Shannon School of Aeronautics

Instrument Rating Costs

An instrument rating is sometimes referred to as a graduate version of a Private Pilot License. It is certainly guaranteed to make you a better pilot, a safer pilot and one who is capable of making flights that a VFR pilot would like to make. The actual rating you would earn is Instrument - Airplane, which accompanies a private certificate that shows the pilot is licensed to fly Airplane - Single Engine Land aircraft. The general rules require the following:

  • Under Part 61, a pilot must have at least 50 hours of cross country PIC time. The instrument rating requires at least 10 hours of PIC cross country time as part of the rating, so an instrument student should have or have plans to accumulate at least 40 hours of PIC cross country time when beginning training. Additionally, an instrument student must have at least 40 hours of instrument time, of which at least 15 hours of instrument time must be with an instrument instructor. At Shannon School of Aeronautics, we utilize the Jeppesen Instrument/Commercial syllabus, so you can expect the 40 hours of instrument time to be instructor time.

Aircraft Rental Rates: Aircraft rental costs have been fluctuating recently with the variable (and lately increasing) cost of aviation fuel. Be sure when you compare costs that you inquire about fuel surcharges. At Shannon School of Aeronautics, we choose to provide aircraft costs inclusive of all charges. The flight school is accredited by the VA. Eligible veterans may be reimbursed for significant portions of the instrument flight training course of instruction.

Aircraft Cost  Per  Hour Instructor GPS Installed
C-152 $130 $65 GNS-430W (IFR Certified)
C-172M $155 $65 GNS-430W (IFR Certified)
C-172N $155 $65 GNS-430W (IFR Certified)
P28-151 $155 $65 GNS-430W (IFR Certfied)



If you are investigating the cost of an instrument rating, there are two important factors you must consider.

  • You should be aware that there are no set costs for the rating. The cost of the course is based on how long (flight time and ground instruction) it takes you to learn the material and become proficient in the maneuvers required to pass the flight test.
  • You can have an impact on the amount of time it takes you to finish. The major considerations are the number of times per week that you fly, how well you prepare for each lesson, and the quality of your flight instruction. A good benchmark is to initially fly as often as you can adequately prepare for a lesson. Twice a week is usually sufficient for the rating.

The table below sums the general costs for a license based on the Part 61 student who has the 40 hours of cross country time. Note that the below costs are indicative of a C-172 or P-28-151 aircraft.

Item Sub Item

Part 61 

Dual Instruction  Plane 52 $8060
  Instructor 52 $3380
Ground Instruction Instructor 8 $520
  Pre and Post 10 $650
Ground School     $260
PIC X/C Time      
  Books   $225
  Charts   $30
Class III Medical     $125
Written Test     $165
Practical Test Examiner   $500
  Aircraft  1.5 $233
Total Cost   54 hrs  $14,148



The flight school has a Redbird LD 1000 training simulator. It is classified as an advance aviation training device and can be used for up to 40% of the instrument time. The simulator replicates a C-172 airplane. Used in place of an aircraft, the simulator could provide some cost savings, and in many cases can offer training situations that cannot be safely duplicated in flight. The Redbird costs $125 (including CFI-I) per hour.