As part of my aircraft appraisal business, I fly more than the typical private pilot – mostly IFR. Although I work to remain current like many private pilots, that is simply not enough to be proficient. I took Steve Watkins' Recurrent IFR Training Course and would recommend this to any IFR pilot who really needs and depends on those skills. Steve showed me techniques that reduced my workload and answered those nagging questions that many of us have when dealing with the ATC system. His background as an Airline Pilot Instructor really came through in this course. If you ever watch the pros, they are not pulling knobs, changing frequencies or working hard during the approach and neither should you. This course shows you how to fly like a professional when the conditions get tough. When you complete this training, you will be a more competent and proficient IFR pilot. The pros train on a regular basis, why shouldn't you?
Mike Simmons, President
Plane Data, Inc.
There are two things to note about the way Steve Watkins prepared me for my instrument check ride. The first is that he did not prepare me to take it in a usual aircraft, like a 172, instead he prepared me to take it in the 210 I had just bought. The second is that after the check ride, the examiner called Steve to tell him how impressed he was with the level of my preparation. I was a 100 hour pilot, and Steve made sure that I was really ready. I was comfortable flying actual the next week.
Steve Watkins was born to be a flight instructor. He loves flying and has from the time he was a teenager. He understands it on a mechanical level that gives him insight when he is explaining difficult topics. He also understands it on an intuitive level lets him help pilots understand their flying experience, and become better pilots. Moreover, Steve has experience in more types of light planes in more conditions than anyone I know. He has flown for many purposes, as a commercial pilot, as a charter pilot, and many many hours of duel. He would spot my problems, weaknesses, where I was going wrong and guide me to correct them. Steve loved to say “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”.
Steve believes that he has a personal responsibility to make sure that when he says you are ready, you are indeed ready not just to pass your check ride but to fly actual. He values your life more than his income, and will not hesitate to be honest with you about your state of preparedness. He will not send you off to fly if he believes you are not well-taught and comfortable in the plane. Because of this, you can feel confident in his judgment about your flying ability, and can really enjoy having such an excellent pilot and instructor guide your preparation. I wholeheartedly recommend Steve to anyone interested in learning to fly or to improve their skills.
-Jim Simon, 3/15/2005