Instrument Flight Rating

IFR Updated

An Instrument Rating (IR) permits you to fly an aeroplane as the Pilot in Command under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

Having an Instrument Rating means you are no longer reliant on visual navigation principles and ideal weather.

Instrument rated pilots are able to fly from A to B with sole reference to the flight and navigation instruments (mostly), and can therefore fly through clouds without needing visual references.

An IR takes around 3 months to complete full time, or can be completed on a part time basis if required.

Entry requirements

  • Hold a PPL or CPL (note – to be eligible for an IR, PPL holders must have passes in CPL Human factors, and CPL Meteorology); and
  • Night flying privileges appropriate to licence held.

Theory subjects and ground courses

  • Air Law
  • Flight Navigation
  • Instruments and Navigation Aids
  • GNSS theory course

Flight test requirements

  • 50 hours total VFR navigation flight experience as Pilot in Command; and
  • 40 hours total instrument time, including 20 hours instrument flight time, and the specific flight experience detailed by AC61-17

Additional Ratings and Pathways

  • Additional IR privileges ILS, TEA, RNP 1
  • CPL + IR Charter/3rd level airline pilot
  • CPL + IR + ATPL theory exams Airline pilot
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