Instrument Rating Overview

The instrument rating prepares you for flight without any visual reference and requires you to learn the physical, mental and procedural skills to navigate an aircraft while in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). The instrument rating while challenging is rewarding and fun. It will build your confidence as a pilot and allow you the freedom of flying in less than favorable weather conditions.

Course Details

Your personal flight instructor will guide you carefully through the required stages of flight and ground training to ensure your success in obtaining your instrument rating. Students will experience the Orange County airspace based out of John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.


Instrument rating Flight Training 

The flight training requirement of the instrument rating course is divided into three stages. The course follows a structured syllabus which ensures organization, consistency and safety.

stage 1

  • Attitude instrument flying

  • Instrument scanning

  • Instrument interpretation

  • Aircraft control

  • Steep turns, stall recoveries and unusual attitudes

  • Vertical S patterns

  • Pattern A and B

  • Tracking and intercepting courses

  • Radio navigation

  • Holding patterns

Stage 2

  • IFR aeronautical charts

  • Cockpit organization

  • Runway incursion avoidance

  • VOR approaches

  • Missed approaches

  • Straight-in and circling minimums

  • Procedure turns, DME arcs and holding

  • ILS approaches

  • Missed approaches with holds

  • Intersection holding

  • Single and Dual VOR instrument flight

  • Mental checklists

  • Navigation rules

  • Communications and lost communications

  • GPS navigation

  • GPS approaches

stage 3

  • IFR flight planning

  • En-route instrument flight

  • Filing flight plans

  • IFR flight from controlled and uncontrolled airports

  • IFR in the terminal area using tower en-route clearances

  • IFR cross-county

  • Preparation for the practical test

instrument rating Ground Training

Each pilot has the option of using an approved home study course, an approved ground school at a local college or university, or private ground school lessons provided by one of our authorized instructors. Your flight instructor will spend a considerable amount of time with you on the ground during your flight training to ensure your knowledge of all areas pertaining to your instrument rating certificate.

Instrument Rating

includes aircraft, ground and flight instruction, and materials as specified in the training syllabus
Financing Available

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The published cost of training is based on the hours required by the training syllabus. This actual cost of training varies based on the student’s learning abilities. Examiners fees are not included.

This certificate requires 50 hours cross-country time. Students will be required to build time to meet this requirement. This cost is not including in the pricing above. Students enrolled in this course will receive a special aircraft rental rate of $135.00 per hour to meet the cross-country time requirements of this certificate.

Pricing is subject to change at any time.


FAA Requirements

The following requirements are required to obtain an Instrument Rating:

  • Hold at least a private pilot certificate

  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.

  • Hold a current medical certificate

  • Receive the appropriate ground and flight training by an authorized flight instructor which includes the following minimum times:

    • 50 hours of cross-country time as pilot in command

    • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time

      • 15 hours with an authorized instructor that holds an instrument rating

    • Instrument flight training on cross country flight procedures

      • 1 cross country flight with an authorized instructor under IFR

      • 250 nautical mile cross-country flight

      • An instrument approach at each airport

      • 3 different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems

    • Pass the required knowledge test

    • Pass the required practical test

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has set the above minimum requirements to obtain a instrument rating. The actual time it will take to complete the training varies.  It’s important to remember that your training could be more than the minimum required depending your proficiency. All pilot applicants are trained to proficiency as required to pass the practical test administered by the FAA according to the Airmen Certification Standards (ACS).

Training Materials

The following is a list of publications, manuals and supplies that will be provided to you for your flight training:

  • SkyRoamers, Instrument Pilot Flight Training Manual by Ralph Butcher

  • SkyRoamers, Instrument Pilot Flight Training Syllabus

  • Pilot’s operating handbook for the airplane being flown

  • Instrument Flying Handbook

  • Instrument Procedures Handbook

  • Airmen Certification Standards – Instrument Rating Airplane

  • ASA, FAR/AIM (FAA Regulations 14 CFR parts, 1, 61, 91, and NTSB 830/Airmen Information Manual)*

  • FAA Chart Supplement Southwest U.S.*

  • Aviation Weather*

  • Aviation Weather Services*

  • Risk Management Handbook*

  • Part 91 and 135 Single-Pilot Procedures During Taxi Operations*

  • Role of Preflight Preparation*

  • Pilots’ Role in Collision Avoidance*

  • General Aviation Controlled Flight into Terrain Awareness*

  • Aviation Safety Reporting System*

  • Pilot Logbook*

  • Kneeboard*

  • Flight Bag*

*If you completed the private pilot certificate course with Pacific Flight Aviation, these materials were previously provided and will not be provided to you again.