One of my aviation goals is to acquire additional ratings and certificates. For some time, I’ve been thinking about starting my training for the Instrument Rating. In August of 2019, I decided that the best way to “start the clock” on completing the rating would be to pass the Instrument Rating – Airplane Knowledge exam. The exam expires in two years if you haven’t passed the practical exam earning the certificate. On August 14th, 2019, I passed the IRA Knowledge exam with a 95%.
To earn the Instrument Rating a pilot needs to have 50 hours of cross country time, 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, and receive 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor for the Instrument Rating. In addition, you must complete a 250 nautical mile cross country completing three different kinds of approaches while on an actual instrument flight plan.
The FAA provides three ways for a pilot to acquire simulated/actual instrument time:
- Receiving instruction in an airplane from a Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument (CFII)
- Receiving instruction from a CFII in an FAA approved Advanced Aviation Training Device. The FAA allows up to 20 hours of simulated instrument time to be logged in AATD.
- Flying under simulated instrument condition (a limited viewing device) with a safety pilot in the copilot position.
I currently meet the 50 hour requirement for cross country flights and have logged 28 of the 40 hours simulated/actual instrument time required. Thus far, I have had the opportunity to utilize all three ways of acquiring instrument time flying in a Cessna 172 and acquired over 20 hours Precision Flight Controls CRX-MAX AATD.