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Reasons to Get Your Instrument Rating


Four Reasons to Get Your Instrument Rating

Four Reasons to Get Your Instrument Rating

You don’t need to have accumulated hours of experience before embarking on your instrument training; in fact, you can start the day after your private pilot checkride. Almost 80% of our private pilot graduates come back to American Flyers for their Instrument Rating; they recognize the safety and the added aircraft utilization that being IFR qualified affords them.

So, with that in mind, let’s get started with four good reasons to get your instrument rating:


An instrument rating is not just a tool for flying in and around weather. Have you ever flown over water, at night, without a cloud in the sky? I took off from Meigs Field in Chicago one night. When I made my crosswind departure from the airport, the horizon completely disappeared. I immediately focused my attention on the instrument panel, a smart move that likely kept me from experiencing spatial disorientation.


Have you ever gone on a cross-country trip far from home, and on the day you were supposed to return, you looked out the window only to find that you couldn’t leave because of low ceilings? If you have, you know how frustrating a situation like that can be, especially if you have an appointment you need to keep. With an instrument rating, you can fly through the clouds and get on top, where the air is smooth and clear. Research has proven that instrument rated pilots have a better understanding of weather. NOTE: Scud running and flying into known thunderstorms or severe weather is never a good choice.


In a previous issue, Dr. Michael Bliss spoke about basic attitude flying, a skill that allows a pilot to better fly, and control, the airplane. During your instrument training, you will learn the skill of basic attitude instrument flying (BAI), which will allow you to better fly, and control, the airplane while relying solely on instruments. Using my example of flying over water at night, with good BAI in such a situation, your mind will be trained to focus on your instruments instead of ground reference. Even more importantly, you will find that your approaches, whether VFR or IFR, will be more stabilized, which will lead to better landings.


Owning your own airplane can be expensive, but insurance doesn’t have to be. Most carriers like to see more flight time along with additional education, whether that’s additional ratings, certificates, or proficiency training. With more experience, you will typically receive a lower insurance premium. Contact your local insurance company for more information.

Instrument training has been the heart and soul of American Flyers since 1939.

We have trained more instrument pilots than any other flight training organization in the world. We have programs that can be custom tailored to your schedule, and you can train in your aircraft or ours. If you’ve been putting off instrument training because of time or money, we have a ten-day program with financing options that will help you get it done fast and get it done right.

Don’t forget: when you do earn your instrument rating, practice! The best days to practice are days with good VFR weather. That way, if you find yourself behind the airplane, you can cancel and continue your trip or approach VFR.

Remember, know your personal minimums and fly safe!