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Instrument Ratings

The Instrument Rating (Restricted) IR(R) permits flight in a wider range of weather conditions, such as cloud, poor visibility and out of sight of the surface.

A great way of building your skills along with your confidence, it will increase your potential flying time, given the UK’s often changeable weather and provide a new challenge to master.

What is the IR(R) (Instrument Rating (Restricted))?

The rating formerly known as the IMC allows you to fly under IFR and in IMC in UK airspace. The course will teach you to manage adverse weather conditions and help you to become a safer and more competent pilot. This limited form of the full instrument rating is not normally recognised outside the UK but is a lot quicker and simpler to obtain, plus for most uK-based pilots the majority of their time is spent in UK airspace. Alternatively, you can find out more about our full IR training here.

Instrument flying

Course Requirements

  • 25 hours total flight time following issue of PPL, including:
  • 10 hours PIC
  • 5 hours PIC cross country
  • 15 hours PUT as part of IR(R) course, 10 hours of which must be by sole reference to instruments

The Course

Instrument panel
Cessna wing
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 IR(R) skills test.

You can expect to complete around 20 hours of self-study together with some one-to-one ground school in addition to the practical flight time undertaken.

Choosing between the fully airways-equipped Cessna 182 and Garmin 430W-equipped Cessna 172, you can expect to receive unrivalled ‘real world’ IFR flight training.

Privileges of the IR(R)

The privileges of the IR(R) allow you to:
  • Fly suitable equipped aeroplanes in UK airspace*
  • Fly 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 1500m visibility.
  • Let-down and approach procedures to published decision height or minimum descent height and to undertake missed approach procedures.

*The IR(R) rating is valid only within the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. However, you may be able to exercise its privileges in other countries by prior arrangement.

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.

Brexit Transition

The IR(R) during Brexit transition

If you hold a UK Part-FCL PPL (formally an EASA licence but converted on 1st January 2021) or a national UK licence then you can apply for the IR(R).

Note: The Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) Rating, is endorsed onto UK national PPLs whilst the same rating is endorsed onto UK Part-FCL licenses but is called the Instrument Rating (Restricted) (IR(R)). The rating cannot be added to either UK NPPL(A) or a UK Part-FCL LAPL.

We fully expect the course, the rating and its privileges to be unaffected by the Brexit transition for at the least the 2 year grace period. More information from the CAA can be found here.

Please contact us to discuss individual requirements