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“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? It is the same the angels breathe.” - Mark Twain

The instrument rating removes the fair-weather restriction of your pilot certificate. With the instrument rating, no longer are you stuck on the ground, unable to return home, due to cloudy skies. With the instrument rating, you can fly right through it! It also will greatly increase your comfort in talking with air traffic control, and you will learn how to incorporate cockpit resource management into every flight. The instrument rating will make you an all-around safer pilot. 

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FAA Certification Requirements

  • Hold at least a current private pilot certificate
  • Be able to read, write, and understand English
  • Accumulate 50 hours of cross-country flight time
  • Accumulate 40 hours of instrument time
  • Accumulate 15 hours of instrument flight training
  • Pass the FAA knowledge test and practical test

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What to Expect in the Course

The training follows a structured syllabus, but it may be easily tailored to the individual student as needed. The training includes both classroom and flight training and is broken up into 3 stages, each with different core objectives. The following are partial lists of what to expect in each stage:

Stage 1

Stage 1

Stage 1

Flying by reference to only instruments
Instrument systems
Instrument failures
Navigation systems and techniques
Weather Theory


Core Objective: Develop proficiency in instrument flying under simulated conditions

Stage 2

Stage 1

Stage 1

Holding patterns
DME arcs
IFR clearances
Instrument approaches and departures
IFR flight planning


Core Objective: Fly a cross-country flight entirely on instruments 

Stage 3

Stage 1

Stage 3

Further develop instrument flying skills
Build knowledge in all subject matter areas
Pass the FAA knowledge test
Demonstrate proficiency during an end-of-course check


Core Objective: Pass the Instrument Rating practical test 

Approximate Cost

$10,000 - $15,000

Approximate Time Commitment

3 months - 1 year

Click here for general information about training programs, scheduling, variables in costs, payment options, and how to sign up for training.