Where are you located?
Other obligations notwithstanding, I’m based in Idaho on the Cascade Airport (U70), in the small town of Cascade, ID. Cascade is about 85 miles North of Boise Airport (BOI) and about 35 miles South of McCall (MYL). Cascade/McCall is roughly 5,000 feet MSL and in a unique snow/weather belt; thus, the predictable training season is typically mid-June through mid-Occtober. See the Idaho Location FAQ.
Do other schools offering similar training?
Several schools offer their own brand of spin and unusual attitude training — some are good; some, not so good. To help you evaluate other schools and programs, be sure to read my Guidelines for Pilots Seeking All-Attitude Training. Some schools that have patterned their training programs after my work are provided on my Links page. You can also view a Directory of Aerobatic Schools maintained by the International Aerobatic Club (IAC).
Do I need to have my Private Pilot license to sign up for the Program?
No, but I do recommend having your PPL beforehand. I don’t want this unique training to confuse any issues related to passing your Private check ride. Consider the EMT® Program as your reward to yourself for all the hard work it took to earn your PPL.
Do I need any prior aerobatic experience?
No. The majority of pilots I fly with have neither previous aerobatic experience nor tailwheel experience.
I have no tailwheel experience — is this a problem?
Not at all. In fact, 95 percent of the pilots I fly with have no prior tailwheel experience. Don’t worry, I’ll coach you through the take-offs and landings. Consider the exposure to tailwheel flying as an added bonus!
Does the Program have regularly scheduled class dates?
With the exception of training clinics conducted at other locations throughout the year, I schedule training on an individual basis.
Are you the only instructor?
In Cascade, Idaho, yes. However, CP Aviation in Santa Paula, CA also has instructors who are more than capable of teaching per the EMT® Syllabus. If you want to train sooner than my schedule might allow, consider contacting CP Aviation at 805-525-2138. The instructors there follow the same syllabus and use the same teaching techniques that I use.
What airplane(s) do we train in?
Training with me in Idaho is scheduled in a 2005 Super Decathlon: a tandem seat, aerobatic-capable taildragger.
Can I bring/use my own airplane?
Yes! We can do some of the training in your own airplane under the following conditions: Upon inspection, I can decline to conduct training in the particular airplane; we will only use the airplane as is appropriate, performing only those maneuvers that are approved in the airplane. At a minimum, you can usually plan on using your airplane for at least half of the Lessons in Modules I and II.
If we use your airplane, please understand that you will be acting as PIC at all times during our training flights. I do carry CFI insurance as well.
How long does it take to complete the training?
The Program is divided into three stand-alone Modules: Stall/Spin Awareness, In-Flight Emergencies, and Basic Aerobatics. Each Module includes three hours of ground instruction and three hours of flight instruction, spread over four separate Lessons. As a result, each Lesson consists of about 45 minutes on the ground and 45 minutes in the air.
If you schedule two Lessons per day (the maximum recommended for most), you can complete each Module in two days. Therefore, plan on a minimum of two days for Module I; four days for Modules I & II together; six days to complete all three Modules.
Can the Program be stretched out over several weeks, or even weekends?
Yes it can. But to avoid the possibility of large gaps between your lessons, be sure to reserve all the flights needed for a Module when you call (or e-mail) to set up your schedule.
Can the training count as a Flight Review?
Yes! The training more than satisfies the requirements. The program is also WINGS-approved.
Can I get a spin endorsement as part of the training?
Completing Module I more than satisfies the intent of the spin endorsement required of Flight Instructor Applicants. Instead of a meager one or two spins, you’ll perform on the order of 20 or so spin entries and recoveries in this Module alone.
Does the Program include a tailwheel endorsement?
In general, no. The emphasis of the EMT® Program is air work, whereas the tailwheel endorsement focuses primarily on pattern work. Yet several pilots have combined the EMT® Program with a tailwheel endorsement by adding a few tailwheel-specific sorties to their schedule.
For example, by scheduling one tailwheel-specific flight followed by two EMT®-specific flights per day (that’s certainly a full day of flying!), most pilots will usually qualify for the tailwheel endorsement, a spin endorsement, a flight review, a Phase of the FAA Wings Program, and a whole lot of new experience! See the Tailwheel Transition FAQ for more information on this.
Can a friend/spouse and I take the Program simultaneously?
Yes, schedule permitting. Two of you can participate in the ground school sessions together, followed by the individual flights. This will save a few dollars in the end.
Do you ever conduct training at other locations?
Yes! If you are interested in discussing the logistics of a training clinic in your area, please see the planning guide.
What does the Program cost?
See the bottom of this page for current prices and options. Price includes approximately three hours of ground time and three hours of flight time with me, plus three hours of airplane rental. The cost will be less if we use your own airplane for the appropriate lessons. The final cost will depend on the actual number of hours flown, so it could end up being a bit more or less than the budget numbers.
Do you offer group rates?
If you train with a friend/spouse at the same time, you can save a few dollars by sharing the ground school sessions. For larger groups or on-site training clinics (away from Rich’s home base), please contact me for details.
Does the cost include your book and video?
The EMT® book and video are optional (but of course, highly recommended). Many pilots find it useful to order the book and/or video to review before taking the training. For more information, visit the Pilot Shop.
How do I pay?
We accept cash, check, Visa, and MasterCard.
Do you require a deposit?
Not at this time, but if you do have to cancel your appointment, we ask that you contact us as soon as possible.
How far in advance do I need to schedule?
My schedule often books 60–90 days in advance, and sometimes as far as 4–5 months ahead. So the more lead time the better in terms of coordinating schedules and airplanes.
What’s the best way to proceed with scheduling?
To train with me, fill out the Scheduling Worksheet or call 805-218-0161. I will then work up a training schedule based on availability and send it to you.
If you want to receive training sooner than my schedule will allow, please email CP Aviation or call them at 805-525-2138. Ask for owner, 2011 National CFI of the Year, and Master Aerobatic Instructor Judy Phelps.
What’s the best time to reach you by phone?
I’m usually out flying during the day, so your best bet to reach me by phone is to call between 6 and 8 PM Mountain time. E-mail is the preferred way to communicate initially.
What can I do to prepare before I arrive?
You might consider picking up a copy of the EMT® book and/or video to review before we train. The book and video provide far more detail than we can cover in a few hours of ground school. Visit the Pilot Shop.
Will I get airsick?
A common question; however, the reality is that very few pilots actually get airsick. Most pilots are usually just fine physiologically. In any event, we’ll train at your pace — you call the shots in terms of how far to go on each flight.
If you have a particularly sensitive stomach, consider the following: eat in moderation before flying, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, and look into one of the various “relief” products on the market (patch, wrist band, etc.). Ginger also seems to have a calming effect (sipping ginger ale or nibbling on raw ginger before and after flying often helps).
See the Idaho Location FAQ for more information.