Instrument Rating (Multi-Engine IR)


About the course

An Instrument Rating (IR) will allow the holder to operate an aircraft according to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). To put it simply, it will allow you to fly an aircraft in bad weather and cloud, using flight deck instruments and radio navigation aids as the sole reference. Once the IR is acquired, you will be able to fly under IFR with a minimum decision height of 200 feet on instrument approach procedures, such as ILS (Instrument Landing System)  approaches, into airports, fly Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) and fly along airways using reference waypoints.

The start of an IR course can seem to be like a whole myriad of new information and procedures coming at you all at once, but rest assured this is normal and soon enough you will become familiar with it all. The good thing with IR is that there isn't much to learn in the way of new material, but more so the application of them over and over again in various scenarios. Adopting a good work ethic and discipline from the start will certainly put you in good stead for the rest of the course, which many say is a highly satisfying and rewarding part of flight training.

Our full list of ME-IR providers can be found here

Our full list of SE-IR providers can be found here

Course Requirements

  • A valid PPL,or CPL, or ATPL in another category of aircraft.
  • A valid Class 1 medical certificate with a valid audiogram is required to undertake the IR course. This is so that you are able to hear the aural idents for radio navaids and hear instructions from ATC clearly.
  • Be on an authorised Integrated or Modular flight training course.
  • Completed at least 50 hours cross country flight time as PIC.
  • IF you are completing an ME-IR course but don't have an MEP rating or Type Rating, you will need to complete the required training for the MEP rating prior to starting the IR course.

Course structure and completion

  • Theoretical knowledge course of at least 150 hours and exam passes in the required subjects, conducted at an authorised ATO. Alternatively, if you have all 14 ATPL passes then this supersedes the IR specific theory. If you hold an Helicopter IR then you are exempt from the IR(A) theory exams. 
  • An ME-IR(A) course must include at least 55 hours instrument time under instruction, of which: up to 25 hours may be instrument ground time in a FNPT I or up to 40 hours in a FFS or FNPT II.  A maximum of 10 hours of FNPT II or an FFS instrument ground time may be conducted in a FNPT I . The remaining instrument flight instruction shall include at least 15 hours in multi-engine aeroplanes.
  • The training course will culminate in a Skills Test conducted by an authorized examiner, which will cover all of the details practiced during your training.
  • If you are converting a Single Engine IR to an ME-IR, then a course of at least 5 hours instruction of instrument flying on MEP airplanes must be conducted, of which 3 hours may be done in an FFS or FNPT II. 
  • If you are studying via integrated, the IR flight requirements will be combined into the course and so by the time you finish training, you will have met all of the criteria.

What To Look For In A Training Provider

  • EASA or CAA Registered.
  • Is a PBN endorsement (Performance Based Navigation) included in the IR training.
  • Well maintained and serviceable aircraft, as well as availability, scheduling and regularity of lessons.
  • Qualified instructors available.
  • Are there adequate resources onsite for you to be able to practice instrument procedures when on the ground.
  • Pass rates of previous students at the training provider.
  • Surrounding airfields for practicing various instrument procedures and approaches.
  • Reviews from past students are important, to get a feel of all aspects of the flight school and course.
  • Compare costs between schools to ensure it suits your budget.
  • Student support to ensure that your progression throughout the course is as smooth as possible.
  • Ask for transparency on prices and packages, i.e inclusion of instructor fees, landing fees, fuel etc

For a more in-depth guide on what to look for in a training provider, click here.


  • Headset, IFR Chart - Jeppesen chart on iPad, Charts for appropriate airfields, Stationary including chart-pens, chart-ruler, protractor and compass, CRP-5, DP-1 ruler, flight bag, kneeboard, calculator.
  • Computers should be available in the operations room for you to fill out and file flight plans and also check RAIM for GPS navigation.
  • Hi-Visibility jacket, fuel drainer, small torch.

Tips and Advice

  • Good Airmanship from the start is key and should be practiced throughout your flying career.
  • Prepare well for each flight. Make sure that you fully understand your lesson briefs and have checked the weather, and understand aircraft checklists and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). Learn as much as you can from each lesson and review it during the post-flight debrief and before your next lesson.
  • Form strict discipline from the start, as it will stand you in good stead for the rest of your flying career, especially if you choose to transition to commercial flying. Familiarise yourself with and learn the procedures for flight.
  • IR is of course an advanced step up from basic instrument training and so your standards of practice and discipline should advance also in order to get the most out of training and pass the Skills Test.
  • The Skills Test is quite busy as there is a lot to get through in a relatively short space of time, especially if you are doing a Multi-Engine IR course. Acquire a copy of the test structure from your instructors and familiarise yourself with it as best you can so that you know what to expect. The IR test is very procedural, therefore if you stick to a well structured and uniform methodology, you will be a lot more confident and comfortable. It will almost seem robotic and very familiar.
  • Get into the habit of writing down clearances and longer pieces of information as this will ensure correct readback and help mitigate any RT errors.
  • Complete your aircraft checks properly. It's better to spot a fault on the ground rather than in the air!
  • ASK! ASK! ASK! . If you are unsure about anything or have any queries, ask your instructors who should be more than happy to help.
  • File your flight plans as much in advance as possible, as well as booking your beacon slots at your required airfields so that they're not all booked up.
  • Study the approach plates and procedures for different airfields you visit so that you can comprehend all of the information and apply it. Know what the figures and text mean i.e. minimums, missed approach, restrictions etc.
  • When doing Skill Test profiles (mock flights), fly a variety of routes so that you have a wider range of experience and exposure to various airfields and procedures.
  • Consider icing conditions that you may encounter during your flight.
  • It may sound obvious, but remember to fly the aircraft while doing the procedures. It is easy to become so focused on the holding patterns, approaches etc that you ignore vital parameters such as speed, altitude, heading etc. Keep that scan active as constant and consistent monitoring is key.
  • Always think ahead to what you can and should be doing next, especially during quiet periods such as the cruise. It will help manage workload and improve capacity - always be two steps ahead of the aircraft.
  • Practice your ‘RT’ calls and understand the standards using CAP413. RT is even more crucial during IR as you will now be flying in Class A airspace, conducting instrument procedures and approaches and dealing with clearances etc.
  • Practice the taught methods for Holding and become comfortable with the procedures and practices i.e. Entry, Triple Drift, Gates etc. Keep a strict discipline when it comes to timings and beacon tracking for inbound and outbound legs. Make Sure that you study the forecast winds well so that you are as well prepared as possible when you are in the hold.
  • For Multi-Engine CPL, you will also be tested on EFATOs (Engine Failure After Take-Off) and OEI (One Engine Inoperative) instrument approaches. Ensure that you know the new pitch and power settings and approach procedures for these so that you are not caught out.
  • For EFATOs, including OEI approaches, ensure that you practice and are comfortable with the procedures as this is a highly important part of multi-engine training. Remember to stay on top of your rudder control as well as your pitch and roll control. Follow the flows correctly to ensure safety and efficiency.
  • Ensure you are confident with your beacon tracking, GPS handling and flying in airways, as well as how to manage the FMC.
  • During the instrument training in lessons and test section, be clear and confident in your methods, i.e. Position Fix, Beacon Tracking, Compass Turns, IMC Entry etc. Practicing the elements which you learn in the lessons and reviewing them will ensure that you go into the test backing yourself to succeed. Using a flight simulator at home can also help you practice procedures.
  • Do your mass & balance and performance for your flight as this is a safety regulation.
  • Adopt good eating and resting habits by ensuring you have a nutritious meal around 1-2 hours before flying, and be well rested. Also make sure you have water and snacks in your flight bag.

Common Mistakes

  • Poor preparation for your written exams and flying sessions. Especially in the IR, make sure you are confident with the procedures and profiles such as Holding, ILS, OEI procedures etc.
  • Not managing workload properly and getting overloaded or distracted. Try and prioritise tasks and approach each one in a calm and collected manner. This will come with experience and good practice.
  • Not knowing Pitch & Power settings, or Speeds off by heart. This doesn't take long at all to commit to memory, but will prove crucial while flying. 
  • Getting confused with Asymmetric handling and flying if on a Multi-Engine aircraft.
  • Altitude busts and airspace infringement. You will be flying in controlled airspace and doing precision approaches. Ensure high levels of flight parameter monitoring and situational awareness at all times and don't get too focused on one specific parameter.
  • Losing the localiser or glide slope during approaches. Keep a full scan going and ensure that you are stable on the approach.
  • Not identifying the required navaids, or misidentifying the wrong ILS runway frequency (reciprocal instead of the active).
  • Misjudging the weather and having to return very soon after departure. Icing conditions are a major consideration during IR as you will be flying in cloud and at higher altitudes.
  • Wrong entry into the hold and misjudging headings and timings. Practice the correct techniques and don’t rush. Visualise it while on the ground so that you are more familiar with it.
  • Not knowing the correct RT calls. Ensure you know the standard calls and transmissions.
  • On a skills test, it is understood that the final half an hour can be a dangerous period where concentration can lapse due to slacking, ‘taking the foot off the gas’ and succumbing to ‘get-home itis’. Keep your focus and concentration and don't get complacent or lazy.

Next Steps

  • Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) if not already done prior.
  • Airlines/ Companies


Our full list of CPL providers can be found here