There are many IFR books, but there are only really a few that pilots come back to time and time again as reference and can fully prepare students for their upcoming exams. Here are the top books that cover the subject matter in general, as well as the best test prep books.
Best General IFR Books
Rod Machado’s Instrument Pilot’s Handbook – Complete Instrument Knowledge Text
Rod Machado’s Instrument Pilot’s Handbook is by far the best resource for not only learning and reading to fly instruments, but also how to think first and foremost as an experienced pilot. It really is the most comprehensive guide out there that covers everything you need to know.
We all know books that cover similar subject matter can come across as dry and boring – that isn’t the case with this book by Rod Machado. He throws in some humor for good measure to try and make the content more interesting – and is largely successful.
Besides that, the biggest strength of the book is how it manages to convey information in a very easy to understand and relatable way. It comes packed with drawings and diagrams to further enhance learning.
It’s not a cheap book, but you won’t find many who will argue it isn’t worth it.
Instrument Flying Handbook
The Instrument Flying Handbook is one of those dry books I was talking about. Despite this, it is a superb resource that covers everything you need to know as you prepare for the instrument rating exam, or for an IPC – after all, it does come direct from the FAA.
Easy to follow and with good, colored illustrations.
Instrument Procedures Handbook
What was said about the Instrument Flying Handbook can also be said about this book from the FAA. Again, it is a superb resource and almost mandatory for any pilot to keep nearby for reference. The Instrument Procedures Handbook is understandably technical in nature but covers everything you need to now in detail. A great IFR book.
Best for Test Prep
ASA Instrument Rating Test Prep 2019
ASA can always be depended upon to prepare you for your upcoming exam. The ASA Instrument Rating Test Prep 2019 is a comprehensive book that is well laid out to cover all test subject areas.
There are more than 900 questions that are thoughtfully laid out by subject matter. This is followed by the answer, as well as an explanation so you can fully grasp what you just learned. Test instructions, tips, and cross-references are also provided.
You will likely want to get the version that has software bundled with the book. It isn’t that much more expensive and will further help prepare you. It gives you the benefit of 5 free practice exams, a sign-off to take the official FAA knowledge exam, and is periodically updated as changes are issued so you are fully up to date.
Instrument Pilot Oral Exam Guide
If you need to prepare for your oral exam, look no further than the Instrument Pilot Oral Exam Guide from ASA. This book prepares you by covering the questions and answers most likely to come up. It is well laid out and includes references to source material. It is the best way to prepare yourself for the oral section.
Gleim Instrument Pilot Knowledge Test 2019
While most people turn to ASA study guides, the Gleim Instrument Pilot Knowledge Test shouldn’t be overlooked.It can serve you well as either a primary source or supplementary learning material to further prepare you.
Each question provides an answer with easy to understand explanations, as well as why the incorrect choice is wrong. A practice exam as well as all charts and figures used on the FAA test are included.