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Helicopter Add On to Fixed Wing


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Has anyone done this? What are peoples recommendations?

I am a fixed wing pilot with ~200 hours currently working on my commercial fixed wing rating and was thinking I would build some of remaining that time with a helicopter add on.

Would appreciate people's thoughts! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

First off:  If you are just wanting to build time for the commercial, then stick to the fixed-wing.  Yes, a limited number of the copter hours will count but, will be of little benefit to your skill development overall.

2nd:  As mentioned above, the cost will be at least double and maybe triple to fixed-wing.

3rd:  The skill set for the first 20 hours will not transfer to the airplane at all.  Your "resolve" will be tried, tested, and retried again and again.

I would stick to getting your commercial finished first.  Learning to fly one craft takes enough dedication without the distraction of anything much less something as difficult as a helicopter.

Just my 2 cents .

Good Luck with your training.


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  • 7 months later...

Hey Guys - quick update.  I passed my helicopter add-on check ride yesterday! 

Between COVID and weather it took longer than expected but was an incredible experience. Looking forward to continuing building my skills on both fixed and rotor.


Of note, @edspilot was completely correct on all of his comments. It was not helpful for the fixed wing, was at points incredibly frustrating, and it was expensive. It was very rewarding and worth it though for me personally (but likely a bad idea if my goal was only the fixed wing commercial rating).


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  • 1 month later...

Congratulations!!  I did the same thing back in the 70's and it worked out great.  Flew the bush in Alaska in both helicopters and fixed wing for 10 years before getting an airline job.  Retired now with my own helicopter to fly for fun but can't afford a Boeing 747 to play with so it worked out OK I guess.

Enjoy your aviation career!

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