A LOOK AT
By Doug Carmody
Training Beaufort, SC
Part Three of Our Evaluation of
the Best Places to Obtain
Mooney-Specific Flight Training.
Ed. Note: This is part three of our series on the best places in the country to go to learn about flying Mooney airplanes. Part one and
two detailed the services offered by the Safety Foundation and FlightSafety International. This time, let’s take a look at an individual
who offers Mooney owners one-on-one training in the customer’s airplane at the customer’s location. His name is Doug Carmody
and his company. Executive Flight Training, operates out of Beaufort, South Carolina. Here is what Doug has to say about the training
he offers to Mooney pilots.
MAPA: Thanks Doug for taking the time to talk to us about the Mooney-specific flight training you offer. Tell us a little bit about
yourself and your flight experience. How long have you been flying, how many hours instructing, etc?
Doug: As you know, I’m Captain for USAirways and I teach in Mooneys because I enjoy instructing. I guess I’m an airline pilot that
wants to be a flight instructor. I’ve been flying since 1973 and have a little over 13,000 hours with about 3000 in various Mooneys
including my own. As for as what ratings I have, I’m a Gold Seal CFI and CFII and NAFI Master Flight Instructor. I currently have an
ATP with 7 type ratings. Until recently, I was also an instructor for USAirways on the 737. At Executive Flight Training, I’ve taught
everything from the Private license up to the ATP. I’d have to say that instrument training is what I do most often. I average teaching
about 6-10 full IFR ratings a year. I also do a large number of instrument finish-up courses and instrument confidence courses. It’s
really amazing the number of IFR pilots who are uncomfortable in the clouds. Although instrument work is what I do most often, I
recently trained two initial CFI’s that passed on their first check ride! To sum up, I do one-on-one training in a relaxed atmosphere.
MAPA: Specific to Mooneys, how long have you been helping Mooney pilots improve their skills?
Doug: I’ve been training in Mooneys specifically for 12 years now. I’ve taught in everything from the wood wing M20 to the 0vation2.
No one has shown up in a Mite yet.
MAPA: Doug, we have members with many thousands of hours in their airplanes and members with zero hours in their airplanes. Do
you give both initial and refresher training? If yes, what’s the difference between the two courses?
Doug: I do both initial and refresher and the difference really depends on your overall flying experience. I normally develop a syllabus
for each individual student taking into account their previous flying experience and what type of flying they plan on doing in their
MAPA: Some of our members are too busy to travel to another location for flight training. Are you able to go directly to the customer’s
location for training or do prefer to train at your home airport in Beaufort?
Doug: I have found that getting the student away from their business really helps them concentrate on learning. Also I travel for a
living with the airlines and my wife would kill me if I did it for training too.
MAPA: For our members who chose to come to you, what are the accommodations like in Beaufort? Is it a place that our members could bring their
spouse or friends to do some fun things while they are flying with you?
Doug: Hilton Head Island is located in Beaufort County. The airport is 11 miles away. Some of my students stay at the Resorts over there and play
golf in the afternoon. Beaufort is a historic coastal town that has a tremendous amount of history. We have antebellum homes that line the intercoastal
waterway and there are carriage tours that will take you on a tour. We have a lot of boating and fishing. Also, Hollywood has discovered us, Forest
Gump, The Big Chill, the Price of Tides and other less known movies were filmed in Beaufort. Accommodations range from expensive Bed and
Breakfasts to relatively modest motels. Students will soon have the option of staying in Executive’s cottage over looking the Beaufort River. It should
be completed by August. (I hope) All the motels are listed on my website under FAQ.
MAPA: Our membership ranges from owners of very early Mooneys to the latest ones coming off the assembly line in Kerrville. Do you specialize
in any one make and model or do you provide training in any Mooney, regardless of its age?
Doug: Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve flown them all and will be happy to provide the owner training regardless of the age of his/her Mooney. I do
have my personal favorite, however.
MAPA: In addition to initial and refresher training, can you give instrument refresher training?
Doug: I sure can, I offer a 1-day IFR refresher program for those pilots that are fairly current and feel comfortable flying IFR. This program is 4
hours of ground school and 4 hours of flight training. The ground school covers basic IFR regulations and accident reviews. The flight portion
consists of the basic approaches, unusual attitude recoveries and some things that the student probably hasn’t done for a while. DME Arc’s, intersec-
tion holdings, and partial panel approaches. But my most popular refresher program is the 3 days IFR Confidence Course. I developed this program
after I heard a Mooney pilot misinterpret an IFR clearance and almost fly into the ground. The course is 3 days of training that is tailored to what you
don’t know. I find your weak areas and get you back up to speed. If you’re weak on interpreting in-flight weather, I’ll correct that. If you are nervous
talking to ATC, I can fix that. I usually talk with the student prior to the class to get an idea of what he or she wants to work on.
MAPA: Because you fly with so many different pilots, give us your opinion on the most common mistakes you see Mooney pilots making. Any
comments on how we can reduce the number of prop strikes and gear up landings we are seeing in the Mooney community these days?
Doug: I can tell you that landing the Mooney seems to be the biggest problem area for most pilots. Truthfully, I don’t know why. The Mooney is such
an easy airplane to land if you do it by the numbers. I use an airline approach to teaching landings. You have to be stable and on speed by 1000' IFR
or 500' VFR. No exceptions. If you are not stable. Go Around! It’s a cliche, but a good approach leads to a good landing. I blame some of the
problems on instructors. We need good consistent training for Mooney pilots. I’ve had a lot of students come to me with stories of CFI’s telling them
that if they got below 90KIAS on final they would stall. What baloney. A Mooney is great at flying slow. But the perception is out there that this is a
“hot” airplane. Concerning gear up accidents, they usually occur after a student has been distracted. The door pops open or you have to go around. I
always provide a distraction for my students and teach them that flying the airplane always comes first. Again, I think it’s a training problem.
MAPA: Doug, give us your pricing. How much do you charge for an initial course? How about a refresher? Any price difference if the customer
comes to you as compared to you going to the customer?
Doug: I charge $425 per 8-hour day. That includes using my simulator. The period is usually broken down into 4 hours of ground and 4 hours in the
student’s airplane. The 7-10 day instrument course is $3,995; the IFR Confidence Course is $1,200. The Commercial is $850.00
MAPA: Are your courses approved and recognized by the insurance companies for possible discounts on insurance rates. If yes, which ones?
Doug: All the insurance companies approve me for training. In fact, I have done initial checkout for the owners of new Mooneys.
MAPA: Finally, how can our members contact you to schedule a course?
Doug: First go to the website at www.mooneytraining.corn, from there you can email me at DougCarmody@ Mooneytraining.com. Telephone is
843-521-9412. I fly a lot so you will probably get voice mail. I will call back.