Restricted Instrument Ratings (IMC / IR(R))

Ratings and further training

The full Instrument Rating may go beyond what you practically need to use. If you have an EASA or national UK aeroplane licence you can apply for a limited form of instrument rating. This is not normally recognised outside the UK but a lot simpler to obtain.

This is an Instrument Metrological Conditions (IMC) rating, which can be endorsed as an Instrument Rating (restricted), the I/R(R) on a Part-FCL licence.

Providing the rating is issued before April 2019 you can complete the UK IMC Rating training with an approved instructor and after a successful ground examination, flight test and application, have it added into an EASA PPL as an IR(R) – an Instrument Rating (restricted). This will have all the privileges and restrictions of a UK IMC rating, but will be valid in suitable UK registered aircraft whether EASA or non-EASA. The IMCR or IR(R) is restricted to UK airspace only.

  • An IMC rating can also be added into a national UK PPL, but cannot be used in EASA aircraft after 8 April 2014.

The course consists of a minimum of 15 hours, all dual instruction, with a written examination and skill test. The pilot must have completed 25 hours post-PPL flying before the rating can be issued.

Applicants with current or expired IMC ratings in national licences who wish to keep their privileges in EASA aircraft in future (from April 8 2014) are advised to convert to an EASA PPL before that date, claiming the IMC rating as an IR(R) on conversion. If the IMC rating is current, the IR(R) will be issued to the same expiry date as the IMC rating. If the IMC rating has lapsed, the I/R(R) will be noted on the back of the licence as a rating which could be renewed in future.

The privileges of the IR(R) allow:

  • you to fly UK registered aeroplanes in UK airspace
  • flight in IMC outside controlled airspace, (in Class G) and IFR flight in Class D or E controlled airspace with appropriate permission
  • flight out of sight of surface with a minimum take off and landing in 1800m visibility
  • Let-down and Approach Procedures to published Decision Height or Minimum Descent Height and to undertake missed approach procedures.