All pilots, from student on, are required to pass an FAA structured medical exam provided by an FAA approved physician. In addition to normal, healthy body function, hearing and vision are also tested. No, you do not have to have perfect, uncorrected vision to be a pilot. But, your vision must be correctable with lenses to a relatively high level. Color perception is also important. For most people, the physical will not be a problem. However, certain, red flag areas do exist: history of drug abuse, psychological disorders, certain heart problems, and anything that may imply lapses in consciousness. If in doubt, contact an FAA approved physician and discuss your problem. Often, things can be resolved satisfactorily.

For every level of license there are FAA minimum flight time requirements. In the case of the Private Pilot License the minimum hours are, for almost everyone, very unrealistic. The FAA requires that you have 40 hours of instruction for your Private License. However, 60-80 hours of dual is much more true to life and many take a little more.

You can expect to spend $650/hour for flight time with an instructor, and solo time. Ground time is $75/hr.

A commercial rotorcraft license requires that the pilot have 150 total hours, minimum, and 100 PIC (Pilot in Command) time. PIC time is earned flying solo in the pursuit of your Private License and any time, after attaining your Private License, where you are acting as the pilot of the helicopter-even while receiving flight instruction. 

Most introductory pilot jobs, require the pilot to have somewhere between 500 and 1000 hours piloting the helicopter, with most leaning towards the 2000 hour+ side. Working as a helicopter pilot can take you into many different industries, all over the world. Helicopter pilot opportunities include training, offshore support, fire fighting, law enforcement, agriculture, pipeline and utility support, sightseeing, executive transport, fishing, EMS (Emergency Medical Services), search and rescue, logging, test piloting, and more. It can be a rewarding and satisfying career path.

Getting your pilot's license can take as little as a year to two years depending upon how often you fly each week, and the number of times you fly each day. Others, pay as they can, taking longer to complete the process. There is no right way or wrong way to become a helicopter pilot and no penalty for taking longer to get there.

Our flight school will give you a training regimen carefully orchestrated and laid out rather than off the cuff training. We have a 100% accident free safety record, 100% pass rate, 24/7 maintenance capability, and quality instructional staff. We also provide on site consultation and aircraft acquisition. So when you are ready to join us up in the air, give us a call as our flights get booked up well in advance. Thank you for visiting and we hope to fly with you soon! 

There are generally two paths to pursuing a career flying helicopters: the civilian path and a military career. If you’re thinking about the military option, please contact a recruiting office nearby and get the details from them. Read the small print carefully. Please realize, however, that as a military pilot, you are a military officer above all, with all of the attending duties, responsibilities and commitments first, and a pilot, second. This page will describe the civilian career path.

All professional helicopter pilots must at least be in possession of a Commercial Rotorcraft License. Nearly all, however, have also attained their Certificated Flight Instructor’s (CFI) credentials (for reasons that will soon become clear) and many have their instrument rating as well. So, how do you get there from here?

The typical license progression moves through Student, Private, Commercial, and CFI. Many will acquire their instrument rating between Private and Commercial. The instrument rating, though not mandatory for some jobs, is increasingly becoming either a significant benefit or requirement for many of the better jobs. It will also make you a better pilot.

Flight training, for all levels of licensure, requires both ground and flight training. There are a number of flight training schools around the world that provide this level of training. Helicopter flight training is expensive! Much more expensive than fixed wing (airplane) training. Why? Because helicopters are expensive machines to acquire and operate and insurance costs, already high, have risen steeply since 9/11/2001. Many find that flight training in the U.S. is somewhat less costly than training elsewhere, but numerous options exist. This article will focus on U.S. flight training.


Book a discovery flight with us today and come find out what makes us the #1 flight school in the local area!

Always dreamed of flying your own helicopter? This is your chance to feel what it's like to be a helicopter pilot!



At Michigan Helicopters, we expect every one of our staff instructors to provide their very best effort to cultivate each student they are tasked to teach. Our flight school management does not accept mediocrity as the standard.  The flight instructors here are fully engaged in the success of our clients. Here at MICHIGAN HELICOPTERS, our passion is providing quality education, engaged instructors as well as promoting the same in our students.  

We teach while always adapting and learning to our diverse student and client base. Here at Michigan Helicopters we teach honest aviation. Instruction provided here is more than what you need to pass a test, its what you need to be a phenomenal, safe pilot. Success is NOT measured by the amount of flight hours. Instead, safe piloting, continued motivation, good aeronautical decision making, and representing helicopter aviation in a positive manner is how we view success.
 We are open 7 days a week, have an on-staff DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner) and nearby off-airport training facilities to allow our clients real world experience and training.

Copyright © Michigan Helicopters All Rights Reserved

The busy city and its airspace allows us to practice challenging approaches and confined area landings.
Michigan's weather is perfect for flying as cold weather allows for more lifting power.  
Oakland International Airport has a control tower allowing a net of safety from Air traffic control during training.
During the winter months, the temperatures allow you to add cold weather training should you want to fly a job in Heli-skiing, Alaska Pipelines, etc.
Flying in Michigan will add real-world value to your training!

Off-site Training for all programs are available per customer request.

We accept Military- MICHIGAN TUITION ASSISTANCE funds for helicopter training. NO GI BILL funds unfortunately. Please call for details.

Test your flying skills as a Helicopter Pilot during an instructional
Discovery Flight! Pricing is $625 for the 2.0 hour experience!

Fly yourself with a well qualified Flight Instructor over the City, River, and downtown. Go home with your own Pilot Logbook, signed by your Flight Instructor! We employ the best of the best. When it comes to helicopter instruction, our aircraft, our instructors and our facility are the best in the nation.  

No other helicopter tour company will give you the opportunity to fly the helicopter yourself!

The “Aviator” Discovery Flight includes  Ground Instruction and flight instruction in an R44 Helicopter. Your instructor will explain to you how the helicopter controls work, and give you an FAA SFAR73 Safety Briefing.

The R44 has a max. seat weight of 300 lbs.

Whether seeking a career as a professional helicopter pilot or pursuing a private rotorcraft pilot’s license, flying helicopters is like nothing else you have ever done or will ever do. And, it is never too late to begin. New people are entering the field every day-from their late teens to their 50s and older. And, it should go without saying-women pilots are every bit as welcome and have the same opportunities as men.

There will always be an industry need for helicopter pilots. Flying helicopters is exciting, challenging, empowering and just plain fun. But, like any worthwhile goal, the achievement of your rotorcraft pilot’s license(s) requires dedication, commitment, hard work, and, depending upon your financial condition, a level of sacrifice. All of our courses are tailored to each student and dependent on individual ability, over the course of 12-18 months, you can plan to invest approximately $43,000- $45,000 in your education. With that investment, we provide top of the line aircraft, talented maintenance technicians,  experienced and friendly instructional staff, and a state of the art facility that has kept us as the highest rated helicopter flight academy in Michigan year after year.