Last Spring, a pilot friend flew down to Centennial Airport to attend an “IMC Club” meeting put on by Independence Aviation. He enjoyed it very much, and told me he thought it would be great if we could create such a club at FNL.
The idea of the IMC Club is to present a scenario of something going awry during an IFR flight, and then to discuss amongst the attendees what they would do in that situation. There are no canned answers provided, and so there are no wrong answers. Each attendee can contribute to the conversation, whether an aspiring instrument pilot or a Master CFI; having zero hours of experience or thousands. The attendees can learn from each other during the course of the meeting.
As a result of the conversation, I did some research on IMC Clubs. I discovered that about a year ago the independent IMC Club non-profit merged into EAA, and the club’s new model is to sponsor local clubs through local EAA chapters. I also found that they have a large library of scenarios already created, making it very simple to run a meeting.
So I got agreement to form a club from our FNL EAA chapter President, attended a web-based training from EAA, and hosted our inaugural FNL IMC Club meeting on May 18. We’ve held meetings the third Wednesday of each month since. Attendance gets you a WINGS Knowledge credit.
We have a regular group of attendees, along with other pilots that drop in from time to time. Because the meetings are advertised on the FAASafety website, we’ve also had pilots fly up from the airports to our south (LMO, BDU, BJC, APA) to attend.
My pilot friend recently told me that he’s changed some of his piloting and decision making practices as a direct result of the discussions during our IMC Club meetings. That’s what these meetings are for: to challenge the way you fly and make decisions, and to make you a better pilot as a result. He made my day!
If you are an instrument pilot, or thinking of getting the rating, feel free to join us in the jetCenter hangar each month.