Broaden the Scope of Your Abilities
Instrument ratings allow you to fly under more diverse conditions.
Expand Your Skillset
Earning an Instrument Rating is the next logical step after completing a private pilot certificate. Pilots with an instrument rating are qualified to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR)—where a non-instrument pilot would be limited to only visual flight rules (VFR).
Instrument ratings broaden your capabilities and safety as a pilot. The rating itself is added to either a private or commercial pilot certificate.
Instrument Rating Requirements
To be eligible for the Instrument Rating, you must:
- Be 17 years of age
- Hold at least a private pilot certificate
- Read, speak, and understand the English language
The Instrument Rating Certification Test
To earn your instrument rating, you must have 40 hours total time at a minimum.
What You Need for Your FAR Part 61 Instrument
To earn your instrument rating, you must have 50 hours of cross-country flight time as PIC at a minimum. You must also have 40 hours of simulated or actual instrument time in the areas of operation for instrument pilots. Additionally, those hours must include:
Dual: 15 hours minimum of flight training with an instrument instructor on the Instrument areas of operation
- Three hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in an airplane that is appropriate to the instrument-airplane rating within 2 calendar months before the date of the practical test
- Instrument flight training on cross-country flight procedures, including one cross-country flight in an airplane with an authorized instructor, performed under instrument flight rules when a flight plan has been filed with an air traffic control facility, and that involves -
- A flight of 250 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from an air traffic control facility
- An instrument approach at each airport
- Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.
What You Need for Your FAR Part 141 Instrument
To earn your instrument rating, you must have 30 hours of ground training at a minimum and a total training time of at least 35 hours. Those 35 hours must include:
Dual: 35 hours minimum of flight training with an instrument instructor on the Instrument areas of operation including at least one cross-country flight in the category and class of airplane that the course is approved for and is performed under IFR, including:
- Flight a distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing with one segment of the flight consisting of at least a straight-line distance of 100 nautical miles between airports
- Involves an instrument approach at each airport
- Involves three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems
Our 141 course is approved for the use of GI Bill® education benefits if the student is eligible. For more information, please see the veterans page.