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 JLS Aviation, we utilize the Jeppesen Instrument/Commercial syllabus, so you can expect the 40 hours of instrument time to be instructor time.
  • Under Part 141, a pilot must received at least 35 hours of instrument instruction. The requirement for cross country time is not part of the Part 141 course. Instruction under Part 141 must be in a JLS Aviation aircraft that is certified for instrument flight.

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 JLS Aviation, 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 $115 $60 GNS-430W (IFR Certified)
C-172M $134 $60 GNS-430W (IFR Certified)
C-172N $134 $60 GNS-530 Pending
P28-151 $130 $60 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 and a student who applies under Part 141. Note that the below costs are indicative of a C-172 or P28 aircraft.

Item Sub Item

Part 61 


Part 141


Dual Instruction  Plane 52 $6968 46 $6164
  Instructor 52 $3120 46 $2760
Ground Instruction Instructor 8 $480 15 $900
  Pre and Post 10 $600 10 $600
Ground School     $260   $260
PIC X/C Time          
  Charts   $30   $30
Class III Medical     $125   $125
Written Test     $165   $165
Practical Test Examiner   $500   $500
  Aircraft  1.5 $201  1.5 $201
Total Cost   54 hrs  $12,449 46 hrs  $11,705



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 for either Part 61 or Part 141. 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 $100 (including CFI-I) per hour.


Earning a pilot's certificate is a thrilling experience as well as a significant accomplishment. It is also expensive. Should financing be needed, we are registered with Pilot Finance. You should contact them directly for information about your specific needs.