Understanding Airplane Ratings: the Instrument Rating

So now that we covered the first part of the Professional Pilot Program curriculum last week when we discussed the Private Pilot Certificate, let’s move onto the next step in our aviation training courses for those who are seeking a career as a pilot – the Instrument Rating.

Instrument training is an essential part of our training program as it’s the phase of the training where a student learns to fly the aircraft based solely on the instruments. This course provides you with the tools and knowledge to safety aviate and navigate when encountering diverse weather conditions below VFR minimums. It is the next step in your career progression and is a requirement for any airline or charter job.

This course builds upon the foundation of knowledge you obtained during your private pilot training. You will learn how to fly the aircraft in the clouds without visual reference to the ground, only using the instruments for reference.

Flying at one of our Hillsboro Aero Academy campuses in the Pacific Northwest provides a safe training environment where weather conditions can change rapidly. You'll be able to log time in actual instrument conditions, not just simulated conditions, which will hone and improve your skills as a pilot. Having numerous real-time actual IMC hours will make a difference when you are ready to begin applying for your dream career as it will set you apart from those who have very limited experience in instrument conditions. It is a great qualification to list on your resume for future employers.

In addition to navigating using the instruments, you will also practice advanced approaches and landings in this course. During this course you will learn to fly instrument approach procedures, and you will be able to land safely at airports that have limited visibility, such as fog or clouds, while still having continuous attention on every detail of the approach and maintaining situational awareness.

When you demonstrate you have the required skills and knowledge necessary to pass the course, you will be able to take the check ride with an FAA-designated pilot examiner. The FAA minimum hour requirement for a Part 141 Instrument Rating is 30 hours of ground training and 35 hours of flight training. Remember that these are the minimum requirements and the average number of hours for most pilots to complete this course is higher.

After the completion of the Instrument Rating, most pilots move onto the Commercial Pilot Certificate, and we will cover that in detail next week.

To learn more about the Instrument Rating or any of our aviation training courses, please feel free to book a phone meeting with our admissions counselor Ashley Souza. She is available to answer your questions and help you figure out how to meet your aviation goals. HAA also offers free informational webinars each month which explain more about your program. You can sign up the webinar on our registration page.