UK Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) Rating / IR (Restricted)
Learn to fly an ILS down to 500 ft QFE safely
Learn unusual attitude recoveries on full and limited panel
Flight training backed up with theoretical knowledge instruction

General

The UK IMC rating is designed as a 'get you out of trouble' qualification and not as a replacement for the IR

The UK IMC rating may not be placed onto an EASA licence. However, the UK IMC rating is equivalent to the IR (Restricted) which can be put onto an EASA licence. Once you have obtained the UK IMC rating you may apply to the UK CAA to have an IR (Restricted) endorsed on your EASA licence

Providing the rating is issued before April 2019 you can complete the UK IMC Rating training and after a successful ground examination, flight test and application, have it added to an EASA licence as an IR(R) – an IR(Restricted). This will have all the privileges and restrictions of a UK IMC rating, but will be valid in suitable UK registered aircraft whether EASA or non-EASA

The revalidation/renewal requirements of the UK IMC rating shall apply to the IR (Restricted) rating

The use of the UK IMC rating / IR (Restricted) is confined to UK airspace only

The UK IMC Rating / IR (Restricted) can not be put on a LAPL. Holders of a UK IMC Rating / IR (Restricted) who elect to regrade to a LAPL will have the IMC Rating / IR (Restricted) removed as the LAPL is a VFR only EASA licence

Experience Requirements

An applicant for an UK IMC rating must have:

(a) 25 hours total experience as pilot of aeroplanes following PPL(A) issue and which may include the training for the UK IMC rating

(b) 10 hours as PIC of aeroplanes to include 5 hours as PIC of aeroplanes on cross country flights

(c) a UK issued Flight Radiotelephony Operators Licence (FRTOL)

Flight Training

Completed at least 15 hours dual instrument flying training. Up to 5 hours of this training may be completed in an EASA-STD device qualified BITD, FNPT I/II, up to 2 hours of which may be in other FSTDs

At least 10 of the 15 hours must be flown by sole reference to instruments

Where an applicant wishes to be tested for the UK IMC rating on a SP ME aeroplane the flying training must ensure that when in simulated instrument flight conditions in a ME aeroplane the applicant can maintain stable flight after an engine failure at climb power, then climb at recommended speed and execute the normal range of flight manoeuvres under asymmetric power

The flight training shall cover the following items:

Basic Stage
Full and limited panel flight manoeuvres to include recoveries from unusual attitudes
Partial panel flight manoeuvres

Applied Stage
Pre-flight planning
Departure and en-route
Approach and let-down
Bad weather circuits and landings

Ground Training

A minimum of 20 hours of theoretical knowledge training covering the following subjects:

Physiological Factors
Flight Instruments
Aeronautical Information Service - NOTAMS, UK AIP, AICs
Flight Planning - Meteorology, Altimetry, Terrain clearance, Radio aids, Radar approach procedures
Privileges of the UK IMC Rating

UK IMC Rating Theoretical Knowledge Examination

25 multi-choice questions covering the UK IMC rating theoretical knowledge. The pass mark is 72%. The examination can be taken before or after the flight test

The examination is valid for 21 months for the issue of the UK IMC rating and 12 months for the conduct of the flight test

UK IMC Rating Initial Flight Test

Conducted by a Flight Examiner (FE) with IMC / IR(R) privileges or Instrument Rating Examiner (IRE) or Class Rating Examiner (CRE) with IMC / IR(R) privileges

A pass may be gained in the course of up to 3 individual flights made during a 28 day period. Failure in any part of the test will require the candidate to take the full test again. The flight test comprises of the following sections:

Section A - Full Panel Instrument Flying
Straight and level at given speeds, turns at a given rate and onto given headings, climbing and descending including turns, recovery from unusual attitudes

Section B - Limited Panel Instrument Flying (Failure of Attitude Indicator and DI)
Straight and level flight, climbing and descending, turns onto given headings, recovery from unusual attitudes

Section C - Radio Navigation Aids
Use of radio navigation aids for position-finding using one or more aids to include VOR and ADF/NDB, maintenance of a given track based on a pilot-interpreted aid for 10 minutes

Section D - Let-Down and Approach Procedures
Let-down and approach to minima, missed approach procedure using a pilot-interpreted aid, carry out a recognised instrument approach procedure to minima, thence the appropriate go-around and missed approach procedure

Section E - Bad Weather Circuits
Bad weather circuit following Section D, position the aircraft in the circuit at the direction of the examiner, to carry out a visual bad weather circuit and landing under specified weather conditions

Section F - Flight with Asymmetric Power (ME only) (see note)
Control of the aeroplane and maintenance of a given heading and asymmetric climb speed, following the failure of one engine in the climbing configuration at normal climb power. Identification of the failed engine and the completion of all essential drills and checks. Climbing and level turns in asymmetric flight as directed by the examiner

Note: Throughout Section F the examiner is responsible for navigation and ATC liaison. On resumption of normal flight the examiner will advise the applicant of the aeroplane position

Credits

The holder of a course completion certificate for the EASA Basic Instrument Flying Module may have the total amount of flight training reduced by 10 hours

UK IMC rating privileges are contained within a UK national CPL(A) or ATPL(A) (this does not include a JAA or EASA licence). There is no requirement for a separate certificate of test for these licences

Holders of the AOPA (UK) Radio Navigation Certificate may have instrument flight training during the Applied Stage reduced by 5 hours

Additional credits are available. For details refer to CAP 804 Section 5 (UK National Licences) Part E

Validity

25 months

Revalidation

Pass a revalidation flight test prior to rating expiry

AND

The applicant must show logbook evidence that in the period between flight tests he/she has successfully completed a let-down, approach to minima, go-around and missed approach using a different aid from that in the flight test. This must be signed by an instructor qualified to give instrument flying instruction

OR

Carry out 2 approach procedures using different aids during the revalidation flight test

Renewal

Where the UK IMC rating has expired by not more than 5 years the revalidation requirements apply for renewal

UK IMC Rating Revalidation/Renewal Flight Test

Conducted by a Flight Examiner (FE) with IMC / IR(R) privileges or Instrument Rating Examiner (IRE) or Class Rating Examiner (CRE) with IMC / IR(R) privileges

A pass may be gained in the course of up to 3 individual flights made during a 28 day period. Failure in any part of the test will require the candidate to take the full test again

The revalidation/renewal flight test will comprise Sections B, D and E of the initial flight test. The type of approach aid used must be entered in the candidate’s logbook

A revalidation/renewal flight test which is a first multi-engine test must include Section F

UK IMC Rating Expired by more than 5 years

Complete dual instruction as required to pass the Initial UK IMC flight test with an examiner

UK IMC Rating Expired by more than 10 years

Complete dual instruction as required to pass the Initial UK IMC flight test with an examiner. Pass the UK IMC rating theoretical knowledge examination

Privileges

The IMC rating / IR (Restricted) privileges are as follows:

(i) the holder of the IR(Restricted) must not fly as pilot in command or co-pilot of an aeroplane flying in Class A, B or C airspace in circumstances which require compliance with the instrument flight rules
(ii) the holder of the IR(Restricted) must not fly as pilot in command or co-pilot of an aeroplane on a special visual flight rules flight in a control zone in a flight visibility of less than 3 km
(iii) the holder of the IR(Restricted) must not fly as pilot in command or co-pilot of an aeroplane when the aeroplane is taking off or landing at any place if the flight visibility below cloud is less than 1,800 metres
(iv) the holder of the IR(Restricted) must not fly as pilot in command or co-pilot of an aeroplane outside the airspace of the United Kingdom in circumstances which require compliance with the instrument flight rules

IMC rating conversion to Instrument Rating (Restricted) (IR(R))

An applicant for an IR(R) shall:

(a) Hold a valid IMC rating
OR
(b) Have a UK CPL(A) / ATPL(A) issued prior to 1 July 2000

The requirement of Part MED.A.030(g) shall not apply to the IR(R)

References

AOPA (UK) IMC Syllabus
CAP 413 Radiotelephony Manual
CAP 32 UK AIP
CAP 393 Air Navigation Order (ANO)
CAP 804
VOR, ADF and RMI by Martin Cass
Ground Studies For Pilots by R B Underdown (Volume 1 only)
The Air Pilots Manual Volume 5 by Trevor Thom
The IMC Confuser by Neung Sornying
The IMC Rating Questions and Answers Simplifier by Philip Mathews and Jeremy M Pratt
PPL Course Volume 3 by Jeremy M Pratt

 

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