Course Title: FAR 141 Instrument Rating Course Rotorcraft – Helicopter

While this rating is not required initially, many companies, including those that provide charter, offshore, tours or medieval, require pilots to have a helicopter instrument rating. This rating allows you to navigate and control the helicopter in clouds or fog. Additionally, instrument-equipped helicopters are becoming more commonplace and most operators prefer an instrument rating when looking for prospective candidates for employment. Including a helicopter instrument rating in your flight training will increase your employment chances.

Our FAR 141 helicopter instrument rating course requires a minimum of 35 hours of flight instruction and 30 hours ground instruction. Students training 3-5 days per week can complete the program in 6-8 weeks. Our program is based on completing the your training in the Robinson R44 II helicopter. Additionally, the hours accumulated can be counted toward a commercial certificate.

Our instrument rating program is designed to meet the challenges of flying a helicopter in adverse weather conditions. The student will develop the technique and skills necessary to navigate and maneuver the aircraft solely by reference to flight instruments, communicate with and follow instructions from air traffic control, and navigate using traditional radio instruments and the latest GPS technology. We recommend students include the instrument rating in their flight training between their private and commercial certificates.

Ground instruction will include training in:

  • Flight instruments and navigation equipment – Traditional and GPS
  • Regulations and publications related to IFR operations
  • IFR cross-country flight planning
  • Air traffic control procedures and communications
  • Pre-flight inspections
  • Air traffic systems and procedures
  • Advanced meteorology
  • Traditional and GPS [GNSS] navigation
  • GPS familiarization

In-Flight training incorporates instructional techniques on:

  • Attitude instrument flying
  • Navigation by radio aids and GPS [GNSS]
  • Holds and cross-country procedures
  • Terminal and instrument approaches
  • Departure and en route procedures
  • Traditional and GPS [GNSS] navigation systems
  • Advanced air traffic control (ATC) procedures
  • Aeronautical decision making and pilot responsibilities
  • IFR communication procedures
  • IFR emergencies
  • Use of the Garmin 430W GPS with a slaved HSI
  • Navigation by GPS including precision and non-precision approaches

FAA Requirements:

  • Hold at least a current Private Pilot Certificate with an aircraft rating appropriate to the instrument rating sought
  • Hold current FAA medical.
  • Read, write, speak and understand English.
  • Complete 35 hours of simulated or actual flight time.
  • Pass an FAA knowledge test
  • Pass an FAA oral and flight test

Enrollment Prerequisites 
Enrolling pilots must possess a Private Pilot Certificate Rotorcraft prior to beginning the flight training portion of this course and hold at least an FAA issued Third Class Medical Certificate.

Instrument Rotorcraft / Helicopter Certification Course Costs in Robinson R44.

Course prices based on FAA minimums.

  • 21 Hours IFR Flight Training Helicopter: $13,125
  • 14 Hours Dual IFR Simulator Instruction: $2,660
  • 30 Hours Ground Instruction:$2,100
  • Total: $17,885

Additional Required Costs:

  • Books and Materials: $250
  • FAA Instrument Knowledge Exam: $155
  • FAA Oral & Flight Exam: $750
  • 2 Hours Helicopter PIC/Rental for Flight Exam: $1,080
  • Total Additional Costs:  $2,235

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

  • Jeppesen Instrument/Commercial Pilot Manual
  • Instrument Flying Handbook
  • FAR/AIM Current Edition
  • ASA Prepware: Instrument Current Edition
  • ASA Practical Test Standards – Instrument Rotorcraft
  • Airport/Facility Directory

Required Pilot Supplies:

  • E6B Flight Computer [Manual]
  • Flight Plotter [Rotational style]
  • Standard Pilot Logbook
  • Flashlight with red and white light features
  • Ultimate Knee-Board 7-hole
  • Plastic Approach Plate covers (Jeppesen) strongly recommend 3 or 4 sets (each set 3 pockets)

Aeronautical Charts:

  • Los Angeles Sectional
  • Los Angeles Terminal
  • Los Angeles Helicopter Route Chart
  • IFR Low Altitude Enroute [NOS]
  • Terminal Instrument Procedures [NOS]

Other terminal procedures are available online through Jeppesen

Other Equipment

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