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Instrument Rating (IFR)

The addition of an instrument rating to your pilot certificate is probably the most worthwhile training investment which you can make. Depending on what type of aircraft you fly, the instrument rating may or may not have a major effect on go/no-go decisions in a specific situation. The addition of an instrument rating to your list of skills certainly will increase your flight proficiency as well as allow you more options in the use of your aircraft.

A person who applies for an instrument rating must:

  • Hold at least a current private pilot certificate airplane category
  • Hold at least a third class medical certificate.
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Pass the required knowledge test
  • Have logged aeronautical experience which includes
    • 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes
    • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time including
      • A minimum 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in the an airplane
      • Instrument training on cross-country flight procedures specific to airplanes that includes at least one cross-country flight in an airplane under Instrument Flight Rules, comprised of:
        • Flight over a distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing
        • An instrument approach at each airport
        • Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems (no visual or contact approaches)
  • 3 hours of instrument training from an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the 60 days preceding the date of the test
  • Pass the required practical test

For a print-friendly format, please click to this page.


Roger F. Zaruba

Aviation Training (all levels) and Plane Rentals

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