Instrument Rating

The Ultimate Navigation Training

Priveleges of an Instrument Rating

An Instrument rating is divided into four groups; a Group 1 IR is used for multi-engine aircraft, and a Group 3 IR is used for single-engine aircraft.


An instrument rating allows a pilot to fly an airplane capable of instrument flight operations into weather and conditions that are below that required for visual flying operations. Flying by reference to your instruments is significantally more challenging than by visual references, however, it is one of the biggest notches in the belt that a pilot can acheive, and the training that is included in the rating can be used to refine one's flying skill.

Training Syllabus

 In order to obtain your Instrument Rating, you must complete a total of 40 hours of flight time, including:


  • 40 hours of dual instrument flying instruction, including
    • 5 hours of dual instrument instruction time in the appropriate class of airplane for your group (multi-engine 1; single engine 3)
    • 5 hours of dual instrument instruction from the holder of a flight instructor rating;
    • 15 hours of dual instrument instruction from a qualified person specified by Canadian Aviation Regulation 425.21(9)*; and
    • One dual cross-country flight under simulated or actual instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) of a minimum distance of 100 nautical miles, wherein the flight is conducted under an IFR flight plan, wherein the route includes instrument approaches to two seperate destinations to minima.


   *The staff of GFTS includes instructors who meet this criteria. For more information, visit Transport Canada's website here


Bear in mind that figures are the legal minima as governed by Transport Canada, most students will require further training and / or practice in order to reach the necessary skill to be able to complete the flight test. Applicants for the IR who have previously earned other Groups of Instrument Ratings may have some flight time credited from previous experience.


All Instrument Rating students must be proficient in knowledge of such subjects as


  • Canadian Aviation Regulations;
  • Instrument Flight Rules and Procedures;
  • Meteorology;
  • Instruments;
  • Radio and Radar systems; and
  • Navigation.


Knowledge of the outlined subjects will be tested by way of a written exam (INRAT), which must be successfully completed (70%) by the student.


Once a student has successfully completed the minimum amount of flight time AND successfully passed the flight test AND successfully passed the written examination, the instrument rating will be issued.


Prior to commencing training, students must obtain their Private Pilot License.