How long to get an instrument rating?
A private pilot can get an instrument rating as quickly as in 2 weeks or take a year to complete instrument training.
Various factors impact on the instrument course duration. Unlike private pilot training, weather is not a delaying factor for IFR training.
So what aspects may delay your IFR rating, and how long to get an instrument rating?
You can begin your instrument rating training immediately after getting your private pilot license, and once you start your IFR training, consider these factors to accomplish your instrument rating requirements sooner:
- The 50 Hours cross country PIC requirement for IFR;
- Your independent progress;
- Comprehending instrument ground school and passing the instrument written test;
- A veteran instrument flight instructor can contribute to your achievement.
Individuals can get their instrument rating in two weeks if they take an accelerated instrument course. The usual instrument rating course takes around two to three months. However, a trainee pilot can delay their instrument training and take up to two years to complete the course.
I will explain the impacting factors further in this article and how you can avoid delaying.
The 50 Hours cross country PIC requirement can delay obtaining your instrument rating.
A private pilot must have at least 50 hours of PIC cross country time before applying for an instrument rating.
Most IFR rating trainees are unaware of this FAA requirement initially.
Pilots fly the required 40 hours instrument flight, and yet they can’t apply for instrument rating. That’s when they notice this requirement 50 hours PIC requirement.
Pilots should plan their aviation goals from the first day of their flight training.
Private pilots without a plan progressing towards instrument rating will indeed be surprised with the 50 hours PIC requirement.
If you intend to obtain an instrument rating, you must plan your flights during your private pilot training wisely.
Even with a plan, you can’t fulfill the 50 hours PIC cross-country requirement during private pilot training. But you will not spend more money by having a plan.
The duration of flying 40 hours IFR flight may not take long, but if you find yourself later that you lack the 50 hours cross-country PIC, it will delay your instrument flight training.
I recommend private pilots to fly the cross-country 50 hours before beginning the IFR training. That way, it will be much easier for you to focus only on instrument rating requirements later and obtain an IFR rating sooner.
Your independent progress can alter the usual course duration.
Independent progress matters a lot to complete the IFR course sooner.
Aeronautical knowledge consists of much information on various subjects, and during instrument rating ground classes, you will learn each topic in-depth.
The information is overwhelming for many and results in poor performance of pilots in actual flight.
Failure to follow the ATC instructions and poor flight performance will hinder your IFR course duration.
Displeased CFII may request more practice than the required IFR forty hours.
Indeed forty hours of instrument flight training is adequate to become proficient in instrument flight. To achieve proficiency in the shortest time, a private pilot needs to educate himself and practice instrument flying using a flight simulator at home.
Studying will boost your confidence, and you can promptly progress through the FAA’s forty hours requirement.
Not having confidence for instrument flight will naturally result in reduced performance. With reduced performance, your spirit will worsen and delay your instrument rating course process.
At such a stage, it is best to take a break and go back to theory studies for a while and get back to instrument flying with confidence again.
RELATED: How to study for instrument rating?
Comprehending the ground school and passing the written test.
Quite similar to my earlier mention. If you are a private pilot with forty hours of instrument flight training, you are ready to apply for an instrument rating.
But you may be excellent in actual IFR flight, but are you confident enough to take the theory test?
The theory test will have questions on various subjects, and you will have to complete the test in a limited time.
Passing the test for someone with knowledge is truly simple. Yet, a pilot needs to practice taking the instrument test using available online test preps.
Online test preps prepare student pilots for the FAA written test.
The situation would be worse for a private pilot if he did not study adequately for the theory test.
Preparing for the instrument written test require studying at home and practice using test prep.
Failing the written exam will cost you more money. You have the chance to retake the exam, but certainly, you will waste time. You can only get an instrument rating once you pass the instrument written test.
Now it depends on you how do you want to take the exam.
Are you willing to study and pass the written test during the first take or fail the first time and then procrastinate for six months to retake?
Either way, it is crucial to study at home and prepare for an instrument rating knowledge test. You will save time, money, and energy.
With the overwhelming information in instrument ground training, I can tell it is not always easy for private pilots to grasp everything in the ground classes.
It becomes essential to self-study and prepare well. I recommend taking the instrument written test before you begin instrument rating training.
To have a friendly CFII can impact the IFR course duration.
A certified instrument flight instructor instrument can also impact the length of the IFR course duration.
Imagine if you fly with an unfriendly instructor and expect you to show instrument flying skills all by yourself.
What will you do on the flight? Well, I can say you will not learn anything.
A good flight instructor is friendly and shares their knowledge as much as possible.
You don’t always need to fly with a veteran flight instructor. There are many young, knowledgeable instructors. Choose a better flight instructor, and you will notice how quickly you learn instrument flying and get better at each flight.
Good flight instructors will teach you essential materials and tips for safe instrument flight operations.
Unfriendly flight instructors don’t teach adequately, and your training flights will be shoddy.
As a result, you will lose interest in IFR flying and delay your flight training. Additionally, it would help if you also focused on learning the necessary instrument flying materials.
If you don’t like your assigned flight instructor, request your flight school to have a different instructor on your next flight.
Finally, I want to add a bit more about accelerated instrument courses available for Instrument rating.
Is it worth to have an accelerated instrument rating course over conventional instrument training?
If you are in a hurry to get your Instrument rating, then go for accelerated instrument courses.
Accelerated instrument courses are worth your money as the flight instructors are veterans. They are knowledgeable and charge a bit higher hourly rate. If you have the time, money, and dedication to get your IFR rating quickly, it is wise.
However, if you fail to grasp all the knowledge and don’t have the time to study at home for IFR within a fortnight, then the accelerated instrument training is not for you.
I suggest you choose the conventional instrument rating training path if you believe two weeks is too quick for you to become proficient in instrument flying.