You work hard obtaining the instrument rating, but then you find passing the checkride is only half the battle. Now you face the task of keeping those hard-earned skills polished and ready for use. This becomes especially difficult if you don't regularly fly in IMC conditions and shoot approaches. You can elect to do it with a safety pilot (see currency and IPCs). However every pilot is different, and going out periodically with a safety pilot may not keep you as sharp as you would like.

Recognizing this is a continuing problem, we came up with the idea of offering the progressive currency program. The idea is based on the concept often used for inspections on large aircraft. Instead of doing the annual inspection once a year, these aircraft are often maintained with a progressive annual inspection. A number of smaller inspections are done throughout the year, the sum of which is equal to one large annual inspection.

The progressive currency program is based on the same idea. You agree to come in for about two hours of training every month. Each session will include some ground plus a healthy dose of sim work. Each session, both ground and sim, will focus on one or two tasks included in the instrument checkride, and really work on those skills in detail. At the end of a year, you have undergone a healthy dose of recurrent training and some serious work in keeping your skills sharp.

Breaking down training into monthly sessions allows the pilot to work on proficiency in depth. The progressive currency program has proven to be an effective way for the serious pilot to maintain the skills needed to safely fly in the ATC environment.

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