14 CFR 61.65

The Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Rating takes what you learned during your Private Pilot training and builds on top of it. While the name pertains to flying the aircraft by the sole reference to the flight instruments, in realty you are flying exactly how you are told to fly, precision flying.

For an instrument rating you must:

  • Hold at least a current private pilot certificate or be concurrently applying for a private pilot certificate with an airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift rating appropriate to the instrument rating sought.
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Pass a written Aeronautical Knowledge Test

You must have logged:

  • At least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command. At least 10 of these hours must be in airplanes for an instrument-airplane rating.
  • A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time on the areas of operation listed in 61.65(c).
  • At least 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in the aircraft category for the instrument rating sought.

Instrument training on cross-country flight procedures that includes at least one (1) cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under instrument flight rules. This flight must consist of:

  • A distance of at least 250 NM along airways or ATC-directed routing.
  • An instrument approach at each airport.
  • Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems (Example: ILS, VOR, GPS, etc).
  • At least 3 hours of instrument training that is appropriate to the instrument rating sought from an authorized instructor in preparation for the checkride within two calendar months before the examination date.

Instrument Rating

Item Description CostDetails
Aircraft Rental$10,274Need to have 50 PIC XC. Can be higher or lower depending on pilot’s ability
Flight Instruction $1,060.84FAA minimum of 15 hours
Ground School$1625
Written Test$175
Supplies$500Varies by student’s desire/needs
Practical Test $600Checkide Fee to DPE
Total Price$14,234.84
This table is based on what we call the “buddy program”. This program consists of using another pilot to act as the safety pilot with their eyes outside of the aircraft. While one person (the PIC) is flying the aircraft and accumulating the Simulated Instrument time, under the hood or foggles. Once at the destination the pilots swap seats. This allows for both pilots to accumulate time (one as PIC and the other as total duration) and split the cost of the aircraft rental. Prices subject to change.

This table is based on what we call the “buddy program”. This program consists of using another pilot to act as the safety pilot with their eyes outside of the aircraft. While one person (the PIC) is flying the aircraft and accumulating the Simulated Instrument time, under the hood or foggles. Once at the destination the pilots swap seats. This allows for both pilots to accumulate time (one as PIC and the other as total duration) and split the cost of the aircraft rental. Prices subject to change.