VFR Mastery

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VFR Mastery

Try a new VFR challenge each month. It’s a proven way to stay sharp and keep your head in the game!

Online Scenarios: Have Fun While You Learn

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."

Jeff Schlueter

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.

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, airport information, sectional 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 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 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.”

Customer Review

Meet The VFR Mastery Instructors

Paul Bertorelli

ATP/CFII, Aviation Writer, 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.

Sarah Fritts

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.

Michael Goulian

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, which serve as Authorized Cirrus Training Centers.

Mike Hart

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.

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.

Ivy McIver

ATP with Seaplane, Tailwheel and Formation endorsements

Ivy McIver earned her Private Pilot License in 1998. She holds multiple airman ratings including ATP, ASEL, ASES, as well as Tailwheel and Formation endorsements. She is the owner of a 2001 American Champion Citabria 7GCBC and has accumulated over 4,500 hours of flight time.

Ivy is the Director, SR Product Line for Cirrus Aircraft, overseeing Cirrus’ piston product roadmap development and product marketing and is very active in the aviation community.

Richard McSpadden

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.

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.

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.

Judy Phelps

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.

Katie Pribyl

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.

Hobie Tomlinson

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.

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.

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.

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.

Your VFR Mastery Subscription 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. Listen online or download MP3 audios.

Monthly VFR 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 VFR Mastery scenario. We’ve issued credit for tens of thousands of completed 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.

Get Started With These Scenarios

Frequently Asked Questions


If you like this view, VFR Mastery is probably for you.

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 VFR 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.

VFR Mastery Free Trial

  • Your trial gets you free access to the entire VFR Mastery program and all scenarios for 30 days. Plenty of time to decide if you want to continue after the trial.
  • Starting month two, your subscription will automatically renew with new monthly scenarios until you cancel.
  • We’ll send a reminder email before you are charged for month two.
  • Cancel anytime online, by phone, or by email. No commitment required.
  • If you cancel before month two, your credit card will never be charged.

Price after trial: $14/month

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 a A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau since 2006.

WINGS Approved!

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

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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