Your Subtitle text
What is an Instrument rating?

Probably the most challenging and rewarding rating for any pilot to achieve is the Instrument rating. It is also the best instructional experience to receive in order to make sure you can safely make decisions about flying into adverse weather conditions in an aircraft.

Receiving the Instrument rating demonstrates you have the ability to fly an aircraft in many types of weather under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). You also learn to manage flying skills in the Air Traffic Control environment. The Instrument Rating is encouraged for both the career and private oriented pilots.

Requirements to Obtain an Instrument Rating

  1. Hold at least a private pilot certificate.
  2. Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English.
  3. Hold a current FAA medical certificate.
  4. Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course. Subjects include:
    1. FARs
    2. IFR-related items in the AIM
    3. ATC system and procedures
    4. IFR navigation
    5. Use of IFR charts
    6. Aviation weather
    7. Operating under IFR
    8. Recognition of critical weather
    9. Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM)
    10. Crew Resource Management (CRM)
  5. Pass the FAA instrument rating knowledge test with a score of 70% or better.
  6. Accumulate flight experience (FAR 61.65):
    1. 50 hr. of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which at least 10 hr. must be in airplanes:
      1. The 50 hr. includes solo cross-country time as a student pilot, which is logged as pilot-in-command time.
      2. Each cross-country must have a landing at an airport that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 NM from the original departure point.
    2. A total of 40 hr. of actual or simulated instrument time in the areas of operation listed in 7. below, including:
      1. 15 hr. of instrument flight training from a CFII (CFII is an instructor who is authorized to give instrument instruction) days preceding the practical test
      2. Cross-country flight procedures that include at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR and consists of:
        1. A distance of at least 250 NM along airways or ATC-directed routing
        2. An instrument approach at each airport
        3. Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems
    3. If the instrument training was provided by a CFII, a maximum of 20hr. may be accomplished in an approved flight simulator or flight training device.
  7. Demonstrate flight proficiency (FAR 61.65). You must receive and log training, as well as obtain a logbook sign-off (endorsement) from your CFII on the following areas of operation:
    1. Preflight preparation
    2. Preflight procedures
    3. Air traffic control clearances and procedures
    4. Flight by reference to instruments
    5. Navigation systems
    6. Instrument approach procedures
    7. Emergency operations
    8. Postflight procedures
  8. Successfully complete the instrument rating practical test, which will be conducted as specified in the FAA’s Practical Test Standards (PTS).