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Earn your Instrument Rating!

An instrument rating allows you to fly in a broader set of weather conditions. You will learn to fly inside clouds and in low visibility situations. You will rely on your training, flight instruments, and navigation equipment to get to your destination safely.

  • Online scheduling
  • Part 61 and Part 141 programs available
  • In-person or virtual ground school available
  • Traditional or electronic instrument panels
  • Get actual instrument weather experience
  • VA-Approved
  • Non-U.S. Citizens welcome!
  • Our maintenance team will keep you flying
  • Fuel and line service included

Privileges and Limitations

Earning an instrument rating allows you to:

  • File and activate Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plans
  • Act as Pilot in Command (PIC) in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).

Your Instrument Rating never expires, but you must have flown 6 approaches, a holding pattern, and tracked a course within the 6 months preceding the month of the flight. If you do not maintain your currency for more than 6 months you may have to do an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) with a Certificated Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII) to regain your currency.


Before starting your instrument flight training at Regal Air you you must meet the following requirements:

  • FAA-issued Private Pilot Certificate with an Airplane Single-Engine Land rating
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or pass a TSA-Required Background Check
  • 3rd Class Medical Certificate or BasicMed
  •  Read, Speak, and Understand the English Language

Students using VA provided funding (such as the GI-Bill) are required to maintain 2nd Class Medical Certificate privileges throughout the course.

Course Content

Ground Training

“Ground Training” is any training that is not performed in an aircraft, simulator, or training device. The purpose of ground training is to gain an understanding of the aeronautical knowledge areas required by the FAA and to prepare you for the FAA’s Instrument Rating – Airplane Aeronautical Knowledge Test (AKT). This includes topics such as:

  • Flight Instrument Systems
  • Instrument Navigation
  • Single-Pilot Resource Management
  • The ATC system and services
  • Federal Aviation Regulations regarding IFR flight
  • Meteorology for instrument pilots
  • Instrument departure, enroute, and approach procedures
  • Emergency procedures

We understand that everyone has a different schedule and different needs. We offer several options to complete ground training based on your situation:

  • Attend our in-person ground school in the classroom at Regal Air
  • Take our ground school via Zoom
  • Complete guided self-study with one of our instructors
  • Complete a ground school provided by a reputable 3rd party (Part 61 students only)

Flight Training

“Flight Training” includes training in an aircraft, simulator, or training device, provided by a Certificated Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII). The purpose of this flight training is to teach you the skills, knowledge, and judgment required to safely act as Pilot in Command under IFR and to prepare you for the FAA’s Instrument Rating – Airplane Practical Test conducted by a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE).

Course Stages

Our instrument flight training course is organized into three stages. Each stage concludes with a Stage Check conducted by one of our highly experienced Check Instructors:

Stage 1 - Fundamentals

The goal of the first stage is to establish a solid foundation in the fundamentals of instrument flight. This includes:

  • Normal procedures
  • IFR pre-flight preparations and post-flight procedures
  • Basic attitude instrument flight both with a full instrument panel and with failed instruments
  • Basic flight maneuvers such as steep turns, slow flight, and stalls while referring to your instruments
  • Navigating with a VOR, GPS, and\or ADF, depending on aircraft equipment
  • Using your navigation equipment while simulating flight instrument failure
Stage 2 - Instrument Procedures

You are introduced to and master instrument procedures during this stage. These procedures include:

  • Holding procedures
  • Instrument approach procedures using a GPS, VOR, and\or LOC, depending on aircraft equipment
  • Instrument departure procedures using GPS, VOR, and\or LOC, depending on aircraft equipment
Stage 3 - Cross-Country and Test Prep

In this final stage you will put together everything you have learned during ground and flight training by learning how to plan cross-country flights and managing emergencies. You will also prepare for the FAA’s Instrument – Airplane Practical Test which is conducted by a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE).

  • Cross-country flight planning
  • Cross-country flight procedures
  • Emergency procedures specific to the IFR environment such as system malfunctions, low fuel supply, airframe icing, and loss of communications
  • End of Course Check by one of our Check Instructors
Flight Instructors

At Regal Air we understand that one of the most important factors affecting the success of students during flight training is the relationship with their instructor. Although all of our Certificated Instrument Flight Instructors (CFII) are  fully qualified and capable of teaching you to fly under IFR, everyone has different scheduling and personality needs. We have a diverse team of instructors with varying levels of experience and backgrounds available to help you reach your goal of earning your instrument rating. 


The airplane you choose will have an impact on your flight training. We recommend choosing an airplane equipped similarly to what you will be flying after you earn your instrument rating. Contact one of our flight instructors to help you determine what is the best option for you.

The biggest question is whether you wish to learn in an airplane equipped with traditional flight instruments or the newer electronic flight instrument displays (EFIS). We have both systems available for use during flight training at Regal Air.

Traditional gauges have been used for many decades, and although they are slowly being replaced by electronic displays, they are still commonly found in many aircraft. Traditional gauges require the pilot to develop a consistent instrument scan, situational awareness, and smooth flight control that translate very well to the use of more modern equipment later on.

Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) are equipped with a primary flight display (PFD) which shows your flight and navigation instruments, multi-function displays (MFD) that show a moving map, weather information, airport information, and other flight information, and autopilot systems that aid with situational awareness, workload management, and increase safety if properly used. This equipment adds complexity to the flight training and may require additional training time to learn to use safely. We recommend earning your instrument rating in an airplane with this type of avionics if you plan to fly mostly TAA aircraft after taking your practical test. 

  • Cessna 172 Skyhawk or Piper PA-28 Warrior (Traditional)
    All of our C172s with traditional instruments are equipped with Garmin GTN650 or GTN750 WAAS-capable GPS navigation equipment. Some of them are also equipped with Garmin G5 attitude indicators (AI) and horizontal situation indicators (HSI). The C172 Skyhawk is an excellent airplane in which to train for an instrument rating. Its low approach speeds and simplicity allow you to focus on learning the fundamental skills required to fly IFR with little distraction.
  • Cessna 172S G1000 or 172N G3X (TAA)
    Our C172S equipped with the Garmin G1000 and C172N equipped with G3X Touch systems meet the requirements to be considered technically advanced airplanes (TAA). This includes a Primary Flight Display (PFD), Multi-Function Displays (MFD), and an Autopilot. 
  • Your own airplane
    Regal Air can provide you with training in your own airplane! Contact us about insurance requirements and if your airplane is a feasible option for training towards your instrument rating.
Aviation Training Devices

ATDs are great tools for learning how to fly an airplane under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). They can be used to gain a good understanding of instrument flight procedures before performing them in an airplane. We find that using ATDs during flight training cuts down on the flight time required to earn your instrument rating, reducing the cost. Additionally, ATDs can be used to simulate situations which may not be safe to simulate in an actual aircraft. ATDs come in two flavors, Basic Aviation Training Devices (BATD) and Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATD)

Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD)

Regal Air has a one-G Simulations Foundation. This AATD simulates a Cessna C172S model equipped with a touchscreen GPS similar to a Garmin GTN650. The FAA authorizes pilots to apply up to 20 hours of training in AATDs towards their instrument flight training requirements due to the higher fidelity of the flight model and the accurate representation of flight instruments and controls.

Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD)

Our BATD is a Precision Flight Controls C2 system equipped with a Garmin GNS430. This system is capable of simulating many different aircraft including complex and multi-engine airplanes. But its simplified instrument display and control configuration limit the amount of hours applicable towards an instrument rating to 10 hours. 

Maintenance and Line Support

One of our biggest advantages at Regal Air is the availability of line and maintenance support. Our large team of professional Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMT) ensures that our airplanes are in top shape and available for use when you need them. Our line crew tops off the airplane’s fuel tanks between flights so you don’t have to.

Course Requirements (Part 61)

Training may be completed under two sets of FAA regulations, Part 61 and Part 141. To complete the course you are required to:

  • 40 Hours* of instrument flight training in actual or simulated conditions
    • Up to 20 hours of the required 40 hours can be performed in an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) or
    • up to 10 hours in a Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD),
    • No more than 20 hours if you combine BATD and AATD
  • A 250nm cross-country flight under IFR
  • Pass the FAA’s Instrument Rating – Airplane Aeronautical Knowledge Test
  • Pass the FAA’s Instrument Rating – Airplane Practical Test

The FAA also requires a pilot to have logged 50 hours of cross-country flight time while acting as PIC to be eligible to take the practical test. Although our instrument rating course includes some cross-country flight training (about 10 hours), this is not enough to meet this requirement.

Course Requirements (Part 141)

Training may be completed under two sets of FAA regulations, Part 61 and Part 141. To complete the course you are required to:

  • Must complete our 30 hour ground training program
  • 35 Hours of instrument flight training in actual or simulated conditions within our course
    • Up to 14 hours of the required 35 flight training hours can be performed in an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) or
    • up to 8.75 hours in a Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD).
  • A 250nm cross-country flight under IFR
  • Must pass all the Stage Checks and Exams
  • Must pass an End of Course Check and Exam
  • Pass the FAA’s Instrument Rating – Airplane Aeronautical Knowledge Test
  • Pass the FAA’s Instrument Rating – Airplane Practical Test

Practical test eligibility does not require 50 hours of cross-country PIC flight time if you complete a Part 141 program to earn your instrument rating. This allows you to earn your instrument rating soon after completing your private pilot training and requires fewer hours to meet all the requirements. The Part 141 instrument flight training program is a good option for those pilots who do not already have 50 hours of cross-country time as PIC.

Part 61 or Part 141?

Which program is best for you depends on your situation. The main advantage of the Part 141 course is that you are not required to have logged at least 50 hours of cross-country time as PIC. That being said, many pilots find it advantageous to go out and get some flight experience on their own by flying cross-country and building up the required cross-country time. Additionally, you may be required to take the course under Part 141 if you are taking some form of financial aid, are a foreigner on a student visa, or plan to use the training towards college credit.

Part 61
  • If you are close to meeting the 50 hours of cross-country PIC requirement of Part 61
  • You do not have the required hours, but wish to gain the additional experience by building up the time while training for the instrument rating
  • You do not need the training for college credit
  • You are not receiving VA funding or other forms of financial aid
Part 141
  • You do not have the 50 hours of cross country PIC time required by Part 61
  • You are using financial aid, such as the GI Bill
  • You are a foreign student on a student visa
  • You need it for college credit 

At the end of the day, the pilot certificate you will earn is the same regardless of which course you pursue. The training you receive will also be of the same quality as we use the same instructors, airplanes, and curriculum regardless of which part you train under.

Course Costs


Regal Air works on a pay as you go system. There are no up-front costs to start flight training and you can simply pay for each lesson as you take it. We have a Premier Plan which can save you money as well as additional discounts if you make a deposit into an account at Regal Air. Please contact us about these options

Course costs vary greatly depending on the type of airplane flown and how many hours it takes for you to become proficient. Most people need 50-60 hours of flight training to become proficient enough to pass their FAA Practical Test, regardless of training under Part 61 or Part 141. A few steps you can take to keep costs down include:

  • Prepare for your flights and know what will be performed ahead of time
  • Use a BATD or AATD during flight training to cut down on the time spent in an airplane
  • Team up with another student to ride along and learn from each other
  • Use a personal computer simulator to practice skills taught by your instructor at home
  • Fly at least 2-3 times a week to ensure constant progress
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