Why Should I Get An Instrument Rating?
Suppose you need to get to Tallahassee for a meeting and you were planning to rent a plane and fly there. The day of the meeting the clouds are at 1500 feet and the visibility is 2 miles. A private pilot cannot fly in these conditions. Without an Instrument Rating, you either need to reschedule the meeting or get in the car and drive 4 hours. With an Instrument Rating, you could be at the meeting on time and still get back for dinner.
Having an Instrument Rating does not mean you can fly 100% of the time, but it does increase your ability to reach your destination when the weather is not VFR.
The Instrument Rating is comprised of two parts – flight training and ground training. In ground school, you will gain the knowledge needed to be a proficient pilot. You have several options for ground training, but the goal is to successfully complete your aviation written test. Flight training takes place in an advanced aviation training device and the airplane. You will learn skills and gain experience necessary to safely operate an airplane on your own and pass your check ride.
How Long Will It Take?
The Federal Aviation Administration has established the minimum training time for the Instrument Rating- Airplane. They require a minimum of 40 hours in simulated or actual instrument conditions with a FAA Certificated Flight Instructor. They will also allow you to substitute training time in an Advanced Aviation Training Device for up to 20 of those hours.
Most new pilots do not complete their training in this minimum time. This is due to a number of reasons but the most significant is how often that a person flies. The less frequently you fly the longer skills take to develop. The more frequently you fly the faster these skills will develop.
If you fly two to three times a week, you will minimize the amount of flight time required to obtain the Instrument Rating Airplane. At this pace it will take approximately 7 to 9 months to complete the training and approximately 55 to 60 flight and simulator hours.