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Private Pilot
June 16, 2014
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June 16, 2014
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Instrument Rating

An instrument rating is a rating that is added to a private pilot or commercial pilot license and refers to the qualifications that a pilot must have in order to fly under instrument flight rules or IFR. It requires additional instruction in weather and more intensive instrument flight training in flight solely by reference to instruments. Testing consists of a knowledge exam and a practical test (known more commonly as a check-ride). The check ride is divided into an oral part and a flight part.

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For most pilots, the most significant value of flying under IFR is the ability to fly in instrument meteorological conditions (such as inside clouds). Additionally, all flights operating in Class A airspace must be conducted under IFR. In the United States, thus any pilot who plans to operate an aircraft capable of flying above 18,000 feet, such as a turbo-prop or a very light jet (VLJ) will definitely need to have an instrument rating. An instrument rating is also required when operating under special visual flight rules (SVFR) at night.

The basic FAA requirements to obtain a Instrument Rating are as follows:

  • Must be at least 17 years of age
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language
  • A FAA medical certificate
  • A minimum of 20 Hours Flight Time
  • 21 Hours Dual Airplane Instruction
  • One solo cross-country flight
  • 14 Hours Full Motion Simulator (Redbird FMX)
  • 15 Hours One-on-one Ground Training Instruction
  • Cessna Integrated Training Kit
  • FAA Written Exam
  • FAA Check Ride

See our Fleet of Cessna 172’s to reference your IFR options.