Adding an instrument rating to your private or commercial certificate will give you the opportunity to hone and fine tune your piloting skills, allowing you to control and navigate an aircraft solely by reference to instruments. This rating can prove to be invaluable to those who spend time flying in coastal cities, where visibility is regularly limited. For those pilots that hold a restricted commercial certificate, this is your opportunity to lift that restriction. Some other benefits to obtaining your instrument rating include better insurance rates, greater job opportunities and more freedom to fly when and where you need.
14 CFR 61.65 Instrument Rating RequirmentsHold at least a private pilot certificate Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English languagePass the required knowledge test in the areas listed in 61.65(b)Receive training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructorMeet the aeronautical experience requirements of 61.65(d)Pass the practical test on the areas of operation listed in 61.65(c)
14 CFR 61.65 Aeronautical ExperienceMust log at least 50 hours of cross country pilot in command time, of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes for an instrument-airplane rating and;A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument flight training to include: at least 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in the aircraft category for which the instrument rating is sought and 3 hours of instrument training from an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within 2 calendar months preceding the date if the testAt least one cross country flight of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC directed routing with an instrument approach at each airport and three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systemsFor an instrument-helicopter rating, at least one cross country flight of at least 100 nautical miles along airways or ATC directed routing with an instrument approach at each airport and three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems