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Instrument Rating Requirements

§ 61.65 Instrument rating requirements.


  • Hold at least a current private pilot certificate, or be concurrently applying for a private pilot certificate.
  • Complete Required – Aeronautical Experience Requirement
  • Complete Ground School on the aeronautical knowledge areas and pass knowledge exam. Can be done with instructor. Home study is also an option if acceptable by instructor.
  • Complete Flight Training and pass the practical exam.

Aeronautical Experience Requirement:

Ground School toward Written Exam need to cover:

  • Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that apply to flight operations under IFR;
  •  Appropriate information that applies to flight operations under IFR in the “Aeronautical Information Manual;”
  • Air traffic control system and procedures for instrument flight operations;
  • IFR navigation and approaches by use of navigation systems;
  • Use of IFR en route and instrument approach procedure charts;
  • Procurement and use of aviation weather reports and forecasts and the elements of forecasting weather trends based on that information and personal observation of weather conditions;
  • Safe and efficient operation of aircraft under instrument flight rules and conditions;
  • Recognition of critical weather situations and windshear avoidance;
  • Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and
  • Crew resource management, including crew communication and coordination.


Flight Training and Practical Knowledge Application need to cover:

  • Preflight preparation;
  • Preflight procedures;
  • Air traffic control clearances and procedures;
  • Flight by reference to instruments;
  • Navigation systems;
  • Instrument approach procedures;
  • Emergency operations; and
  • Postflight procedures.