GETTING AN INSTRUMENT RATING COURSE: Learning to Fly With Confidence in the Clouds

GETTING AN INSTRUMENT RATING COURSE: Learning to Fly With Confidence in the Clouds

An Instrument Rating (IR) is a qualification that must be earned in addition to the private or commercial pilot certificate in order for a pilot to be permitted to act as pilot-in-command of an aircraft under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) – a set of guidelines used in aviation in order to protect and prevent pilots from accidents when rough weather is unexpectedly encountered during flights, or any other weather condition where the outside visibility suddenly becomes too poor that the pilot has to solely rely on their instruments and wits to fly safely and land accurately. Instrument-rated pilots, with the skills they obtained after completing the Instrument Rating Course, are equipped with the ability to fly, rather than be prohibited, despite environmental threats, which is an inevitable part of flying, such as an inclement weather condition. Completing the Instrument Rating Course does not only permit the pilot to fly in a less-than-ideal weather but also enables them to determine what weather conditions are considered good for flying and what conditions are to be avoided.

A. Basic Requirements for the IR

In order to be eligible for the Instrument Rating Course, the following basic requirements must be met:

  • Must be a holder of either a Commercial Pilot License or a Private Pilot License
  • Must be a holder of a current medical certificate (Class 1)
  • Must be 18 years and above

B. Composition of the IR Course

In addition to the qualifications of a Private Pilot or Commercial Pilot, the IR Course is comprised of further trainings and instructions, including the following:

  • IR ground schooling
  • IR flight training in simulator and actual aircraft


IR Ground Schooling

This module which is made up of at least 60 hours of class lectures focuses on the following topics:

  • Air law
  • Instrumentation
  • Flight Planning and Monitoring
  • Human performance and limitations
  • Meteorology
  • Radio navigation
  • Communications


IR Flight Training

A. Simulator training:

The simulator training is undergone for 20 hours in CAAP certified type simulator or flight training device (FTD). In this training, the techniques and procedures learned from the ground schooling will be applied using a synthetic trainer.

B. Actual Flight Training:

The actual flight training is undergone for not less than 20 hours and consists three phases:

The first phase is the pre-solo phase wherein the pilot’s aeronautical knowledge and skills are honed preparing him/her first solo flight.

The next phase is the Basic Contact Proficiency Phase. In this phase, the pilot’s ability as a CAAP Private Pilot License holder is enhanced.

The last phase is the PPL Cross Country Flight Training Phase. In this phase, the pilot’s aeronautical ability to conduct cross-country flights using dead reckoning, pilotage, and radio navigational aids under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) will be enhanced.

C. IR Application at CAAP

Once the IR course is completed, the following requirements by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines must be complied.

  • CAAP written examination
  • Flying skills demonstration to an examiner (CAAP checkpilot) during a flight test called “checkride”

The checkride is conducted to ensure that the applicant possesses the skills and knowledge that qualify him/her to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

Expand your wings

If you desire to increase your flying opportunities by getting an IR and be permitted and able to fly with confidence in the clouds, grab your chance now at

Adventure Flight Education and Sports

Gen Aviation Road,Hangar #6, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Lapu-Lapu City, Central Visayas, Philippines

(+63) (32) 268 9829 / (+63) 09322689829

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