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Instrument Pilot Training – Curriculum


Every lesson includes standard training items. Each lesson is divided into four parts: (1) preflight discussion; (2) in-flight training; (3) post flight briefing; (4) homework assignment. Each lesson emphasizes specific knowledge, skills and techniques. To keep the training simple, there are only a few emphasis items per lesson. Each successive lesson builds on previously learned lessons. Successful execution of the lesson’s completion standards must be met in order to move on to the next lesson. Students are expected to apply previously learned subjects and techniques during subsequent lessons. Not everyone advances at the same rate, and many individuals may repeat lessons in order to master the emphasis items for that lesson.

A progress chart is included with the syllabus so we can monitor your advancement through our program. When you meet the lesson’s expectations, you and your instructor will record the date and sign the progress chart in the appropriate box. The times listed for each lesson on the progress chart are estimated for our situation at Chicago Executive. Some individuals will require more or less time to complete the training to proficiency. The FAA requires a minimum 40 hours of Actual or Simulated Instrument time (20 of those hours can be completed in either of our two FAA approved simulators) and 50 hours of PIC cross-country time to complete the Instrument Rating. Depending on the student’s current flight experience, he or she may have already completed the hour requirements in order to meet the minimums.

A great deal of non-flying or “ground” subject areas must be learned (i.e., instrument procedures, aircraft performance, rules & regulations, airport/air traffic control operations, weather, navigation, etc.). You must prepare for an FAA written and oral examination. There are a number of ways you can learn about these subject areas (e.g., ground school classes, self study, one-on-one tutoring, multimedia self study programs, etc.). The ground time listed in the progress chart is an estimate if you and your instructor go through each item. However, if you do the homework, and understand the material, the time spent working on the ground should be significantly less. You and your instructor should decide on how you will go about learning these subject areas and set a date for passing the FAA exams.

We are proud of our training programs with which we produce some of the most competent, proficient, and safe pilots in the world.


Required Text

  • Instrument Flying Handbook – FAA-H-8083-15B
  • Instrument Procedures Handbook – FAA-H-8261-1A
  • Aviation Weather – AC 00-6A
  • Aviation Weather Services – AC 00-45g
  • Risk Management Handbook – FAA-H-8083-2
  • FAR/AIM – Current
  • Instrument Pilot Practical Test Standards
  • Aircraft Information Manual (Specific to Make and Model)

Optional Text

  • Instrument Text Book from ASA or Jeppessen
  • Advanced Avionics Handbook – FAA-H-8083-6

Required Equipment

  • Pilot Logbook
  • Current Instrument Enroute and Approach Charts
  • Current AFD

Recommended Equipment

  • Headset
  • Aviation style clipboard (Kneeboard)
  • View limiting device (hood or foggles)
  • Flight Bag (to carry charts, headset, knee board, etc.)


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