Student and CFI flying in IFR conditions.

Instrument Rating

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Instrument Rating Training is available in

  • Southport, NC
  • St Simons Island, GA
Instrument Rating

What is an Instrument Rating?

An Instrument Rating is vital for pilots seeking to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), especially in challenging weather conditions where visibility is restricted. This advanced certification equips pilots to navigate using only aircraft instruments, essential for safe operations in clouds or fog and during night flights.

Instrument Rating training at High Tide Aviation, available in Southport, NC, and St Simons Island, GA, deepens a pilot’s understanding of avionic systems and enhances their ability to make precise navigational decisions based on instrument readings alone.

Training for an Instrument Rating involves a blend of theoretical learning and practical application, including extensive simulator sessions and controlled flights in actual IFR conditions. Pilots are required to accumulate specific instrument flight hours and successfully complete both a written and a practical flight examination.

This certification significantly broadens a pilot’s skill set, enabling them to operate aircraft safely and efficiently in nearly all weather conditions, thus making it a crucial step for any pilot aiming to advance their career in aviation.

Program Prerequisites

Before joining us, ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • Private Pilot Certificate: Already obtained from High Tide Aviation or another certified training school.

  • Logged Flight Hours: Must have recorded sufficient flight hours under VFR conditions as stipulated by FAA regulations.

  • Medical Certificate: Current Class 3 medical certificate, as issued by an FAA-certified aviation medical examiner.

Enrollment Process

Ready to take the first step towards your aviation goals? Here's how:

  • Review Training Goals: Existing High Tide students should meet with their instructor to review their flight logs, discuss IFR training goals, and outline the instrument rating pathway.

  • Advanced Simulation Introduction: Participate in an orientation session focused on our advanced instrument flight simulators and IFR training methodologies.

  • Formalize Training Plan: Complete your enrollment by formalizing your personalized Instrument Rating training plan with High Tide Aviation.

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Cost Estimates

Instrument Rating

*Assumes student already holds a private pilot license

Starting at


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  • 40 hours of total flight time (Cessna 172)
  • 20 hours of ground instruction
  • FAA written exam and checkride costs included
  • Required books & supplies
  • Custom schedule upon enrollment

Zero to Hero Program

Full-range training for aspiring pilots.

Starting at


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  • All-inclusive from Private to CFI/CFII/MEI
  • Full support at your selected training location
  • Customized training schedule

*Please note all prices are approximate and based on FAA minimums*

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