(NOTE: This part of a series of blog entries designed to provide you more inforamtion on becoming a pilot. To read previous “To Be a Pilot” entries, go to www.pea.com. Click on “What’s New.”)
After you receive your Private Pilot Certificate (see previous blog entry on this), you will next concentrate on achieving your Instrument Rating. This is an important step in your professional pilot training. You receive an Instrument Rating by attending and passing instrument ground school, logging a specified amount of instrument flight time, (some of that time typically in a simulator, such as a Frasca 141 Mentor, with your instructor), and then passing an instrument rating check-ride. The “instrument flight time” requirement means flying without visibility and relying on your instruments alone.
Though there is no minimum number of flight hours required by the FAA, achieving your Instrument Rating is a challenging process. Phoenix East Aviation provides 35 hours flight and simulator time (under a FAR 141 program) and 90 total hours (under a FAR 61 training program). If you are an international student, you will be studying under FAR 141 requirements; a dometic student may study under FAR 61 or FAR 141, whichever best suits his/her goals.
An Instrument Rating allows the pilot to operate under Instument Flight Rules (IFR), when visibility is limited. Without this rating, a pilot is significantly limited in his flying. A professional pilot must have this rating, typically for both single and multi-engine aircraft.