What Is an Instrument Rating and why do I need it?


Now that you have your private rating, the next stop on the road to becoming a professional helicopter pilot is receiving your instrument rating. An instrument rating allows you to fly an appropriately equipped and approved helicopter without external visual reference to the ground. In other words, you, as a pilot, would be rated to fly through the clouds in “Instrument Meteorological Conditions” (IMC) under “Instrument Flight Rules” (IFR).


In your instrument training you will achieve a greater understanding of the aircraft and gain a deeper knowledge of how the instruments within the helicopter operate. Why do you need this? There are several reasons why it is prudent to get an instrument rating after your receiving your private. If you are on the road to becoming a professional pilot, it would be the most efficient use of your hours. Once you receive your Private License, you will need between 90-110 hours of flight to receive your Commercial License. You don’t need 90-100 hours of flight time to prepare for your Commercial so it is prudent to fulfill some of these hour requirements by training for your instrument rating.