A Private pilot certificate provides versatility, comfort, and ease of travel versus travel via car or even airline. Along with it comes a sense of pride and a new immersive, close knit culture. Your new ability to travel faster than you could by road is one to be proud of and enjoy. However, as only a Private pilot, there are some limitations placed on your travel. The main restriction is something that all pilots are all too familiar with – weather. You are required to remain clear of those white puffy groups of water vapor in the sky, which in many cases, can be an inconvenient limitation to your travel or ability to enjoy your certificate.
Luckily, there’s an option to get around this. By adding an Instrument Rating to your Private pilot certificate, you can turn your toy into a tool. You are no longer limited to only VFR conditions and can utilize your certificate even in weather conditions which are marginal or IFR, meaning more flyable days and longer distances of travel. This means less restrictions on your flying, fewer cancellations and added confidence and skills.
One benefit of earning an Instrument rating is safety. By completing additional training with an instructor, a pilot will typically be more aware of weather, airplane performance, and more. They become more confident in their own abilities as a pilot and gain even more understanding of how the air traffic control system works which could end up being a life line in case of emergency on either VFR or IFR flights. If a pilot has aspirations to fly airplanes capable of operations over 18,000 feet (Class A airspace), an Instrument Rating is required. Additionally, a pilot who holds an Instrument Rating will generally have access to lower insurance rates.
Ultimately, an Instrument Rating is something that any Private pilot should consider. The advantages of earning the additional qualification will allow you to soar to new heights, become a safer, more confident pilot, and allow you to take full advantage of your certificate. If you’re looking to move onto a professional flying job, an instrument rating is a necessity. Regardless of your ultimate goal, the Instrument Rating will allow you to grow as a pilot.