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Instrument Ratings - IR(H)

Often considered the most difficult qualification to gain as a helicopter pilot, the instrument rating requires both skill and dedication. It allows you to fly helicopters under IFR down to a decision height of 200ft. This means that in low cloud or low visibility conditions, you may be able to continue to operate.


Our course is fully integrated and designed to give you the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) endorsement to your Instrument Rating. We use our Simulator extensively for this training.


Instrument Rating Requirements

For civilians, you must hold either a PPL(H) with a night qualification, or a CPL(H). You will also need 50 hours of pilot in command cross-country time of which 10 hours must have been in helicopters. The IR(H) ground exams must have been completed and we recommend Caledonian Advanced Pilot Training for the ground school element.

We offer the instrument rating on the AS355, A109 and AW109, so you will require a type rating on one of these first. If this is your first single-pilot, multi-engine helicopter type rating, you need at least 70 hours as pilot in command on helicopters.

The instrument rating course consists of ground school, 40 hours of work in our FNPT II simulator and then 10 hours of actual flight time.

If you hold an ICAO/FAA instrument rating, we offer a conversion course consisting of 10 hours in our FNPT II and 5 hours of aircraft time. Please note that you will have to sit all of the EASA ATPL(H)/IR exams before starting the course.

For military pilots, Helicopter Services is an ELCAS Approved Learning Provider. We would recommend getting in contact or reading CAP 804 Section 4, Part O (for reference only) to find out what credit you receive for your military experience.

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