A pilot qualification that permits flight by instrument reference. This is necessary in conditions of reduced visibility, such as clouds, fog, or heavy precipitation.
An operating privilege that is attached to a pilot certificate. The pilot is authorized to navigate and control the airplane without visual reference to the ground, such as when flying in or above clouds.
An instrument rating means that a person is a pilot qualified to operate a specific type of airplane under adverse conditions such as darkness, bad weather, and poor visibility.
A flight crew rating that indicates that a pilot is qualified to fly an aircraft by sole reference to the aircraft's instruments.
Instrument Rating refers to the qualifications that a pilot must have in order to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). It requires additional training and instruction beyond what is required for a Private Pilot certificate or Commercial Pilot certificate, including rules and procedures specific to instrument flying, additional instruction in meteorology and more intensive training in flight solely by reference to instruments. Testing consists of a written exam and a practical test (known more commonly as the check ride).