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How Many Hours For Commercial Pilot Initial/Add On Rating?

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Hello, I'm Kenny Keller, creator of Helicopter Online Ground School and I want to cover the question we get a lot, "How many hours does it take to become a commercial helicopter pilot?" We're going to cover for initial pilot and we're also going to cover for add-on pilot.

How Many Hours For Commercial Pilot Initial/Add On Rating?

The FAR/AIM tells us a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating must log at least:

150 hours of flight time as a pilot that consist of at least 100 hours in powered aircraft of which 50 hours much be in helicopters.

100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time which includes at least 35 hours in helicopters and 10 hours in cross-country flight in helicopters.

 

 How Many Hours For Commercial Pilot Initial/Add On Rating? 

It then tells us 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in 61.127(b)(3) of this part that includes at least five hours on the control and maneuvering of a helicopter solely by reference to instruments using a view-limiting device:

One two-hour cross-country flight in a helicopter in daytime conditions that consist of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure.

One two-hour cross-country flight in a helicopter in nighttime conditions that consist of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure.

Three hours in the helicopter with an authorized instructor within two calendar months of the test. 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter.

 
During that 10 hours of solo time:

One cross-country flight with landings at a minimum of three points with one segment consisting of a straight line distance of at least 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure.

Five hours at night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and landings with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern.

Whether you're doing an initial commercial or an add-on commercial from a fixed wing commercial you still have to do the same requirements. If you're doing an initial and you're just going to do all your training in a helicopter then it's not really that hard to figure out. You just go through what we just read and you have to have the required dual, the required solo and the total time and the total Pilot In Command time.

 How Many Hours For Commercial Pilot Initial/Add On Rating? 

Now, when it comes to commercial add-on this is where people really want to know, "Okay what do I really have to have minimum to do the commercial add-on?" You're going to have to have:

35 hours pilot-in-command in helicopters.

20 hours dual instruction.

So you're going to have at least 55 hours of flight time to do your add-on because there's a clause in there on the 10 hours of solo time when you're doing the commercial. During that 10 hours of what they call solo, you can actually have an authorized instructor on board. Meaning, you can't take up your friends and your family when you're doing this, 10 hours of solo but you can have an authorized instructor on board.

 
That may be just clear as mud for you, but if it is that you're feeling like that don't worry about it because every time I go to do an add-on riding with somebody we sit down. I have it in my head but I start to sit down and open up the FAR/AIM manual, go through it step by step with a person so we can go through talk about it. Make sure we know what exactly it is that we have to do and what we have to cover. I wanted to make this just an in-general video to give you an idea. If you're off the street it's going to take 150 total hours. Some could be in airplanes, some can be in helicopters so you have to really go through the regulations to figure out what can be what. Same thing with the add-on. 150 total time and the other key is the 35 hours pilot-in-command and the 50 hours in helicopters.

 How Many Hours For Commercial Pilot Initial/Add On Rating? 

We offer Online Ground School memberships for private commercial certified flight instructor. We have specific sections on the Robinson R-22, the Robinson R-44, and Enstrom Helicopters. We also provide flight training in the Robinson R-44 and the Enstrom F-28F which you can find more about on our website at HelicopterGround.com.

 How Many Hours For Commercial Pilot Initial/Add On Rating?