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Became a private pilot recently and now looking to get my instrumental. Had a few questions. (In description)

Asked by: 3824 views Flight Instructor, General Aviation, Instrument Rating

1. What should I do prior to starting training? 2. Any books or study material recommended? 3. Is the training harder than private pilot (I love a challenge!) 4. How much money does this usually cost/ how much was your instrumental? ....Thanks guys!

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4 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Mark Kolber on Dec 29, 2014

    Even assuming all people learn at exactly the same rate (which of course they don’t), typical costs for the instrument rating, as for the private certificate, will vary widely. Costs of rental aircraft, instructor rates are different in different areas and there will also be differences in the time of acquisition of knowledge and skill based on how busy your airspace is.

    That said, the instrument rating is a greater challenge than the private certificate. I like to say that the private certificate is about basic safety; the instrument rating is about operating within a system. About 20% of the instrument rating is about the flying – primarily changing the emergency instrument scan of the visual pilot into something sustainable over longer time periods, combined with more knowledge of aircraft systems. But 80% is about learning the rules, regulations and procedures involved in operating within a system where your error doesn’t affect just you and your friends and family; the affect other IFR aircraft for miles around. That advanced understanding of the system is a huge challenge for many. But the payoff in skill, precision, knowledge and aircraft utility is well worth it!

    The best starting point is really to sit down with a local flight school or CFII, even in terms of advance prep work. You may find that a local school offers an instrument ground school course which you can take before you step into an airplane (while I think it’s a good idea to do those concurrently, valid opinions differ on this). For reading materials, the FAA’s Instrument Flying Handbook and Instrument Procedures Handbook are almost essential.

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  2. Bob Watson on Dec 30, 2014

    One thing you can start doing that will help you towards your instrument rating is to try to fly as precisely as possible. Instead of flying +/- 10 degrees and +/- 100′, set your goal to be +/- 0 in both dimensions. That way, when you put the hood on, you’ll already be accustomed to flying precisely (using the controls and trim smoothly) and you’ll just have to work on your scan (and all the regulations and procedures Mark listed). The next step (which will help towards the first one, actually) is to fly consistently. Identify the power settings for the various phases of flight and try to fly them on every flight.

    Consistency and precision will help you with your instrument rating (and all the rest of your flying).

    Enjoy! Instrument flying is well worth the effort!

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Jan 01, 2015

    I’d be willing to make the case that while he costs for an instrument rating will vary, YOUR costs can be forecast with some degree of precision. In my experience most instrument students are working on checking off the required flight boxes, and rarely exceed those required hours. So if you take inventory of your current experience, the required instrument experience and multiply by your hourly cost of flying you’ll be pretty close.
    As opposed to the Private Pilot’s mythical 40 hours – which is rare, and people can take anywhere from 50 to 150 for a variety of reasons.
    Of course your mileage may vary.

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  4. Gary S. on Jan 04, 2015

    Austin, congrat’s on your decision to pursue additional training! Especially instrument training. I think you’ll enjoy your instrument training at least as much as you did your primary training, maybe more. All the way through the course you will become a more confident and safer pilot. Good luck and have fun.

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