IMC Training

Instrument Meteorological Rating:

An IMC rating is an invaluable aid to all pilots, whether you are fresh from the EASA PPL course or a seasoned weekend day tripper. The course will provide you with the necessary understanding of many of the ubiquitous radio navigational equipment that most modern light aircraft are fitted with as standard these days. This equipment will give any pilot the confidence to explore far and wide, secure in the knowledge that navigation in unfamiliar territory can be precise, safe and uncompromised.

Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) is an aviation flight category that describes weather conditions that require pilots to fly primarily by reference to instruments, and therefore under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), rather than by outside visual references under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). In short, this means flying in cloudy skies or bad weather.

What's involved?

The IMC rating is a minimum of 15 hours of dual training followed by a theory and practical flight test. The training will be conducted in simulated instrument conditions, starting with the basic general handling skills on instruments: straight and level flight, climbing, descending and turning. Then onto use of the radio navigational equipment, such as: VOR, ADF, DME, VDF, RADAR, GPS. With these mastered, different instrument approaches to a number of airfields will take up much of the course, combined with using the skills already gained to navigate the local area.

Are there any exams?

Yes, there is one multiple choice test, produced by the CAA but administered and marked at Stars Fly Flying School.

Our qualified instructors will provide thorough guidance and mentoring as you advance through the theory required for an IMC rating.
We can provide you with all the books and materials necessary for your study. If you wish, you can take advantage of the regular classes organised through our Ground School, which will be the perfect complement to self-study in the comfort of your home.

After you complete your course you will undertake a flying Skills Test with one of our in-house examiners.

Age limits:

No age limits apply, however you must hold a PPL. You must have completed 10 hours as pilot in command since holding a licence and prior to issuing the IMC rating.

Medical requirements:

A valid Class 2 medical certificate is required.
Stars Fly Flying School can provide a list of nearby authorised aviation medical examiners.

Weather restrictions:

Good visibility and no cloud is not as important. Low cloud down to 1000' should not prevent a lesson, nor indeed visibility down to 1800m. However strong winds can sometimes restrict operations. You are advised to phone us before setting out for the airfield to check the conditions.

How long will it take?

This is governed by aptitude, personal commitments, weather, and, of course, funds. Intensive courses are possible and occasionally people do complete it in a month, though a more leisurely pace is usual (typically 3-4 months) when moulded around your domestic schedule. Although 15 hours is the minimum legal requirement, most people tend to take longer.

How much will it cost?

Course price and aircraft hire rates are available on request. It is important to bear in mind that 15 hours is a minimum requirement, extra hours will be charged pro-rata. All our prices include VAT where applicable. Discounts are available for students who are prepared to pay lump sum payments towards flying. Terms and conditions apply.

Maintaining your licence privileges:

Your IMC rating is valid for 25 months and can be revalidated by a test flight with an examiner.
If you have an EASA PPL licence your IMC rating will be converted into IR(R) Instrument Rating - Restricted,
The IMC / IR(R) is only valid within the UK.