Instrument Rating Basic Requirements

Instrument Pilot.

61.65 Aeronautical Experience

    (a) General. A person who applies for an instrument rating must:
    (1) Hold at least a current private pilot certificate with an
  airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift rating appropriate to the instrument
  rating sought;
    (2) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If
  the applicant is unable to meet any of these requirements due to a medical
  condition, the Administrator may place such operating limitations on the
  applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the
  aircraft;
    (3) Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or
  accomplish a home-study course of training on the aeronautical knowledge
  areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the instrument rating
  sought;
    (4) Receive a logbook or training record endorsement from an authorized
  instructor certifying that the person is prepared to take the required
  knowledge test;
    (5) Receive and log training on the areas of operation of paragraph (c) of
  this section from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, flight simulator,
  or flight training device that represents an airplane, helicopter, or
  powered-lift appropriate to the instrument rating sought;
    (6) Receive a logbook or training record endorsement from an authorized
  instructor certifying that the person is prepared to take the required
  practical test;
    (7) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas of
  paragraph (b) of this section; however, an applicant is not required to take
  another knowledge test when that person already holds an instrument rating;
  and
    (8) Pass the required practical test on the areas of operation in paragraph
  (c) of this section in--
    (i) An airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift, appropriate to the rating
  sought; or
    (ii) A flight simulator or a flight training device appropriate to the
  rating sought and approved for the specific maneuver or procedure performed.
  If a flight training device is used for the practical test, the instrument
  approach procedures conducted in that flight training device are limited to
  one precision and one nonprecision approach, provided the flight training
  device is approved for the procedure performed.
    (b) Aeronautical knowledge. A person who applies for an instrument rating
  must have received and logged ground training from an authorized instructor
  or accomplished a home-study course on the following aeronautical knowledge
  areas that apply to the instrument rating sought:
    (1) Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that apply to flight
  operations under IFR;
    (2) Appropriate information that applies to flight operations under IFR in
  the "Aeronautical Information Manual;"
    (3) air traffic control system and procedures for instrument flight
  operations;
    (4) IFR navigation and approaches by use of navigation systems;
    (5) Use of IFR en route and instrument approach procedure charts;
    (6) Procurement and use of aviation weather reports and forecasts and the
  elements of forecasting weather trends based on that information and personal
  observation of weather conditions;
    (7) Safe and efficient operation of aircraft under instrument flight rules
  and conditions;
    (8) Recognition of critical weather situations and windshear avoidance;
    (9) Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and
    (10) Crew resource management, including crew communication and
  coordination.
    (c) Flight proficiency. A person who applies for an instrument rating must
  receive and log training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, or in
  a flight simulator or flight training device, in accordance with paragraph
  (e) of this section, that includes the following areas of operation:
    (1) Preflight preparation;
    (2) Preflight procedures;
    (3) air traffic control clearances and procedures;
    (4) Flight by reference to instruments;
    (5) Navigation systems;
    (6) instrument approach procedures;
    (7) emergency operations; and
    (8) Postflight procedures.
    (d) Aeronautical experience. A person who applies for an instrument rating
  must have logged the following:
    (1) At least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of
  which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes for an instrument--airplane
  rating; and
    (2) A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time on the areas
  of operation of this section, to include--
    (i) At least 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized
  instructor in the aircraft category for which the instrument rating is
  sought;
    (ii) At least 3 hours of instrument training that is appropriate to the
  instrument rating sought from an authorized instructor in preparation for the
  practical test within the 60 days preceding the date of the test;
    (iii) For an instrument--airplane rating, instrument training on cross-
  country flight procedures specific to airplanes that includes at least one
  cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR, and consists
  of--
    (A) A distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed
  routing;
    (B) An instrument approach at each airport; and
    (C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems;
    (iv) For an instrument--helicopter rating, instrument training specific to
  helicopters on cross-country flight procedures that includes at least one
  cross-country flight in a helicopter that is performed under IFR, and
  consists of--
    (A) A distance of at least 100 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed
  routing;
    (B) An instrument approach at each airport; and
    (C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems;
  and
    (v) For an instrument--powered-lift rating, instrument training specific to
  a powered-lift on cross-country flight procedures that includes at least one
  cross-country flight in a powered-lift that is performed under IFR and
  consists of--
    (A) A distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed
  routing;
    (B) An instrument approach at each airport; and
    (C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.
    (e) Use of flight simulators or flight training devices. If the instrument
  training was provided by an authorized instructor in a flight simulator or
  flight training device--
    (1) A maximum of 30 hours may be performed in that flight simulator or
  flight training device if the training was accomplished in accordance with
  part 142 of this chapter; or
    (2) A maximum of 20 hours may be performed in that flight simulator or
  flight training device if the training was not accomplished in accordance
  with part 142 of this chapter.

  [Amdt. 61-102, 62 FR 16298, Apr. 4, 1997; Amdt. 61-103, 62 FR 40900, July 30,
  1997]