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Instrument Rating TrainingIs traditional or accelerated training right for you?
By Kyle Garrett
There are two types of instrument rating training available: traditional and accelerated.
Traditional instrument training fits the training into your lifestyle, and you will typically fly a lesson or two per week, while learning the ground training materials required for the instrument knowledge test. This process can take anywhere from three months to a year or more to complete. Benefits of traditional training are that you can complete the training on your schedule without too much disruption to your lifestyle. Drawbacks to traditional IFR training are that with flight lessons few and far between, you may end up repeating segments of, or even entire training flights in order to master all the skills involved with flying by the gages. Traditional training is offered at most local airports and flying clubs. Traditional IFR training is right for you if you want to spread out the training and expenses and can retain information and focus over long periods of time.
Accelerated instrument training typically requires students to block out 10 to 12 days for the sole purpose of earning the instrument rating. Accelerated programs usually require you to have already passed the instrument knowledge test (written) before the training begins. Expect to spend eight hours per day in ground and flight training. At the end of accelerated training, you will take your instrument practical test (oral and flight test) and end the training with your instrument ticket in hand. The benefits of accelerated training include total emersion in the program which allows students to retain more information in less time and to correlate information learned quickly. Accelerated students spend less time "re-learning" skills because the information is still fresh as they move from lesson to lesson. Accelerated IFR training is right for you if you have a hectic and busy lifestyle and cannot fit weekly studies and lessons into your schedule, and you have the money to pay for expenses up front. Read more about instrument ratings.
Instrument Rating Training Requirements
Whichever training scheme you decide is best for you, you'll have to meet the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) requirements for earning the instrument pilot rating. Instrument pilot candidates must...
- Hold at least a private pilot license
- Be at least 17 years old
- Read, speak, write, understand, and enunciate the English language
- Posses an FAA medical certificate (first, second, or third class)
- Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course using an instrument textbook and/or videos.
- 50 hours pilot in command time cross-country
- 40 hours of simulated or actual instrument time (up to 20 in an approved simulator or flight training device)
- Completed an IFR cross-country flight of at least 250 nautical miles on airways or ATC routing with a minimum of three different types of instrument approaches
- 3 hours of instrument training from a CFII in the preceding 60 days before taking the practical test
- Log book endorsement from you CFII on instrument knowledge covering all IFR operations
- Pass the FAA Instrument Pilot Knowledge Test (computerized written test)
- Pass the FAA Instrument Pilot
- Practical Test (oral and flight test with a designated examiner)
Do You Need the Instrument Rating?
Pilots who's ultimate goal is to fly for a living must earn their instrument rating as a matter of fact. However, the vast majority of private pilots do not have to get the instrument rating, and most don't. However, as pilots, we've all heard that earning your instrument rating will make you a better pilot, and it's true. If you get the chance to earn your rating, do it.
More Instrument Rating Training Info
Instrument Rating Training
- Three Reasons You Should Fly IFR
- Why Fly IFR? Three Questions To Ask
- Three Benefits Of Instrument Rating Training
- Instrument Rating General Information
- Instrument Rating Training
Instrument Rating Links
- IFR Pilot Resources - IFR Magazine
- IFR Aviation Books - The Avid Aviator
- PDF Download - Instrument Flying Handbook - FAA - Federal Aviation Administration
Cool IFR Training Apps
- GNS430/530W - Holds & Approaches - New training app from Flight Training Apps