Instrument Rating Bay Area

Congratulations – you have earned your Private Pilot License, and have become proficient at flying VFR. The next logical step in your pilot training is an instrument rating. Not only does being instrument-rated refine your flying skills far beyond those of a regular VFR pilot and add important new abilities, it also is an incredibly useful addition to your flying privileges. Whether it is the typical Bay Area morning marine layer over the field or clouds on your flight path to your destination, an Instrument Rating will allow you to be on your way instead of sitting on the ground. From a safety perspective, an Instrument Rating is an invaluable asset: IFR does not mean bad-weather flying, it means safe flying.



With an instrument rating, you are able to:

  • Fly in instrument meteorological conditions
  • Fly in airspace above 18,000 MSL (Class A airspace)
  • Operate in under SVFR at night.


In order to obtain an instrument rating, you will need:

  • Hold at least a Private Pilot License
  • 50 Hours of logged Pilot in Command cross country
  • At least one cross country flight performed under IFR of at least 250NM, incorporating 3 kinds of instrument approaches
  • Minimum 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time (of which, 10 hours may be simulated)
  • Minimum 15 hours of instruction from a certified instrument flight instructor (CFII) – of which 3 hours much have been in the prior 2 months in an appropriate airplane
  • Successful completion of written knowledge test
  • Successful completion of oral examination and checkride