Helicopter instrument rating

Step 4:  Helicopter Instrument Rating (IFR): Course part 61 available

The instrument rating is the best way to build hours. Every hour will be used for your commercial rating. It is the best investment and an asset for your helicopter career. Without it, your carrier will go nowhere.

The instrument training teaches you how to fly in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Condition).  In other words, without outside visual clue and only by reference to instruments, like when flying inside the clouds with limited visibility. You will develop the judgment to evaluate adverse weather conditions and the ability to maneuver the helicopter by referring just to instruments. In addition to increasing your capabilities as a helicopter pilot, it also enhances your confidence and increases your safety.

The limitations of an Instrument Rating:

  • The aircraft must be equipped and IFR certified to flight in actual IMC
  •  Must maintain currency by complying with SFAR 61.57 sub (c)

How to get an instrument rating and what do you need?

  • Hold at least a current private pilot certificate with an aircraft category and class rating that applies to the instrument rating sought.
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Have received and logged ground training on the aeronautical knowledge areas of this section that apply to the instrument rating sought.
  • Have logged at least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which at least 10 hours must be in helicopters for an instrument-helicopter rating.
  • Have a total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time on the areas of operation of this section, including at least 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in the aircraft category for which the instrument rating is sought, and instrument training on cross-country flight procedures specific to helicopters that consist of:
  • Cross country of at least 100 miles along airways or ATC directed routing
  • An instrument approach at each airport and
  • Three different kinds of approaches with the use of a navigation system.
  • Pass the written test.
  • Pass an oral and flight test given by the FAA or an approved designated pilot examiner.
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