Instrument Rating

Instrument Rating: What It Is and Why Private Pilots Need One

Instrument rating is one of the most important ratings a pilot can have. With an instrument rating, pilots can fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and get to their destination safely with flight training course. Santa Monica Flyers offers instrument rating training for private pilots who want to expand their horizons and safely fly in more places. In this article, we will discuss what instrument rating is, the requirements for getting an instrument rating in the United States and some of the benefits of having an instrument rated pilot.

What is an instrument rating?

An instrument rating is a new type of pilot certification course that allows aviators to fly in instrument meteorological conditions. Instrument-rated pilots can operate an airplane or helicopter under instrument flight rules and flight training (IFR), and use solely the instruments inside their aircraft for navigation. In some cases, instrument ratings are also required for certain flying jobs such as those in commercial aviation. Airline pilots, for example, must have instrument ratings as part of their commercial pilot license.

When instrument-rated pilots fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), they do so by following air traffic control instructions or a specific flight plan that is filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Instrument rated pilots are required to maintain instrument proficiency by completing instrument flying training every six months.

How many levels of instrument rating are there?

In the United States, there are three levels of instrument ratings: private pilot, commercial pilot and airline transport pilot. In order to obtain an instruments rating, pilots must meet certain experience and knowledge requirements.

There are instrument ratings for single engine, multi engine and rotorcraft (helicopter) aircraft.
A pilot instrument rating is obtained by completing a set of specific training tasks with an instrument instructor. At the end of these tasks, pilots take an FAA instrument knowledge test and practical test to demonstrate their instrument proficiency as well as other requirements that have been set by the FAA for best flight training.

What Are the Requirements for Instrument Rating?

The requirements for instruments rating course vary depending on the level of instrument rating you are seeking. Here we will discuss instrument rating requirements for a private pilot instrument rating as well as some detail about commercial and airline transport instrument ratings.

Instrument rating requirements for private pilot instrument rating:

  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand english
  • Hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate
  • 50 hours of cross-country flight time as Pilot in Command:
    • 10 hours of which were in an airplane
    • 40 hours of which were actual or simulated “instrument time”
      • 15 hours of which were flown with an authorized instructor (CFII)
      • 1 cross-country flight:
        • Filed with an IFR flight training plan
        • 250 nautical miles
        • 3 different airport instrument approaches
  • Exams Required for Certification
    • Knowledge Test
      • Multiple choice exam administered by FAA authorized facility
    • FAA Checkride
      • Oral Exam
      • Flight/Practical Exam
  •  

Instrument rating requirements for commercial pilot instrument rating:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Hold a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane rating.
  • Have logged at least 250 hours of flight time as a pilot, including at least 100 hours of instrument flight time and instrument training from an instructor.

Instrument rating requirements for airline transport pilot instrument rating:

  • Be at least 23 years old.
  • Hold an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane rating.
  • Have logged at least 1500 hours of flight time as a pilot, including at least 500 hours of instrument flight training time and instrument training from an instructor.

The instruments rating requirements are set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Why should pilots get an instrument rating?

There are several reasons pilots should get instrument training and instrument ratings. They include the following: instrument rated pilots can fly in instrument meteorological conditions, instrument training makes for safer flying overall and instrument-rated pilots have a higher earning potential in commercial aviation fields course.

Instrument training makes for safer flying overall:

When bad weather hits, many non-instrument-rated pilots are forced to land at the nearest airport, regardless of the conditions. This can often lead to unsafe flying conditions and even new accidents. Instrument rated pilots have the training and experience to fly in all types of weather conditions by following instrument flight rules (IFR).

Instrument-rated pilots can fly in all types of epic weather conditions:

Instrument-rated pilots can fly in instrument meteorological conditions. Instrument flight rules (IFR) allows instrument-rated pilots to fly safely by following instrument approach procedures and departure procedures, as well as following air traffic control instructions or a specific flight plan that is filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Instrument-rated pilots are required to use instrument approach procedures and course of flight training when flying in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

Instrument-rated pilots have a higher earning potential:

Instrument-rated pilots have a higher new earning potential because many commercial airlines require their pilots to be instrument-rated. Instrument ratings are also an advantage for airline transport pilot job candidates.

Pilots who get instrument ratings have the opportunity to become instrument instructors, instrument examiners and instrument check airmen:

This type of training can be beneficial for pilots in both commercial flying careers as well as private piloting. Instrument rated aviators are more prepared to fly in IFR situations and also qualify for certain jobs in commercial aviation.

What is the difference between VFR and IFR?

There are two types of instrument flight rules: visual flight rules (VFR) and instrument flight rules (IFR). VFR allows pilots to fly in weather conditions with flight training that they can see with their own eyes. IFR allows pilots to fly in all types of weather, including instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), by following instrument approach procedures and instrument flight procedures.

VFR flights are typically conducted in clear weather conditions, while instrument rated pilots can fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Instrument-rated pilots have more options when it comes to flight paths and destinations than non-instrument rated aviators because instrument training course gives them the skills necessary to operate their aircraft safely even in low visibility conditions. Pilots who are instrument-rated can also fly in clouds, which a VFR pilot is not allowed to do. In order to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), pilots must have an instrument rating and meet the requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

What are the steps to earn an instrument rating?

The first step is to find an instrument flight instructor (IFI) for amazing flight training. Once you have found an new instrument flight instructor, your instrument training can begin. Instrument training consists of 40 hours of instrument flying time in any type of aircraft (including helicopters).

Before beginning instrument training, make sure you are familiar with the Federal Aviation Regulations part 61 and 91A as well as all other applicable federal aviation regulations for instrument flight procedures (IFR) operations.

After completing the instrument flying time, you will need to pass a written test and a practical test. The written test is administered by an FAA-approved testing center, and the practical (or check) ride is given by an examiner who is authorized by the FAA to give instrument check rides.

Once you have successfully completed all of these steps in this course, you can apply for an instrument rating on your pilot certificate.

You will also need to keep a logbook of instrument flying time in an instrument-rated aircraft as well as 100 hours of cross country flight experience (with at least 50 hours being Instrument Flight Time). This includes takeoffs and landings at airports other than the one from which the flight originated. We can also train ourselves with the help of  full flight simulator.

Once you have completed instrument rating training, instrument-rated pilots can fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Instrument rated pilots are more prepared to fly in IFR situations and also qualify for certain jobs in commercial aviation.

VFR flights are typically conducted in clear weather conditions, while instrument rated pilots can fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Instrument-rated pilots have more options when it comes to flight paths and destinations than non-instrument rated aviators because instrument training course gives them the skills necessary to operate their aircraft safely even in low visibility conditions. Pilots who are instrument-rated can also fly in clouds, which a VFR pilot is not allowed to do. In order to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), pilots must have an instrument rating and meet the requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

How long does it take to earn an instrument rating training?

It typically takes about three months to complete instrument rating training or instrument flight training. The amount of time it takes to complete the training depends on how much flying experience you already have and how often you are able to fly with an instrument instructor because in the beginning we must need flight training device .

If you already have a lot of flying experience, you may be able to finish your instrument rating in less time than someone who has just started their instrument training course which is new for them. It is also possible to complete instrument rating training in less time if you have access to an instrument-rated aircraft or are able to travel often for instrument flight instruction (IFI).

The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of instrument flying time, so that is something that should be considered when choosing how long you want to take instrument training.

It is important to consider how many instrument-rated aircraft are available for use at the flight training school or FBO where you will be taking instrument rating training, as well as what days and times these aircraft are available for instrument instruction. If there are not any instrument-rated airplanes on hand when you need them, then it might take longer than three months to complete instrument training.

It is also beneficial if your instrument instructor has experience flying in instrument flight conditions.

How much does it cost to get an instrument rating tests?

The instrument rating tests is one of the most expensive flight ratings to get. It can cost anywhere from $15,000-$30,000 depending on how much instrument flying time you need and what instrument-rated aircraft are available for use at your local flight school or FBO.

Some people choose to take instrument training course in a smaller plane like a Cessna Skyhawk or Piper Warrior because they cost less than instrument-rated aircraft like the Diamond DA40.

The instrument rating is usually more expensive in airports where instrument flight instruction (IFI) may be limited due to weather or terrain. For example, it can be much cheaper to get an instrument rating from Santa Monica Airport than from an airport in the mountains.

When budgeting for instrument flight training, it is important to consider all of the associated costs, such as aircraft rental, instructor fees, and written and practical test fees.

Contact Santa Monica Flyers today

If you are interested in learning more about instrument ratings or need assistance with meeting the instrument rating requirements, instrument rating sought please contact us.

Santa Monica Flyers offers a variety of instrument rating courses. We have instrument-rated aircraft available for instrument flight instruction and instrument simulator training with all accessories, so you can finish your instrument rating quickly!

Entrust your instrument training to an aviation school with a reputation for quality and top-notch instruction in the greater Los Angeles area.

While instrument ratings are not a new requirement for private pilots, it’s an important rating to have as you become more experienced in your career. Here at Santa Monica Flyers, our instrument rating courses will help prepare you for instrument flying and more difficult piloting situations that may arise in the future. We offer instrument training to instrument-rated and non instrument rated pilots.

The instrument rating curriculum is challenging, but it can be made easier with the right instrument training. We offer instrument training at Santa Monica Airport in Los Angeles, California with our FAA certified instructors who have spent years helping prepare students for instrument flying. Our unique approach to flight school makes learning more fun while still being educational.

If you’re ready to get instrument rating training, contact Santa Monica Flyers today and speak with one of our instrument instructors  about what instrument courses we offer also flight training and which ones are best for your career goals.

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