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Saving $ on instrument training

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Has anyone here tried saving money on their helicopter instrument rating by acquiring the majority of the required instrument hours in an airplane? I understand this would make it more difficult to reach the 200 hrs for Robinson's SFAR, but other than that it seems to be a cheap alternative to flying it all in a heli.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter, specifically if it was difficult transitioning from flying instruments in an airplane to a helicopter.


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If you are already dual rated, that's exactly what I would do. Get your IR in fixed wing then do the add-on helicopter IR. Don't forget that you can also count up to 20 hours in an approved simulator toward the IR also. That can save you some money as well. (more than one way to skin a squirrel) :D As for the 200 hr SFAR requirement, get your private then commercial then CFI and you should be right around the 200 mark...then fixed wing instrument, then add-on the helicopter instrument ticket...confused yet? I am and I did it! LOL

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If you're after proficiency at the least expense, I think it's an idea worth considering. Fixed wings operate in the same airspace system as rotary. That said, I tried doing so and had an issue getting the instructor to do IFR only with a non-fixed wing rated pilot. Also had a problem with the CFI keeping appointments (I bet you never heard of that!). Eventually, I reverted MS FS to practice and polish up conventional helo instruction. And a King ATP course didn't hurt.

Edited by Wally
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