Praise where praise is due. I have gone to the big schools (Simcom, RTC, etc.) for insurance mandated recurrent training for the last several years. This year I trained with Robert "Bob" Hoffman. It was by far the best training I have ever gotten. Bob was extremely organized in his approach. He told me every thing we were going to do and then we flew it. Virtually every minute of every flight was either a new learning experience or an excellent review. Bob's knowledge of the plane's systems and his "traveling tips" alone were worth the cost. Speaking of which his fees were less than I have paid anywhere else - even with the fuel cost. Although, I worried some about abusing my plane I have the downloads from my engine analysers to prove we placed no more themodynamic loads on the engines than normal operations.
There is just no substitute (especially a generic instrument simulator) for some of the training we were able to do in the plane. Blaked landings, no flap landings, Flaps 15 takeoffs, partial panel unusual attitude recoveries, rejected takeoffs just can't be experienced any other way.
Finally, I must admit to some intrepedation about going but I convinced myself that I would rather be a little uncomfortable now and be more prepared if on some dark stormy night something really bad happens. But Bob put me at ease with comments like "that was neat!". It definately was the training I was looking for. I would encorage anyone who is looking for recurrent training or who has never had real initial in the Duke to talk to Bob. His website is dukepilot.com.
R. M. Bud Allen