What is an Instrument Rating?
Earning your Instrument Rating is the next logical step after earning your Private Pilot License. Flying with an Instrument Rating (IR) expands the flight territory in which a pilot can safely operate. You will learn how to safely fly in inclement weather and be licensed to do so, unlike the PPL, which operates under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). The IR certification is supplementary to the Private Pilot or Commercial licenses. It qualifies the pilot to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Having this capability affords new opportunities personally and professionally.
Instrument Rating Course Requirements
To be eligible to pursue your Instrument Rating, you must:
- Be at least 17 years old.
- Hold at least a current private pilot certificate.
- Read, speak, write, and understand English.
Instrument Rating Course Overview
The Instrument Pilot Course is designed to teach pilots to operate aircraft in low-visibility environments, such as heavy cloud cover or heavy rain. The flight lessons in this course provide pilots with the knowledge to rely solely on instruments to navigate the aircraft in situations where they cannot rely on visual instincts.
As many pilots can attest, weather conditions do not always permit the sole reliance on visual flying tactics. This hinders the ability to fly on certain days. The Instrument Rating is essential for any pilot looking to improve flight safety. It is also the next step in the pursuit of a career in flying. Pilots without the rating are prevented from operating aircraft in certain weather conditions where visibility is greatly reduced. This limits their maximum allowable altitude, restricts the ability to operate the aircraft at night, and more.
Holding an Instrument Rating also allows pilots the ability to operate under an IFR flight plan, which provides Air Traffic Control services not available to VFR pilots except upon special request. These include traffic advisories, airspace transitions, and vectors. When operating in high-volume airspace, these privileges are a significant advantage.
Instrument Rating Course Duration
Full-time students enrolled in the Professional Pilot Pathway program will have 5 lessons per week. Students who truly dedicate themselves to completing their Instrument Rating, studying hard and making pilot training the top priority, can complete within 2 months.
Part-time students that are working or enrolled in school may find that their Instrument takes 2-3 months to finish based on scheduling limitations. However, our course durations are estimates, and we highly encourage you to chat with an Admissions Representative directly about your training needs and availability for a customized approximation.
Instrument Rating Course Training
Unlike other flight schools, Epic Flight Academy has FAA-certified simulator facilities. This saves students a significant amount of money. They supplement training for their Instrument Rating in a resource that minimizes operational costs. Our Flight Simulator Team performs routine tests on each of the devices. This ensures that our students are experiencing flight training that properly prepares them to execute the same maneuvers in an actual airplane. The FAA requires students to log a minimum of 35 total flight hours in order to be eligible for the Instrument Rating; however, fewer than 5% of pilots complete their training within the minimum flight requirements. Many Epic Flight Academy students complete their Instrument Rating in approximately 55 total flight hours.
Instrument Rating Course Tuition
Instrument Ground School – 40 Hours
Simulator – Cessna 172 w/ Instructor – 19 Hours
Flight – Cessna 172 w/ Instructor – 24 Hours
One-on-One Ground Instruction – 18 Hours
Pre/Post-Activity Briefing – 5 Hours
Time: 2 months
For information about financing tuition, click here.
Meet Your Instrument Rating Course Team Leader, Josh Schwenn!
A local Floridian, Josh earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 2012. He did this while pursuing his love of aviation. Growing up in an aviation family, he put his hands on the flight controls for the first time at the age of 6. This began a passion for the sky, although he didn’t always spend it in the airplane.
Josh enjoyed an eight-year career in the skydiving industry. He safely logged over 5,000 parachute jumps, all while working to becoming a flight instructor. Upon completion of his CFI, Josh began his career with the Epic family in 2014. He has since become an Assistant Chief Instructor as designated by the FAA. Josh currently holds the position of Instrument Rating Course Leader.
Whether he is training a new CFII or giving instruction to an aspiring instrument rated pilot, Josh has consistently proven he puts nothing above safety. The instructors in his course reflect the same attitude. Epic flight lessons are structured around the importance of situational awareness and a firm understanding of the ever changing atmospheric conditions.
What’s next after I earn my Instrument Rating?
Once you have earned your Instrument Flight Rules, you will probably want to go on to the next rating: Commercial Pilot License. This is the next step toward the ultimate goal of becoming a professional pilot!