Instrument Rating

Flying with full access to ATC services is like driving in the HOV lane with a police escort.  As a Private Pilot you are allowed to ask for ATC services and they are only provided if the controller work load allows.  As an instrument pilot they are required to provide you services and you are allowed to fly additional more direct routes.

The Instrument rating requires that the pilot has 50 hours of cross country experience (flying places 50 nm away) and 40 hours of instrument training.  You can combine these two requirements together a little bit.  If you have a Private Pilot’s license and start flying places, you should build up 35 hours of cross-country experience pretty fast.  Then you are ready to enroll in instrument training.  It will be easy to get the last 15 hours of destination flying while working on instrument skills.

Being able to fly sole reference to the instruments does not give you permission to do things that are reckless like fly into icing conditions or through a thunderstorms, but it is certainly helpful with our Pacific Northwest Marine layers. Instead, instrument flying makes flying standardized, which makes traveling to Reno feel the same as flying to Paris. You track courses until you join and approach and find the runway.  There is little intimidation flying to new places and you have a team of air traffic controllers supporting you.

There is no better way to make your flying safe than training for an instrument rating.

Instrument Training Map.pptx [Autosaved]



Instrument Training Cost

Please refer to the costs page for additional information regarding the cost of your Instrument training.


Instrument Enrollment

Before beginning Instrument training, 35 hours of PIC (pilot in Command) cross country time is needed.  Many people share this pre-requisit cost with family and friends by flying places together and sharing expenses.

Once you have the needed experience, enrolling in instrument training is easy.  Simply bring your proof of citizenship, pilot certificate, aviation medical, and fill out our rental agreement.

Instrument Equipped Aircraft Availability

IMG_8620We offer Cessna 172s with DME and Dual VORs for instrument training. The classic 6 pack and dual VORs is a great way to gain basic skills in situational awareness and navaid navigation. Once you’ve mastered the basics, then you can add in the pretty moving maps. IMG_8597_A-1024x555GPS is revolutionizing instrument navigation and we are proud to train with our Garmin 430W. This GPS unit paired with Garmin intercom and Garmin transponder makes this Cessna 172 feel luxurious. Moving map, GPS navigation, vertical navigation, and digital information are great additions to any IFR flight deck.


Instrument Ground School

Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are offered for instrument training.  During this six week course you will learn about the network of instrument procedures and the fine air traffic controllers that manage the system. There is also a closer look at weather and hazards that a pilot may face when flying sole reference to instruments  At the conclusion of this class you will have been exposed to every topic that the FAA will ask of you on the FAA instrument written test.  Its is a 60 question multiple choice test with a large test bank of questions.  With a little studying you should feel prepared to take and ace the test. Click here for detailed information regarding our Instrument Ground School.

Can you study this information on your own?  Yes, of course you can.  But it is challenging material and the class is really fun, interactive, and hands on.  We have a medical examiner speak to us and we visit an ATC tower/TRACON. If your schedule does not allow for evening classes, then you may ask your flight instructor to walk you through the material or use an online course.