Why an Instrument Rating?

The rating equips pilots with skills to fly solely by reference to instruments, e.g. in clouds and conditions where a visual external horizon is absent. An excellent example is flying in fog or haze at night.

Pilots are taught procedures to safely descend through obscured atmospheric conditions by complying with instrument let-down and/or cloud-break procedures overhead surveyed ground navigational beacons.

Flights can also be undertaken under instrument rules with e.g. the aid of radar vectoring and tracking procedures. Pilots are also taught to recognise and deal with otherwise accident precipitating weather conditions in advance and to plan accordingly. The standard is considerably higher than e.g. for the PPL or NR.

The instrument rating is a vital component for both more advanced private and commercial flying opportunities. Accuracy standards and levels of procedure are higher. Candidates are taught to deal with in-flight emergencies under instrument conditions.

Commercial Pilots may find it difficult to land more lucrative employment opportunities without an instrument rating. Airlines e.g. adhere to instrument flying rules without exception.

Instrumentrating requirements


Candidates must have a valid Commercial Pilot’s Licence with 200 hours or Private Pilot Licence with Night Rating with at least 250 hours total flying time with 100 hours as pilot-in-command.

The practical flying preparation consists of:

  • Minimum 40 hours instrument flying
  • 20 hours in a simulator
  • 20 hours in an aircraft
  • Practical flying skills test with a CAA approved designated examiner

Theory: (The pass mark 75%)

  • Human Performance
  • Meteorology
  • Radio Aids
  • Instruments
  • Navigation General & Plotting
  • Air Law and Procedures
  • Flight Planning