Basic Instrument Rating (BIR)

Target audience

The target audience for the BIR are GA pilots that fly single-pilot GA aeroplanes under their class rating for non-commercial operations. The BIR is intended to encourage GA pilots to conduct A-B flights under IFR.

Key principles for the BIR

The key principles for the BIR are as follows:

  • The training is entirely competency-based. There will be no minimum hours requirement set for the BIR. Candidates will progress to the next module or skill test when ready to do so.
  • The training is flexible. The core module of instrument flying skills must always be completed first, and after having done so, the candidate may choose which further module to tackle the next, within a timescale that suits them. This takes into account the fact that GA pilots may often not have the time or financial resources to commit to a more conventional continuous course of training towards the IR.
  • Focus on the practical needs of GA pilots. Holders of the BIR should feel confident to use it to the full extent of its privileges. While IFR flights have many safety advantages, it is central to the BIR philosophy to assess the risks of a particular flight in a more systematic way. To this end, the training will be focused on the real-world instrument flying needs of GA pilots, with particular emphasis on practical application of threat and error management. This will ensure that the full safety and utility benefits of IFR flight are reaped.
  • High standards of training and testing. Despite the focus on GA needs, practical training and testing standards will be similar to those of the current Part-FCL CB-IR, particularly with regard to interaction with other airspace users. It is very important that GA pilots who fly under IFR have the required competencies for this.

Training structure

The competency-based training is conducted through a modular training system. There are four modules: Module 1 is completed first, but the order in which Modules 2 and 3, and — if applicable — Module 4, are completed is up to the applicant.

  • Module 1 provides the foundation of instrument flying competencies: the core flying training module of flight handling skills by sole reference to instruments. A course completion certificate will be issued after an acceptable standard has been reached and before the pilot is allowed to commence further training modules.
  • Module 2 introduces 2D and 3D instrument approach procedures such as non-directional radio beacon (NDB), instrument landing system (ILS), performance-based navigation (PBN) (for example, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), etc.), standard instrument arrival (STAR), and standard instrument departure (SID).
  • Module 3 includes en route flight under IFR.
  • Module 4 — with one engine inoperative, if a multi-engine BIR is sought, this module includes asymmetric instrument approach and go-around procedures. Each module contains the required individual competencies. It will be up to the training organisation or instructor to determine whether the competencies have been assimilated to the required standard before allowing the candidate to progress to the next module or skill test. This will allow that the difference in learning speed of candidates can be taken into account for their progress.

Theoretical knowledge (TK) and examination procedures

The TK syllabus has been reviewed to remove topics that should already have been examined with the private pilot licence (PPL), and focuses on LOs that are appropriate for the safe operation of GA aircraft in IMC or under IFR. EASA wishes to make the theoretical examination process as straightforward as possible. The questions will be taken from the relevant areas of the European Central Question Bank (ECQB).