Helicopter Airline Transport Pilot (ATP)

Obtaining the Helicopter Airline Transport (ATP) rating is quite an accomplishment. It takes many years of experience, training, and hard work.  There are several perquisites for obtaining your ATP.  These perquisites are listed below under the Eligibility Requirements for a Helicopter ATP Rating heading. 

We have developed our ATP course to prepare someone to complete obtain their ATP rating.  This course includes:

  • Online ground school – focusing on the Schweizer 300 systems
  • Up to 6 hours of ground instruction
  • Up to 7 hours of flight instruction
  • 5 hours of helicopter usage for the ATP practical test
  • Additional ground or flight instruction available for additional cost

Course Cost:  $8,500.00

Download Brochure about our Helicopter ATP Preparation Course.

Eligibility Requirements for a Helicopter ATP Rating

Below is a summary of the eligibility requirements from 14 CFR 61.153 for obtaining an helicopter ATP rating.

  • Must be at least 23 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Be of good moral character (hopefully this is not a factor for you)
  • Holes a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating (NOTE: there are some other options for military and foreign pilots)
  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements below
  • Pass a knowledge test
  • Pass a practical test (i.e. checkride)

Aeronautical Experience for the Helicopter ATP Rating

Below is a summary of key aeronautical experience requirements from 14 CFR 61.161  to be edible for the helicopter ATP.

  • At least 1,200 hours of total time as a pilot
  • At least 200 hours of flight time in helicopters
  • At least 500 hours of cross-country flight time
  • At least 100 hours of night flight time, of which 15 hours are in helicopters
  • At least 75 hours at pilot in command in helicopters
  • At least 75 hours of instrument flight time, with at least 25 in a helicopter

Helicopter Airline Transport Pilot Privileges

As noted in 14 CFR 61.167, a person who holds an airline transport pilot certificate is entitled to the same privileges as a person who holds a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating.

There are some additional “instruction” authorizations allowed but are not addressed here. If you think these apply to you, please review 14 CFR 61.167 for details.

Helicopter ATP Add On Requirements

If a pilot already holds an ATP within a another category or class, the following are the requirements to add on the helicopter ATP to the pilot’s certificate. These requirements are listed in 14 CFR 61.165.

  • Meet the eligibility requirements of 14 CFR 61.153
  • Pass a knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas of 14 CFR 61.155(c)
  • If concurrently obtaining a type rating, comply with the requirements in 14 CFR 61.157(b) (with some exceptions)
  • Meet the applicable aeronautical experience requirements of 14 CFR 61.161
  • Pass a practical test (i.e. checkride

Helicopter ATP Questions

Yes, the course is the same. However, the overall process should be easier for someone that already has their ATP.

Yes, like other ratings, total flight time, includes all aircraft category and and aircraft class.  There is a specific requirement for at least 200 hours in a helicopter to be eligible for the helicopter ATP. 

No. Unlike the the fixed wing, multi-engine ATP, helicopter pilots do not need to take a CTP course as specified in 14 CFR 61.156, prior to taking the ATP knowledge test.

No. If you don’t meet the requirements listed in 14 CFR 61.153, the restricted ATP requirements outlined in 14 CFR 61.160 to not apply to the helicopter ATP.  The restricted ATP option relates only to the Airplane category and do not apply to the helicopter ATP.

During your time building, try to obtain as many night flights as possible.  Many pilots reach the 1200 hours total time but lack the 100 hours of night flying to be eligible for the ATP.  

Yes. However, however everyone is different so there is no concrete answer here. If you complete the ground material as suggested in our course, you should be well prepared for the oral portion of the check ride. Mastering the material may take more time if you don’t have any experience with the Schweizer 300, but the helicopter is not complex. For most pilots, the transition to flying the Schweizer is not difficult.

Yes, you can purchase additional training hours at the current pay-as-you-go rate.

3 days. However, we recommend scheduling the training with additional days between your check ride to provide for weather or other possible delays.

No. The course is a package and includes “up to” so you are welcome to fly those hours before or after your check ride.

No. The DPE is paid separately for the Helicopter ATP check ride. 

There are several benefits to using the Schweizer 300 for the Helicopter ATP check ride. These benefits include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The Schweizer 300 system are not complex to learning the systems is relatively easy.
  • The Schweizer 300 is a stable and easy-to-fly helicopter, so if you don’t have previous time in the helicopter, it is easy to learn.
  • The Schweizer 300 does not have any SFAR or other requirements to be PIC.

50 percent is due upon scheduling with the remaining balance due at the start of training.

You will get access to the ground training material upon the initial deposit for the ATP course.

The further out the better. We generally confirm the DPE availability for the check ride, and then schedule the flight and ground training prior the check ride. In general, 30-60 days is recommended.