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Do I have to start all over when it comes to a Helicopter Instrument
rating if I already have an Airplane Instrument rating?
-- Dan Vivian, February 11, 2007
To add a helicopter instrument rating to a certificate with an airplane instrument rating, you need 10 hours of training (from a CFII-H) and a checkride. (This is a straightforward reading of FAR 61.) If you have an airplane ATP, you need 25 hours of hood time (not necessarily any training; could all be with a safety pilot), and then a checkride. You do not need to take an instrument-H checkride and then an ATP checkride. (This is something I verified with the Boston FSDO.)
-- Philip Greenspun, February 12, 2007
14 CFR 61.65(d)(2)(i) 15 Hours dual with CFII in category 14 CFR 61.65(d)(2)(iv) 100nm XC plus approaches
The 15 hours provides ample time to learn the differences between categories: ITO (Instrument Take Off), emergencies (for helicopter this includes autorotations under the hood), unusual attitude recovery techniques, obstacle clearance approaches & climbs (on missed approach), etc.
-- Mike Rhodes, April 5, 2007