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Book review: ‘Single-Pilot IFR Pro Tips’

Reeves, the FAA’s 2019 Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year and the force behind is a thoroughly knowledgeable, insightful, and memorable teacher who backs up his recommendations with real-world examples. I’ve flown with Reeves, and he’s got encyclopedic knowledge of IFR procedures; he’s a wizard with aviation technology; and if you ask him nicely, he won’t wear the Pepto-Bismol pink shirts that have become a hallmark in his videos and live presentations.

The 183-page book’s large print makes it seem relatively short. It only takes a few hours to read, and those of us who have attended a Reeves seminar or two will hear his distinctive voice in our heads throughout the process.

Some of his points are:

  • Declare aerial emergencies early and often.
  • File and fly IFR on just about every flight.
  • Tell ATC “unable” if you feel an instruction jeopardizes safety.
  • Fly simulators.
  • Use your autopilot extensively.
  • Lower your landing gear far from the airport.
  • When practicing instrument approaches in visual conditions, notify the controlling authority.
  • Listen before you talk.
  • Make your own aircraft checklists.

Personally, I agree with Reeves most of the time—but even when I disagree (I like VFR; fly fast on IFR approaches, don’t lower the gear until glideslope intercept, and use manufacturers’ checklists), his points are provocative, well-argued, and backed up with examples from his vast experience. He tells you what he thinks, and why he thinks it.

Reeves is a highly sought-after instructor and lecturer. Reading his book is like taking a two-hour lesson with him—and that makes the book’s $29.95 price seem like a bargain.

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