In 1970 I started a project that addressed existing flight training deficiencies—curriculum, student performance, and instructor techniques. Instructors and students nationwide have enthusiastically endorsed my efforts.
My goal was to help all pilots, particularly those who fly infrequently. Such minimum activity usually precludes precision flying but not safe flying. With the proper insights, all pilots can fly safely with proper self-confidence.
I began flying in 1959, instructing in 1963, and received my U.S. Army pilot wings (airplanes) in 1965. In subsequent years, I was the chief flight instructor for five flight schools and a United Airlines captain, retired from the airline in 1999 after a 30-year career.
For the past several years, I have been the chief flight instructor at Orange County Flight Center, KSNA, and a contributing editor for the AOPA Flight Training magazine. My experience, insights, and teaching techniques, acquired during 26,000 flight hours, have been an invaluable resource for countless pilots and instructors.
David Faile, FAA 1999 flight instructor of the year, Connecticut "I heartily recommend the Instrument Pilot Flight Training Manual and all of the Skyroamers publications for all phases of flight training......
Scott Spangler, former editor, Flight Training Magazine: “Ralph Butcher offers what may be the best description ever of instrument flying in his new Instrument Pilot Flight Training Manual. Standardization is the key to successful flying, and that is where this 340-page manual begins. Each chapter stresses maximum confidence and minimum workload. He writes like he teaches, clearly and concisely.”
Greg Erianne, university professor and flight instructor. "After recently purchasing your Private Pilot Flight Training Manual, I realized once again why I first chose to use your system of instruction when I was teaching students to fly. Your common sense approach to flight topics, down-to-earth (no pun intended) advice, and CONCRETE suggestions about how to accomplish specified flight goals all deserve a great deal of praise!"
Ken Marsh, flight instructor, Virginia: “Your books and syllabuses are the best. They are light-years ahead of anything else I’ve seen. The sad fact is that many instructors are victims of poor training which they pass along to their students.”
Ram Varsha, commercial pilot, Australia. "To make a long story short, I just have to say that after having purchased your book, I cannot tell you how much it helps. I would call this the Bible for new aspiring pilots. Hats off to you, Sir."
Mike Hemsley, flight instructor, California. “I think that your flight training curriculum is a breath of fresh air for the committed instructor. I am grateful to you for your ability to aggregate many of these proven techniques and many of your own into a cohesive and meaningful study course. You have been able to combine and synthesize the standard knowledge of basic and advanced aerodynamics and procedures into a practical and effective teaching method.”
Bud Struck, private pilot, New York. “Thank you for the (by far) best training manuals I’ve ever seen. I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years on the quest for good information. That’s why I sampled just one publication at first—so I could see if it was more of the same rehash. Very satisfied with your product.”
Ben Hall, flight instructor, Tennessee. “I use your flight manuals and syllabuses exclusively. I like to think that they are done the way I would have done it if I had similar experience as an instructor. In any case, I wanted you to know that the fine job you have done is greatly appreciated by someone who is trying to provide quality flight instruction.”
Denise Bright, flight instructor, Minnesota: “Great material! You have really made it easier to do a quality job of instructing.”
Terry McCormick, flight instructor, Arizona. "Your article on instruments for VFR flight is a dead on bullseye! Teaching students without instruments for the first few lessons has made things so much easier for them."
David Disheroon, private pilot, Pittsburgh. "I want to thank you for such an outstanding series of publications."
Steve Whitcomb, pilot, Massachusetts. "Thanks for your wonderful insight in specialized landings [Private Pilot Flight Training Manual]. It surely helps in application of the appropriate technique. I fly out of 1,800 feet of grass with 60-foot Spruce on both ends. Thanks for making my flying safer and more enjoyable by providing your wisdom through experience in the cockpit and on the ground."
Ron Grimes, pilot, California. "I can tell you sincerely care about training pilots to fly correctly and safely. Your teaching methods are great — especially in providing insights and methods that allow one to really understand (AND REMEMBER) the fundamentals of flying and navigating."
Jonathan Friedman, flight instructor. “Many thanks for the quick (and personal) reply. Yes, I’m an instructor and have used your syllabi and manuals. They’re now my preferred materials and I require that my students purchase them.”
Kevin Mueller, flight instructor, California. "Sir, I cannot tell you how impressed and extremely satisfied I am with the concepts and methods that are presented in your instrument flying manual and simulator training syllabus. The music scan is nothing less than sheer brilliance, it allows the pilot to slow down and relax with the confidence that the aircraft and the situation are under complete control."