Adding an instrument rating to your flight instructor certificate allows you to provide instrument training for the issuance of an instrument rating, a type rating not limited to VFR, or the instrument training required for commercial pilot and airline transport pilot certificate. The flight instructor certificate alone does not offer these privileges.

In order to provide the instrument training described above, a flight instructor must hold an instrument rating on both his or her pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate that is appropriate to the category and class of aircraft used.

Instrument Flight Instructor Ground Training

An instrument flight instructor is expected to have extensive knowledge of instrument flying. Since instrument flight instructor candidates already have an instrument rating on their pilot certificate, they already have a knowledge base. Ground training will be a lot of review with emphasis on how to teach the material.

You may accomplish the ground training requirements for the instrument flight instructor rating through one-on-one ground instruction, a home study course, a ground school class, or a combination of the above.

Instrument instructor candidates need to use and be familiar with several official FAA publications.

Instrument Flight Instructor Flight Training

Instrument flight instructor candidates will fly IFR maneuvers and procedures from the instructor’s seat of the airplane. They will practice teaching as their instructor simulates being a student.

Candidates who are instrument current and proficient will have an advantage in training. Less time will need to be spent on polishing flight skills and knowledge, so training will progress more quickly.

Instrument flight instructor certificate training requirements are outlined in the FAR/AIM.

Eligibility for an Instrument Flight Instructor Rating:

Assuming the candidate already has a flight instructor certificate, the instrument flight instructor rating is considered an “additional flight instructor rating.” Therefore, the candidate does not need to take another knowledge test on the fundamentals of instruction or the flight instructor knowledge test.

A candidate for an add-on instrument flight instructor rating must:

  1. Possess an instrument rating on his/her pilot certificate
  2. Pass the instrument flight instructor knowledge test
  3. Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation required for an instrument flight instructor
  4. Pass the instrument flight instructor practical test

Required Aeronautical Knowledge:

You must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor on the aeronautical knowledge areas for the instrument rating applicable to the category for which instrument flight instructor privileges are sought.

Required Flight Proficiency:

You must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor that includes the following areas of operation:

  1. Fundamentals of instructing
  2. Technical subject areas
  3. Preflight preparation
  4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight
  5. Air traffic control clearances and procedures
  6. Flight by reference to instruments
  7. Navigation aids
  8. Instrument approach procedures
  9. Emergency operations
  10. Postflight procedures

Required Aeronautical Experience:

There are no specific flight experience requirements for flight instructors. Instrument flight instructors must meet the proficiency standards above. The only time requirement is that an instrument instructor candidate must have least 15 hours of pilot-in-command time in the category and class of aircraft appropriate to the flight instructor certificate and rating sought.

Completion time varies based on how often you train, how quickly you learn, how well you study at home, etc. We recommend you schedule at least one session per week, with two or three being more ideal for making steady progress and completing the program in fewer hours.