IFR – Instrument Rating

The Instrument rating will expand the privileges of your pilot license to help you become a safer, more proficient pilot. It also expands your flexibility by allowing you to fly in the clouds and enjoy a more reliable scheduling of flights. The Instrument rating is a challenging rating that will provide more utility, and more make you a more precise pilot..


  • Hold at least a private pilot certificate
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or accomplish a home-study course of training on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the instrument rating sought;
  • Receive and log training on the areas of operation of paragraph (c) of this section from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, flight simulator, or flight training device that represents an airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift appropriate to the instrument rating sought;
  • Receive a logbook or training record endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the person is prepared to take the required practical test;
  • Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section; however, an applicant is not required to take another knowledge test when that person already holds an instrument rating; and
  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements below
  • Pass the required practical test

Aeronautical Experience for the instrument-airplane rating

A person who applies for an instrument-airplane rating must have logged:

  • 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which 10 hours must have been in an airplane
  • Forty hours of actual or simulated instrument time, of which 15 hours must have been received from an authorized instructor who holds an instrument-airplane rating, and the instrument time includes:
  • 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; and
  • Instrument flight training on cross country flight procedures, including one cross country flight in an airplane with an authorized instructor, that is 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; and
    • Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.