The Commercial Pilot rating is intended for those who intend to work as a pilot for compensation. As a commercial pilot, you’re certified to work for other companies or work as an independent pilot for hire. Commercial pilots have the opportunity to work in many areas of the helicopter industry such as charters or tours, utility, news, agriculture and law enforcement. The more experience you gain, the more options you have for working as a pilot.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
- Hold at least a private pilot certificate.
Steps to become a Commercial Helicopter Pilot
- Pass a written knowledge test to FAA standards.
- Fulfill the minimum requirements of flight time and training specified by the FAA (see below).
- Pass an oral, and flight test (Practical test) given by the FAA or a Designated Pilot Examiner.
Total Time: 150 hours of 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, that includes at least–
- 35 hours in helicopters; and
- 10 hours in cross-country flying in helicopters.
- Dual: 20 hours of flight training on the Commercial Pilot areas of operation that includes at least–
- 10 hours of instrument training in an aircraft;
- 1 cross-country of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in day VFR conditions;
- 1 cross-country of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in night VFR conditions; and
- 3 hours of flight training in a helicopter within the preceding 60 days prior to the practical test.
- Solo: 10 hours of solo flying in a helicopter on the Commercial Pilot areas of operation, that includes at
- One cross-country flight; and
- 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings at a controlled airport.
Cost Breakdown (Based on FAA Minimums)
Schweizer 300C rental: 50-100 hours @$330/hr: $16,550-$33,000
Ground Training: 20 hours @$40/hr: $800
Books and Supplies: $100
FAA Written Test: $150
FAA Examiner Fee: $600
Total Cost (Based on FAA Minimums): $18,200-$34,650
(Hours acquired during your Private and Instrument training count toward the 150 hour mark. If you don’t have instrument time, your hours needed will be more.)
Note: Our prices are subject to change without prior notice. The Commerical Pilot Rotorcraft course is structured and based on the FAA minimum requirements. It is not guaranteed you will complete the training in the minimum number of hours.
Since the Commercial certificate requires you to have a total of 150 hours of flight time as well as 100 hours of Pilot In Command (PIC) time, the course cost of the Commercial certificate will vary greatly from student to student. PIC time is any time acquired after getting a Private Pilot certificate. Therefore, if you acquire a Private certificate at 50 hours you will be able to achieve the 100 hours of PIC time needed to finish the Commercial certificate in the minimum 150 hours. If it takes you more than 50 hours to get a Private certificate, then you will need more than the 150 hours to qualify for the Commercial certificate due to the 100 hour PIC requirement. The regulations for this rating can be a bit confusing at times and we encourage you to contact or visit us for further clarification.