If you’ve ever longed to soar over the countryside in a whirlybird, getting licensed to pilot helicopters might be in your future. But what type of certification is right for you?
First, you’ll notice references to Part 61 and Part 141 training.
Those numbers refer to certain sections of the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) guidelines. Different instructors are certified to teach to either Part 61 or Part 141 standards.
Here at Longhorn, we offer both. You’ll also want to know in advance that there are certain medical requirements for getting certified as a pilot, so make sure you’re aware of the FAA’s guidelines first.
Private Pilot License
The first tier of helicopter pilot certification is getting your Private Pilot license. This allows you to rent a helicopter and fly solo. With this kind of training, you can fly for fun, fly for charity and fly in rescue operations.
You cannot, however, fly for hire, whether that’s transporting goods or passengers.
Instrument Rating Certification
While a lot of potential employers aren’t going to require this certification since it’s rare for helicopters to be flown this way, it does provide you with an extra level of knowledge about your craft and prove to anyone glancing at your resume that you’ve really put the time in.
Commercial Pilot License
Given the added responsibilities of being routinely in charge of valuable goods and, most importantly, other human lives, the amount of in flight experience required first for this certification is significant.
FAA guidelines dictate that commercial pilots must have at least 150 hours logged of specific kinds of flight.
Flight Instructor Certification
After you’ve mastered all the ropes yourself, it might be time to start passing it on. Getting certified as a Flight Instructor is a great way to share your newfound skill while racking up additional flight hours for your resume.
Adding on a Flight Instructor Instrument certification gives you even more options for teaching and experience.
Airline Transport Pilot Certification
The highest you can climb on the helicopter piloting ladder is to get ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) certified. A minimum of 1,200 total hours of flight time are required before testing for this certification. Given that this is the highest level of certification, getting ATP certified opens the helicopter flying job market wide open to you.
Whether you’re a novice just looking to find your wings or an experienced hobbyist looking to take your helicopter habit to the next level, at Longhorn Helicopters we can help you train for the next step.