UK IMC Rating / IR (Restricted)

The UK Instrument Meteorological Conditions Rating, although limited to use in the UK and with more restricted privileges than an Instrument Rating, allows the holder to operate under IFR in certain classes of airspace, and to fly instrument approach procedures. Not only does it provide you with more options, should you get caught out by the British weather, but it will also improve your general flying skills. It can also allow you to operate more safely on days with marginal weather, when other VFR traffic may be concentrated at lower levels.

The UK IMC Rating can still currently be added to an EASA Licence as an “Instrument Rating (Restricted)”. Anyone with an existing rating will be able to keep it indefinitely, but new applications may not be accepted in future, if notice is given of such a change.

The Basics…

The UK IMC Rating (or IR(R)), allows the holder to operate UK registered aircraft, under IFR and in UK uncontrolled, or Class D/E airspace. They can also conduct instrument approach procedures down to the published minima.

The course consists of a minimum of 15 hours flying, a Flight Test and a single, multiple-choice, theory exam. The rating itself is valid for 25 months at a time.

Before you start…

Flying Experience

You must have achieved the following in order to add an IMC Rating to your licence:
Icon25 hours total experience following PPL issue
(this may include the IMC Rating training)
Icon10 hours as Pilot In Command
(including 5 hours of cross-country flight)

Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence

You must hold a UK-issued Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence in order to be eligible for the issue of a UK IMC Rating.

What does the course involve?…


The course consists of a minimum of 15 hours of flying, including:
IconBasic instrument flight techniques
IconApplied instrument flight techniques

The hours above are the minimum legal requirement for the issue of a rating and the actual time taken to complete the course will vary, depending on how regularly you fly. We recommend that you take this into account when planning your training.

At the end of the course, you will have to pass a Flight Test before being able to apply for the rating.


There is a single written exam to pass, before completion of the course, covering:
IconPhysiological factors
IconFlight instruments
IconThe Aeronautical Information Service
IconFlight Planning
IconPrivileges of the IMC Rating

Most of this requires self-study in your free time. However, it is also supplemented by regular classroom time with our instructors.


We are currently offering IMC Rating courses for an all-inclusive price of £TBA. This includes student membership, 15 hours of aircraft hire, with all associated flight & ground instruction, all landings at Bournemouth, and the theory exam. The cost of the Flight Test and any instrument approaches are not included.

If you prefer to pay as you fly, we can provide you with an estimate of costs, based on our standard training rates.

While many people do complete the course within the required 15 hours, you must obviously reach a standard that enables you to pass the Flight Test. If you do need a little extra flying, this will be charged at our standard dual rate.

For more information about our training rates, please contact us.


If you’d like to know more, please contact us for a chat and to arrange a visit, or to book your course.