Colorado HeliOps is registered to train Veterans, contact us for more information.

Research helicopter flight schools.

Research flight schools that suit your needs and wants- don’t just look at Colorado Heli-Ops.

Here are a couple things we suggest from our experience:

  1. Quality of training – does the school train in a structured way? Is it an organized facility?
  2. How does the fleet of helicopters look, are they well maintained? What types of helicopters are used for training?
  3. Cost of helicopter training
  4. What kind of availability do the instructors and helicopters have?
  5. Instructor credentials, ie how many hours do the helicopter instructors have?
  6. Are there any hidden charges like fuel surcharges?
Helicopter flight training, Helicopter Charter, Denver Colorado
Helicopter flight training, Helicopter Charter, Denver Colorado

Learn the requirements for helicopter flight

You can start your helicopter training at any age.  You can only solo the helicopter at 16 years of age and then get your private Pilot helicopter certificate at 17 years of age.

Eligibility requirements for your Student Pilot Certificate: (you do not need a Student Pilot certificate to take helicopter flying lessons, you only need it once you’re ready to solo the helicopter):

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • You must be able to read, speak and understand English
  • You must hold at least a current third-class medical certificate.

You will also need an FAA medical certificate in order to fly solo or as a professional.  You will get this medical certificate from a designated FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). You can find one near you with the AME Locator here:

There are three classes of medical certificates:

  1. First Class Medical: Required for Airline Transport Pilot operations
  2. Second Class Medical: Required for Commercial Pilots operations
  3. Third Class medical: Required for private and student Pilot operations; this certificate is valid for 24 months if the holder is over 40, and 60 months is the holder is under 40.

The building blocks toward a career.

Training will start with the Private Pilot Certificate. With the private Pilot helicopter Certificate you will be able to fly a helicopter freely, you just can’t get paid for it. It is important to note that most helicopter schools, like Colorado Heli-Ops, offer training in helicopters but do not rent them for private use. Therefore, most private helicopter pilots need to either to buy a helicopter, or to continue training in order to continue flying. After the private certificate is obtained, you will now increase your helicopter flight hours and experience to become a Commercial Helicopter Pilot. You will need to accumulate at least 150 hours of helicopter flight time to be eligible to obtain your Commercial Helicopter License.  If you plan on getting a job flying helicopters, you will need the commercial license- you cannot fly for hire without it.

During this time, most people train to attain an Instrument Rating. This rating increases your experience, knowledge and skill level significantly. An instrument rating allows you to fly under “Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)”, which allow operations in low visibility or cloudy conditions. Many helicopter pilots will not fly IFR, but will need an instrument rating to be hired and to be competitive for jobs.

Most career pilots will continue training to obtain their Flight Instructor certificate. This opens many more doors for employment, especially for pilots with less experience looking for entry level positions. Many pilots’ first paying job will be as a flight instructor. However, many tour operators and other companies will require a flight instructor certificate, because it demonstrates an increased level of helicopter skill and knowledge.

Colorado Heli-Ops does hire our own graduates whenever possible. In order to apply, you will need to hold a Flight Instructor-Instrument rating. By this time, you will already have the skills to instruct, and to fly IFR. In obtaining this rating, you will practice the skills of instructing IFR related tasks.

If you plan to instruct in a Robinson R22 or R44, you will want to make sure you have 200 total hours flying helicopters, and at least 50 hours of R22 flight time, and 25 additional hours in the R44. This will make sure you meet the requirements of SFAR 73, a regulation that establishes minimum training and experience for flight in an R22 or R44 helicopter.

The helicopter is a very versatile machine. Once you have the certificates and experience listed above, you will be qualified to get an entry-level job in a variety of industry segments. It is a good idea to talk with helicopter pilots to understand the many career paths and jobs that will be available to you. Give us a call to talk about the industry and we will help you set goals for an exciting career!

Search for a job, click here to see some of the jobs out in the market place right now

Helicopter flight training, Helicopter Charter, Denver Colorado


    Private Pilot CourseCommercial Pilot CourseCareer Pilot ProgramInstrument RatingFlight Instructor (CFI and CFII)High Altitude TrainingHour buildingR44 courseVA BenefitsAviation Futures Program