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7 Answers

Army helo pilot wanting fixed wing instrument and commercial add on

Asked by: 7232 views , , ,
Commercial Pilot, FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Helicopter, Instrument Rating

I'm an Army helicopter pilot. I currently hold an instrument and commercial rotary rating as well as my SEL private pilots license. I want to add on an instrument and commercial rating to my fixed wing rating. What are my minimum requirement hours to do so? Every post I see seems to deal with just the opposite, a fixed wing pilot wanting to become a helicopter pilot.

Any help is really appreciated!

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7 Answers



  1. Sam Dawson on Dec 01, 2013

    I’ve done a number of these and have syllabus on my website for doing this.
    For your instrument rating you need to look at 61.65:

    (d) Aeronautical experience for the instrument-airplane rating. A person who applies for an instrument-airplane rating must have logged:

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which 10 hours must have been in an airplane; and

    (2) Forty hours of actual or simulated instrument time in the areas of operation listed in paragraph (c) of this section, of which 15 hours must have been received from an authorized instructor who holds an instrument-airplane rating, and the instrument time includes:

    (i) Three hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in an airplane that is appropriate to the instrument-airplane rating within 2 calendar months before the date of the practical test; and

    (ii) Instrument flight training on cross country flight procedures, including one cross country flight in an airplane with an authorized instructor, that is performed under instrument flight rules, when a flight plan has been filed with an air traffic control facility, and that involves—

    (A) A flight of 250 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from an air traffic control facility;

    (B) An instrument approach at each airport; and

    (C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.

    So basically you need 15 hours of dual from a CFII. This is a pretty easy rating as an add-on and every Army pilot I have had has been ready in15 hours, though those flying non-IFR aircraft such as -58Ds take longer.

    For commercial look at 61.129. Where you see the phrase “… in airplanes…” this is the time you need in airplanes.
    You do not need to take an additional written IAW 61.63.

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  2. Ross Rippy on Dec 01, 2013

    Cool thanks Sam. What’s your website?

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  3. Sam Dawson on Dec 01, 2013

    Sorry- samdawsoncfi.com

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  4. Sam Dawson on Dec 01, 2013

    I just noticed that it needs to be updated. I will try to do so tomorrow.

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  5. Jeff K on Apr 30, 2014

    Sam, I’m a bit apprehensive (or confused) about the 50 hours cross-country and having helicopter cross country PIC count for an airplane rating. I know that it specifies, 10 of that 50 must be in airplanes, but when I read the cross country definition in 61.1
    My situation is trying to add on either a ME or SE Airplane commercial to my helicopter commercial.

    “(ii) For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements (except for a rotorcraft category rating), for a private pilot certificate (except for a powered parachute category rating), a commercial pilot certificate, or an instrument rating, or for the purpose of exercising recreational pilot privileges (except in a rotorcraft) under § 61.101 (c), time acquired during a flight—

    (A) Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;
    (B) That includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and

    (C) That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.”

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  6. Jeff K on Apr 30, 2014

    Whoops, botched that comment a little and it won’t let me edit. I’ve mainly been unsure about “appropriate aircraft” and 50nm.

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  7. Sam Dawson on Jun 02, 2014

    Sorry, what is your question about it? That 10 hours in an airplane must be 50 miles.

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