Skip links

Professional Helicopter Instrument Course

Gain an advantage that helicopter employers value: learning to fly in real weather conditions.

The Instrument Rating is essential to learning to fly safely in low visibility conditions — a skill that’s in high demand in the helicopter industry as new aircraft applications are realized.  Regardless of whether you fly in actual instrument conditions or not, the Instrument Rating will give you the tools and knowledge you need for a safe career as a professional pilot.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to Fly by Instruments Only
  • Basic Attitude Flying
  • Advanced Approaches
  • Instrument Cross Country Procedures
  • Flying in Challenging Weather
  • And So Much More

At Hillsboro Aero Academy, we utilize our Frasca TruFlite simulators and Robinson R22 and R44 instrument-equipped aircraft to develop the skills that you will need for instrument proficiency. The weather in the Pacific Northwest provides great opportunities for pilots to recognize the conditions that necessitate the helicopter Instrument Rating.

We break the instrument training into two stages. In stage one, you will learn how to maintain a given altitude, airspeed and direction using only information from the instruments inside the cockpit. Practicing emergency procedures in simulated instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and learning what to do if one of the instruments you are relying on fails is key during this course.

In stage two, you practice taking off in simulated IMC while only referencing your instruments. During this part of the training, you go to a variety of airports to practice different types of approaches. We have many local airports that offer a myriad of instrument approaches giving you a large amount of experience without having to travel far.

Once you and your instructor feel that you have the required ground knowledge and have demonstrated the necessary flight skills for the instrument course, you will take your instrument check ride. Under Part 141 regulations for the Instrument Rating, the FAA requires 35 hours of flight training and 30 hours of ground training. Remember that these are the minimum hours that the FAA requires but every student learns a different speed.