Sporty's® Instrument Rating Course (Online, App and TV)
2021 edition now available!
2021 Course Now Available!
Ace your FAA written test, save money during flight training, and become a better pilot with Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course. Over 12 hours of HD video and animations explain everything you need to know to earn your Instrument Rating and feel confident in the clouds. Combine that with powerful test prep tools, a comprehensive document library, and convenient app options, and you have aviation’s most complete training course.
- Expanded video segments cover important topics like ILS approaches, holding patterns, in-flight weather resources, flying with electronic flight bags, and more.
- All-new online platform. Log into Sporty’s Pilot Training platform in your web browser and you’ll find an all-new look. The same great information is there, but it’s faster, easier to use, and completely mobile friendly.
- Test prep question search. Now you can build your own study session from any keyword you choose. Want to brush up on airspace? Just search for that phrase and start studying relevant questions.
- App dark mode. This changes the Pilot Training app layout to show light text on a dark background, which can reduce eye strain and extend battery life on your device.
- Enhanced flashcard mode. Our new flashcard mode, for both written test and checkride prep, allows you to digitally flip the cards and see how well you’ve mastered important topics.
- ACS with embedded videos. The FAA’s Airman Certification Standards document is your guide to the checkride and only Sporty’s includes related video segments for each section—it’s the ultimate checkride preparation tool.
- Bring your own documents. Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course includes dozens of helpful FAA documents, but now you can upload your own files, whether it’s a scanned copy of your airplane’s manual or your flight school’s procedures.
- Video transcripts. Perfect for review sessions, or for students whose first language is not English, the course now includes complete transcripts for each video segment.
Dynamic in-flight video
Interactive Written Test Prep
10 reasons pilots prefer Sporty's courses:
1. Five formats, one price We know you’re busy, so our course is available almost anywhere. Use our online learning platform for complete access to videos and quizzes anywhere you have an internet connection. There’s no software to install – just log in and start learning. Or use our dedicated mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, Android, Apple TV, and Roku, which allow you to download videos for offline viewing. Progress automatically syncs between all formats so you can start a study session on your phone and finish on your laptop without missing a beat.
2. Get your written test endorsement When you complete the course, we’ll give you the flight instructor endorsement to take the written test—instantly! You can take this endorsement to the FAA testing center, and log it in your ForeFlight logbook. It's complete preparation for the FAA Knowledge Test.
3. Pass all your tests—guaranteed! Our course is so complete we guarantee you’ll pass all three tests: the written, oral and flight. Our video segments make complicated subjects like aerodynamics and weather easy to understand, so you’ll impress the examiner. Plus, our Airman Certification Standards Study Guide cross-references every required task to the videos, making it easy to review for the checkride.
4. Dynamic in-flight video Sporty’s courses are famous for their HD video and 3D animations. Not a boring ground school, we put you in the cockpit for a real world look at what flying is all about. You’ll see the flight maneuvers from the left seat, and you’ll hear actual communications with air traffic control. Plus, each video segment includes helpful review notes for efficient studying, and many also have review quizzes to reinforce key concepts.
5. 27 fully-narrated HD maneuvers In addition to the comprehensive video segments, Sporty’s Instrument Rating course also includes a detailed maneuvers guide. All 27 maneuvers you might be tested on are included, with a 3D animation of the maneuver, narrated procedures, common errors, and completion standards. It’s a great way to review for the checkride.
6. Powerful test prep tools You’ll ace the written test with our interactive tools. Create customized study sessions from the actual FAA test questions and see the right and wrong answers, plus plain English explanations written by our team of CFIs. Detailed analytics show you which areas need the most help, and allow you to study only the questions you’ve missed. Then, take a practice test that simulates the real knowledge exam you'll have to pass.
7. Flight Instructor tracking We make it easy for your instructor to follow your progress through the course, so you always stay in sync with your in-person lessons. Invite a CFI to see your practice test scores and review your video progress.
8. Ask a CFI If you're stumped by a difficult subject, talk to the experienced flight instructors at Sporty's. We have a team of over 25 CFIs on staff at our flight school, training students every day just like you, so they can offer quick, helpful answers. Just click the Ask a CFI button to send a message.
9. Complete training syllabus Research shows that pilots learn better when they use a high quality syllabus. We include a complete Training Course Outline as part of our course – the same one we use in our flight school. It includes detailed outlines for both ground and flight lessons. Think of it as a bridge between your at-home study and flight training.
10. Free lifetime updates When you buy a Sporty's course, you're gaining access to a training platform that's always up to date and always improving. We are continually adding new video segments to reflect new regulations and technology. We also refresh our FAA test question database regularly, so you don't study outdated topics. There's no additional fee or subscription to receive these updates - just log in and learn!
The Instrument training experts
At Sporty’s, we pioneered weekend instrument ground schools over 50 years ago, traveling the country to teach pilots the keys to IFR flying in just 3 days. Today, we operate an active flight school at our home airport (I69) with over 100 flight students. This everyday practical experience with instrument students makes us uniquely qualified to offer the most complete, up-to-date training courses available. When you learn with Sporty’s, you’re learning from the best.
More powerful features:
- Closed captioned videos help students whose first language is not English.
- Download videos for offline viewing in the app or stream them with an internet connection.
- Connect to your ForeFlight logbook to log your written test endorsement.
- Automatic progress sync between all formats.
- Redbird GIFT integration: use Sporty's course with Redbird simulators.
- Air Facts segments go beyond the textbook to make you a proficient pilot.
- Earn FAA WINGS credit and save on your insurance.
- Review notes and quick quizzes after most videos help you review your progress.
- Automatic updates mean you learn the latest information.
Learn from the Best:
Rob is aviation's best-known airshow announcer, a 5-time Emmy award winner, and host of Sporty’s flight training courses. With his trademark style, he offers dozens of video tips for enhancing your airmanship, from steep turns to crosswind landings.
Scott is a highly-respected meteorologist with years of forecasting and broadcast experience. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Penn State with an emphasis in forecasting and communications, and is also a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist.
Bret has been writing and presenting about aviation since 2010. In addition to being an ATP and CFI, he is a columnist for Flying magazine and the Editor of iPad Pilot News.
Eric is a true aviation educator. As an ATP, Master Flight Instructor, and president of one of the country’s busiest flight schools, he offers a practical perspective on flight training and improving your flying skills.
- Volume 1 - Instrument Flying Fundamentals
- Volume 2 - Air Traffic Control & IFR
- Volume 3 - Instrument Approaches
- Volume 4 - En Route IFR
- Volume 5 - Weather for IFR
- Volume 6 - Advanced IFR
- Volume 7 - FARs and Your Instrument Test
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Course Update History:
What's New in Version 5.0 - November 6, 2020
- Updated to the new Sporty's 2021 Instrument Rating Course
- New video segments: Sporty’s courses are famous for up-to-date HD video, and the 2021 edition adds plenty of new segments, including IFR cross-country planning, advanced airplane systems and avionics operation and tips for flying instrument approaches.
- All-new online platform: Log into Sporty’s Pilot Training platform in your web browser and you’ll find an all-new look. The same great information is there, but it’s faster, easier to use, and completely mobile friendly.
- Test prep question search: Now you can build your own study session from any keyword you choose. Want to brush up on airspace? Just search for that phrase and start studying relevant questions.
- Enhanced flashcard mode: Our new flashcard mode, for both written test and checkride prep, allows you to digitally flip the cards and see how well you’ve mastered important topics.
- ACS with embedded videos: The FAA’s Airman Certification Standards document is your guide to the checkride and only Sporty’s includes related video segments for each section—it’s the ultimate checkride preparation tool.
- Bring your own documents: Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course includes dozens of helpful FAA documents, but now you can upload your own files, whether it’s a scanned copy of your airplane’s manual or your flight school’s procedures.
- Video transcripts: Perfect for review sessions, or for students whose first language is not English, the course now includes complete transcripts for each video segment.
- New AppleTV app: the included app for your TV makes instrument rating prep at home even more convenient.
What's New in Version 4.1 - May 1, 2020
New video segments added covering the following topics:
- Checking Weather for an IFR flight
- Developing your own self-weather briefing
- Building margins
- IFR flight planning tips
- Approach lighting systems
- Planning for an instrument approach
- Designing approaches
- Alternate airport selection
- Principles of engine turbochargers
- Engine instrumentation
- Oxygen use
What's New in Version 4.0 - October 1, 2019
Upgraded to the 2020 Instrument Rating Course
- Expanded video segments cover important topics like ILS approaches, holding patterns, in-flight weather resources, flying with electronic flight bags, and more
- New Test Prep Tools – smart study, incorrect question review, marked question review
- Chromecast and RokuTV channel
- FAA Document Library
- Video Review notes
What's New in Version 3.5 - June 7, 2019
The Instrument Rating Course in the mobile Pilot Training app for iOS and Android now includes all the FAA Handbooks for convenient studying. These are viewable in a new powerful document reader in both app platforms, that allows for easier reading, searching and bookmarking when viewing each document.
What's New in Version 3.4 - May 15, 2019
New HD video segments added on flying instrument approaches, including approach chart analysis, flying an ILS (localizer and glideslope), ATC vectors, VOR approaches, procedure turns and holding patterns.
What's New in Version 3.3 - January 31, 2019
New Sporty's Roku Pilot Training Channel allows you to access the Instrument Rating Course on the popular Roku smartTV platform. Also adds Chromecast support for the Android version of the Pilot Training app.
What's New in Version 3.2 - December 23, 2018
The iPhone and iPad apps were updated with an improved Test Prep interface. The new design includes colorblind accessibility enhancements and provides a better experience when studying for FAA tests on the iPhone's smaller screen.
What's New in Version 3.1 - December 7, 2018
The Android app now includes complete FAA test prep features, allowing you to study test prep questions, answers and detailed explanations for the Instrument Rating test. The app also now allows you to take simulated practice tests and earn your knowledge test endorsement based on your Android test results.
What's New in Version 3.0 - October 24, 2018
Updated to the new Sporty's 2019 Instrument Rating Course
Online Course Features
- Video Search: quickly find a specific video segment based on a keyword search
- All new FAA Test Prep: a new faster test prep module features 3 new study modes, Smart Study, Marked Question Study and Incorrectly Answered Questions study
- Test Prep Analytics: see detailed reports on past performance in each category of question
- Test Prep Answer References: each question includes a link to view the specific FAA reference book or resource from which the question is based.
- CFI Progress Sharing: this feature was enhanced to allow you to share the specific video segments you've completed, and how you answered each question on practice tests
- FAA Handbooks: quick access to all the FAA handbooks and reference guides
NEW Android App
- view all the video segments on an Android phone or tablet
- study test prep questions in Learning and Test Modes
- progress automatically syncs with the online course and iOS app
- automatically included with the 2019 Instrument Rating Course
- Video Search: quickly find a specific video segment based on a keyword search
- Test Prep Answer References: each question includes a link to view the specific FAA reference book or resource from which the question is based