Helicopter Training Programs & Recommended Sequence:

Envision your future career. Set a goal, then go get it! The following five majors goals along the way to becoming a paid professional pilot may be further broken down into identifiable steps. Heli Montana’s instructors know the steps and how to guide you through the FAA’s administrative process. We’ll get you there!

1. Private Pilot’s License (PPL): Learn to fly a Helicopter!

A “private” is the first major goal towards a heli pilot career. A PPL allows you as a renter pilot or heli owner to fly family and friends for fun or personal transportation. The FAA requires a minimum of 40 flight hours and is attainable to the truly dedicated in 2-3 months (although 4-6 months is more common).

2. Instrument Rating: Fly safely in the clouds.

Flying by “instrument” refers to planning, flying, and navigating without visual reference outside the helicopter. Zero visibility! Although not required to become a paid Commercial Pilot, having an instrument rating is the industry standard and is required for most jobs.

3. Commercial Pilot (CPL): Get paid to fly!

Students often report that this third major goal was the most rewarding. After you’ve earned a PPL, the CPL requires an additional 110 hours (FAA minimum 150 hours total flight time). A “commercial” allows you to get your first job! Fair warning: very few pilots get a job without first building hours and experience as a Flight Instructor.

4. Certified Flight Instructor (CFI): Most likely your first job.

The goal of CFI is likewise highly rewarding. To earn a CFI, you have honed your knowledge and skill as a pilot to such a fine degree that you are competent to safely instruct others. To instruct in a Robinson helicopter (without a doubt, Robinson is the industry standard), the FAA regulations require a minimum of 200 hours.

5. Certified Flight Instrument Instructor (CFII): Professional Pilot & career standard!

By attaining the fifth goal of “instrument instructor,” you are now prepared and employable to begin your career. A serious and dedicated student may complete a CFII program, from Zero to Hero, in a total of 1-2 years!

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