Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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Instrument Rating Requirements

IFR Navigation:   General Info Instrument Rating | Instrument Rating Lesson Plans | 7-day IFR Rating IFR Adventure | Instrument Ground School | Safety Pilot | Holding | IFR Risk | Trip Reports | Flight Profiles | Rating Requirements | After the IFR Rating | Checkride Reviewer | Visi-Hold | Are you ready?
The following are current FAA requirements for receiving a Instrument Pilot Certificate:

1.   Hold at least a private pilot certificate

2.   Be able to read, speak, write, and converse fluently in English

3.   Hold at least a current third-class FAA medical certificate

4.   Flight experience

  • 50 hr. as pilot in command on cross-country flight (of which 10 hr. must be in airplanes) to airports more than 50 NM from the original departure point
  • 40 hr. of simulated or actual instrument time (of which up to 20 hr. can be in a flight simulator or flight training device; up to 10 hr. can be in a personal computer based aviation training device)
  • 15 hr. of instrument flight instruction in an airplane. This must be with a CFII (a CFI who has been certificated to instruct instrument flight).
  • 5.  Appropriate ground instruction to learn:
    • FARs applicable to instrument pilots
    • IFR navigation
    • Aviation weather
    • Safe and efficient flying skills applicable to IFR
    • Aeronautical decision making and judgment
    6.  Pass the computer based FAA "written" test, which consists of sixty multiple-choice questions covering:
    • Airplane Instruments
    • Attitude Instrument Flying & Aerodynamics
    • Navigation Systems
    • Federal Aviation Regulations
    • Airports, Air Traffic Control, & Airspace
    • Holding & Instrument Approaches
    • Aeromedical Factors
    • Aviation Weather & Weather Services
    • IFR En Route
    • IFR Flights
    7.  Flight instruction and development of the necessary skills to pass the instrument rating practical test. Your instrument instructor must provide a signed recommendation that you are competent as an instrument pilot.

    8.  Pass a Practical Test (Checkride) with an FAA Inspector or Designated Examiner, which includes 24 tasks to be tested:

      a.   Preflight Preparation
        1) Weather Information
        2)  Cross-Country Flight Planning
      b. Preflight Procedures
        1) Aircraft Systems Related to IFR Operations
        2) Aircraft Flight Instruments & Navigation Equipment
        3) Instrument Cockpit Check
      c.  Air Traffic Control Clearances and Procedures
        1)  Air Traffic Control Clearances
        2) Compliance with Departure, En Route, and Arrival Procedures and Clearances
        3)  Holding Procedures
      d. Flight by Reference to Instruments
        1)  Straight-and-Level Flight
        2) Change of Airspeed
        3) Constant Airspeed Climbs and Descents
        4) Rate Climbs and Descents
        5) Timed Turns to Magnetic Compass Headings
        6)  Steep Turns
        7) Recovery from Unusual Plight Attitudes
      e.  Navigation Aids
        1) Intercepting & Tracking Navigational Systems and DME Arcs 
      f.   Instrument Approach Procedures
        1)  Non precision Instrument Approach
        2)  Precision ILS Instrument Approach
        3) Missed Approach
        4)  Circling Approach
        5)  Landing from a Straight-ln or Circling Approach
      g. Emergency Operations
        1) Loss of Communications
        2)  Loss of Gyro Attitude and/or Heading Indicators
      h.  Post flight Procedures
        1) Checking Instruments and Equipment

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