Helicopter Flight Instruction & Certification


Things You Should Know In Getting Your Helicopter Certificate

For people who do not hold any type of pilot certificate, the FAA requires you to have a minimum of 40 hours of flight experience. This time is broken down to 20 hours with a flight instructor and 20 hours solo flight. However, these are minimum flight times, the national average being between 50-60 hours of flight time.

You will be required to have a valid medical certificate, pass written, oral and practical tests. For the written test there are many study guides available to you. The written tests are administered at a computer testing facility approved by the FAA. Passing grade for the written test is 70%. When the instructor feels that you are ready to take the oral and practical test, he will sign your logbook and schedule you with either an FAA examiner (free of charge) or a designated examiner (fee charged). Both the oral and practical tests are conducted the same day.

For people who hold a pilot certificate, the first thing you should know is that you are not a student pilot. You are just adding a category and class to your existing certificate. If you are going for the same grade certificate (i.e. private, commercial, etc.) there is no requirement to take a written test. You will still have to take the oral and practical test however. FAA minimums for the add-on rating is 30 hours, broken down to 20 hours dual and 10 hours solo for the Private. Again, these are FAA minimums. The average pilot takes 35 to 40 hours.

Just a note: The length of time required to obtain a certificate depends on student’s dedication, study, skill level, and frequency of lessons.


When selecting a flight school you should visit the school, meet the people involved, and checkout the aircraft and the operation.

You should obtain the following information:

• Rate sheets broken down by aircraft rental, dual instruction and solo.

• How time is charged? Is it from the time you walk in the door, when the helicopter is started, or what?

• How many hours will it take to get the rating and how much will it cost?

• Is the quote based on FAA minimums or a typical student?

• Do you have to put money down in advance?

• Are block rates available? Block rates save you money!

• Is financing available for your instruction?

• Look at insurance information closely. Do you have to pay a deductible if you should damage the helicopter? What is the deductible? Are you a named insured?

• How many active instructors and their experience.

• Student pass/fail ratio.

• How many helicopters? (Multiple ship operations have fewer scheduling problems)

• How well are the helicopters maintained?

• Who does the maintenance? (ask former students)

• Is a ground school offered? Cost and schedule? Course materials? Is a course syllabus available?

• Books and pilot supplies, cost and availability.

• Who will be conducting the check ride? How much will that cost?

• The names and telephone numbers of a couple of recent graduates and currently enrolled students that are willing to act as references.

• Does the school offer an introductory flight lesson? (Good way to find out if you really want to do this with minimal money spent.)

When it comes to comparing flight schools, it is wise to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The best way to determine the cost for the rating is to simply use the hourly rate for the helicopter and instructor. There will be other incidental costs above and beyond the helicopter and instructor but these are minimal in comparison. These incidentals are books and supplies, the medical exam, taxes and testing fees. You should consider not only the price, but also whether or not the aircraft are maintained properly, the experience level and availability of the flight instructors, and the ability of the school to accommodate your schedule. And most of all you should have fun in obtaining your rating.

Specific Certificate Requirements


Private Pilot Helicopter Course
A Private pilot certificate can only be used for personal business and pleasure, not to generate income.


Private Pilot :

40 hrs R22 Beta $7600.00
20 hrs Dual $700.00
10 hrs Ground $350.00
Total $8650.00* (block rates avilable)*


Prerequisites for Private Pilot:

• Minimum age for solo is 16
• Minimum age for rating is 17
• Third Class Medical is required.


Private Pilot Add-on :

30 hrs R22 Beta $5700.00
20 hrs Dual $700.00
8 hrs Ground $280.00
Total $ 6680.00* (block rates available)*


Prerequisite For Private Add-on:

• Private Pilot Airplane certificate
• Third Class Medical

Commercial Pilot Helicopter Course
A Commercial pilot certificate allows a person to fly for compensation or hire.


Commercial Pilot Add-on:

50 hrs R22 Beta $9500.00
20 hrs Dual $700.00
8 hrs Ground $280.00
Total $10,480.00* (block rates available)*


Prerequisites For Commercial Add-on:

• Private or Commercial Airplane certificate or Private Helicopter certificate
• 75 hrs of PIC time and 25 hrs Dual instruction
• Second Class Medical is required

If you are interested in a helicopter career,
we can customize a course to suit your requirements.

Time requirements shown are FAA minimums and may not reflect actual flight time for acquiring license. National average is 50-60 hrs for a Private Certificate.

Course fees do NOT include books, materials, exam fee or check rides.
Sales tax not included.


Helicopter Rates:
R22 Beta $190/hr
R44 Raven $410/hr
Bell 206B3 $650/hr

Pilot / Instruction:

Block Rates Available
Prices subject to change without notice.


Financing is available through
Pilot Finance, Inc


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