Instrument rating refers to the qualifications that a pilot must have in order to fly under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules). It requires additional
trainingand instructionbeyond what is required for a Private Pilot certificate or Commercial Pilot certificate, including rules and procedures specific to instrument flying, additional instruction in meteorologyand more intensive training in flight solely by reference to instruments. Testing consists of a written exam and a practical test (known more commonly as the check ride). The check ride is divided into an oral component to verify that the applicant understands the theory of instrument flying and an actual flight to ensure the pilot possesses the practical skills required for safe IFR flight.
For most private pilots, the most significant value of flying under IFR is the ability to fly in
instrument meteorological conditions(such as inside clouds). Additionally, all flights operating in Class A airspace, defined as the airspace from 18,000 MSL up to FL 60, must be conducted under IFR. In the United States, an instrument rating is required when operating under Special visual flight rules(SVFR) at night.
Requirements For an American Instrument Rating under part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulation
* 50 hours of Pilot in Command cross country
* 40 hours of simulated or actual instrument time
* 15 hours of flight instruction towards Instrument Rating
The Canadian license VFR OTT (over the top) allows private as well as commercial pilots to cross IMC areas when start and end of the trip is performed under VFR conditions.
UKprivate pilots can attend a less intensive training to acquire the IMC rating, restricted to the national airspace. This does not confer the privileges of a full Instrument Rating, but allows flight in IMC outside controlled airspace, IFR flight in class D and E airspace (IFR flight outside controlled airspace requiring no qualification), and flight on a SVFR clearance with in-flight visibility below 10km (but more than 3km).
Instrument Rating in the United States
* Instrument rating in Canada
Sensory illusions in aviation
National Weather Service
* Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF)
Surface weather analysis
* [http://www.beapilot.com/schools/index.html "Be A Pilot" U.S. Flight Schools]
* [http://media.libsyn.com/media/airspeed/AirspeedCheckridePart1.mp3 Hear audio of a US instrument rating checkride - Part 1]
* [http://media.libsyn.com/media/airspeed/AirspeedCheckridePart2.mp3 Hear audio of a US instrument rating checkride - Part 2]
* [http://www.pilotoutlook.com/pilot_training/instrument_rating PilotOutlook: Instrument rating - requirements and approximate costs]
* [http://flighttraining.aopa.org/learntofly/ Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association]
* [http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/SRG_FCL_25V1_03_2002.PDF Information IMC rating] by CAA
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