Instrument Meteorological Rating

An IMC rating is an invaluable aid to all pilots whether fresh from the PPL course or a seasoned weekend local daytripper. Providing the necessary understanding of many of the ubiquitous radio navigational equipment that most modern light aircraft are fitted with as standard these days. This equipment will give any pilot the confidence to explore far and wide secure in the knowledge that navigation in unfamiliar territory can be precise, safe and uncompromised.

What's involved?

The IMC rating is a minimum of 15 hours of dual training and a test. The training will be conducted in simulated instrument conditions, starting with the basic general handling skills on instruments straight and level flight, climbing, descending, turning. Then onto use of the radio navigational equipment, such as VOR, ADF, DME, VDF, RADAR. With these mastered, procedural let downs to your home airfield will take up much of the course, combined with using the skills already gained to navigate the local area. Partial and limited instrument panel work, with recovery from unusual attitudes will prepare you your for the test.

Are there any exams?

Yes, there is one written test of the 'multi-choice' type, produced by the CAA but administered and marked at Southend.

Preparation is by arranged Groundschool and self-study.

Plus a flying test with an authorised examiner.

Age limits

No age limits apply, however you must hold a PPL, and have completed 10 hours as pilot in command since holding a licence.

Medical requirements

A valid Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate is required.

Authorised medical examiners are listed on the CAA web page CAA Medical Examiner search

Weather restrictions

Good visibility and no cloud is not so important. Low cloud down to 1000' should not prevent a lesson, nor indeed visibility down to 1500m. However strong winds can sometimes restrict operations. You are advised to 'phone us before setting out for the airfield to check the conditions.

How long will it take?

This necessarily is governed by aptitude, personal commitments, weather, and of course funds. Intensive courses are possible and occasionally people do complete in a month, though a more leisurely pace is usual (typically 6-8 months) when moulded around your domestic schedule. Although 15 hours are the minimum, most people do take longer.

How much will it cost?

Course price and aircraft hire rates are available on request. It is important to bear in mind that 15 hours is a minimum requirement, extra hours will be charged pro-rata. All our prices include VAT where applicable. Discounts are available for students who are prepared to pay lump sum payments towards flying. Conditions apply.

Maintaining your licence privileges

Your IMC rating is valid for 25 months and is revalidated by test with an authorised examiner.

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Phone 01702 545198 for booking


Telephone: 01702 545198 ~ Fax: 01702 543756 ~ Email:

Southend Flying Club ~ Established since 1968 ~ CAA Approved Courses