A good question to ask yourself before you start instrument training is, why do you want this rating? The answers can usually be grouped into three areas. One common answer is that it's a good thing to have in your pocket just in case you need it. Next is that it's just another important step to a career in aviation. The third reason is that you want to increase the productivity of your personal or business flying.
There are different ways to obtain training for your instrument rating, and the reason you want the rating may have an effect on the training method that you choose. Should you enroll in a highly regimented FAR Part 141 school? Perhaps a full-time or part-time instructor at your local airport could do the job. Then, there are the accelerated courses. Some of these come to your location and provide intense training in your own airplane. Others require that you travel to their location. These accelerated courses usually have you finished up in 10 to 12 days. What's the best? That depends on you. The articles included below will provide information to help you decide.
The instrument rating requirements, as specified in 14 CFR 61.65, are summarized here:
A person who applies for an instrument rating must:
You must have logged the following:
For instrument-airplane rating, instrument training on cross-country flight procedures that includes at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under instrument flight rules. This flight must consist of:
Earning an instrument rating is guaranteed to be one of the most challenging, rewarding, and fun projects a pilot takes on during a lifetime in aviation. Each week, this series looks at the IFR experience from a new perspective, and poses a provocative piloting poll question on that subject to let you see what fellow instrument pilots—newly rated and IFR veterans alike—would do under similar circumstances. Whether the topic is a basic principle, or how to gain experience safely, or the “why” of an unusual approach or procedure, it’s all part of the conversation, as are reader suggestions for issues for us to examine.
This series of 12 articles from AOPA Pilot magazine addresses instrument flying issues and challenges.