Instrument Helicopter Add-on

Sat Sep 28, 2002 10:56 am

Just out of curiousity, what are the requirements to obtain an Instrument Helicopter Rating if one already has an Instrument Airplane rating?

Obviously, the Rotocraft category rating is the first thing, but what else?

Posts: 614
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 7:59 am

RE: Instrument Helicopter Add-on

Sat Sep 28, 2002 2:31 pm

I don't think there's much of a difference, except there might be a different written exam or something.
I'm only saying so because I know helicopter minimums are half of fixed wing.

for what it's worth, when I was doing my airplane instrument rating in canada, there was this girl, a total helicopter pilot....doing her instrument rating too.
she never took off or landed the airplane. all her training was done above 1000 feet, and she did her instrument flight test on the fixed wing.

in my opinion, I would think your fixed wing instrument rating holds for both types of aircraft, but I cannot guarantee that.
worth some more investigating.

good luck
Maintain own separation with terrain!
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon May 28, 2001 11:30 am

RE: Instrument Helicopter Add-on

Sat Sep 28, 2002 11:15 pm

Flying a helicopter on instruments is a completely different ball game from fixed wing. The requirements are as follows: (Inbound please do not give false information)

Here are the references appropriate to helicopter-instrument ratings.

14 CFR 61.65

You must take an instrument knowledge exam. One qualifies for every instrument rating. (If you've taken the Instrument exam you don't need to take one for Instrument helicopter)

You must take the practical test in an airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift, appropriate to the rating sought.

So, if you have an Instrument Airplane, you must take another practical test for Instrument helicopter.

There are, in addition, additional experience rules. I will not type these up, but they can be referenced at 14 CFR 61.65 (d) (iv)

Hope this helps,

RE: Instrument Helicopter Add-on

Sun Sep 29, 2002 5:11 am

Ok, so what is the Instrument Helicopter practical like? How would it be similar to or different from the Airplane Instrument Practical?

Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 7:00 am

RE: Instrument Helicopter Add-on

Sun Sep 29, 2002 2:55 pm

If this is an add on, you wont need to take the written because you already have it. ARCH 89U is right, just check the regs. Regarding slicing the minimums in half, part 97 states that only the visibility may be cut in half but no less then 1200 RVR, you may NOT cut the MDA or DH in half. Flying an instrument approach in a helicopter is done at 80 knots and once the FAF is crossed it is increased to 90 kts, which equals about 480 feet per minute on the VSI. As for the actual practical in a chopper, at least 3 approaches (one precision and 2 non-precision), tracking and holding, steep turns, and unusual attitudes. Plus the oral going over regs, procedures, well you know! Most DE's dont have you file an IFR plan because of time but they usually ask you to fill out the written flight plan with an appropriate route on airways and such from one airport to another. Any other questions, just post.


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