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Most efficient way of getting my IFR rating

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Instrument Rating

So, I know there's a 40 hour requirement of actual or simulated instruments, plus 50 hours of solo cross country, but I wonder what's the most efficient way of flying those hours, having in mind that I plan to get my Commercial as well, also having in mind that I currently hold my PPL and I have these hours so far: 46.5 Dual 12.1 PIC Those are respectively: 55.6 day time 3 night time 2.2 simulated instruments 7.1 solo cross country So, given this, how many hours do I need, and what should each of them be, in order to get my Instrument rating, and then be ahead in my commercial (which I'm aware is mostly time building) Thank you!

2 Answers



  1. Chris Carlson on Sep 05, 2015

    Quick correction to your statement above; The 50 hours of Cross Country has to be loggable as PIC, not solo. This means that since you are rated as a pilot in (presumably) a Single Engine Land airplane, whenever you are at the controls of such an airplane, you are able to log it. in other words- all the flight time you receive in a SEL with a CFI is loggable as PIC.

    The best advice I have is to sit down with a local CFII and make a plan. Most of my students enjoy this plan- Get the basics out of the way; 10ish hours of Basic Attitude Instrument Flying, then do a few ground sessions, some simulator work on approaches and procedures (DME arcs, Holding, Procedure turns, etc) and then do a few good IFR solid, in the cloud cross countries. This gets you a lot of practical experience, as well as kills those flight times. In the mean time, on the sunny days, do a XC with a friend or two. Remember, of the 40 hours Simulated or Actual, only 20 of it HAS to be with a CFII, though many people need more than 20 hours to get the IFR training to checkride/safe standards. Also, 10 hours (minimum, could be more depending on level of capabilities) of those hours can be done on a flight simulation device.

    Try to find a good plan that gets multiple sets of hours accomplished at the same time, while still enjoying yourself. Cross Country flying is the real reason most of us learn to fly, so dont shy away at longer (more expensive) flights, but take them with larger gaps between to save money and get that reading material out of the way- knowing the ground knowledge will get you to understanding the flight portion much quicker

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  2. Chris Carlson on Sep 05, 2015

    also- maybe I’m confused on your input, but you should have more than 2.2 hours simulated instrument time. unless you have real instrument time, or have access to a FTD or Simulator?

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