Instrument Rating

An instrument rating is required to fly in the National Airspace in less than visual flight rule (VFR) conditions. There’s that old saying that an instrument rating makes you a better VFR pilot – It teaches you a disciplined instrument scan and more precise flying. You’ll have better heading, altitude, and airspeed control. And that’s a great segue into what employers are looking for. Some companies, even though they have no IMC-certified helicopters, require their pilots to have an instrument rating. This is for the same reasons just mentioned – instrument-rated pilots are usually more precise. Even if they don’t require an instrument rating, your experience from your instrument training will help you stand out from the others. Also, at some point in your helicopter career you’ll most likely be an instructor. This is one of the few ways that low-time pilots can build hours for their career. If you have your instrument rating and go on to get your CFI-I, you’ll have a larger pool of students to teach, and that means more instructor experience, pay, and flight time!

Getting your helicopter instrument rating starts with ground school, just like any other training. You’ll learn about various navigation systems and how to use them. You’ll learn even more about the Federal Aviation Regulations and how Air Traffic Control operates. You’ll become an expert at obtaining weather forecasts and interpreting them. And you’ll be able to complete a flight plan in your sleep. Most of this is in preparation for your knowledge test, which is a multiple-choice computer-based test taken right here at our facility. Your instrument training flights won’t be quite as scenic as your private pilot training flights. You’ll be wearing a view-limiting device for all of it but takeoff and landing. This will limit what you can see to the instrument stack of the helicopter. It may make you nervous at first, and you’ll definitely have some pilot-induced oscillations all over the place, but once you get used to flying by the instruments you’ll be holding heading and altitude like a champ. During the Checkride, the examiner will have you plan a cross-country flight with a few instrument approaches at different airports. You can expect an oral exam (length varies) on a mix of the topics you covered in your ground training – everything from flight planning to emergencies. After passing your oral exam it’s time for the flight! You’ll wear the “foggles” for everything but takeoff and landing and start your cross-country flight under instrument flight rules, following routing as directed by ATC. During the flight you’ll do a few instrument approaches, have a simulated emergency or two, and then return home, and now you have your helicopter instrument rating!

Still Undecided?

Introductory FLYING Lesson
Introductory FLYING Lesson
Book an introductory flying lesson and take the controls with an experienced instructor by your side! The ultimate thrill and adrenaline rush that’s sure to bring a smile to your face!
Price: $159.00
Duration :
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  • COURSE PREREQUISITES
    Hold at least a Private or Commercial Pilot Certificate with Rotorcraft category/class rating.
    Able to read, speak & understand the English language.
    Hold at least a 3rd Class Medical.

    Weight does not exceed 230 lbs.

  • COURSE REQUIREMENTS
    40 hrs Dual Training in a Robinson R22
    20 hrs Ground Instruction
    (additional fees apply)

  • COURSE COMPLETION
    Pass an FAA Written Knowledge Test
    Pass an Oral and Practical Flight Test

  • ESTIMATED DURATION
    4 to 6 Weeks

  • ESTIMATED COSTS
    $14,450 USD $13,990 pre-paid
    Pay as you go, NO upfront payments. Call about Financing. Books & Training Material not included.