Commercial Pilot

Commercial Pilot Course

The Commercial Pilot Rotorcraft/Helicopter course is taught using our Commercial Pilot Helicopter for Part 141 and Part 61 Certification. The course is highly structured and gives a detailed, step by step guide for the Student and Instructor to successfully complete the course at or very close to the FAA minimum ground & flight times.

Privileges and Limitations

The Commercial Pilot Program is oriented toward the student who wishes to make a career as a helicopter pilot. The syllabus is designed to prepare you for the practical demands of professional flying. The certificate you obtain at the end of this course will qualify you to fly most of the commonly used civilian helicopters. The Commercial Helicopter Pilot license allows you to fly a helicopter and carry passengers and baggage for compensation or hire.

How Long Will It Take?

The length of time that is required to complete the Commercial Pilot course depends largely on your ability, motivation to learn, the amount of time you dedicate to studying and your proficiency with the English language. It usually takes about eight weeks to complete the Commercial Pilot helicopter course if a reasonably full schedule is maintained.

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Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of your FAA examination
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language
  • Hold a Private Pilot Helicopter certificate
  • Hold an FAA Class II medical certificate
  • Pass an FAA written examination, not required for a commercial Helicopter add-on rating
  • Obtain 150 hours of flight time of which 100 hours are logged as PIC (pilot-in-command) and 50 hours must be in helicopters
  • Pass an FAA oral and flight test

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FAA Commercial Pilot Aeronautical Experience Requirements

Must log at least 150 hours flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:

  • 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in helicopters
  • 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time which includes:
    • 35 hours PIC in helicopters
    • 10 hours of cross-country flight in helicopters
  • 20 hours of dual training on the areas of operation, which includes:
    • 10 hours of instrument training in an aircraft
    • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure
    • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure
  • 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter, which includes:
    • 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
    • 5 hours in night VFR condition with 10 takeoffs and landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern)
  • 3 hours in a helicopter in preparation for the FAA practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test

The minimum number of flight hours required for the Commercial Certificate is 150 and it is reasonable to expect that you will attain the required standard to pass the check ride with that number of hours.

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Commercial Pilot Add-on Helicopter Rating

Must log at least 150 hours flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:

  • 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in helicopters
  • 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time which includes:
    • 35 hours PIC in helicopters
    • 10 hours of cross-country flight in helicopters
  • 20 hours of dual training on the areas of operation, which includes:
    • 10 hours of instrument training in an aircraft
    • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure
    • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure
  • 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter, which includes:
    • 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
    • 5 hours in night VFR condition with 10 takeoffs and landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern)
  • 3 hours in a helicopter in preparation for the FAA practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test

The minimum number of flight hours required for the Commercial Certificate is 150 of which 50 hours must be in helicopters it is reasonable to expect that you will attain the required standard to pass the check ride with that number of hours.

You are not required to take the FAA written examination.

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Flight Training
The Commercial Pilot flight training course is divided into three phases:


This phase will introduce you to the Commercial Pilot flight Standards you will be required to obtain. You will learn the skills needed to become a successful Commercial Pilot and the different techniques used while flying commercially. Flight training will initially concentrate on dual day and night cross country flying as well as local night flying to prepare the student for their solo experience.

PHASE II (Solo experience)
During this phase your instructor will concentrate on two areas as you build-up your PIC time to the required 100 hours. The first of these is congested-area flying. Together you will make several flights through the busy airspace surrounding the Los Angeles International Airport. This type of flying puts considerable demands on the pilot, both in terms of flying skills and aeronautical knowledge.

The second area on which your instructor will concentrate is off-airport operations. You will learn the techniques of pinnacle approaches as used when landing on a mountain top or on a roof top helipad. You will also practice confined area landings. These include forest clearings, narrow streets, and other situations where the flight-path is severely restricted by obstacles.

PHASE III (Pre-check ride)
The last few hours of training will be spent with your instructor, preparing for the specific requirements of the flight test.

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Ground School

Essentially, the Commercial Pilot written examination is based on the same material as the Private Pilot test, but a higher standard. The additional detail and depth of knowledge will be attained through one-on-one tuition with your instructor, combined with a program of home study. All students must pass the FAA written examination as well as an FAA oral examination on their check ride. The additional detail and depth of knowledge will be attained by one-on-one ground instruction with your flight instructor, combined with a program of home study. You will receive a minimum of 20 hours of ground instruction in preparation for your Commercial exams. You can figure on spending 1 hour of ground for every 2 hours of flight training. If you already hold a Commercial Pilot (Airplane) Certificate, you will not have to take another written test for helicopters.

We require that all of our student’s successfully pass their written examination prior to starting their solo experience flight time. It is our goal to insure that all of our students pass their written examination with a passing grade of 90% or better. We have developed a training strategy that allows our students to achieve this level of success, time and time again.

Medical Requirements

Prior to your beginning your solo flight experience you must obtain a Class II Medical Certificate. It is our belief that you should obtain your Medical Certificate as soon as you decide to train for your Commercial Pilot Rating. In the unlikely event that you are not able to pass the medical exam, you will not have spent your time and money on training. Your instructor will assist you in finding an appropriately-certified physician to administer the necessary examination.

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