What are the Instrument rating requirements for FAA Part 61?

FAA Instrument Rating Requirements Part 61

Now that you are officially a private pilot who has a plane or seeks to be an airline pilot. Either way, I should advise you it’s time to move forward to the next level, which is an instrument-rating certified pilot.

And to heat things more, if you become a certified instrument rating pilot, you will be able to aviate through clouds and bad weather.

Let’s start from the beginning.

The FAA divides flight rules into two major categories. You can find the two categories can in FAR PART 91 general operating and flight rules subpart B:

  1. Visual flight rules (VFR) state that you can aviate visually by depending on visual references outside and six basic instruments inside the aircraft;
  2. Instrument flight rules (IFR) state that you can aviate with reference to the correct instrument. By referring to the appropriate instruments, you can aviate through adverse weather conditions.

So, let’s skip category 1 for now and with a promise to return to it if we wish!

In this article, we will dig deeper to know more about the aspects you should have to be able to fly through instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

Here’s what you will know and many more!

  1. Can you apply for the instrument rating or not?
  2. What will you learn during instrument rating training;
  3. The next step!

FAA has precise requirements regarding being able to issue instrument ratings. You can find the summary in this post, and for further details, you can refer to the 14 CFR 61.65 Instrument Rating requirement.

   A person who applies for an instrument rating must:

  1. Hold a current private pilot certificate or concurrently apply for a private pilot certificate;
  2. Be apple to read, speak, write and understand the English language;
  3. Receive and log IFR ground school training courses or receive ground training from an authorized instructor;
  4. Receive a logbook or training record endorsement from a qualified instructor certifying that the person is prepared to take the required FAA knowledge test;
  5. Pass the required FAA knowledge test. However, taking another knowledge test is optional if the private pilot has passed the instrument rating knowledge test in the last two years.

What are the actual IFR flight training requirements?

  • 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which 10 hours must be in an actual instrument-rated airplane;
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, of which 15 hours of instructions from an authorized instructor who holds a certified flight instructor instrument (CFII);
  • The pilot must have three hours of instrument flight training within two calendar months before the practical test or checkride.
  • The pilot must log a 250 nautical miles flight, including an instrument approach at each airport, and use three different instrument systems: VOR, ILS, and GPS.

What are the requirements for helicopter instrument rating?

  • 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which 10 hours must have been in an airplane.
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, including 15 hours, must have been received from an authorized instructor who holds an instrument rating;
  • Three hours of instrument flight training within two calendar months before the practical test;
  • A 100 nautical miles flight including an instrument approach at each airport and three different kinds of methods (for example, VOR, ILS, GPS).

Note that the minimum age to get your private pilot certificate is at least 17 years old, and you must have a valid medical certificate.

Now, if you have what it takes, let’s move forward to the next question what you will learn?

You will learn the following:

  • Preflight preparation ( weather information &cross country planning etc.);
  • Preflight procedures ( IFR operations & navigation systems & instrument systems …etc
  • Air traffic control clearances and procedures ( ATC clearance & outside radar coverage etc
  • Flight by reference to instruments (attitude instrument flying & instrument cross-check etc.;
  • Navigation systems (ATC routes & course & radial etc
  • Instrument approach procedures, including non-precision approaches & missed approaches, etc.;
  • Emergency operations such as loss of communication & approaches with inoperative indicators etc.;
  • Post-flight practices like learning how to check all instrument and navigation systems are working fine.

Next step!

Your next step is to become an instructor or to continue your journey to become an airline pilot.

Image Source: pilotsimen via Isntagram.

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