Instrument Rating

Instrument rating refers to the qualifications that a pilot must have in order to fly under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules). It requires additional training and instruction beyond what is required for a private pilot certificate. This training will give you the ability to fly solely by reference to instruments. Much like the PPL, certain maneuvers and minimum times are required before becoming eligible for the Instrument rating. The minimum flight time requirements are as follows:

  • 40 hours of simulated Instrument training
  • 50 hours of cross country PIC
  • One cross country flight performed under IFR and consists of 100 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing
  • 3 hours of instrument training in preparation for the practical test

These hours represent minimum requirements set by the FAA. You must hold a private pilots certificate to start instrument training.

Once all flight time requirements are met, all maneuvers are to FAA standards, and an FAA written exam is passed, it is time to take the FAA practical exam (check ride) with a designated pilot examiner. This consists of an oral examination and a flight in which you must demonstrate all the maneuvers that you have learned.

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