Instrument Rating

FAA 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:


IFR-related items in the AIM

ATC system and procedures

IFR navigation

Use of IFR charts

Aviation weather

Operating under IFR

Recognition of critical weather

Aeronautical decision making (ADM)

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).

50 hours of cross-country time as a student pilot, which is logged as pilot-in-command time.

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.

A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time in the areas of operation listed in item 7 below, including:

15 hours of instrument flight training from a CFII

3 hours of instrument training from a CFII in preparation for the practical test within 60 days preceding the practical test.

Cross-country flight procedures that include at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR and consists of:

A distance of at least 250 NM along airways or ATC-directed routing

An instrument approach at each airport

Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.

If the instrument training was provided by an authorized instructor, a maximum of 20 hours is permitted in an approved flight simulator or flight training device.

7) Receive flight instruction and demonstrate skill (FAR 61.65). Obtain a logbook sign-off by your CFII on the following areas of operation:

Preflight preparation

Preflight procedures

Air traffic control clearance and procedures

Flight by reference to instruments

Navigation systems

Instrument approach procedures

Emergency operations

Post-flight procedures

8) Successfully complete a practical test.

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