Ready to Become an Instrument-Rated Pilot?
Getting an instrument rating involves more than just flying through clouds. It requires mastery of numerous complex IFR details, from understanding IFR clearances, Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs), Enroute procedures, Standard Terminal Arrivals (STAR) to different types of instrument approaches.
Guided by our experienced flight instructors and our Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD), we aim to take you from 0 to hero in IFR operations. With our AATD, you can log up to 20 hours towards your instrument rating.
5 Tips to Earn Your Instrument Rating
Achieving your instrument rating is a significant milestone for any pilot. It demands mastery of various skills and a high level of competency. Here are five essential tips to assist you on your journey to becoming an instrument-rated pilot.
Use a Flight Simulator
Starting your journey to an instrument rating begins with a flight simulator, specifically an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD).
Our AATD simulator allows you to log 20 hours towards your Instrument Rating.
Brining you multiple models of airplanes, worldwide database, Jeppesen Charts, and sync your EFB to each lesson.
Finish Your Written Test Early
For your instrument-written preparation, we recommend using Sheppard Air Test Prep. Though it requires a phone call to purchase, it's among the top test preps. Consider using Sporty's Instrument Rating Course as your ground school material. Don't forget, the Instrument Flying Handbook and Instrument Procedures Handbook are available for free on the FAA Website.
Do a Transition Course to Different Airplane:
If you're planning to transition to a Cessna 182/206 or a Cirrus SR-22, or aiming to earn a complex endorsement, now is the perfect time. As you work on your instrument rating, you can use this aircraft to build the flight time needed for the checkout requirements, and to increase your comfort level. This way, you'll only need a few lessons on maneuvers in the new airplane.
Need More Cross-Country Time for Part 61 Requirements?
To efficiently accumulate cross-country time, incorporate cross-country elements into your lessons. Choose a destination airport over 50NM away and practice instrument scan maneuvers en route, rather than just in a practice area. Switch to a visual approach as you near your destination to get experience with unfamiliar airports. After landing, take a short break before repeating the process on your return flight. This method helps meet Part 61 requirements and builds cross-country time for you and your instructor.
Schedule Your Instrument Instructor Test Concurrently with Your Instrument Written Test
If you're aiming to become an instructor, consider scheduling the instrument instructor test once you've met the instrument-knowledge test requirements. The question bank is almost identical, which offers a great opportunity to prepare for both tests at once. Keep in mind that each test is valid for two years.
Want to maximize your time in-person lesson? Remote Flight Instruction is the answer
We offer virtual lessons via Zoom, including ground lessons and flight simulator sessions. If you're working on an Instrument Rating, our virtual lessons cover briefing and explaining instrument procedures, written exam explanations, and check-ride prep.
We can even use your flight simulator at home, during our remote lesson to help you understand procedures. You just need a basic joystick and a computer to begin. Please note that you cannot log this time towards your aeronautical experience.
Optimize Your Flight Training Through Preparation: Maximize Your Time and Investment!
After you've scheduled a lesson with us, we enhance your study process by promptly sending an email filled with key materials, such as an IFR flight plan, insightful videos, and relevant blog posts tailored to each stage of your lesson. This encourages you to explore the subject matter at home before each session, enabling us to use our one-on-one time to delve deeper into complex IFR topics. Guided by our seasoned airline pilot flight instructors, this approach ensures you are well-prepared and gain maximum value from every training session."
Steam Gauge vs G1000 for Instrument Rating Training?
If you're currently flying steam gauge airplanes, we recommend completing your first 20 hours of training in our Garmin G1000 simulator before focusing on in-airplane flight training. Instrument flying is about understanding procedures, irrespective of the avionics you're flying. We believe our simulator can establish a solid foundation for your instrument flying, easing your transition to a real airplane.
Sharing the Skies: Extending Flight Lessons for Family Members
To ease flight-related anxieties, we've designed a way to involve your family in our training sessions. During the final half-hour, our Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) introduces them to basic flight principles and airplane operations via our simulator. This collective experience enhances comfort, fosters shared pilot adventures, and adds value to your pilot's certificate.
How many hours does it take to get your instrument rating?
Aeronautical Experience Required by the FAA, Part 61
Once I have my instrument rating, how often are proficiency checks required?
For Part 61, as long as you stay active flying in instrument conditions and meet the Instrument Currency requirements, you just need a Flight Review every two years. For currency and proficiency read our post on this subject.