• 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:

    • Aeroplanes
    • Helicopters
    • Airships


    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.

    Before applying for an IR

    You need to have met certain pre-requisite requirements.  These are explained in the Instrument Rating pages.

    Medical requirements

    You will need to hold a current and valid Class 1 Part medical or Class 2 medical with a valid audiogram.

    Theoretical knowledge

    As part of the application for an instrument rating, exams will need to be taken and passed in the following subject areas:

    • Air law
    • Aircraft general knowledge – instrumentation
    • Flight performance and monitoring
    • Human performance
    • Meteorology
    • Radio navigation
    • IFR communications

    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.

    See the professional pilot training courses page for more information

    If you already hold an instrument rating in another category of aircraft

    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.

    Skill Test

    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.