Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) Rating

An IMC Rating permits you to fly in a wider range of weather conditions, such as cloud and poor visibility. Obtaining your IMC is a great way of building your up your pilot experience and, due to the UK’s poor weather, it’s likely to double your potential flying time.


The IMC Rating is specifically for UK aeroplane licences. If you already have an EASA pilot’s licence you can apply for a limited IMC. This is easy to obtain, but unfortunately it’s not well recognised outside of the UK.

You can train for the IMC Rating outside of the UK provided it's conducted by an organisation approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
► Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) Rating Course Requirements

The UK Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) Rating is a syllabus recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). An applicant for a UK IMC Rating must meet the following set of requirements.

Flight Experience

  • 25 hours total experience as pilot following the issue of a PPL (which may include the training for the IMC rating).
  • 10 hours as Pilot in Command (PIC), including 5 hours as PIC of aeroplanes on cross-country flights.

Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence

  • Applicants for the IMC Rating must hold a valid UK issued FRTOL (Flight Radio Telephony Operator Licence)
► IMC Rating Course Structure

The course consists of the following:

IMC Rating Training

  • Along with an instructor inside a dual controlled aeroplane, you’ll need to perform at least 15 hours in instrument flying as ‘Pilot under Training’.
    • Up to 5 hours of this training is completed in an EASA-STD device (Flight Simulation Training Device)
    • Up to 2 hours of this training is completed in other FSTD’s.
  • At least 10 hours of flying is solely focused on instruments.

Theoretical Knowledge Examinations

  • You must pass a written theoretical knowledge examination covering subjects drawn from the IMC Rating course syllabus and the PPL(A) syllabus.
    • It includes questions on the planning & execution of a typical flight under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) outside the controlled airspace.

Flight Test

  • You must complete the training before taking a Flight Test. This is conducted by a CAA examiner.
  • The test includes:
    • Full and limited panel instrument flying
    • Instrument approach procedures
    • Bad weather circuits & landings.
    • Use of radio navigation aids whilst flying by sole reference to instruments
► Typical Cost Of The IMC Rating

A typical 15hr IMC course starts from around £2,000. It’s completed in 5 or more days.