US Aviation Academy

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Helicopter Instrument Rating

An instrument rating is generally the next step forward after earning your private rotor-wing license.

During this course we will teach you how to fly without outside visual references, relying solely on your helicopter’s instrument panel. Although this rating is not required for your commercial certificate, it is strongly recommended. Most employers will not hire you without an instrument rating.

An instrument rating will make you a safer and more skilled pilot. This training gives you greater insight into how the instruments themselves work and what they are telling you about the aircraft.

Instrument Rating Requirements:
  • 17 years old
  • Must be able to read, speak, write, and understand English
  • At least a third class medical certificate
  • Private license

Our course is broken down into three progressive stages designed to guide you through the training requirements of the helicopter instrument rating.

If you have already started your instrument training and you’re looking at switching to US Aviation Academy, give us a call so we can provide you with a customized quote.

Stage One

Ground Objective

During the ground lessons of this stage, the student will learn the principles of instrument flight, including the operation, use, and limitations of flight instruments and instrument navigation systems. The student will also learn how the air traffic control system functions and the use of instrument flight charts for IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) planning and flight. Emphasis will be placed on advanced human factors and physiological factors directly related to instrument flight. In addition, the student will become familiar with the FARs applicable to instrument flight operations.

Flight Objective

During the flight lessons of this stage the student will learn precise helicopter attitude control by instrument reference. Additionally, the student will gain greater competence in the use of navigation systems.

Stage Two

Ground Objective

During the ground lessons of this stage, the student will learn the procedures used to execute IFR approaches as well as the procedures for IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) departure, enroute, and arrival operations.

Flight Objective

The objective of the Stage II flight lessons is to introduce and train the student on holding patterns and instrument approaches, including missed approach procedures. The student will learn to correctly perform holding patterns and accurate instrument approaches using full and partial panel techniques.

Stage Three

Ground Objective

During the ground lessons of this stage, the student will review the Helicopter Pilot Manual, Pilot’s Operating Handbook, and the FAR/AIM in preparation for the final exam.

Flight Objective

During the flight lessons of this stage, the student will be introduced to IFR (Instrument Flight Rues) cross-country procedures and to increase the student’s proficiency to the level required of an instrument rated pilot.

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