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7 Things Every Pilot Learns During Instrument Training

There's nothing like breaking out of the clouds, at minimums, with the runway in front of you. Training toward your instrument rating not only makes you a safer, more confident pilot, but lets you use the full capability of the national airspace system.

Here are 7 things that you'll learn during instrument training...

1) Planning a descent, briefing an approach, and communicating with ATC, all at once, while flying partial-panel is something you'll end up getting pretty good at.


2) "We'll enter the hold with a parallel entry, I mean direct, uhhhh teardrop??"


3) Practicing engine failures in simulated IMC changes your decision making. Finding a landing spot is tough when you can't see the ground.


4) No, you can't just file direct from New York to Los Angeles. But once you're airborne, it's pretty amazing the direct routes you can get.

Jim Raeder

5) Planning your route around thunderstorms and icing conditions becomes a real concern once you start flying as an instrument rated pilot.

6) Even though you can fly an entire trip through the clouds, your passengers will appreciate being able to look out the windows every once in awhile. Plus, they're less likely to get sick.


7) Breaking out of the clouds at minimums on an ILS approach is on of the most rewarding feeling you can have.


What else did you learn in your instrument training? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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