An instrument rating is often the next advancement after obtaining your private pilot license. This rating gives you the chance to fly by way of the cockpit instruments, so you can operate during low-visibility weather conditions. It’s an ideal opportunity for private pilots to nurture their growing aviation abilities and gain even more freedom in the air – but, that’s not all. If you’re looking to fly outside of Visual Flight Rule (VFR) conditions, here are 12 reasons why you should get an instrument rating.
1) Fly When & Where You Want
Obtaining an instrument rating allows you to fly under poor weather conditions. As a private pilot, you’re only allowed to fly under VFR, which indicates clear skies. With an instrument rating, on the other hand, you can fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), so you can take off, whether in cloudy, rainy, snowy or other poor conditions.
2) Avoid Flight Cancellations
Instrument flight ratings give you the ability to fly, even when the weather isn’t clear. Most of the time, flying by instruments only is the only way you can navigate through thick clouds or fog, for example. When you have this ability, you’ll avoid flight cancellations so you can take off toward your destination without worry, and never miss another vacation again.
3) Become A More Competent Aviator
Similar to your private pilot certification, you’ll be required to complete a certain number of hours behind the yoke, while also finishing ground school and completing written exams. By undergoing 40 hours of instrument flight training, 30 hours of ground school, 40 hours of cross-country flying and a passing Instrument Rating Airplane (IRA) test score of at least 70 percent, you’re sure to become a much more competent aviator.
4) Utilize Automated Plane Systems
With an instrument rating, you’re able to take advantage of an aircraft’s automated systems. These are automatic functions that replace the need for a person to be in complete control. From managing air speed, fuel efficiency, engine power and flight controls, it keeps your flight plan tight and flying accurate.
5) Improved Pre-Flight Planning
A pilot with an instrument rating has mastered the art of pre-flight planning compared to those with a private pilot certificate. Throughout the rating process, you’ll be able to go much more in-depth on how to prepare for alternative navigational paths, potential hazards, enroute fueling stations and much more.
6) Master Takeoffs & Landings
You’ll become much more proficient with takeoffs and landings when you practice in adverse weather. Plus, you’ll be taught how to become a precise flyer through power changes, heading, airspeed and altitude, among other things.
7) Be Prepared For Sudden Visual Changes
Sometimes the weather can change suddenly – and while you’re educated on how to read radar and able to identify flyable conditions – things can take a surprisingly abrupt turn in the sky. When this happens, an IR pilot can handle flying into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) without worry.
8) Know Your Flight Chatter
Air Traffic Control (ATC) will be the voice that’s guiding you through low-visibility conditions, so you must know how to effectively communicate with the team on the ground. This is one of the most important things keeping yourself and other pilots in the sky safe, and a huge part of your training under IFR weather.
9) Become A Meteorology Pro
When it comes to being a pilot, the weather dictates a lot of your life. Not only can daytime storms or foggy nights affect your chances of taking off for your destination, they can be life threatening in the sky. That’s why you’ll learn to read the weather like a pro – meteorology will become second nature as you study wind speed, high- and low-pressure storms, ice hazards and more.
10) Set Yourself Up For A Pilot Career
As a private pilot, you’re not allowed to make money from flying. With an instrument rating, however, it puts you that much closer to a career in aviation. The lessons you learn and hours you accrue during your instrument training can count toward a commercial or certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate. With either of these, you can start out on a career path as an instructor, work for an emergency crew or fly for corporations, among countless other jobs.
11) Keep Insurance Costs Down
Whether you own an airplane or not, you’ll need the proper insurance before flying solo. Insurance companies tend to look at the number of training hours, along with specific certificates and ratings to provide you with insurance costs. When you have more experience in the cockpit, they tend to award you with lower rates.
12) Become A More Intuitive Pilot
You learned to perform under pressure as a private pilot – now, you’ll refine and perfect those critical thinking skills as you go for an instrument rating. You’ll become more intuitive, always thinking two, three, four steps ahead of what’s currently happening within the parameters of your flight. Flying by way of instruments is sure to help you hone that ability.
Are you ready to start with an instrument rating?
Now is the best time to add an instrument rating to your skillset as a pilot. And, the team at Inflight Pilot Training can make sure you find success. We’ll help you achieve your goal of learning to fly by instruments, so you never have to stay grounded. We’ve helped countless students achieve their goals when it comes to becoming a more competent aviator and can do the same for you.
Let our diverse team of CFIs elevate your learning experience as you take to the skies. If you’re interested in learning more about Inflight programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.