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Learn to Fly
7 day IFR Rating
That first phase - aviate - means learning how to fly the aircraft under the hood. It includes the four basic maneuvers learned by every private pilot: straight & level, turns, climbs, and descents. Those four fundamentals lead to climbing and descending turns. By the time a student has mastered this phase of instrument training, he can perform the following maneuvers within the FAA's Practical Test Standards:
You'll hear a lot about the PTS during your instrument training. The first thing to understand is that the PTS requires pilots be able to fly all instrument maneuvers within 10 degrees of the assigned heading, within 100 feet of the assigned altitude, at the designated airspeed (if applicable), at the designated rate of climb/descent (if applicable), within the proper timing, and at a standard rate of turn.
The best way to know if a pilot has mastered the skills above is to fly the Bravo Pattern. If the pilot can execute this profile within the standards, then its a good indication the pilot is ready to transition to the "Navigate" phase of an instrument rating.
A great resource, available online is the IFR Lesson Guides. These guides are from the original Instrument Training Handbook which is now out of print and no longer available. These lesson guides from the appendix live on at this website. Here is a list of the lesson guides available: Cockpit Check | Pitch Control | Bank Control | Power Control | Constant Airspeed | Turns | ITO | Constant Rate | Compass | Steep Turns | Unusual Attitudes | Precision Flight | Bravo Pattern
Want to know more? Read about Are you really ready for the Instrument Rating? and Instrument Lesson Plans
Get started on your instrument rating with the Instrument Ground School
Complete your instrument rating with a 7-day Instrument Rating Training Program
Curious about the instrument checkride?