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Instrument Pilot Rating

Instrument Pilot Rating

Instrument Pilot Rating | CAU

Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

Training in California affords beautiful weather, however CAU utilizes IFR to the maximum extent during flight training.

The addition of the Instrument Pilot Rating to an existing private pilot certificate requires additional certified pilot training and competency in the areas of: flight operations in weather conditions, maintaining holding patterns, precision and non-precision instrument approaches and the use of cockpit automation.


Earn within first year of training

Students in the professional pilot degree programs can earn their Instrument Pilot Rating within their first academic year.

Ground + Flight Training

In a combination of classroom and flight instruction, students are prepared for the successful completion of the Instrument Pilot Rating.

Proficiency of Instrument Flying

Students master the sensory perceptions relevant to instrument flying, including the fundamental elements of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

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The instrument pilot rating also requires instruction in Air Traffic Control procedures to familiarize students with all classes of airspace and categories of airports. Students must become proficient in all the areas above to successfully acquire the instrument rating in California.

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Instrument Pilot Rating | CAU

Certificates and Ratings

Students in CAU commercial pilot programs earn the following certificates/ratings:


Instrument Pilot Ground School

During this course, you will become intimately familiar with the Instrument Flight Rules (IFRs). Employing the principles of Aviation Physiology, you will learn how sensory perception plays a role in successful instrument flying.

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Instrument Pilot Flight School

Here, you will accumulate the in-flight hours required for qualification for the Instrument Rating Practical Test. Your hands-on instruction will include all areas that are relevant to the test, as well as covering the Special Emphasis Areas indicated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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To obtain the Instrument Rating, you must first hold – or be concurrently obtaining – a Private or Commercial Pilot Certificate. The addition of an Instrument Rating to your certifications qualifies you to fly under conditions which require a greater degree of knowledge and skill, including flights in high altitudes and during adverse weather conditions. Those with this certificate can seek employment in multiple fields, including private and commercial industries.

Commercial airline pilots average an annual salary of $115,670, and the industry is expected to increase at a rate of 4% over the next few years. Other employment options for those with this rating added to their certificate include becoming a captain, first officer, line or charter pilot, check airman, or a flight operations director. Industries which hire those with an Instrument Rating include private and commercial airlines, governments, agricultural organizations, tour and charter operations, private companies, cargo carriers, and flight schools.

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