• Course summary
    Course summary
    • Status: Full-time
    • Duration: 3 months (includes 2-week Ground School)
    • Type: Instrument Rating certificate
    • Required experience: Must hold a current Private Pilot Certificate
    • Location: Sanford, Florida
  • Graduate qualifications
    Graduate qualifications
    • Instrument Rating

Pilot training programs and courses

Instrument Rating Training

Our Instrument Rating training course is designed for cadets who hold a Private Pilot License and are looking to develop their capabilities as a pilot.

Course overview

An Instrument Rating (IR), also often referred to as Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), is designed to train pilots to manoeuvre aircraft based purely on knowledge of the instruments, without need to look out of the cockpit, except for take-off and landing. Preparing both commercial and private pilots for flying at night or during challenging weather conditions.

Full-time students can complete their Instrument Rating in just three months, including two weeks of ground school at our Florida Flight School, either independently or as part of our PPP, AAPT and CPT programs.

Our Instrument Rating training covers:

  • Human factors
  • Instruments
  • Aerodynamics
  • Regulations and IFR operations
  • Emergency operations
  • Airspace
  • ATC
  • IFR navigation
  • Aircraft control
  • Accident analysis

Providing a comprehensive foundation for pilots to go on to complete their Instrument Airmen Knowledge Test (AKT).

Future career prospects

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Instrument Rating Training

Instrument Rating career prospects

Every pilot should consider obtaining their Instrument Rating. Holding an IR opens more career opportunities, particularly in commercial aviation, and offers proof of flight competence in adverse weather conditions. For many pilots, some of the key reasons to pursue their Instrument Rating include:

  • Aspirations to pursue a career as a flight instructor
  • Gain confidence and experience flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) such as thick clouds, adverse weather or in darkness which can be unpredictable and often require flying with little to no visibility
  • Ambition to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot
  • Gain greater knowledge of aircraft instruments and technology
  • Improve flying techniques. IFR training also teaches pilots about airspeed, altitude, predicting and understanding changing weather conditions

Career pathways

Instrument Rating Training

Instrument Rating admission requirements

Minimum admission requirements are as follows, for additional requirements please contact admissions.


Applicants must be at least 17 years and 6 months old at the start of the program.


All applicants must provide a photocopy of an FAA Medical Certificate.


Cadets must complete a Wonderlic assessment and meet or exceed the minimum score requirement of 17.

How much does it cost?

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Instrument Rating Training

Cost of Instrument Rating (IR) training

Undertaking an Instrument Rating Course is an investment in your future aviation career; by refining your skills as a pilot you’ll open more employment opportunities to fly with major and regional airlines.

Instrument Rating course cost:

  • Tuition (estimated): Please contact one of our Admissions Team who will be happy to answer any questions: 1-800-U-CAN-FLY
  • Application fee: $50

Estimated additional cost:

  • Books, supplies and mandatory electronic training materials: $5,000
  • Transportation, room and board: $22,350
  • TSA AFSP application (for non-United States citizens): $390 ($130 each for three courses)
  • TSA fingerprinting (non-United States citizens): $99 (one time)
  • ID badge (mandatory): $50 annual

Any form of aviation training can be a large financial investment for students. To help you advance your pilot training, we offer a range of aviation scholarships as well as flight school loans and grants and advice on private funding.

Fund your training

Instrument Rating FAQs

How many hours do you need to obtain an Instrument Rating?

To obtain an Instrument Rating pilots are required to complete a specified number of hours in an aircraft. This requires students to log the following hours:

  • A minimum of 50 hours of flight time as the pilot in command of the aircraft. 10 out of these 50 hours must be in aircraft designed for Instrument Ratings
  • A minimum of 15 hours of in-flight training with an authorized Instructor in the aircraft category for which you are seeking an Instrument Rating for
  • 40 hours in an actual or simulated instrument flight time

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How long does it take to earn an Instrument Rating?

Our Instrument Rating training can be completed in three months, including two weeks of ground school. To join our IR course, applicants will also need to hold a Private Pilot Certificate. This certificate takes 3 months to complete and requires little to no previous flying knowledge or experience.

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Where will I train to complete my Instrument Rating course?

The L3Harris Instrument Rating training program takes place at our Orlando Flight School in Florida. Cadets will have access to one of the largest fleets in Florida, as well as advanced FTDs (Flight Training Devices).

Orlando Flight School

Ready to start your application?

Take your first step towards becoming an airline pilot and apply today. Good luck and we look forward to welcoming you to our Flight Academy!

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