For the aspiring professional pilot, or for the dedicated Private Pilot, the instrument rating takes you into the world of advanced flight, giving you the capability of flying, navigating and landing in weather conditions that would keep the birds on the ground.
You will have encountered the basics of instrument flight during your night rating training, and these 10 hours of instrument time are counted towards your Instrument Rating training. From this base, you now learn radio navigation, controlled airspace communication, holding procedures, en-route risk management, approach and go-around procedures, transition to visual and landing in reduced visibility. Abnormalities and emergencies are continuously introduced and appropriate behavior is emphasized.
Requirements for the issue of an Instrument Rating:
1. Hold a valid Private Pilots’ License (PPL) with a night rating.
2. Have a Class 1 medical.
3. Pass the SA-CAA required examinations.
4. Completed 50 hours of cross country time as pilot in command (PIC).
5. Complete a minimum of 40 hours of instrument flight time, 20 of which may be completed on approved simulators. If a multi-engine instrument rating is sought, a minimum of 5 hours instrument flight time must be acquired in a multi-engine aircraft.
6. Pass a practical flight test, conducted by a Grade One Designated Flight Examiner (DFE).
7. Be the holder of a General Radio Telephony license.
8. Make the relevant application to the SA-CAA, pay the required fee, and your license will be endorsed accordingly.
It is worth mentioning that the effort required for the PPL instrument exams is almost as involved as completing the full CPL exams, and thus the general tendency is to opt for the commercial rating from the outset.
There are considerable restrictions placed on operating single engine aircraft in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), and the result is a requirement for a Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (ME IR), which is essentially similar to the above, but must include a Multi-Engine Rating, at least five hours of instrument flight on a ME aircraft, and the final flight test on this aircraft type.