The Instrument Rating allows you to fly in instrument conditions (clouds) and increases the flexibility of the airplane as a source of transportation. Instead of flying by reference to the earth’s horizon, the airplane’s instruments are used to fly the airplane and navigate to the destination.

The course, based on two or three sessions per week, is normally about four months.

FAA Requirements

  • The national average is 60 to 65 hrs.
  • 50 hrs. of cross-country flight time as pilot-in-command
  • * 40 hrs. of simulated or actual instrument flight time
    • 20 hrs. may occur in an FAA approved, advanced flight training device (FTD), which OCFC uses in order to reduce cost and greatly improve training efficiency and pilot knowledge.
  • 15 hrs. of instrument instruction in an airplane
  • 250 nm. instrument cross-country flight
  • 3 hrs. preparing for the FAA checkride

Flight Training Sequence:

  • Instrument scanning, interpretation, and airplane control
  • Radio and GPS navigation
  • Holding patterns
  • Instrument approaches
  • Cross-country flying
  • Review for the FAA written test
  • Review for the FAA checkride

* Note: FAA time requirements are considerably less than the national average. As a member of the United Nations, the United States must publish those times — grossly inadequate for learning to fly in today’s U.S. airspace — as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). To solve that dilemma, the FAA publishes a practical test standard (PTS) for each certificate and rating, which mandates training to proficiency, not flight time. The national average reflects that requirement.