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9 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Instrument Rating

Getting your instrument rating is one of the best and safest things you can do as a pilot. Here's why:

1) You'll have more situational awareness

Learning to fly in IMC shoots your situational awareness through the roof. And, you'll be more prepared for unexpected weather on any flight.

Pat Hawks

2) You'll understand weather better than ever before

Turbulence, icing, thunderstorms, and dozens of other weather situations can pop up on any flight. You'll learn how to understand and deal with it all.

Kuster & Wildhaber Photography

3) You'll be a pro on the radios

IFR radio calls can sound like a foreign language to VFR pilots. But when you get your instrument rating, you'll read back clearances and interact with ATC like a pro.


4) You don't have to worry about airspace

Is there an active MOA or TFR near you? ATC will keep you clear of those areas. You need to be aware of your surroundings, but as long as you follow your ATC clearance, you're good to go.


5) Cheaper insurance

Do you own a plane? Do you want to? Getting your instrument rating is one of the best ways to lower your insurance costs.


6) Fewer cancelled flights

Even the thinnest cloud layer can keep your VFR flight on the ground. IFR pilots can pick up a clearance and climb through the layer. Plus you get some awesome views on top of the clouds.


7) You'll be an avionics expert

Your avionics get you from point A to B, and back to Earth in one piece. You'll know every piece of equipment inside and out.


8) You can fly above 18,000 feet

VFR pilots need to stay out of the flight levels, but IFR pilots can fly through Class A airspace (18,000 SML to FL600). Many GA airplanes can go up to 25,000 feet, and an IFR clearance can help you catch some bigger tailwinds and take advantage of higher true airspeeds.


9) You can fly an approach to minimums

Because there's no better feeling than breaking out of the clouds and seeing the runway in front of you.


Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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