Instrument Rating

Learn to fly a helicopter under conditions of restricted visibility, using only instrumentation and communication with air traffic control for navigation with your instrument rating.

Instrument or CFII


Though an instrument rating isn’t required by the FAA for helicopter pilots, we strongly recommend obtaining your instrument rating, whether you fly for fun or you plan to make a career as a helicopter pilot. You can complete up to half of your required instrument flight hours in our FRASCA TruFlite H Simulator at a fraction of the cost of flying the real helicopter. If you plan to complete your CFII or ATP rating, you’ll need to hold an instrument rating first. Check out our Simulator page for more details!

  • Read, write, understand, and speak English
  • Hold at least a Private Pilot License
  • Log at least 50 hours cross-country pilot-in-command (PIC) flight time
  • Complete 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, with at least 15 hours with an authorized instructor who holds an instrument rating (CFII).
  • Complete one (1) 100-nautical-mile instrument cross-country instructional flight which includes at least 3 different instrument appr
  • Pass FAA Instrument knowledge test
  • Pass an FAA Instrument Oral and Practical Flight Test

Not rated yet? Start with an intro flight!