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Instrument Rating Course in San Diego

Get Instrument Rated in Southern California

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Instrument Rating Training in San Diego California

Instrument rating allows pilots to fly under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). The certification enables pilots to navigate solely using the aircraft's instruments, crucial for flying in reduced visibility or challenging weather. Our flight school in San Diego provides instrument rating training in San Diego, California. The IFR (instrument flight rules) course, will provide the flight skills needed to operate an aircraft in a broader range of conditions (in accordance to FAR Part 91).

How to Get Your Instrument Rating:

  • Eligibility: Hold a current Private Pilot License (PPL) and medical certificate, and be proficient in English.

  • Ground School: Complete training covering aeronautical knowledge, IFR operations, and regulations. Pass the FAA written exam (60 questions).

  • Flight Training: Accumulate at least 40 hours of actual or simulated IFR flight time (this can be accomplished VFR with a safety pilot) for a detailed description of the instrument rating requirements visit 14 CFR § 61.65 (D). Additionally you will need 15 hours with an instructor and a 250 nautical mile cross-country flight with varied instrument approaches.

  • Check-Ride: Successfully pass a 1.5-hour practical test with an FAA examiner or DPE to receive the Instrument Rating certification.

Get Your Instrument Rating Certificate

Contact CFI-I Ivan Cibrian to Get Your Instrument Rating Certification in San Diego.

Instrument Rating Program Requirements:

To qualify for the program, ensure you fulfill the following prerequisites:


1. Private Pilot Certificate: 

To enroll in the Instrument Rating Program, you will first need your Private Pilot Certificate.


2. FAA Medical Certificate: 

Obtain at least a Third-Class Medical Certificate from an FAA-authorized Aviation Medical Examiner to ensure you meet the physical and mental requirements for instrument flying.


3. Instrument Rating Knowledge Test: 

You'll need to pass the FAA Instrument Rating Knowledge Test, demonstrating your understanding of advanced aeronautical concepts. Self-study by using Sheppard Air (Test Prep) - pay attention to their detailed steps and get ready to score 100% on your exam. 

Instrument Rating Course Highlights

​Key components of our IFR training program in San Diego can be seen below.

Instrument Rating Cost and Timeline:

The instrument rating course takes 4 to 6 months to complete. Fly SOCAL offers a flexible training schedule so student pilots can pick the time that best suits them. Open Monday - Sunday7am to 6pm, students can work on the requirements for their Instrument Rating any day of the week.

Instrument Rating Cost and Timeline:

Total Cost for Instrument Rating: $13,325 Not including the Cross-Country PIC required by FAR 61.65. Additional expenses: Headsets, online ground school, kneeboard, iPad, and foreflight subscription are additional (Roughly $1500).

The cost of the program varies based on individual progress and the frequency of lessons. The table below breaks down the projected cost of the instrument rating training (FAA IR ASEL).

50 Hours Dual
50 Hours Flight time
Pre/Post Flight
16 Hours
Ground Instruction
15 Hours

How To Earn Your Instrument Rating in California

To earn your instrument rating in California and fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in diverse meteorological conditions you will need to complete the following. After meeting these requirements, you can apply for an instrument rating on your pilot certificate.

  1. Find an Instrument Flight Instructor (IFI): Your journey begins with selecting a qualified IFI for comprehensive flight training (Like Fly SOCAL)

  2. Complete Training: Instrument training involves a minimum of 40 hours of instrument flying, applicable to various aircraft types, including helicopters.

  3. Understand Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Federal Aviation Regulations parts 61 and 91A, along with other relevant IFR operations regulations.

  4. Pass Exams: You must successfully pass a written exam at an FAA-approved center and a practical test (check ride) conducted by an FAA-authorized examiner.

  5. Logbook Requirements: Maintain a logbook documenting your instrument flying time and cross-country experience, which includes at least 50 hours of instrument flight time and 100 hours of cross-country flying.

The Best Instrument Rating Course in San Diego

Take advantage of our leading Instrument Rating course by calling or emailing Ivan Cibrian today!

Why is Instrument Rating Important for Pilots?

The instrument rating training offers beginner pilots their first exposure to the intricacies of the National Airspace System, radar operations, and air traffic control mechanisms. All important as pilots will be qualified to operate in the same airspace as turbine airplanes.


Holding an instrument rating is vital as it increases a pilot's ability to handle diverse weather conditions, ensuring safer and more reliable flight in situations where visibility is limited. For commercial and airline pilots, the rating is mandatory to receive your commercial pilot license. Instrument-rated pilots follow air traffic control guidance and flight plans filed with the FAA. To maintain their proficiency, instrument-rated pilots must undergo regular training every six months. Instrument Rating training is a necessary step for pilots wanting to advance their aviation careers, especially in commercial aviation.

Your Instrument Rating Instructor!

I'm Ivan Cibrian owner and certified flight instructor at SOCAL Flight School in San Diego. I have over four years of experience and more than two years of flight training. With over 850 hours of flight time I will be your Instrument Rating Instructor in San Diego.

My aviation career began at EVA Flight Training Academy in California, where I became a FAA certified instructor. I continue to enhance my flying and training techniques at Plus One Flyers in San Diego.


I have my instrument rating and now teach students on how to get their instrument rating. I train student pilots at Gillespie Field, and Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego

If you would like to learn more about my experience as an FAA certified flight instructor please visit my about me page.

Ivan Cibrian Portrait

Ivan Cibrian CFI-I 

Get Your Instrument Rating in California

An instrument-rated pilot has the legal capability to navigate through clouds, rain, and fog. It significantly expands their operational capabilities and remain in the air rather than grounded during adverse weather conditions. Those pilots wishing to fly in these conditions must obtain an instrument rating, which can be added to their existing private or commercial pilot certificate.

With flexible timelines and a comprehensive curriculum, Fly SOCAL makes it easier than ever to train for, and receive your Instrument Rating. 


Don't let adverse weather conditions keep you grounded! Schedule your Instrument Rating course with us today! 

Ready to Get Your Instrument Rating in San Diego?

Take advantage of SOCAL Flight Training's Instrument Rating course by calling or emailing Ivan Cibrian today!

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