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Instrument Rating

Instrument is the next logical step to training after completing the private pilot certificate for the individual looking to broaden their capabilities and safety as a pilot. The rating itself is added onto either a private or commercial pilot certificate. With and instrument rating a pilot is qualified to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR) where a non-instrument pilot would be limited to only visual flight rules (VFR).

FAR Part 141

Ground Training: 30 hours minimum.

Total Time: 35 hours minimum which consists of at least:

Dual: 35 hours minimum of flight training with an instrument instructor on the Instrument areas of operation including at least one cross country flight that

  1. Is in the category and class of airplane that the course is    approved for, and is performed under IFR;

  2. Is a distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing with one segment of the flight consisting of at least a straight-line distance of 100 nautical miles between airports;

  3. Involves an instrument approach at each airport; and

  4. Involves three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.

This 141 course is approved for use of GI Bill® education benefits if the student is eligible. For more information please see the veterans page. 

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

The Instrument Rating

To be eligible for the Instrument Rating you must:

  • Be 17 years of age

  • Hold at least a private pilot certificate

  • Read, speak, and understand the English language 

FAR Part 61

Total Time: 50 hours cross country time as PIC and 40 hours of simulated or actual instrument time in the areas of operation for instrument pilots.

Dual: 15 hours minimum of flight training with an instrument instructor on the Instrument areas of operation including:

  1. 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

  2. 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) A flight of 250 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from an air traffic control facility;
    b) An instrument approach at each airport; and 

      c) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of           

      navigation systems.​​