The instrument flight qualification or Instrument Rating (IR) qualifies a pilot to fly under the rules of instrument flight (Instrument Flight Rules – IFR), in accordance with the European Regulation 1178/2011. It requires a specific training in addition to that required for the attainment of a Private Pilot License (PPL) or for a Commercial Pilot License (CPL), including specific rules and procedures for instrument flight, the training on professional subjects, such as meteorology, and more intensive training in flight, exclusively with reference to the instruments.

Knowing how to fly in adverse conditions

In practice, the instrument flight qualification means knowing how to fly even in conditions of reduced visibility on qualified airports. Another situation for which the IR is useful, if not necessary, is that in which the airport where you want to land is very busy, thus making it difficult to fly in sight (Visual Flight Rules – VFR): in those cases, where it is important to maintain the distance between aircraft, the Air Traffic Controller plays a vital role in guiding the aircraft to land and instrument flight may be required. For those who fly with a commercial license, the instrument flight qualification is almost mandatory.

The test for the Instrument Rating qualification

The IR test consists of a written exam and a practical test , more commonly known as the “skill test”. The skill test verifies with an actual flight that the pilot possesses the practical skills required for a safe flight under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules).

The necessary requirements for the Instrument Rating qualification course are the following:

– first or second class medical fitness;

– a minimum license of PPL with night qualification;

– at least 50 hours of navigation flight performed as a pilot in command.

According to current regulations, the maximum duration of the course must not exceed 18 months: 80 hours of theory lessons and at least 40 hours of flight missions must be carried out during the course.

Do you want to know more about the Instrument Rating qualification and on how to achieve it? Contact us to find out the details of our courses and our teaching method: we will evaluate together the most suitable solution that fits with your professional needs.