Course Title: FAR 141 Commercial Pilot Certification Course Rotorcraft – Helicopter

This is the certificate, sometimes called a helicopter commercial pilot license, you will need if your goal is to have a helicopter flying career and become a professional commercial helicopter pilot.

The FAR 141 course requires a minimum of 115 hours, of which a minimum of 30 hours will be with an instructor, and 30 hours ground instruction to complete the helicopter commercial pilot certificate. Additional required flight hours can be completed on your own or with passengers with whom you can share costs. Work toward an instrument rating, turbine transition and Robinson R44 transitions can be incorporated in the total required time for a commercial certificate as well. Students training 3-5 days per week can typically complete the program in 8-10 weeks.

Commercial helicopter training is offered in single-engine piston helicopters. The training for each certificate is designed to increase pilot proficiency in complex airspace around large metropolitan cities, as well as the surrounding remote environment, challenging students with piloting techniques that require a high degree of precision and skill, elevation and temperature variations, and exposure to mountains, riverbeds and deserts.

Commercial pilots are professionals who are able to earn money for their piloting services’ flying for hire. Commercial Pilot training at Group 3 Aviation provides an invaluable learning experience for the career pilot.


Ground instruction, supplemented by textbook assignments and video presentations, includes:

  • Advanced aerodynamics
  • High-altitude operations
  • Aircraft flight manual
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Aircraft systems, equipment and performance
  • Commercial operations
  • Federal aviation regulations
  • Aeronautical decision making

In-flight training incorporates:

  • Application of academic instruction
  • Advanced airspace operation
  • Extensive cross-country flying
  • Advanced commercial maneuvers
  • Preflight preparation
  • Preflight procedures
  • Airport and heliport operations
  • Hovering maneuvers
  • Takeoffs, landings, and go-rounds
  • Performance maneuvers
  • Navigation
  • Emergency operations
  • Special operations
  • Post-flight procedures

FAA Requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Read, speak, write, and understand English
  • Obtain an FAA first or second class medical
  • Complete the course flight and ground school instruction requirements
  • Pass an FAA knowledge test
  • Pass an FAA oral and flight test

Enrollment Prerequisites

Enrolling pilots must possess at least an FAA private pilot certificate prior to beginning the flight training portion of this course and hold at least an FAA issued third class medical certificate.

Commercial Pilot Certification Rotorcraft / Helicopter Course Costs in Schweizer 300CBi:

Course prices based on FAA minimums.  Optional training available in Robinson R44.

  • 20 Hours Dual Flight Instruction: $6,580
  • 30 Hours Ground Instruction: $2,100
  • *62.5 Hours PIC/Solo flights includes Night and Cross Country flights: $24,063
  • Total:  $32,743

*The 62.5 flight hours of Solo/PIC is part of the approved course hours for pilots that have completed the Part 141 Instrument Rating in rotorcraft/helicopter. Includes Night and Cross Country flights.

Additional Required Costs:

  • FAA Knowledge Test: $155
  • Books and Materials: $200
  • FAA Oral & Flight Exam: $750
  • Helicopter Rental for Flight Exam: $770
  • Total additional costs:  $1,875

Due to the unpredictable cost of aviation fuel, Group 3 Aviation incorporates a variable hourly aircraft fuel surcharge rate. This allows for an adjustment to your course price based on the actual pump price of our fuel purchases. The flight costs estimated do not include fuel surcharges. All rates are based on the block rates. The rates are wet with fuel covered up to $4.00 per gallon and surcharges are applied past this fuel rate.

Additional Estimated costs – Costs for books are estimated and are purchased online.

Robinson R22/R44 students must meet SFAR73 2(a)3(i-iv) Awareness Training requirements prior to manipulating the flight controls. A Rental Deductible Waiver is required for rental of Group 3 Aviation helicopters when a company flight instructor is not aboard. Waivers can be purchased through Group 3 Aviation. The cost for Schweizer 300 CBi is $700 for a 1 year waiver and hourly rate waivers are also available. This includes rental of aircraft for solo flights during flight training and practical exams. The waiver covers the 10% aircraft hull insurance deductible in the event of an accident and does not protect you from liability.

Rental of aircraft for the practical flight exam or “check ride” can be up to 2.0 hours but average is about 1.5 hours of flight time during a flight exam.

Designated Pilot Examiner (commonly referred to as a DPE) is a senior pilot designated by the FAA to conduct oral examinations and inflight or flight simulator check rides (collectively called “practical tests”) with pilot applicants to determine their suitability to be issued a Pilot Certificate or additional rating on their Pilot Certificate. Group 3 has a DPE on staff and can also arrange a check ride with the other DPE’s for CFI and CFII courses or if staff DPE is unavailable.

FTD – Group 3 Aviation’s training equipment includes the FAA Approved Frasca TruFlite-H Flight Training Device for helicopters.

Rates current as of 9/21/2015

Required Books

  • Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) Schweizer 300CBi or Robinson R44
  • Rotorcraft Flying Handbook
  • ASA Aviation Weather
  • Principles of Helicopter Flight
  • Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual (FAR/AIM) Current Edition
  • ASA Prepware: Commercial Helicopter Pilot
  • ASA Practical Test Standards for Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter
  • Airport/Facility Directory – California Current Edition

Required Pilot Supplies:

  • E6B Flight Computer [Manual]
  • Flight Plotter [Rotational style]
  • Standard Pilot Logbook
  • Flashlight with red and white light features
  • Ultimate Knee-Board

Aeronautical Charts:

  • Los Angeles Sectional
  • Los Angeles Terminal
  • Los Angeles Helicopter Route Chart

Other Equipment

Group 3 Aviation equips each helicopter with David Clark headsets at no extra cost. However, we recommend pilots purchase their own headset when learning to fly helicopters for personal use and comfort. We recommend either Bose or David Clark headsets for our helicopters.