Garg Aviation

A Guide To Obtaining An Instrument Rating; Requirements And Process

What is an Instrument Rating?

Instrument rating refers to the qualifications that a pilot must have in order to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR). It requires specific training and instruction beyond what is required for a private pilot certificate or commercial pilot certificate, including rules and procedures specific to instrument flying, additional instruction in meteorology, and more intensive training in flight solely by reference to instruments.

Commercial Pilot’s Licence (Aeroplanes) With Instrument Rating

Requirements for issue of Licence – An applicant for Commercial Pilot’s Licence with Instrument Rating shall satisfy the following requirements :-

Age – He shall be not less than Eighteen years of age on the date of application.

Educational Qualification – He shall have passed Class Ten plus Two or an equivalent examination with Physics and Mathematics, from a recognized Board/University.

Medical Fitness – After undergoing a medical examination during which he shall have established his medical fitness on the basis of compliance with the requirements as informed by the Director-General under 39B, he shall produce on a prescribed proforma, a certificate of physical fitness from an approved Medical Board.

Knowledge – He must succeed in a written test covering the following topics: Air Navigation, Meteorology, Aircraft and Engines, and Signals (Practical) Examination for Interpretation of Aural and Visual Signals.

Experience – He must provide proof that, within the five years immediately before the date of his application for a licence, he had successfully completed at least 200 hours of flight experience as an aviation pilot, which must include:

Not less than 100 hours of flight time as a pilot-in-command, of which not fewer than 30 hours must be spent flying as a student pilot-in-command, of which not more than 20 hours must be spent flying cross-country and not more than 10 hours must be spent flying circuits with at least ten landings;

During the six months immediately prior to the application date, at least fifteen hours of Pilot-in-Command flight time;

Two complete stop landings at two distinct aerodromes during a cross-country flight of at least 300 nautical miles, and at least fifty hours of cross-country flight experience as the pilot-in-command;

A minimum of five hours of instrument time must have been completed within the six months immediately preceding the date of application for the Instrument Rating, and not less than

fifty hours of instrument time, of which not more than twenty hours may be on an approved simulator;

Not less than five hours of nighttime flight experience, with at least ten takeoffs and landings as Pilot-in-Command (the only person operating the controls), completed within the six months immediately preceding the date of licence application:

Provided that in case of an applicant who is in Possession of a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (Helicopters) and who has satisfactorily completed not less than one thousand hours of flight time as Pilot-in-Command of a helicopter, the above experience requirement of two hundred hours as pilot of an aeroplane shall be reduced to hundred hours.

Completion of Flying Training – He must have completed his flying training in line with the Director-General’s recommended curriculum.

Additional Requirements: He must have a valid Flight Radio Telephone Operator’s Licence from the Director-General to operate radio telephone equipment inside an aircraft.

Skill – He must have proven his ability to perform the procedures and manoeuvres outlined in the syllabus on the type of aircraft for which the licence application is being made within the six months immediately prior to the date of application, to the satisfaction of an examiner. The proficiency must be shown in:

A general flight test during the day;

A night time general flying exam;

A cross-country flight test conducted during the day that involves a flight of at least 250 nautical miles, during which at least one complete stop landing at an airport other than the one from whence takeoff was made;

A cross-country flying test at night that involves a flight of at least 120 nautical miles back to the point of departure without stopping anywhere else; and

Passing an instrument flying test within the six months immediately prior to the date of application for the rating, demonstrating the ability to fly an aeroplane in respect of which an instrument rating is requested, entirely with the help of instruments. The flying test shall be carried out in accordance with the syllabus prescribed by the Director-General. The

Director-General may, however, allow such tests or part thereof to be carried out on an approved simulator for the type of aircraft.

Validity – The licence’s validity period will start on the date it was issued or renewed. The licence is valid for the time frame indicated in Rule 39C, provided that the conditions for renewal are met as described in the following paragraph.

Renewal – The licence may be renewed upon receipt of the applicant’s satisfactory proof.

having undertaken a medical examination as mentioned above.

within the six months immediately preceding the date of application for renewal, having satisfactorily completed the general flyingby day in lieu thereof, or having completed not less than ten hours of flight time as Pilot-in-Command (flight time as Co-Pilot may be counted towards the requirement of flight time as Pilot-in-Command at a rate of 50%).having successfully finished the general flying by day and night as specified above.

Possessing a valid Flight Radio Telephone Operator’s Licence from the Director-General to use radio telephone equipment within an aircraft.


The licence must state the categories of aircraft that the holder is permitted to fly.

Open Rating – An open rating for all single-piston engine types of aircraft with an all-up weight of no more than 1,530 kg may also be granted if the applicant has logged at least 1,000 hours of flight time on such aircraft, including at least 500 hours in command, and has at least four different types of licences.

However, before a pilot is allowed to use the privileges of an open rating on a particular type of aircraft, the Examiner shall record a certificate to this effect in the pilot’s log book and require that the pilot complete a ground and flight familiarisation with a flight Instructor or an approved Examiner.

Instructor’s Rating – A person with an Instructor’s Rating is qualified to give flying instructions.

Instrument Rating: The licence does not include a separate Instrument Rating. As long as the instrument rating flying exams have been completed in accordance with the requirements established by the Director-General, the privileges of an instrument rating are included with this licence.

Extension of Aircraft Rating—In order to extend an aircraft rating to cover another type of aircraft, a candidate must have passed the written test in aircraft and engines and have gained experience flying the aircraft in question or on an approved flight simulator while being properly supervised.


Proficiency Check:

The holder of the licence must pass the appropriate competency test for the type of aircraft to be flown in order to function as a co-pilot of transport aircraft with an all-up weight exceeding 5,700 kilogrammes, as determined by the Director-General.

The proficiency check performed in accordance with DGCA and is valid for a period of six months from the check date and may be extended for additional periods of six months at a time.

In the event of a renewal, the term of validity will begin on the date the prior validity expired, provided that the check was completed within the two months prior to the expiration date.

Privileges – The privileges of the bearer of a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (Aeroplanes) must be:- Subject to the validity of endorsements and ratings in the licence and compliance with the pertinent provisions of Rules 39B, Rule 39C, and Rule 42 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

to utilise all of the rights granted by a private pilot’s licence for aircraft; to serve as the pilot-in-command of any aircraft with an all-up weight of no more than 5,700 kg. And which is specified in the aircraft rating of his licence given that, when transporting passengers at night, he must have performed at least ten night takeoffs and ten night landings within the six months immediately preceding the anticipated flight date.


When is an Instrument Rating required?

A pilot must have an instrument rating in order to act as Pilot in Command of a flight below VFR weather minimums in controlled airspace (Class A,B,C,D, and E) and/or under IFR. The rating is also required: When flying an airplane under Special VFR at night.

How long does it take to complete instrument rating training?

Getting an instrument instrument rating takes about half as long as getting a PPL, which means it typically takes three to six months (schedule and weather dependent).

What is involved in the ground school phase of instrument rating training?

To begin training for your Instrument Rating, you must hold a current PPL and current medical. You must also be proficient in English. Ground school training for your Instrument Rating will include aeronautical knowledge. IFR operations, regulations, and systems.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *