An Instrument rating is a vital rating for any pilot wanting to pursue a career as a pilot in the aviation industry. It can either be completed as part of your commercial pilot license training or as an additional rating once you have completed either a private pilot license or commercial pilot license.

An instrument rating will teach the pilot how to safely control an aircraft in marginal weather conditions (IMC - Instrument Meteorological Conditions) by sole reference to the cockpit instrumentation. Not only will this rating significantly improve overall safety but it is a necessity for any pilot wanting to be competitive in the job market.


The applicant for an instrument rating must:

1. Hold a valid pilot license issued in terms of part 61.
2. Hold a valid night rating, unless such rating is an integral part of the pilot license (i.e. CPL)
3. Hold a valid Class II aviation medical certificate.
4. Have successfully completed the appropriate training as prescribed in SA-CATS 61 at an approved aviation training organisation.
5. Have passed all necessary theoretical examinations
6. Have passed the necessary skills test with a SACAA accredited designated examiner.
7. Hold a general radio license certificate.


  • The applicant for an instrument rating must have completed at least 50 hours flight time as PIC, of which 10 hours must have been flown on the category of aircraft for which the instrument rating is sought.
  • The applicant must have completed 40 hours instrument flight training under instruction of which, at most, 20 hours may be in an FSTD approved for this purpose.
  • In the case of an instrument rating for a multi-engine aeroplane, at least 5 hours of the instrument training referred to above must be conducted in a multi-engine aeroplane and shall be additional to the training towards an initial multi-engine class rating. A maximum of 3 of the 5 hours may be completed in an FSTD approved for this purpose.


The holder of a valid instrument rating may:

  • Act as pilot of an aircraft in compliance with IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) and under IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) by day or by night provided it is within the limitations of his or her pilot license and particular instrument rating.
  • Carry out approaches and landings under IMC with the aid of approved approach aids and procedures.
  • An instrument rating is valid for a period of 12 months provided that maintenance of competency requirements for the associated licence in term of the regulations as laid our in Part 61 are complied with.

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