Instrument Ratings (IR(R) & IMC)

Invaluable to old hands and rookie pilots alike, the Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) rating, which can be endorsed as an Instrument Rating (restricted), the I/R(R) on a Part-FCL licence, permits flight in a wider range of weather conditions, such as cloud and poor visibility. A great way of building your skills along with your confidence, it’s also likely to double your potential flying time, given the UK’s gloomy climate!

If you have an EASA or national UK aeroplane licence you can apply for this limited form of Instrument Rating. This is not normally recognised outside the UK but a lot simpler to obtain than the full IR.

Pre-course requirements

You must have had at least 4 hours of dual instruction in instrument flying, or satisfy the Chief Flying Instructor that your instrument flying is ‘at an equivalent and satisfactory standard’. In additon, The pilot must have completed 25 hours post-PPL flying before the rating can be issued.


The course consists of 15 hours of instrument training, of which 2 hours may be in an appropriate simulator. You will also be required to pass a multiple choice written exam and an IMC skills test.


Your IR (R) rating must be re-validated every 25 months, when you will be required to take a flight test.

Please note that the IR (R) rating is valid only within the UK. However, you may be able to exercise its privileges in other countries by prior arrangement.

The privileges of the IR(R) allow:

  • you to fly UK registered aeroplanes in UK airspace
  • flight in IMC outside controlled airspace, (in Class G) and IFR flight in Class D or E controlled airspace with appropriate permission
  • flight out of sight of surface with a minimum take off and landing in 1800m visibility
  • Let-down and Approach Procedures to published Decision Height or Minimum Descent Height and to undertake missed approach procedures.

To book, call 01223 373717 or email



Providing the rating is issued before April 2019 you can complete the UK IMC Rating training with an approved instructor and after a successful ground examination, flight test and application, have it added into an EASA PPL as an IR(R) – an Instrument Rating (restricted). This will have all the privileges and restrictions of a UK IMC rating, but will be valid in suitable UK registered aircraft whether EASA or non-EASA. The IMCR or IR(R) is restricted to UK airspace only.

  • An IMC rating can also be added into a national UK PPL, but cannot be used in EASA aircraft after 8th April 2018.

Applicants with current or expired IMC ratings in national licences who wish to keep their privileges in EASA aircraft in future (from 8th April 2018) are advised to convert to an EASA PPL before that date, claiming the IMC rating as an IR(R) on conversion. If the IMC rating is current, the IR(R) will be issued to the same expiry date as the IMC rating. If the IMC rating has lapsed, the I/R(R) will be noted on the back of the licence as a rating which could be renewed in future.