Wow! The DGAC sure moves slow here, not sure what their problem is. For a while I have been trying to get my IFR rating renewed here in Chile. Now it appears that even though I am ready to go, the DGAC will be sending a commission at the start of April. Groan! I have been trying to get this done for months.
To think that even with all the negative comments about the FAA in the USA I heard last year, "We're not happy until you're not happy!", that between this same time period of 10 weeks, I managed to get the Private, Comercial, Instrument, Multiengine IFR, ATP written, Tailwheel endorsement and Spin endorsement done!
This slowness is mainly bureaucratic nonsense and the DGAC in all its wisdom has made it really difficult for pilots to get their licenses and ratings.
The main problems I see, are the requirement of doing an IFR check with a DGAC inspector every 6 months instead of the much more sensible idea of maintaining currency by flying, such as the every six months currency requirement of 6 approaches, holdings and intercepts in the US.
The other MAJOR problem is that Chile is a long thin country and everything orbits around Santiago, the capital, which is located in the middle. This has meant little consideration for people that live outside of the capital. This is a topic for another post. One could go on for hours about this attitude!
The one and only place to practice IFR approaches and do the test is by way of a three hour flight!!! So that means every flight is at least 500USD! I guess the DGAC thinks that everyone is a millionaire. However more likely it is due to it being run by mainly ex-airforce guys, who it seems have never had to pay for anything their lives.
The only place to do IFR practice near Santiago is out by the coast near Santo Domingo (SCSN). This airport has various approaches that are for practice only, a flaky ILS, that is inaccurate, no ALS system, overworked traffic controllers handling everyone practicing, a system of VFR only practice of what is supposed to be IFR flying, so yes, that means you can only practice when the weather is good!!
All of this conspires to make a very expensive, inefficient, long and slow process for those that wish to get their IFR rating. It is probably one of the best examples of the DGAC killing aviation in Chile. I suppose when their are not enough chilean pilots they will just import foreign pilots as they have done before.
Semperfubar is a comercial pilot with instrument and multiengine ratings from the US and Chile and has more than 20 years of experience flying in different parts of the world.