sarah is a West Point graduate and Army combat aviator. She flew the OH-58D during the invasion of Iraq and C-12s in Afghanistan in 2013. She currently flies the King Air 350 out of Portland, OR and is still an active pilot in the Oregon Army National Guard. As an avid aviation blogger, she has written for IFR Refresher, Air Facts Journal and on her own website: ThinkAviation.net. Her articles are focused on providing practical explanations of complex aviation topics.
Aerobatic Champion & Red Bull Air Racer
Michael Goulian is one of North America’s most decorated aerobatic pilots and recognized aviation professionals, starring in air shows throughout the country and having won multiple U.S. Aerobatic Championships and multiple Red Bull Air Races.
In addition to his air show and racing credentials, Michael is a Certified Flight Instructor. A firm believer in scenario based training, Goulian is a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP), and regularly traverses the country in a Cirrus SR-22, delivering talks to aviation groups designed to increase the awareness of safety and proficiency amongst the general aviation pilot community. He owns and operates Mike Goulian Aviation in Plymouth and Bedford, MA, as Authorized Cirrus Training Centers.
CFI, Professional backcountry pilot
Mike Hart is a professional backcountry pilot, aviation safety author, aviation advocate and tailwheel instructor. His work is regularly featured in Aviation Safety Magazine, AvWeb, and AOPA’s Air Safety Foundation publications. He currently flies a variety of single-, twin-piston and turbo-prop aircraft out of Salmon, Idaho delivering passengers and cargo to small towns and into backcountry airstrips of the largest Wilderness in the lower 48 states.
He first earned his pilot license at the age of 18 and flew his family’s 152 off of a pasture in Kansas. After two decades of not flying, he rediscovered aviation and began flying for business and pleasure and eventually chose it for a second career. He has more than 3,000 hours, most of it earned as a mountain pilot. He has served as a District Director of the Idaho Aviation Association, the coordinator of the Idaho Airstrip Network and Idaho Liaison to the Recreational Aviation Foundation.
ATP/CFII, 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.
Executive Director of AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, Former USAF Thunderbird Leader
Richard McSpadden is the Executive Director of AOPA’s Air Safety Institute and an active flight instructor. He holds a Commercial certificate with CFII, MEI, SEL ratings and a single-pilot Citation jet type rating. Richard began his GA flying in college and later flew F-15s, F-16s and the Super King Air 300 for the USAF. He culminated his USAF career as the Commander and Flight Leader of the USAF Thunderbirds. Richard instructed his high school age son to successful completion of his PPL and is currently teaching his daughter, who soled in their SuperCub earlier this summer.
National Flight Instructor of the Year 2011
Judy Phelps was the “National Flight Instructor of the year” in 2011 and the 2010 Western Pacific Region FAA Flight Instructor of the year. Judy’s career in aviation started in 1994 when she met and married Clay Phelps, the CP of CP Aviation, located in Santa Paula California. In 2003 she became a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and has logged over 10,000 hours. Judy Specializes in Tailwheel, Aerobatics and Emergency Maneuver Training.
Former Leader of AOPA’s Aviation Strategy and Programs division
As the former leader of AOPA’s Aviation Strategy and Programs division, Katie was responsible for its You Can Fly program, which focuses on growing and engaging the aviation community, and the Air Safety Institute, which has been providing free resources to help pilots fly safely for more than 60 years. Prior to joining AOPA, Katie earned a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and flew the Canadair Regional Jet with Atlantic Coast Airlines/Independence Air. She went on to serve as the director of communications for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Her idea of the perfect weekend involves flying her 1956 Cessna 180 Skywagon in her home state of Montana.
National Flight Instructor of the Year 2012
Hobie Tomlinson is a Master Certified Flight Instructor with over 10,600 hours of instruction given, a Designated Pilot Examiner, an FAA Master Pilot and the 2012 FAA Flight Instructor of the Year. As a highly respected professional in Aviation Safety, Tomlinson has developed and managed comprehensive safety programs for permanent fleets at FBO sites and for private aircraft owners and their crews. Having operated an independent flight instruction service, consulted with flight schools, and provided instruction to private individuals, he brings a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience.
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.
Jeff Van West
CFII, Author, PilotWorkshops Creative Director
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 flight instructor with certifications for single- and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and gliders. Jeff was the creator of the first pilot transition program for new Cirrus aircraft.
CFI, 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.
Get Started With These Scenarios
VFR Mastery Q&A – Answers to Common Questions
Q: Will it run on my Computer and iPad?
A: Yes. VFR Mastery runs on Windows PCs, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. The only requirement is an internet connection and a web browser.
Q: How long does my VFR Mastery subscription last?
A: It’s month-to-month. There is no long-term obligation or commitment, you can easily cancel at any time via online, email or phone. We send you two emails per month so you won’t forget about it.
Q: It sounds good, can I try it for a month or two?
A: Sure. That’s the beauty of our monthly subscription. Obviously, we want you to get value from your subscription and improve as a pilot. However, if it’s not for you…you can cancel at any time (easily done on our website, email or over the phone) and billing will stop immediately. This puts you in control without investing a lot of money up front.
Q: Will you ever raise my price in the future?
A: No. Your price will never increase as long as you remain an active subscriber.
Give it a try – You have nothing to lose!
If you aren’t completely satisfied at any time, you can cancel your subscription and billing will stop immediately.
PilotWorkshops.com has been a A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau since 2006.
You can earn 3 WINGS credits for each scenario completed: 1 basic, 1 advanced and 1 master. An easy way to stay current and advance within the WINGS program!
Membership includes access to scenario library, plus a new scenario every month
- Your subscription will automatically renew with new monthly scenarios until you decide to stop. This can easily be done by email, phone or on the website.
PilotWorkshops is proud to support AOPA and its membership in their mission of advancing the growth and safety of general aviation.