Instrument Pilot

If you are like most Private Pilots, especially here in Southeastern Michigan, you have had to postpone or cancel a trip because the weather was questionable. An Instrument Rating, added to your Private Pilot Certificate, provides you with the flexibility general aviation is known for. Even if you don't plan to fly in instrument conditions, the Instrument Rating provides an added level of safety. Through your Instrument Training you will become a much more proficient, precise, and therefore safer pilot.

Below you will find outlined the steps taken to attain this goal. Your Certified Flight Instructor will guide you every step of the way and be there to answer any questions you may have. We are pleased you have chosen Monroe Aviation and look forward to helping you achieve your goal.


  • Be at least 17 years of age.
  • Read, speak, write, and understand English.
  • Hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate.

General Requirements

  • Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor.
  • Hold a Third Class Medical Certificate (issued after a brief physical by a FAA Medical Examiner).
  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements.
  • Pass the required Knowledge Test.
  • Pass the Practical Test.

Flight Training

  • Flight Training consists of one on one flight instruction with one of our Certified Flight Instructors. Each lesson consists of approximately 15 minutes preflight instruction, 1 to 1 ½ hours of flying, 15 minutes of debriefing.
  • Each lesson is scheduled directly with your instructor. Prior to leaving, your next lesson is scheduled. We make every attempt to fly when you are scheduled. However, safety is our primary concern, and if weather conditions dictate that we not fly your instructor will contact you to reschedule.
  • The first several hours of instruction will be spent learning to control the aircraft with reference to the instruments only. For this you will be wearing a "view limiting device" (an instrument hood or foggles) so your vision outside of the aircraft is restricted. Maneuvers will include straight and level flight, steep bank turns, and unusual attitude recovery.
  • The next phase of instruction will focus on filing and flying an instrument flight plan, enroute navigation and the communication procedures for flying in the Air Route Traffic Control System.
  • Next, training will focus on holding procedures over a VOR or NDB and the procedures for flying the various Instrument Approaches (ILS, VOR, NDB, etc) into airports.
  • The final phase will be preparation for the Practical Test.

Aeronautical Experience Requirements

  • At least 50 hours of cross country time logged as Pilot In Command.
  • At least 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument flight time to include at least:
  • 15 hours of instruction from an authorized instructor
  • One cross country flight that consists of:
    • a distance of at least 250 nm along airways or ATC directed routing
    • at least 3 legs
    • an instrument approach at each airport
    • 3 different kinds of approaches with the use of navigational systems
  • 3 hours of instrument training from an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test given within 60 days of the test

Ground School

  • It is required that you pass the FAA Instrument Rating Knowledge Test.
  • The test is made up of 60 questions drawn from a bank of over 700 possible questions.
  • Passing is 70% or better.
  • In preparation for the test we suggest you participate in our Instrument Pilot Ground School.
  • Ground School consists of eleven 2 ½ hour classes
  • Information covered in the class will prepare you for your flight lessons, for the Knowledge Test, and for the final Practical Test.

Upon completion of the Ground School you can schedule taking your Knowledge Test.

Practical Test (Checkride)

At the end of your training your instructor will "sign you off" (recommend you) for your Practical Test.

  • The Practical Test will be administered by a member of the FAA or a FAA Designated Examiner.
  • The Practical Test has two parts: Oral and Flight.
  • For the Oral Test the Examiner will have you plan an instrument cross country flight, ask various questions about the planned flight, the Federal Aviation Regulations that might apply, the aircraft that you are flying, and some general aviation knowledge questions.
  • For the Flight Test you will be asked to demonstrate the maneuvers you and your instructor have practiced. This will include 3 different instrument approaches, a hold, intercepting and flying an airway, steep bank turns, and unusual attitude recovery-all while wearing a "view limiting device."
  • There will be no surprises on the Practical Test. Everything the Examiner might ask you during the Oral Test is contained in an Oral Test Guide and will be reviewed with you by your instructor. All of the maneuvers you will be asked to demonstrate are outlined in the Practical Test Standards and will be taught by and practiced with your instructor.

After successful completion of your Practical Test you will join the ranks of those who can call themselves Instrument Pilots!


Ground School-$260.00


  • 27 ½ Hours Instruction
  • Instrument Pilot Textbook
  • Instrument Pilot Oral Test Guide
  • -Instrument Pilot Practical Test Standards
  • Instrument Chart Plotter
  • Flight Bag
  • Flight Training-Approximately $6500.00


Many students complete their training in approximately 45 hours. Of this roughly 30 hours are dual instruction and 15 hours are with another pilot serving as "safety pilot;" for example:

Using our Cessna 172 (4 place aircraft)

  • 30 hours dual $4440.00
  • 15 hours solo $1470.00


  • Instrument Charts and Approach Plates-$50.00 to $100.00
  • Knowledge Test-$150.00
  • Practical Test-$150.00-$250.00