Time to get Instrument rating

Philip Greenspun's Homepage : Philip Greenspun's Homepage Discussion Forums : Aviation : One Thread
Notify me of new responses
I'm trying to do some time and money budgeting for my Instrument
rating. I know the FAR times but how long (hours flown) does it
REALLY take to get an instrument rating. I currently have my PPL
and have about 85 hours Total time logged. I would just like to hear
from about 10 people how long it took them to get it so I could take
an average. Thanks!

-- Eric Boyer, September 17, 2009


I have a helicopter instrument student right now who was ready for his checkride after about 20 hours of instrument instruction. Now we're flying around doing things that are beyond the PTS in order to get up to the FAR minimums. For people who do an instrument rating within a 3- month period finishing with just the FAR minimums is fairly common (and these are people who often took 70 or 80 hours to get their Private).

-- Philip Greenspun, September 23, 2009

I started my instrument training after 1,200 hours flying VFR. I went to Boise, ID and lived in a hotel thinking about instrument flying exclusively for 7 days. Got my instrument ticket using the maximum allowed simulator hours and within the FAR times. Be sure to count any hood time you logged while getting your Private. You can also log some number of hood hours flown with a safety pilot. This will save you from paying an instructor for a small number of hours.

-- Don Shade, September 17, 2009

I received my IFR with 110 hours. Started my PPL training in March, 08, completed IFR in November 08. Now I have 225 hours. Receiving the IFR early on in my training was beneficial, but if you pursue the IFR with 85 hours you must be cautious. I still regularly fly with a CFII. You will earn the IFR way before you are ready to fly a complicated approach to minimums. Set high minimums and always try to fly in the system. I believe most pilots are happier with the IFR, regardless of when they get it.

-- Scott Zodin, September 21, 2009

Hi Eric,

I'm a 300 hour pilot and finished my Private Pilot Cert September '08. I'm going the accelerated route for my IFR this fall, have you considered an Accelerated IFR course, they range from 7-10 days and you have the rating.

The reason I like the accelerated route is that it is all you do and think about for 10 days without interruption. My PPL training had two big pauses because of normal happenings in life. That training took much longer than necessary and was also more expensive as a result (although when I finished I felt I was a very well trained new Pvt Pilot with experience well above and beyond the norm).

I'm taking the two day written exam prep this weekend in Phoenix, http://www.aviationseminars.com/. I've been researching the accelerated training programs (most require the written exam passed prior to arrival). I've heard good things about, http://www.gatts.org/ and mixed reviews about, www.iflyifr.com/ There are others out there that I'm still researching anyone have any suggestions?

-- Eric Whiteman, September 23, 2009

I always thought that the accelerated training offered by www.russellaviation.com looked like it would be a blast, but I plan to do mine locally. I'm trying to work it out where I can average 5 hours of training a week.

-- Eric Boyer, September 23, 2009

It took me 35 hours of instrument time in addition to the 5.5 of instrument time i had from my ppl. I spread this over ten months. But this was combined with an additional 60 hours flown VFR without instruction during this period. Some of the VFR was practicing approaches and holds on my own VFR just to reinforce what I learned under the hood. I think flying often is the key to performing well in IFR and on the check ride. No sim time.

-- Fred Rohlfing, October 7, 2009

I live in SouthAmerica and the accelerated instrument course sounds like a great alternative to getting the rating here over a long period of time with instructors without any syllabus or course structure. If someone has any good or bad experience to share on this companies that provide this courses, please share them, as Im basing my decision on what I can read about them and the contacts I make with them.

-- Martin Antranik, November 24, 2009