Once you have obtained a Pilot’s Licence there are a number of ratings and endorsements that you can undertake to enhance your flying skills and to add other privileges to your licence.
The Private IFR Rating (PIFR) authorises the holder to act as pilot in command of flights under the IFR by day in a single pilot aircraft having a MTOW not greater than 5700kg. There are several grades of PIFR, Single-engine airplane and Multi-engine airplane. A multi-engine rating authorises IFR flight in a single-engine aircraft of the same category.
The rating allows for the whole of a flight to be conducted under the IFR but differs from the traditional instrument rating in that it limits the holder to flight in visual conditions, that is, with a flight visibility of at least 5000 metres and clear of cloud when operating below LSALT. This means that climb and descent below LSALT, even though flown under the IFR, must be by visual reference.
The minimum aeronautical experience for the issue of a PIFR rating is 20 hours instrument time, of which 10 hours must be dual instrument flight time in the category of aircraft for which the rating is sought. This 20 hours may include all instrument time accumulated in the course of training for a pilot license, a NVFR rating or other type of instrument rating. Up to 10 hours may be accumulated in an approved synthetic flight trainer under instruction from an authorised flight instructor.
To qualify for the Private IFR flight test you will need to pass a written examination based on the aeronautical knowledge syllabus or pass the CASA IREX examination and be recommended for the PIFR rating flight test by the Chief Flying Instructor of an approved instrument training flying school.