Helicopter Instrument Rating

at East Coast Aero Club; updated August 2010

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The best helicopter jobs require an instrument rating. The best instrument instructors are those with extensive experience flying in actual instrument conditions. At East Coast Aero Club, many of our CFIIs have Airline Transport Pilot certificates and hundreds of hours flying real aircraft in real clouds.

A helicopter instrument rating will improve the precision of your flying, both VFR and IFR.

You will get your helicopter instrument training in N171WT, a beautifully maintained 2009 Robinson R44, rented at one of the lowest prices in the world. Your school will be East Coast Aero Club, established in 1985 and home to more than 30 aircraft, about 12 miles northwest of Boston, Massachusetts at KBED. We can also offer training at our Nashua, New Hampshire (KASH) location.

What's it like?

Check out these videos for a sample of our teaching:

What's it cost?

According to FAR 61, you need the following: 40 total hours of actual or simulated instrument time (can be in an airplane), out of which 15 hours must be training in a helicopter from a CFII-H. Therefore, if you already have significant hood or actual IMC time, the cost should be 15 hours times our dual rate, which is less than $400 per hour. Budget $6000.


Here are capsule biographies of some of our instrument instructors:

A good schedule

We recommend flying at least 3-4 times per week in order to maximize retention and minimize cost. Each flight should be roughly 1.5 hours in length.

Ready to Sign Up?

Call +1 781-274-6322 or, for more information, see our helicopter training web page.

Recommended Reading

You get a lot more out of each instrument training hour if you thoroughly understand the IFR system prior to getting into the helicopter. We recommend reading the following books: Note that the FAA books are available for free in PDF format on faa.gov. It is a good idea to take your knowledge test before commencing flight training, more so than for the Private rating.
Text and photos Copyright 2006-10 Philip Greenspun.