Helicopter Instrument Rating (IFR)

A helicopter instrument rating is beneficial for any pilot. The instrument rating allows pilots to operate IFR equipment helicopters in adverse weather conditions. The IFR training is often included during a portion of the commercial helicopter training. Although you can obtain a commercial helicopter license without an IFR rating, most employers prefer to hire an IFR qualified pilot.

The cost of the helicopter instrument rating is listed on our pricing page.

Eligibility Requirements for the Helicopter Instrument rating.

The following items are a summary of the eligibility requirements listed in 14 CFR Part 61.65 for obtaining a helicopter instrument rating.  

  • Hold at least a current helicopter private pilot certificate, or be concurrently applying for a private pilot certificate
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Pass a written knowledge test
  • Receive flight training
  • Meet the aeronautical experience listed below
  • Pass a practical test (i.e. a Checkride)

Aeronautical Experience For A Helicopter Instrument Rating

The following items are a summary of the aeronautical experience requirements listed in 14 CFR Part 61.65 for obtaining a Helicopter  Instrument rating.

  • At least 50 hours of cross-country flight time, with at least 10 hours in a helicopter
  • At least 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time
  • At least 15 hours of instrument training with an authorize instructor

During the training, there are specific flight requirements to complete, such as cross-country flights, specific approaches, etc.

Helicopter Instrument Rating Questions

Our Schweizer 300CB helicopter is equipped as an IFR trainer as the helicopter includes all the required IFR required equipment for IFR flight. 

No, the Schweizer 300 is not certified for actual IFR condition.  The IFR training will occur in the helicopter, but the student will be under the hood,  which means the pilot will be wearing view limiting device (often referred to as foggles) while flying the helicopter.

Our Schweizer 300 is equipped to fly VOR, LOC, ILS, and GPS approaches.  The helicopter is equipped with a Garmin GNS430W so it is capable of conducting precision WAAS approaches. 

No.  If the pilot already has a fixed-wing IFR rating, they do not need to take a written exam to add a helicopter IFR rating.

No.  Unlike an airplane flight instructor, a helicopter flight instructor does not need to have their IFR rating to perform non-IFR instruction.

Yes.  You need at least 40 hours total logged instrument or simulated time.  Only 15 hours of this time needs to be in a helicopter.  However, it is difficult to complete all the requirements, such as the approaches, cross-country flights, etc. within 15 hours. 

No. You must take two separate checkrides. A requirement for the CFII is to have an instrument rating in the appropriate category and class of aircraft.