Obtaining an Instrument rating allows a pilot to fly in conditions below the visual flight minimums. Instrument flight is conducted by sole reference to the aircraft instruments through the national airspace system with reference to navigational systems and ends with an approach procedure at the destination airport. An instrument rating builds confidence and is highly recommended for any pilot who wants to travel long distances by personal aircraft.
  1. At least a Private Pilot certificate.
  2. At least a 3rd class medical certificate.
  3. Ability to read, speak, write and understand English.
  4. 50 hours as pilot in command on cross-country flights (greater than 50NM)
  1. A minimum of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time to include:
    • 15 hours dual instruction from a CFII
    • 1 cross-country flight that is performed under IFR and consists of a distance of at least 250 NM along airways or ATC-directed routing, an instrument approach at each airport, and three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems (ILS, LOC, VOR, ADF, GPS)
    • 3 hours flight test preparation within 60 days of the test.
  2. Pass the FAA written (knowledge) test.
  3. Pass the FAA practical (flight) test.
Cost Estimates*
Ground School Materials $115
FAA Written Examination $150
40 Hours Aircraft Rental @ $110/hour** $4400
15 Hours Flight Instruction @ $45/hour $675
12 Hours Ground Instruction @ $45/hour $540
Renters Insurance (per year) $175
FAA Practical (flight) test & aircraft rental $510
Total: $6565
* These costs are only an estimate based on FAA minimum requirements. Most students will require more time to complete the Instrument Rating Certification Course.
** The IFR certified aircraft rental rate is $110/hour when you are a member of the Smith Field Flyers organization. Discuss related fees and other payment options with an instructor.