This rating is a further qualification for an EASA PPL (but not for an LAPL holder – see under “Flying Training” for the difference) which permits flight in poorer weather conditions. The pilot is thus legal to fly in or above cloud in the general airspace, as well as to make instrument approaches to regional airports. So it enables the IMC qualified pilot to “get home safely” in deteriorating weather conditions.
A minimum of 15 hours flying training is required, resulting in a greater competence in sustaining flight by sole reference to instruments as well as improving radio-navigation techniques. There is a single ground exam. which is of a very practical nature.
Although it was scheduled to disappear in 2012 with EASA “Europeanisation” of licensing, good sense has prevailed and this qualification will continue for at least 5 years as a Restricted Instrument Rating only to be used in UK airspace. It seems very likely that much of the training for the IR(R) will count towards the internationally recognised full Instrument Rating.
Bearing in mind the very changeable weather conditions in our island environs, training for the IR(R) is strongly recommended