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Instrument Rating

An instrument rating added to your private pilot certificate is your ticket to fly in the clouds and enjoy more reliable cross country flying.  We blend simulator time to learn your instrument scan and procedures and then fly in our IFR equipped Piper Cherokee or Archer.

Requirements and learning plan:

The FAA has the following requirements to become a instrument rated:


  • Be at least 17 years of age (16 years of age to solo an airplane)

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English

  • Hold a U.S. private pilot certificate

  • Hold at least a third-class medical or meet basic med requirements

  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements

  • Pass a knowledge test

  • Pass the practical test (aka checkride)

Is an instrument rating right for you?


An instrument rating is ideal for pilots that:

  • Seek to hone their skills and tackle the challenge of instrument flight.

  • Want the extra training to more safely fly in a variety of conditions.

  • Don't want to be left stuck by ceilings lower than personal or regulatory VFR minimums but conditions are such that you would fly into clear, excellent flying weather soon after departure.

  • Fly cross country frequently and want to be able to safely navigate routine weather that may prohibit or be unsafe for visual flights.

Some of what you'll learn and do:

Complete ground school (online + instructor): Upon completion you will take a FAA knowledge exam on aviation topics such as advanced weather, instrument flight rules and procedures, instrument navigation systems, etc.

Simulated and instrument flight training:  You'll fly under "the hood" or in actual instrument conditions (Piper aircraft only) with an trained CFI instrument instructor to learn how to scan instruments, fly under IFR conditions, navigate with instruments, and depart and approach airports with instrument techniques.

Cross country flights:  One benefit of an instrument rating is the expanded cross country capabilities and you'll hone your instrument skills on cross country flights.

Checkride preparation:  Once all the FAA requirements are competed, you'll begin to focus on bringing it all together. You'll work with your instructor to prep for the oral portion of your checkride and fly together to ensure all your flight tasks meet the FAA airmen certification standards for private pilots.

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Instrument Rating Training Package

Earning your instrument rating at Summit Flight Academy affords you options on pace and type of aircraft to train in, based on your budget, schedule and preferences. 

We offer an accelerated and flex training pace, in either a Piper aircraft platform. 

Simulator time, ground instruction, flight instruction and checkride prep are included in all packages.


What's included in our Instrument programs:


Simulator instruction

Aircraft flight time

Instructor Services, including checkride prep

Online ground school course

Electronic chart subscription


What's not included?  

 Third party fees: 

Your'll pay directly for your knowledge test ($175), and checkride fee ($850).

Pilot supplies:  

Generally few additional supplies are needed for instrument students. Most prefer to have their own view limiting device and a few other supplies that we'll help you address economically.  


Accelerated Instrument Rating

Our two week* accelerated instrument pilot training package is available in two plans with two aircraft choices in one of our instrument equipped Pipers.



FAA Knowledge Test Completion

20 hours PIC Cross Country Time


Financial plan:

$3500 Enrollment fee (due at scheduling)

$8,500 (due at start)


What's included in our accelerated package:

Dedicated scheduling over two weeks

Up to 40 hours of aircraft flight time

Up to 15 hours of simulator time

Instructor services, including checkride prep

ForeFlight Electronic chart subscription

Non-owned Insurance


*Contact Summit Flight Academy for scheduling availability on this program.  Significant advanced planning required. Two weeks of dedicated, full time effort is needed to complete this program.  You will complete multiple flights and ground school each day to complete the program in two weeks. It is expected that you will sit for your checkride at the end of the two weeks.  Advanced scheduling for this program is required in order to secure a checkride date and instructor/aircraft availability

Flexible Instrument Rating

Our four month* flexible instrument pilot training package is available in two plans with two aircraft choices in one of our instrument equipped Pipers


Installment plan:  

$3500 Enrollment fee (paid scheduling for month one)

$3100/month paid in months two - four)

Pre-paid plan:


(paid at enrollment, $500 savings)



What's included in our flexible package:

45 hours of aircraft flight time

Up to 10 hours of simulator time

Instructor services, including checkride prep

Online Sporty's ground school course

ForeFlight Electronic chart subscription

Non-owned Insurance


*The flex program provides you the flexibility to schedule lessons 2-3 times per week to earn your instrument rating. Scheduled lessons will be a mix of be ground, simulator, and flight lessons. 

Instrument Package FAQs

Why packages?

We offer our best pricing with these packages because it allows us to manage our aircraft and instructor workloads more predictably and efficiently.  They also offer you the best structure for finishing what you started.  Additionally, many financing options require packaging to structure a loan for students needing that option.

How often will I fly with these packages?  

Our Accelerated Instrument Program is a full-time effort for two weeks.  Our flex program is designed for 2-3 lessons per week over four months.

What happens if I don't use all my flight hours?

This generally does not occur with instrument training. However, in the event it does we will gladly roll those hours into another package or you may use them for rental purposes within 90 days of your checkride.

What happens if I exceed my allocated flight hours?

We really strive for this not to happen by providing average flight hours that are needed for the program length you select. However, in the event this happens we will provide you additional aircraft and/or instructor hour at an agreed upon discounted rate. 

What happens if I need to quit or defer my training?

Life happens, we get it.  If you need to defer your training you may pause payments and elect a future restart date.  If you have paid off your program, but have not completed it, your program remains valid for one year after the initial program end date. Upon restart, you may receive a new instructor and experience the need to fly additional hours to complete your certificate, but we will provide all hours originally paid for by your package.

If you need to withdrawal from your program, you will lose access to the preferred package pricing. We will bill you current retail pricing, plus a 5% administrative fee for all instructor services and flight time flown. Insurance, ground school, and Foreflight fees are, unfortunately, non-refundable. Any remaining money on account will be refunded within 7 days of written notice of withdrawal.  If your account is in deficit, we will need the balance paid off at time of cancellation. 


Piper Archer II

Are you ready or have more questions?

Call, come by our school or click the button below to start the enrollment process or speak to a member of our team for more information!

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