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The Commercial Pilot Certificate is for the person who wants to be paid to be a pilot. The job opportunities for commercial helicopter pilots are almost endless. Some examples are: flight instructor, tour pilot, law enforcement, medical services, fire suppression, logging, search and rescue.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Hold at least a private pilot certificate
  • Hold at least a second class medical certificate
  • Pass an FAA written (knowledge) test
  • Fulfill at least the minimum flight and ground training requirements in preparation for the checkride
  • Pass an oral and flight (practical) test (also known as the checkride), by the FAA or an approved Designated Pilot Examiner

Minimum requirements for a Commercial Pilot Certificate

A person who applies for a helicopter commercial pilot certificate must log at least 150 hours of total flight time, which includes, at least:

  • 100 hours in “powered aircraft”, of which at least 50 hours must be in helicopter
  • 100 hours of “pilot-in-command” time, which includes at least:
    • 35 hours must be in helicopters
    • 10 hours cross country in helicopters
  • 20 hours of training with an instructor, which includes at least:
    • 5 hours of instrument training in an aircraft, flight simulator, flight training device, or an aviation training device
    • 2 hour day cross country flight in a helicopter of more than 50 nautical miles
    • 2 hour night cross country flight in a helicopter of more than 50 nautical miles
    • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test, within 2 months preceding the month of the test
  • 10 hours of solo time in a helicopter, which includes at least:
    • One cross country flight with landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment at least 50 nautical miles
    • 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern)

The specific areas you must be proficient at are outlined in the Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards for Helicopter.

Financing for flight training is available through Pilot Finance, Inc.

Estimated Course Costs - Initial Certificate

The estimated costs below are for obtaining an Initial commercial helicopter certificate, where the pilot holds a private helicopter certificate and 60 hours of flight time..

  HOURS RATE TOTAL

Enstrom 280C Dual Training

25 345** $8,625

Enstrom 280C Solo Rental

65 300** $19,500
Ground Instruction 10 40 $400
FAA Written Test     $100
Books and Training Aids     $300
FAA Medical Exam     $100
FAA Examiner Fee     $400
ESTIMATED TOTAL COST     $29,425

 Estimated Course Costs - Add-On Certificate

The estimated costs below are for obtaining an add-on commercial helicopter certificate, where the private pilot already holds an airplane certificate.

  HOURS RATE TOTAL

Enstrom 280C Dual Training

40 345** $13,800

Enstrom 280C Solo Rental

35 300** $10,500
Ground Instruction 10 40 $400
Books and Training Aids     $100
FAA Examiner Fee     $400
ESTIMATED TOTAL COST     $25,200

NOTE
Our prices are subject to change without prior notice. Hours are based on the FAA minimum requirements. It is not guaranteed that you will complete the training in the minimum number of hours.

** Fuel surcharge may apply.

Federal Regulations regarding the certification of commercial pilots can be found in FAR 61 Subpart F