Instrument Rating

What is an Instrument Rating?

An instrument rating is one of the most challenging, and rewarding ratings you can get. Flying in instrument meteorlogical conditions (IMC) requires a whole new level of aircraft control, weather knowledge, and situational awareness. An instrument rating is essential if you intend to use an aircraft for tranportation. But many pilots earn an instrument rating (over half of all pilots have instruement ratings) even if they don’t intend to fly in instrument conditions. Why? Because the discipline required to earn an instrument rating makes you a better pilot overall. And who doesn’t want to be a better pilot?

Why Earn an Instrument Rating?

With an instrument rating you:

  • Become a better pilot
  • Can use an airplane for transportation
  • Learn how to use the airspace system
  • Become more confident
  • Earn a sense of accomplishment

What is Involved?

The details of what is required to earn your Instrument Rating are in the sidebar at right. Essentially you have to receive the appropriate training on the procedures and techniques to operate an aircraft with reference to instruments and take two tests, a computerized knowledge test, and a flight with an examiner.

Why Learn at HOVA?

We make learning fun. Your learning is individualized according to how you want to learn. How? With us you can choose:

A Part 61 or Part 141 Curriculum – required for VA funded students

To fly in actual IMC as well as under the hood.

Use Analog or Digital (Glass screen) instrumentation.

Take your ground school in a classroom, from a book, or online.

Don’t know which choices to make? Keep reading to find the answers to these and other questions.

FAA Requirements for Instrument Rating

  • Must hold at least a Private PIlot Certificate
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language
  • Hold a current FAA medical
  • Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test
  • Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience, including the following:
    • The candidate must have at least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, which can include solo cross-country time as a student pilot. Each cross-country must have a landing at an airport that is at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 NM from the original departure point.  This requirement is waived for our Part 141 Course.
    • The candidate must make at least one cross-country flight that is performed under IFR and transits a distance of at least 250 NM along airways or ATC-directed routing and includes an instrument approach at each airport so that a total of three different kinds of instrument approaches are performed.
    • The candidate also needs a total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, including a minimum of 15 hours of instrument flight training from a Flight Instructor certified to teach the instrument rating (CFII)
    • Up to 20 hours of the instrument training may be accomplished in an approved flight simulator or flight training device if the training was provided by an authorized instructor. (CFI)
    • In the 2 calendar months prior to the practical test, the candidate needs to log 3 hours of instrument training in an airplane that is appropriate to the instrument-airplane rating from a CFII in preparation for the test.
    • Receive and log training, as well as obtain a logbook endorsement from your CFII on the following areas of operation: preflight preparation, preflight procedures, air traffic control clearances and procedures, flight by reference to instruments, navigation systems, instrument approach procedures, emergency operations, and postflight procedures.
  • Pass an oral test and flight test administered by an FAA inspector, FAA-designated examiner, or authorized check instructor.