The IMC - IR(R) Rating


This is a Formal Rating that appears on your Pilots Licence. Training must be performed by an instructor who is authorised to train for the rating. On successful completion of training and associated Flying Skills Test and written exam, you will need to apply to the CAA for the Rating to be added to your licence, with supporting documentation. The rating is valid for 25 months from the date of test. Revalidation or Renewal is by passing the Flight Skills Test.

The Instrument Meteorological Rating (IMC) is otherwise known as the Instrument Rating Restricted (IRR). The name depends upon which licence you are adding the rating to.

This rating (which is only valid in UK Airspace), allows you to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in any airspace except Class A, in cloud, and perform instrument approaches in suitably equipped aircraft to suitably equipped airfields to the Rating minima. It can only be added to a full UK PPL, or an EASA PPL.

It's a great rating to have as a "just-in-case" back-stop - especially considering the UK weather!

Our training is comprehensive, and prepares you not only for the skills test, but also provides you with superb good practice, and tips and tricks that make your piloting life easier all round.

We can also prepare you for the IMC-IR(R) written exam via our Easy PPL Ground School services. Click here to be taken directly to the relevant page.

It's also a great stepping stone to the Full Instrument Rating if that's your ultimate goal.

Training does not have to be undertaken within an ATO, nor at a licensed airfield, so we have more scope in these respects.

For those pilots already holding the rating, we can also provide you with additional training for further approach types - especially RNAV (GPS) approved approaches.

See below for further information.



Applicants for an IMC-IR(R) rating must have:

  • 25 hours total experience as pilot of aeroplanes following pilot licence issue
  • 10 hours as Pilot in Command of aeroplanes to include 5 hours as Pilot in Command of aeroplanes on cross-country flights
  • A Flight Radiotelephony Operators Licence


Training Required

A training course must be completed to include:

  • Theoretical knowledge instruction to pass the associated IMC-IR(R) written examination
  • At least 15 hours as Pilot under Training in instrument flying with an instructor in a dual controlled aeroplane
  • At least 10 of the 15 hours above must be flying with sole reference to instruments
  • Training for a minimum of two different approach types must be undertaken



You may take the Flight Skills Test and the written (theoretical knowledge) exam in any order.

However, the time validity for each are as follows:

  • Written Exam: Valid for 12 months for the Skills Test, and 21 months for the issue of the rating
  • Skills Test: Valid for 9 months


The privileges are as follows:

  • Must not fly as pilot in command or co-pilot of an aeroplane flying in Class A airspace in circumstances which require compliance with the instrument flight rules
  • Must not fly as pilot in command or co-pilot of an aeroplane when the aeroplane is taking off or landing at any place if the flight visibility below cloud is less than 1500 metres
  • Must not fly as pilot in command or co-pilot of an aeroplane outside the airspace of the United Kingdom in circumstances which require compliance with the instrument flight rules
  • Must comply with the IFR "Approach Ban"
  • * Recommended compliance with a minimum descent altitude or decision altitude of 200ft above the published single pilot IFR minima on instrument approaches
  • * Recommended compliance of an absolute minimum height of 600ft agl for non-precision approaches
  • * Recommended compliance of an absolute minimum height of 500ft agl for precision approaches
  • (* = The higher of all the applicable minima applies)


Course Syllabus

  • Theoretical Knowledge
    • Legislation
    • Human Factors
    • Instruments
    • Aircraft Systems
    • Weather and Aviation Forecasts
    • Flight Planning
    • Navigation Aids
    • Approach Plates
    • R/T Phraseology
  • Practical Instrument Flying
    • Straight and Level
    • Climbing/Descending
    • Turning
    • Airspeed Management
    • Engine Management
    • Limited Panel Exercises
  • Practical Navigation Aids
    • VOR
    • DME
    • NDB
    • GPS
  • Practical Approaches
    • ILS including Localiser Only
    • NDB
    • RNAV (GPS)
    • SRA
    • PAR


Remember that you are being instructed by an instructor with an enviable reputation for delivering results to you. Our personal objective is to make sure you land with a smile on your face. If you don’t – we haven’t done our job properly.

There are three options for our instructional charges; £50 per hour, £150 per half-day, or £250 per full day.

If you want us to come to you, just add our travelling and accommodation (at cost).

The aircraft costs are extra; you can use your own aircraft, hire from a training organisation local to you, or hire from a training organisation local to us.


Where can I do this course?

We are more than happy to come to you wherever you are! However, we normally operate in Essex, with relatively easy access to the airfields in the area. We teach (and examine) regularly (either as part of a club or freelance) at Earls Colne, Andrewsfield, North Weald, Duxford, Crowfield and Cambridge. There are numerous smaller airfields available such as Elmsett, Clacton, Rougham and Great Oakley within easy reach. Southend and Stapleford are also possible.


Which Aircraft can I use?

You can use your own or syndicate aircraft, which in some ways, is better since you'll become really familiar with it as part of the course!

If you belong to a flying club already, most organisations are happy for us to instruct in their aircraft if that's an option you'd like to pursue.

If you need to hire an aircraft locally to us, we have access to a variety of aircraft types and training organisations. Please feel free to contact us for more detailed information.