If you’re looking to get certified as a pilot, Longhorn can help at whatever level you want to be certified. The biggest thing that you can plan to invest in getting certified is time.

Every level of certification has a different amount of hours required. If you want to know how many hours you’ll need for each level of pilot certification, here’s the breakdown:


Hours to Private Pilot Certification

If you’re wanting to get your Private Pilot’s license, you’ll be looking at a minimum of 30 hours of flight time: 20 of those hours with an instructor, and 10 hours solo.

Those hours are intended to be a starting place, as the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association suggests that it can take anywhere between 30 and 50 hours to get the experience needed for your practical test. This level of commitment is a good starting place to see what piloting a helicopter is like.

In addition to the actual hours required, the FAA requires a medical certificate of health before you can fly solo.


Hours to Instrument Rating Certification

Although most employers won’t require getting Instrument Rating certified, it can be a helpful extra for a resume. Essentially, getting your Instrument Rating is comparable to having the ability to drive both an automatic and a manual transmission car.

To obtain this license, you’ll need 40 hours of either simulated or actual instrument flying. You’ll need an instructor with you for at least 15 of those hours.

For this rating, you’ll also need 50 hours of cross-country flight as a pilot in command. You can count some hours flying a plane into this total, but 10 of them need to be in a helicopter. To test for the final certification, you’ll need to fly using instrument flight rules 100 miles cross country with an instructor to supervise.


Hours to Commercial Pilot Certification

If you want to get certified to fly helicopters commercially, you’ll be looking at investing 150 hours of flight time. 100 of those hours will have to be as a pilot in command, and though you can clock some of those in flying a plane, half of them will need to be flying in a helicopter. You’ll fly 10 using instrument flight rules. A written test finishes it off.

If you’re wanting to build your hours while working towards commercial certification, you can also get certified as a flight instructor to gain experience while sharing your love of flying with others.

Are you ready to get started? We can help! Enroll in one of our helicopter training courses.