You will need an instrument rating attached to your licence if you want to fly under instrument flight rules. The instrument rating enables you to fly the aircraft solely with reference to the in-cockpit instrumentation. This means you will be able to fly in cloud and other circumstances of reduced visibility.
You can complete an IR for the following aircraft categories:
Once you have completed you IR, you will be able to fly under IFR with a minimum decision height of 200 feet (60 m) on instrument approach procedures.
You need to have met certain pre-requisite requirements. These are explained below.
You will need to hold a current and valid Class 1 Part medical or Class 2 medical with a valid audiogram to apply.
As part of the application for an instrument rating, exams will need to be taken and passed in the following subject areas:
This should be completed as part of a course at an appropriately authorised ATO.
In some instances you can elect to take ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations instead of instrument rating exams.
If you hold an instrument rating held in one category of aircraft, it will fulfil the theoretical knowledge requirements for an instrument rating in any other category of aircraft. The instrument rating must be issued onto an EASA licence for this to apply.
You will need to pass a skill test to demonstrate that you can perform the relevant procedures and manoeuvres to an appropriate standard.
For a multi-engine aircraft IR you will need to take your skill test in a multi-engine aircraft, and for a single-engine aircraft IR you will need to take your skill test in a single-engine aircraft. Multi-engine centreline thrust aeroplanes cannot be used as a multi-engine aircraft for the skill test.
Please refer to Standard Document 1A (for aeroplanes) and 1H (for helicopters), 7 A/H and Appendix 7 to Part FCL.
To gain an instrument rating by completing a standalone training course.
You must hold one of the following licences:
If you want to use the privileges of the IR (H) at night and you only hold a PPL (H), you will also need to hold a Night rating.
You must also have completed at least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as PIC in aeroplanes, TMGs, helicopters or airships, of which at least 10 hours must be in helicopters. However, if you have completed an ATP (H)/IR, ATP (H), CPL (H)/IR or CPL (H) integrated training course, you will not need to meet this requirement.
If you want to complete the helicopter instruction phase of the IR (H) course, you must hold the helicopter type rating used for the IR (H) skill test, or have completed approved type rating training on that type.
If your skill test is going to be conducted in multi-pilot conditions, you must also hold a certificate of satisfactory completion of MCC, or be MCC exempt.
All instructional stages must be completed in one continuous approved course of training.
You must complete at least 150 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction.
You must pass the relevant theoretical knowledge exams within an 18 month period.
If you hold an ATPL (H), the theoretical knowledge instruction time can be reduced by 50 hours.
If you have passed the theoretical knowledge exams for an ATPL (H) VFR, you will only need to pass the following exams:
If you have passed the theoretical knowledge examinations for a CPL (H), you will be credited the exams below:
If you have already passed the aeroplane instrument rating theoretical knowledge exams, you are credited with Human Performance and Meteorology at CPL level.
You must complete at least 50 hours of instrument time under instruction, of which:
The instrument flight instruction must include at least 10 hours in an IFR-certificated multi-engine helicopter.
You must take a skill test at the end of your training course in the single engine helicopter type that the training was taken in.
If you hold an IR (A) the total single-engine flying training requirement can be reduced by 10 hours. This cannot be used in place of the 10 hours instrument instruction flown in an IFR certified single engine helicopter.
Complete a minimum of 15 hours instrument time under instruction including recommendation for test in accordance with the approved procedures of the ATO, of which 5 hours may be in a FNPT I or 10 hours in a FNPT II or higher qualified device.
Holders of a current and valid IR(H) issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1, but with privileges obtained on single-engine helicopters only, seeking a Part-FCL-FCL ME IR(H) will be required to attend an approved IR(H) training provider. In addition to the 15 hours instrument time under instruction training, an applicant must comply with the Part-FCL requirements for an ME Type Rating and the Part-FCL SE(IR) to ME(IR) training course requirements of FCL.630.H
You must complete at least 55 hours instrument time under instruction, of which:
You must take a skill test at the end of your training course in the multi engine helicopter type that the training was taken in.
If you hold an IR (A) the total multi-engine flying training can be reduced by 10 hours.
This credit cannot be used in place of the 10 hours instrument instruction flown in an IFR certified multi engine helicopter.
If you hold a PPL (H) with a night rating or a CPL (H) the total instrument time under instruction can be reduced by 5 hours.
If you have completed the single-engine flying training for IR (H) and you are extending to multi-engine helicopters, you will need to complete a training course at an ATO comprising at least 5 hours dual instrument instruction time, of which 3 hours may be in an FFS or FTD 2/3 or FNPT II/III. You must take a skill test in a multi-engine helicopter at the end of this training course.
Holders of an IR(H) who want to extend it to further types must have an additional 2 hours flight training on type by sole reference to instruments according to IFR which may be conducted in a FFS C/D or FTD 2/3.
Holders of an SE IR(H) wishing to extend the IR privileges to an ME IR(H) for the first time should complete at least 5 hours training.
2 hours of training in a helicopter or using FFS C/D: at least 1 hour helicopter and at least 3 hours total.
A valid class or type rating needs to be held unless this
is combined with a proficiency check as detailed in FCL. 625 and FCL.625 (A) and advised in CAP1855
This page will be updated shortly to reflect these
To renew their privileges applicants need to:
If the IR(H) has not been revalidated or renewed within the preceding 7 years, the holder will be required to pass again the IR theoretical knowledge examination and skill test.
The UK CAA has adopted a derogation against FCL.625(d), see paragraph 5.3. The year period specified in FCL.625(d) commences from the date the IR(H) rating has expired.
The UK CAA has adopted a derogation such that where a pilot holds or has held an instrument Rating issued by a third country and that rating is compliant with Annex I to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the applicability of FCL.625 IR(c) and (d) may be based on the validity dates of the Instrument Rating of that other country.
The effect of this exemption is that to renew the IR on a UK issued licence:
Paragraph (c) of FCL.625 determines that if the instrument rating has lapsed, the applicant shall go through refresher training at an ATO, to reach the level of proficiency needed to pass the instrument element of the skill test in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL.
The amount of refresher training needed should be determined on a case-by-case basis by the ATO, considering the following factors:
Once the ATO has determined the needs of the applicant, it should develop an individual training programme based on the ATO's approved IR training course, Focusing on the aspects where the applicant has shown the greatest needs.
Theoretical knowledge instruction should be included as necessary. The performance If the applicant should be reviewed during the training and additional instruction Provided where necessary to reach the standard required for the proficiency check.
After successful completion of the training, the ATO should provide a training completion certificate to the applicant, describing the training provided. The training completion certificate should be presented to the Examiner prior to the proficiency check.
Following the successful renewal of the rating, the completion certificate and examiner report form should be submitted to the competent authority, together with the relevant application form if the examiner cannot sign the certificate of revalidation in Section XII of the UK-issued licence.
Licence holders, ATOs and examiners are reminded that examiners are only authorised to sign the certificate of validation in Section XII (page 5 onwards) of a UK-issued licence when the rating is still shown on page 4 (Section XII) of the licence. If the rating is no longer printed on page 4 (Section XII) of the licence, but appears in the section “ratings previously held by holder”, the rating is no longer included in the licence and cannot be reinstated by an
examiner. In those circumstances application for renewal of the rating must be made to the CAA so that the rating may be made valid by being included in the licence again.
An IR(H) can be revalidated within the 3 months immediately preceding the expiry date of the rating.
Applicants who fail to pass the relevant section of an IR(H) proficiency check before the expiry date of the IR(H) shall not exercise the IR (H) privileges until they have passed the proficiency check.
When revalidating an IR(H):
Cross credits detailed in Appendix 8 can only be used when both IRs are current and valid.
Credits shall be granted only when the holder is revalidating IR privleges for single-engine and single-pilot multi-engine helicopters as appropriate.
* Provided that within the preceding 12 months at least 3 IFR departures and approaches have been performed on an SP type of helicopter in an SP operation.
You will need to hold a valid English Language Proficiency
and your valid Part MED Medical certificate must be held on our UK database.
For all other routes, please apply via our postal
application forms with all other required associated documents listed in the
guidance of the application forms ( such as ID and logbooks):
If you are applying on the basis of training and testing conducted by a non UK approved EASA Part FCL Approved Training Organisation you must provide copies of the following:
If you are applying on the basis of a Third country ICAO licence conversion you will need to provide us:
Please ensure that your training provider is approved to conduct the training that you are undertaking.
We strongly recommend you check that your instructor and examiner hold the relevant privileges to conduct the training and any flight test, examination or assessment of competence that is being carried out.
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