Instrument Rating

An Instrument Rating gives you the ability to fly in less than ideal weather. In New England, an Instrument Rating is almost a must if you want to get anywhere without having to be too concerned about the weather. Basically, this rating contains the same limitations as the Private license, but you will have a much better understanding of the ATC system, weather phenomena, and flight by reference to your airborne instruments.

There are three main areas in attaining your Instrument Rating:

  1. A current medical
  2. FAA computerized written knowledge test
  3. Flight Exam with an FAA designated examiner

Flight Proficiency

  • No limit on Total Time to qualify for the rating
  • 50 hours of cross country time as Pilot in Command, 10 of which must be in an IFR equipped airplane
  • 40 hours of actual/simulated dual instrument training, 15 of which must be conducted by an instrument instructor
  • 1 cross country of at least 250nm along airways or an ATC-direct route
  • 3 hours of instrument training within 60 days of the flight exam

FAA Computerized Written Exam

As with the private, the questions are publicly released and printed. This test must be passed prior to the flight examination (70% or better). Contact us to find your nearest testing center.


Most students obtain their instrument rating in our Cessna 172 aircraft. Based on this, we will calculate a typical cost forecast for obtaining an instrument rating. Depending on how fast you pick up on instrument procedures, the total time to be prepared for the examination will vary. We will use 50 hours as a basis. 

  • 50 hours of Cessna 172 flight time: $126.00 x 50hrs = $6300

  • 50 hours of Dual Instruction: $55.00 x 50 hrs = $2750

  • Miscellaneous supplies (books, charts, fees): $300

  • Total: $9350

The costs vary depending on the flying experience you have when you start the training program. Many students have a lot of the cross country time prior to starting instrument training, which means they can finish in around 40 hours. The whole course is spent with an instructor in the airplane; therefore the seemingly higher cost.