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Pilots that want to fly in the clouds need to to get an instrument rating added on to their private or commercial pilot certificate. Most professional aviation businesses require pilots to be instrument-rated, anyway, so it's a necessary step for those who might want to become an airline pilot or corporate pilot. The ability to fly solely by reference to instruments in the aircraft means that a pilot isn't limited to good-weather operations. An instrument pilot can legally fly in the clouds, rain and fog, which broadens his or her abilities and keeps them in the air instead of on the ground during inclement weather.

An applicant for an instrument rating needs to be extremely precise and detail-oriented. He or she must be able to follow procedures and multi-task to a higher level than before. Since flying in inclement weather with no visual reference to the ground can be dangerous, instrument training requires a great deal of professionalism and leaves no room for mistakes or carelessness.

If you're trained well and take it seriously, IFR flight can be very rewarding. It will broaden your proficiency as a pilot, and in no time, you'll be flying among airline pilots and other commercial pilots!


To be eligible for an instrument rating airplane, the applicant shall hold a private pilot or commercial pilot license with airplane category and class rating