Instrument Rating

An instrument rating is the final weapon in any pilot's armoury of skills required to enable flight in all airspace all over the world. It does not come easily, but once you have earned the rating you will be a valuable commodity for any airline. Southend Flying Club can provide the necessary training for both multi and single engine IR's, and with our in house IRE renewals and revalidations are quickly arranged.

What's involved?

An approved course of flying is required, a minimum of 55 hours for a multi IR (50 for single). The course will comprehensively teach you the necessary skills to handle a single pilot operation in controlled airspace under Instrument Flying Rules. General handling skills on instruments, emergency procedures, procedural let-downs, and holds along with airways route flying will provide you with a variety of topics to master.

Are there any exams?

Yes, these are of the 'multi-choice' type, produced by the EASA but administered by the CAA. Entry to these examinations can only follow attendence of an approved school either by distance learning or from full time study.

A flying test will mark the end of the flying course, and issue of the rating you will have worked very hard for.

Age limits

Minimum age to hold a PPL is 17, and a CPL is 18.

Pre-entry Requirements?

No specific pre-entry requirements other than medical and theoretical knowledge.

Medical requirements

And you are strongly advised to ensure that you are medically fit for the licence you are seeking before you embark on any courses. An initial Class I can be obtained at Gatwick, renewals can be arranged with an authorised medical examiner.

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

Weather restrictions

Low cloud and 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 desirable and occasionally people do complete in a month, though at a more leisurely pace 6-8 months when moulded around your domestic schedule.

How much will it cost?

Course price and aircraft hire rates are available on request.

Maintaining your IR privileges

Your rating will be valid for 12 months, renewed or revalidated with a Instrument Rating test flight. This can be easily arranged at Southend Flying Club, with our in house Instrument Rating 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