Gold Seal IFR course- anything else needed?

Will Kumley

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Getting ready to start my instrument training and right now there is a 80% chance I'll be using the Gold Seal instrument online ground school.

Other than purchasing the online course, what else is needed? Will I need to get additional books, tools, calculators, etc...? I've still got the E6B and plotter from when I did the Jeppesen Private course through a flight school that was local to me at the time. I imagine I'll need some foggles when I start flying but is there anything else to consider?
 
I honestly never used my E6B/plotter during my training in winter 2020. I did Sporty's ground, then flew with the local school. Only thing extra I'd buy is foggles.
 
The FAA’s instrument flying handbook and instrument procedures handbook are good to have and free to download. The FAR/AIM is available free or you can buy the book. There’s a LOT of pertinent info in the AIM.
 
The FAA’s instrument flying handbook and instrument procedures handbook are good to have and free to download. The FAR/AIM is available free or you can buy the book. There’s a LOT of pertinent info in the AIM.
Yep, already have the instrument flying handbook download as well as the FAR/AIM on my ipad.
 
The Asa oral exam guide is really good. https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-P...hBk6X8-cdpFP6XG83tvhjcUVZE50csLQaAuvDEALw_wcB.

Other than that I think you've covered it. I really like blockalls instead of regular foggles: https://www.amazon.com/BLOCKALLS-View-Limiting-Device-Black/dp/B015G95CZW/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2FJ5TIVAZ9ZIZ&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.PUzOCs_UC3OkCbW1KOzvSRLetaDN1WY064OVDAFBrv9XZSuLzo1tUDgb9l35ynHnSel46BiR-tDlY7T9LHuHsGf47UKAkh2xM8Cfxidl_94hXyH1ZPcUbnN3vSCACPqpqKzytMi7sUgY0W8BMm3-o7qGKgiOXhrqgNWJ2Xfx4p6BXM4Z3paXG6BdPFJ7obfjDL8UqsEHDkWYS-B3NeG_3TUWqHttlBXVIaiIMczjokM.uawtsXkRStqp4WNDqPmebpi-XNhufgFPe4hvx0lRvvs&dib_tag=se&keywords=Blockalls&qid=1713047358&s=books&sprefix=blockalls,stripbooks,201&sr=1-1&th=1. Stupid expensive for what they are though. If I was doing it again I'd make my own with a pair of safety glasses and black spray paint. Regular foggles give me a headache, but these don't.

I was very pleased with the gold seal ifr course, and I understand they've improved it greatly even since I took it 4 years ago.
 
Complete the Gold Seal course while also cross referencing the lessons in the IFH and FAR/AIM. Then a few weeks before the test take the Sheppard test prep course. You should score well into the 90’s on the test.
 
Getting ready to start my instrument training and right now there is a 80% chance I'll be using the Gold Seal instrument online ground school.

Other than purchasing the online course, what else is needed? Will I need to get additional books, tools, calculators, etc...? I've still got the E6B and plotter from when I did the Jeppesen Private course through a flight school that was local to me at the time. I imagine I'll need some foggles when I start flying but is there anything else to consider?
1. An IPAD.
2. A very simple inexpensive simple to use EFB. SkyCharts, WingX, ect. $35-$80.
3. Flygo All in One IFR Trainer app to learn hold entries. $11.
4. A kitchen timer $5
5. A good ANR headset with Bluetooth. $800
6. Manuals for the RNAV / autopilot you will be using, free online.
7. FAA handbooks for weather, instrument flying, and instrument procedures. Free online.
 
Last edited:
Will,

May be a little late but Glendale College offers a ground school.

I did my gorund school at Long Beach City College, and the atcual test was the final.. and got college credit..

Are you working with Tom on you flight instruction?
 
If OP wears glasses then these clip-ons are pretty good. ASA Overcasters (amazon)

X-Plane 12 with PilotEdge is really helpful to work on navigation, procedures and talking to ATC. A lot cheaper than doing it in the plane.
 
The Asa oral exam guide is really good. https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-P...hBk6X8-cdpFP6XG83tvhjcUVZE50csLQaAuvDEALw_wcB.

Other than that I think you've covered it. I really like blockalls instead of regular foggles: https://www.amazon.com/BLOCKALLS-View-Limiting-Device-Black/dp/B015G95CZW/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2FJ5TIVAZ9ZIZ&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.PUzOCs_UC3OkCbW1KOzvSRLetaDN1WY064OVDAFBrv9XZSuLzo1tUDgb9l35ynHnSel46BiR-tDlY7T9LHuHsGf47UKAkh2xM8Cfxidl_94hXyH1ZPcUbnN3vSCACPqpqKzytMi7sUgY0W8BMm3-o7qGKgiOXhrqgNWJ2Xfx4p6BXM4Z3paXG6BdPFJ7obfjDL8UqsEHDkWYS-B3NeG_3TUWqHttlBXVIaiIMczjokM.uawtsXkRStqp4WNDqPmebpi-XNhufgFPe4hvx0lRvvs&dib_tag=se&keywords=Blockalls&qid=1713047358&s=books&sprefix=blockalls,stripbooks,201&sr=1-1&th=1. Stupid expensive for what they are though. If I was doing it again I'd make my own with a pair of safety glasses and black spray paint. Regular foggles give me a headache, but these don't.

I was very pleased with the gold seal ifr course, and I understand they've improved it greatly even since I took it 4 years ago.
my experience is quite old now, but foggles always bother me too (not a headache exactly, but eye strain from the glare and distortion for sure). My solution back in the 1990's was a fine tooth saw and I hacked away the clear part of the lenses. That helped.
 
I preferred Blockalls brand of foogles. FWIW

The latest version of the digital terminal procedures supplement. I spent a ton of time in this pub at my cfii's recommendation. The information was in it for the majority of my oral exam.
 
I can't speak to Gold Seal, but I can say I got a much deeper working knowledge of the IFR system and procedures from free YouTube content than I did from Sporty's ground school. A test endorsement is easy to come by; if you're a motivated learner, don't feel obligated to buy a ground school program.

Good stuff:

Pilots Cafe Quick Review Study Guide
ASA red book
FlightInsight IFR Training playlist
PilotEdge IFR workshop playlist

And of course use Sheppard for the written.
Good stuff, working on IGI right now,
 
I did the IGI test using the same Sheppard prep as the IRA test, since it's pretty much exactly the same question bank. That allowed me to use the Ground Instructor credentials to gain access to the Sporty's CFI portal and view their Instrument ground school free of charge, which is about all it was worth to me.
 
That's not the correct link. It is here:

Thanks, I already downloaded that one and have it in my binder to study. I've already enrolled and am slowly working through the first section of the training in an attempt to let it soak in instead of trying to power through and risk forgetting anything when it comes to test time.
 
I don't have any pros/cons to Gold Seal (I personally used Pilot Institute for my instrument). I think all of the prep options are just fine. I started with Sheppard, but it was too much new content..so I chose the "traditional" online ground school. I did go back to Sheppard for test prep and aced the written.

All that said, all the prep I did to actually START my training was a WAG of 2% of what I learned for my instrument. No exaggeration, 98% of my learning was in the aircraft or one-on-one with my instructor. I'm not saying the written is a waste of time...but it kind of is. In short, the ground school and the written is just the key to actually START learning.

Also, if you're still shopping around, I used Flight Insight for my commercial. If you're willing to get at it, he's got a deal that's $79 and you get any course for a month. Not bad at all. I'd still 100% recommend Sheppard after.

Good luck!
 
I used Gold Seal as a refresher when I was working on the CFI-I. It is a good course and teaches you the material and if you know it well, you will do fine on the written. When I was going to take the written I also used Shepard Air as a final tune up. Shepard does a good job of flushing out some of the nuances on the FAA test questions.
 
Update: I passed the written test with an 85 today! I only enrolled in the Gold Seal online course and studied in the online section. I did also save the IFR need to know file from Gold Seal but the bulk of studying was within the online program itself. After completing the course with a passing score I set my test date for a week later and took the final exam in the program daily to help maintain the knowledge. No special plotters, or anything needed at all. The test for me was very focused on departure procedures and reading various approach plates to a point that I felt like it was the only thing on the test. There were a few non approach plate questions but not many. Overall, I think the Gold Seal course is great and gave me the knowledge to pass the test without rote memorization as many of the question on the real test were similar enough but worded in a way I had to actually think about the situation before determining the best answer.
 
Good for you! I like your approach as I feel too many instrument students who post here fixate on passing the written vs truly understanding the material. If you understand the material passing the test is a piece of cake. and you’ll be much better prepared to operate in the system post check ride than if your focus was more about test prep.
 
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