Enrolling in a pilot school in the Philippines puts you one step closer to your dreams of becoming a commercial airline pilot. As a student pilot, you’ll gain the skills to operate an aircraft and learn the fundamentals of flight to ensure that you become a competent pilot when you graduate.
Although completing your flight training will allow you to start your aviation career, taking extra modular courses can give you a competitive advantage over other aspiring commercial airline pilots. One course you should consider getting is the Instrument Rating (IR) course.
What Is Instrument Rating?
Instrument rating is a valuable qualification in aviation that extends a pilot’s capabilities beyond fair-weather flying. Pilots who have completed the course have the ability to navigate and control an aircraft solely by reference to instruments, without relying on external visual cues.
By taking Instrument Rating (IR) course, you’ll be more adept at using the cockpit’s instruments and navigation aids such as the indicator, altimeter, and radio navigation. You’ll also gain a higher level of situational awareness, which helps prevent spatial disorientation—a common cause of accidents in poor weather. Moreover, you’ll achieve more precise control of the aircraft as well as equip you with the skills and knowledge to fly safely in adverse weather conditions, including low visibility, clouds, fog, and precipitation.
The Benefits of Taking Instrument Rating (IR) Course
Investing your time and effort in obtaining an instrument rating can give you access to a myriad of benefits that can enhance your career prospects in the aviation industry. It can also enrich your flying experience, making your future job as a pilot more enjoyable. Here’s a detailed look at the advantages of taking the instrument rating course:
Competitive Edge in the Job Market
The commercial pilot job market can be quite competitive, so standing out from the crowd is essential to ensure that you land the job. As such, adding an instrument rating to your resume signals to potential employers that you possess a higher level of skill and a commitment to safety. Airlines, corporate flight departments, and other aviation employers often prioritize candidates with instrument ratings. This is because pilots who have completed the Instrument Rating (IR) course bring reliability and versatility to their operations.
Increased Flying Opportunities
Since the Instrument Rating (IR) course gives you a better understanding of how the instruments in the cockpit work, you won’t be at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions when you fly. Even when visibility is limited, you’re confident in your skills that you can venture into the skies with no problem. This expanded capability increases your flying opportunities because you have what it takes to complete missions that would otherwise be grounded due to adverse weather. This also means that you’re qualified to handle international flights, where varying conditions and airspace procedures may be encountered.
Improved Flight Planning
When you become an Instrument-rated pilot, you’ll have a deeper understanding of flight planning that extends beyond normal conditions. As such, you can take advantage of airways and instrument procedures, resulting in more efficient routes and smoother operations. This skill enhances your ability to plan and execute flights with precision, regardless of weather conditions. It also allows you to explore a wider range of routes, including high-altitude airways, international flights, and routes through challenging terrain.
Mastery of Decision-Making
Instrument rating training will hone your decision-making skills to a fine point. By possessing the ability to assess and adapt to rapidly changing weather conditions, you can make more sound judgments even when you’re faced with making critical choices under pressure.
Mastery of the Art of Navigation
Apart from honing your decision-making skills, completing the IR course also enhances your navigation skills. During your time in the course, you’ll be trained to utilize a wide array of navigation tools and aids. Over time, you’ll master this level of proficiency, which can lead to smoother and more enjoyable flying experiences.
Safety is paramount in aviation, and instrument rating contributes significantly to it. By mastering the art of flying solely by reference to instruments, you’ll be a safer aviator. This is because you’re equipped to handle unexpected weather changes, navigate through turbulence, and safely conduct precision approaches and landings. This reduces the risk of accidents caused by spatial disorientation or loss of situational awareness.
The IR course also places emphasis on teaching you how to handle a variety of emergencies, including dealing with equipment failures, navigation challenges, and communication issues. This will ensure that you can respond effectively in unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, you’ll gain a heightened awareness of risk management, which is essential for making informed decisions in complex, dynamic, and often high-pressure situations.
Flying an aircraft with precision and finesse, even when the world outside the cockpit is obscured, builds immense personal confidence. Knowing that you can handle challenging weather conditions and navigate safely to your destination instills a sense of accomplishment and self-assuredness. This confidence can transcend beyond aviation and positively impact other areas of life.
While commercial pilots aren’t required to have an instrument rating, taking the course is highly recommended. When you choose to undergo IR, you get to hone your instrument flying skills and gain the confidence to fly in various conditions. You’ll also strengthen your resume once you’ve completed the course, increasing your chances of being hired by your preferred airlines.