The Instrument Rating IR(H) is one of the most demanding courses in the world of aviation. An Instrument Rating is required for all commercial offshore operations, however more and more onshore operators are insisting that prospective employees hold an IR for example HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services).
The IR(H) is in accordance with Part FCL.600 and appendix 6 to Part FCL. The privileges of a holder of an IR are to fly aircraft under IFR with a minimum decision height of 200 feet (60 m). In the case of a multi-engine IR, these privileges may be extended to decision heights lower than 200 feet. Instrument Rating course IR(H) consists of 50 hours of practical training for single engine helicopters and 55 hours for multi-engine. The instrument flight instruction shall include at least 10 hours in an IFR-certificated helicopter. Prior to commencing the course, applicants should hold appropriate Type Rating qualification for helicopter used in training. Otherwise this type rating qualification must be done together with IR(H) course.
Applicants for an IR shall:
(1) at least a PPL in the appropriate aircraft category, and: (i) the privileges to fly at night in accordance with FCL.810; or (ii) an ATPL in another category of aircraft; or
(2) a CPL, in the appropriate aircraft category;
b) have completed at least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as PIC in aeroplanes, helicopters or airships of which at least 10 or, in the case of airships, 20 hours shall be in the relevant aircraft category.
c) Helicopters only. Applicants who have completed an ATP(H)/IR, ATP(H), CPL(H)/IR or CPL(H) integrated training course shall be exempted from the requirement in (b).
An approved modular IR(H) course shall comprise at least 150 hours of instruction.
The flying exercises up to the IR(H) skill test shall comprise:
(a) pre-flight procedures for IFR flights, including the use of the flight manual and appropriate air traffic services documents in the preparation of an IFR flight plan;
(b) procedure and manoeuvres for IFR operation under normal, abnormal and emergency conditions covering at least:
transition from visual to instrument flight on takeoff, standard instrument departures and arrivals, en-route IFR procedures, holding procedures, instrument approaches to specified minima, missed approach procedures, landings from instrument approaches, including circling;
(c) in-flight manoeuvres and particular flight characteristics;
(d) if required, operation of a multi-engine helicopter in the above exercises, including operation of the helicopter solely by reference to instruments with one engine simulated inoperative and engine shutdown and restart (the latter exercise to be carried out in an FFS or FNPT II or FTD 2/3).