Helicopter Recreational Pilot Course

The recreational pilot rating is the rating with the least requirements. This rating allows a prospective helicopter pilot to get a rating with minimal outlay in time and money.

Eligibility Requirements for the Recreational Helicopter Rating

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Pass a Knowledge test (if not an add-on rating)
  • Receive flight training
  • Pass a practical test
  • Hold a student pilot certificate or sport pilot certificate

Aeronautical Experience for the Recreational Helicopter Rating

  • 15 hours flight training
  • 3 hours of solo flight training

Limitations of the Recreational Helicopter Rating

The following is a list of key limitations, but is not an exhaustive list.  Review 14 CFR 61.101 for all the specific limitations related to the Recreational Helicopter Rating.

  • Can only carry one passenger
  • Limited to 50 miles (without an endorsement)
  • May not operated in Class B, C, D, or with an airport with operating control tower (without an endorsement)
  • May not fly a helicopter certificated for more than 4 passengers or with retractable landing gear
  • May only fly single-engine helicopters
  • For compensation or hire
  • Between sunset and sunrise

Additional Privileges Available for a Recreational Helicopter Rating

With an endorsement, the following additional privileges are allowed for a Recreational helicopter rating.

  • Flight beyond 50 miles
  • Flight within Class B, C, D or an airport with an operating control tower.

Recreational Helicopter Rating Questions

There are several limitations on the Recreational Rating compared to the Private Rating. Several of the difference can be overcome with a separate endorsement.  However, the primary differences are that the Recreational licenses does not allow the pilot to fly the helicopter at night, or carry more than one passenger.   Without and endorsement, there are several other limitations, such as flying to-from a towered airport.

Yes.  As we fly from a field controlled field in Class C airspace, we give the endorsement to fly from a towered field.  Upon request from the student, we will also give the endorsement to fly cross-country, but such training may increase the number of hours to obtain the recreational rating.

There is no real downside, but, you will need to understand that you need a private rating or above to fly at night or be eligible to for a commercial rating.

It is very easy to upgrade from a Recreational rating to a Private rating.  The only requirement is to meet the aeronautical experience, written examination, and pass a checkride.