Cape Fear Regional Jetport - Oak Island, NC  |  Tel: 910.477.1926  | Email:

Helicopter Instrument Rating


This program is designed for the student seeking a career as a helicopter pilot. The instrument rating allows pilots to operate IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) equipment helicopters in adverse weather conditions. The IFR training is often included during a portion of the commercial helicopter pilot training. Although you can obtain a commercial helicopter license without an IFR rating, most employers prefer to hire an IFR qualified pilot. The instrument rating is highly advantageous for safety and employment purposes. It facilitates the pilot’s ability to fly referring only to the instrument panel. Students will learn to fly via instruments in an R-44 designed with an instrument panel.

A student must have a FAA Private Pilot Helicopter Certificate and hold at least a valid third-class medical certificate to begin instrument training. This program runs approximately four weeks for full time students. Lengths of programs are based on a five day a week schedule. All pilot in command (PIC) hours during the instrument course will apply towards the 100 hours PIC and 150 total hours required for Commercial Certificate.

Training will be completed in 3 stages:

Stage I: In the first stage, you will gain a working knowledge of the function and use of the flight instrument components and systems. You will become familiar with various other types of instrument navigation and all documentation dealing with IFR flight including IFR charts. Emphasis will be placed on the student’s ability to control the aircraft in a smooth and precise manner while doing instrument maneuvers.

Stage II: Approach plates will be introduced as well as the skills needed to utilize alternative methods for approach maneuvers. Once you are comfortable with these maneuvers, you will be instructed on instrument emergency procedures. When the instructor is comfortable with your level of competency in these areas, you will complete the stage two check.

Stage III: Heavy emphasis will be placed on weather factors and hazards in relation to instrument flying. You will be shown how to utilize and comprehend various weather publications and review previous maneuvers. You will learn to recognize the factors related to effective decision making to plan a successful IFR flight. You will then plan and then conduct a cross country IFR flight. After which you will take the stage three check and practical exam to receive your Instrument Rating

The costs outlined below illustrate the minimum hourly requirements required by the Federal Aviation Regulations Part 61, Subpart B, 61.65.

FAA minimum requirements per FAR 61.65:

Dual Flight Instruction in R-44 40hrs $25,000
Ground Instruction 30hrs $1,500
FAA Written Exam 1 $150
Flight Test 1 $600
Books & Supplies $100
PROGRAM TOTAL   $ 27,350  



*discounts are available for blocks of flight time – NO REFUNDS for pre-paid blocks of flight time at the discounted rate – ask for details!*