The Commercial Pilot Certificate is a necessary second step for those who aspire to become Professional Helicopter Pilots and / or Certified Flight Instructors. You must hold a Private Pilot Helicopter Certificate before you can advance on the Helicopter Commercial Certificate and the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Rating, if you choose to become a Helicopter Flight Instructor.
Note: You can begin flight training in the helicopter TODAY! There are NO prior requirements before you begin dual instruction in the helicopter. You can begin at any age, but you must be 16 years old to solo, 17 to earn your Private Pilot Certificate, and 18 to qualify for the Commercial Certificate and Flight Instructor Rating. (See our page on Private Pilot Requirements, which is the place to start)
Commercial Pilot - Helicopter FAA Certificate Requirements
Minimum 18 Years Old to Take Commercial Pilot Flight Test
Hold a Private Pilot Helicopter Certificate (or Meet the Commercial "Add-On" Requirements)
Must Read, Write, Understand, and Speak English
Minimum of 150 Hours of Flight Time
Hold a Current FAA Medical Certificate
Pass an FAA Written Commercial "Knowledge Test" (Prior to Taking FAA Practical Flight Test)
Minimum of 100 Hrs of "Pilot in Command" (PIC) Flight Time Including at Least 35 Hrs PIC in a Helicopter
Pass an FAA Oral and Practical Flight Test
Required Commercial Pilot Flight Training Experience Reference: FAR 61.129(c)
150 Hours (Minimum) Total Pilot Time in Helicopters* Must Include:
10 hours of Instrument Training in an Aircraft
100 hours of "Pilot-in-Command" Flight Time (35 hours or more of which must be in a helicopter)
20 hours of Dual Instruction in the Required Areas of Operation
10 hours of Cross-Country Helicopter Experience
3 hours of Night Dual Instruction
1 DAY VFR 2-hour (minimum) Dual Instruction Flight with one (1) 50 nautical-mile "leg"
1 NIGHT VFR 2-hour (minimum) Dual Instruction Flight with one (1) 50 nautical-mile "leg"
5 hours of NIGHT SOLO Flight Experience with a minimum of 10 Take-Offs and Landings
One (1) Cross-Country Solo flight with three landings and one (1) 50 nautical-mile minimum "leg"
3 hours of dual instruction in the 60 days previous in Preparation for the Flight Test
NOTES: These Requirements are for Those Individuals who earn their Commercial Helicopter Certificate in helicopters without any fixed-wing flight time or experience. Pilots already airplane rated can also earn a Commercial "Add-On" Rating.