An Instrument Rating refers to the qualifications that a pilot must have in order to fly under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules).

It requires additional training and instruction beyond what is required for a Private Pilot certificate, including rules and procedures specific to instrument flying, additional instruction in meteorology, and more intensive training in flight solely by reference to instruments.


Testing consists of a written exam and a practical test (known more commonly as the check ride). The check ride is divided into an oral component to verify that the applicant understands the theory of instrument flying and an actual flight to ensure the pilot possesses the practical skills required for safe IFR flight.

For most private pilots, the most significant value of flying under IFR is the ability to fly in instrument meteorological conditions (such as inside clouds). Securing an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) rating is an important milestone in a pilot’s training.

The Transport Canada requirements for an Instrument Rating after completing the Private Pilot Licence include

  • Minimum of 50 hours cross-country pilot-in-command (PIC) time
  • 40 hours instrument time of which a maximum of 20 hours may be done in an approved flight simulator like our REDBIRD FMX simulator
  • The 40 hours of instrument time shall include a 100nm cross-country flight in actual or simulated IFR conditions with approaches to minima at two (2) separate locations
  • Transport Canada written exam – 70% pass mark

In addition to providing initial IFR training, GHA can provide IFR rated pilots with the ability to maintain currency.

In support of your instrument training, GHA operates a state of the art RedBird FMX Full Motion flight simulator. The Redbird FMX is a high-quality, feature-rich motion Advance Aviation Training Device (AATD) with standard features that are anything but standard, such as wrap-around visuals, a fully enclosed cockpit, reconfigurable construction, and of course a motion platform. The FMX serves up a level of realism that is simply unavailable in other training devices on the market.

The cost to the pilot for time in a simulator is approximately 50% of the rate of an airplane and as such, is a much more cost effective way for pilots to obtain and maintain ratings.