Private pilot Michael Hsu has held his PPL since 2008 and Instrument Rating since 2010. He’s passionate about flying and helping others achieve their dreams of becoming private pilots. Hsu recently discussed what an Instrument Rating is and how to achieve it.
What Is an Instrument Rating?
Pilots can earn numerous ratings, and an Instrument Rating (IR) is one. It is a highly-regarded rating that a pilot receives after intensive training. This training teaches a pilot to fly only by referencing the instruments.
Instrument Rating is one of the field’s most desired ratings because it proves the pilot is proficient and highly trained. They can fly from one location to another without glancing out the window aside from during takeoff and landing. Instrument flying is a skill that all pilots honor.
Getting Your Instrument Rating (IR) Certification
Receiving Instrument Rating certification requires intensive training. For many, it is their introduction to how the National Airspace System operates air traffic control and radar.
Pilots with their IR can operate aircraft in the same airspace as turbine aircraft.
The following are the requirements necessary to receive this rating.
Language Requirements and Certifications
A pilot pursuing their IR must speak, understand, read, and write English proficiently.
They must also hold a private pilot license (PPL) or apply for a PPL simultaneously with their Instrument Rating.
Instrument Rating Aeronautical Experience
A significant requirement for an Instrument Rating is completing all of the aeronautical experience. This includes completing an authorized home study course or logging ground training with a qualified instructor.
The training for Instrument Rating includes the following:
Understand meteorological information
Emergency operations related to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)
Flight planning associated with Instrument Flight Rules
Instrument flight deck checks
Airplane systems and how they relate to IFR
Air traffic control procedures and clearances
Approach procedures using instruments, including precision, non-precision, circling, missed, and landing
The pilot pursuing their Instrument Rating must meet all federal regulations regarding flight experience.
In-flight experience includes 50 hours of cross-country PIC, 40 hours of instrument time (simulated or actual), 15 hours with an authorized instructor, and a 250-nautical-mile cross-country flight.
Michael Hsu and Instrument Rating Certification
Michael Hsu has been proud to hold his Instrument Rating certification since 2010. He received this rating just two years after his Private Pilot License.
Hsu recommends that pilots pursue their Instrument Rating to enjoy several benefits, including the possibility of becoming a commercial airline pilot or a flight instructor. Holding an IR also means a pilot understands more about instruments, weather, and how to control an aircraft in dangerous situations.
“The No. 1 reason to get an Instrument Rating is to put the safety of yourself and your passengers first,” Hsu concluded. “All the other benefits come secondary to safety.”