Jump to content

Fixed Wing Guy Looking to Add-On


Recommended Posts

Hey folks,

 

I've been browsing around here for a little while now and done a number of searches, but haven't found quite the information I'm looking for (if I've missed an obvious thread, my apologies!).

 

I'm a regional jet captain with roughly 6,000 hours of fixed-wing experience, but for years now I've had a huge interest in getting my rotary-wing ratings. There is an off-chance that I could get a corporate job flying both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, but this is still pretty unlikely and for the most part I would just like to step out of my comfort zone and expand my aviation experience.

 

I'm not looking for any advice on future employability or the liklihood that I'll be able to take advantage of a rotorcraft rating in the future, but I was wondering if anybody had an realistic estimates as far as training requirements to get a Private Rotorcraft add-on rating. Does the fixed wing experience translate at all? What is a reasonable number of flight hours to learn the differences? 40, 50, 75, 100 hours?

 

I've got a school in mind and have met with the instructors a few times, but I'm trying to figure out what sort of budget I need for this, and nobody I work with has a clue. Any insight would be most appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strikefinder,

I have a school and the vast majority of our students fit your "aviator demographic" (e.g. jet captains with 5K-7K hours TT). A safe ballpark figure has been 60-70 hours, some more, some less depending. You're welcome to PM me if you have any other questions...

 

Regards...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Specifically - 14 CFR 61.129

 

150 hours of flight time as a pilot (see 61.129( C ).)

Of the 150 hour flight time requirement, at least 100 must be in powered aircraft, and

of these 100 hours, at least 50 must be in helicopters. This can also include all dual flights with an instructor in which the applicant was not flying as PIC, assuming the student was already a certificated pilot at the time – for example, when the certificated pilot was flying the helicopter with the instructor acting as PIC. Such logged flight time can contribute to the 150, 100, and 50 hour requirements of 61.129( C )(3).

 

100 hours of pilot-in command flight time, which includes at least

35 hours in helicopters and

10 hours cross-country flight in helicopters.

Holders of commercial certificates seeking an add-on helicopter rating will likely already meet the 100 hours of PIC time requirement, so the 35 PIC/10 x/c PIC in helicopters requirement is the focal point here. Take the common example of a commercial pilot with a single-engine airplane rating seeking a commercial helicopter add-on. Meeting the 20 dual/10 solo requirements (below), plus the 35 PIC and 10 x/c time requirement means that all of the PIC requirements must be fulfilled with solo flight time. The disadvantage here is that the applicant will gain little in practical experience and knowledge with 35 hours of solo operation prior to the practical test. (The applicant will be unable to practice emergency operations without an instructor aboard, and as such will just be boring holes in the sky and burning fuel to meet the requirement.) By meeting the private pilot requirements (20 dual/10 solo) and earning a private pilot certificate, the remaining 25 hours can be flown as PIC with dual instruction, which may be a better training investment.

 

20 hours dual flight training in areas of operation listed in 61.127( B )(3), which includes

at least 10 hours of instrument training in an aircraft (note: does not specify helicopters, so this time can be flown in other categories of aircraft.)

1 (dual) day VFR x/c at least 2 hours, at least 50nm straight line distance from point of departure;

1 (dual) night VFR x/c at least 2 hours, at least 50nm straight line distance from point of departure; and

3 hours flight training within 60 days preceding the practical test.

 

10 hours of solo flight in a helicopter, including: (Note: this aeronautical experience requirement (10 hours of solo flight time) cannot be met using solo time earned at the student pilot level. Reference Pt. 61 FAQ, p. 242, Q&A-234)

1 (solo) x/c flight w/ landings at minimum of 3 points, w/ one segment consisting of at least 50nm from the original point of departure; and

5 hours night VFR w/ 10 takeoffs/10 landings, each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern (note, no ‘operating control tower’ requirement here.)

Edited by nbit
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the insight (I'm going to have to digest the legalese for a bit; It's been a while since flight time has been an issue). I've thought about the Commercial route, but I wasn't certain how realistic the minimum flight times were for the Commercial ticket, although it seems like it's not a tremendous difference. I suppose that it won't largely affect the early flights anyhow, so I won't worry about making that decision quite yet.

 

The school down the street from me flies Hughes 269s and seems to be relatively popular. It's a mom-and-pop type of place, but I've met with a few instructors there and am impressed that it's the type of operation I'm looking for. I don't know much about the Hughes (other than the transition into the Schweizer 300), but it seems to fit the bill for a basic trainer, though I'd imagine some R22 time afterward would be a must if I wanted to use the rating for anything more serious.

 

In any case, I'm sure I'll have more questions, but if anybody has any other advice, I'm a sponge at this point. Thanks for all the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anybody know what it takes to fly fixed wing if you have a commercial rotorcraft license?

Money...............

 

sorry couldn't help myself :D

 

61.109 (a) Private pilot requirements, 61.129 (a) Commercial requirements

 

Fly Safe

Clark B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All right, so let me summarize, just to make certain I've got this right:

 

To get the commercial add-on:

 

50 hours in Helicopters

20 Hours dual related to helicopter operations (61.127(B)(3))

35 hours PIC in helicopters (solo or sole manipulator after Private)

10 PIC X-Country

1 Day Dual X-Country (2 hours, 50 nm straight line minimum)

1 Night Dual X-Country (same)

10 hours solo flight post Private Checkride?

 

You referenced the Part 61 FAQ, specifically:

 

QUESTION: Does the aeronautical experience requirement for “. . . 10 hours of solo flight in a helicopter on the areas of operation listed in § 61.127(B)(3) of this part . . .” have to be accomplished after the applicant first holds a private pilot certificate? Or can the aeronautical experience earned as a student pilot be credited for meeting this requirement?

 

ANSWER: Ref. § 61.129©(4); That aeronautical experience [i.e., “. . . 10 hours of solo flight in a helicopter on the areas of operation listed in § 61.127(B)(3) of this part . . .” ] has to be earned while the applicant is seeking commercial pilot certification and the applicant must first hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate. As the rule [i.e., § 61.129©(4)] states, it has to be “. . . on the areas of operation listed in § 61.127(B)(3) of this part . . .” Otherwise, at the commercial pilot level.

 

The answer is no, this aeronautical experience cannot be earned during the student pilot level.

{Q&A-234}

 

However, Q&A 146 states:

 

QUESTION: A commercial pilot with an airplane single-engine land rating is now seeking to add a helicopter rating onto his commercial pilot certificate. How can the applicant obtain and log the PIC flight time in a helicopter to show 35 hours of PIC flight time in helicopters as required per § 61.129©(2)(i)?

 

ANSWER: Ref. § 61.51(e) or § 61.31(d); The PIC flight time would have to be obtained:

 

a. Already hold a helicopter rating at the private pilot level. Then PIC flight time can be logged while flying solo and/or while manipulating the control as per § 61.51(e)(1)(i) when the flight instructor is on board; or

b. Be the sole occupant of the aircraft and have a current solo endorsement in accordance with § 61.31(d)(3).

 

Meanwhile, Question 479 says:

 

QUESTION: If a person holds a Private Pilot Certificate or higher with an Airplane – Single Engine Land rating, may that person log PIC while undergoing training for an Airplane – Multiengine Land rating at the private pilot certification level?

 

The rule [i.e., § 61.51(e)(4)(ii) and (iii)] now provides that a student pilot may log PIC if that pilot has a solo endorsement and is undergoing training for a different certificate or rating. Is a person who holds a Private Pilot Certificate with an Airplane – Single Engine Land rating considered a student pilot when seeking an Airplane – Single Engine Sea rating? If so, then would a person who holds an Airplane – Single Engine Land rating and is undergoing training for an Airplane – Multiengine Land rating or an Airplane – Single Engine Sea rating be considered a student pilot?

 

Also does “undergoing training” in this context of my question mean dual instruction?

 

ANSWER: Ref. § 61.51(e)(1)(ii) and § 61.31(d)(3); § 61.51(e)(4) to which you refer only applies to persons holding a student pilot certificate. You asked “Is a person who holds a Private Pilot Certificate with an Airplane – Single Engine Land rating considered a student pilot when undergoing training for an Airplane – Multiengine Land rating or an Airplane – Single Engine Sea rating?” No, that person is a certificated pilot at a level above “student pilot” and § 61.51(e)(4) does not apply. He is not a student pilot nor considered a student pilot.

 

In order to “log” PIC flight time For the scenario you've asked in your question, the person would have to meet the requirements of § 61.51(e)(1)(ii) to log PIC by being the “. . . the sole occupant of the aircraft . . .” because the pilot is not rated in the aircraft. However, in order to operate as sole occupant, the person would have to have received “. . . training required by this part that is appropriate to the aircraft category, class, and type rating (if a class or type rating is required) for the aircraft to be flown, and have received the required endorsements from an instructor who is authorized to provide the required endorsements for solo flight in that aircraft.” [see § 61.31(d)(3)]

 

The intent of the phrase “undergoing training” in §§ 61.51(e)(4)(iii) or the phrase “receiving training” in § 61.31(d)(3) merely means receiving training for the purpose of a certificate or additional rating. The training may be dual training received from an authorized instructor while the instructor is on board the aircraft. Or the training may be a part of the training process where the person is solo aboard the aircraft after being given an appropriate solo privilege endorsement per subpart C for student pilots or § 61.31(d)(3) for recreational and higher level certificated pilots.

{Q&A-479}

 

Obviously, I've got a category rating in fixed wing aircraft above the student pilot level (ATP). So when I solo in a rotorcraft without a rating in the helicopter, does this count toward the 10 hour solo requirement? It seems like it does, but, as you said, I would only get 20 hours dual if I was trying to run the minimum route, whereas I might be able to spend more time practicing harder maneuvers (like emergencies) with an instructor while still logging PIC time.

 

It seems like 55 hours would be absolute minimum for a Commercial ticket. 20 hours dual + 10 hours solo for the Private, then another 25 hours PIC in some combination of dual/solo (including the checkride, if I remember correctly) toward getting to the 35 hour point (which may or may not include 10 hours of solo after the checkride). Of course, I know that would be the absolute minimum and not terribly likely as a good plan, but it seems like the first few steps are going to be the same and I can take a look at the budget after I get started to make the final call.

Edited by Strikefinder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All right, so let me summarize, just to make certain I've got this right:

 

To get the commercial add-on:

 

50 hours in Helicopters

20 Hours dual related to helicopter operations (61.127(B)(3))

35 hours PIC in helicopters (solo or sole manipulator after Private)

10 PIC X-Country

1 Day Dual X-Country (2 hours, 50 nm straight line minimum)

1 Night Dual X-Country (same)

10 hours solo flight post Private Checkride?

 

You referenced the Part 61 FAQ, specifically:

<snip>

Obviously, I've got a category rating in fixed wing aircraft above the student pilot level (ATP). So when I solo in a rotorcraft without a rating in the helicopter, does this count toward the 10 hour solo requirement? It seems like it does, but, as you said, I would only get 20 hours dual if I was trying to run the minimum route, whereas I might be able to spend more time practicing harder maneuvers (like emergencies) with an instructor while still logging PIC time.

 

It seems like 55 hours would be absolute minimum for a Commercial ticket. 20 hours dual + 10 hours solo for the Private, then another 25 hours PIC in some combination of dual/solo (including the checkride, if I remember correctly) toward getting to the 35 hour point (which may or may not include 10 hours of solo after the checkride). Of course, I know that would be the absolute minimum and not terribly likely as a good plan, but it seems like the first few steps are going to be the same and I can take a look at the budget after I get started to make the final call.

 

Your deduction that 55 hours is the absolute minimum is correct as I understand it, and have always had it explained to me. (Funny, it says "50 hours in Helicopters", yes, I know)... When you do the math and read the fine print, it does come out to a 55 hour minimum.

 

About the statement "10 hours solo flight post Private Checkride?"... Do *not* do the private checkride.... Notice, it doesn't say "Private Pilot Helicopter", it says "Private Pilot". What it is really saying, I believe is - that it is possible for you to a have started logging helicopter time before you ever earned your private or commercial ASEL, AMEL, etc. This statement is to ensure you did at least 10 hours of solo time *after* you had earned a private or commercial certificate in another category of aircraft. Make sense? Otherwise, you aren't doing an "add-on" really, are you?... Saying it must not be earned at the student pilot level, is just saying you must already be a licensed pilot, and you must be solo, i.e. - by yourself...

 

As I stated in my previous post, it does seem to take 60-70 hours for almost every jet driver I have signed off (and myself). With careful planning of how your time is spent, 60 hours seems about right. I read and reread the regs during my add-on and it took me about exactly 60 for me.

 

You did your homework, and seem to have a good handle on what is required now. Hope I helped answer your specific question.

 

Also, if I am wrong, and someone can enlighten me, have at it. I make mistakes, but that's part of learning!

 

Oh, and it takes money too, like the others said ;) Good luck! :)

 

Regards...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I talked to our retired airline pilot CFI today about this. He went right for his commercial, bypassed Private. Now at CFI, he says he wishes he had done his Private just to have the additional PIC time. If you're not looking to move to a helicopter career, this might not be a concern. In the long run it's not a huge difference in time, but when you're looking forward to 1000 hours it might keep you warm at night. ;)

 

He echoed what nbit said in that the jet time doesn't really help with rotary wing learning. Sure, the ground study is a non issue, and instrument rating was comparatively simple, but learning to fly the helicopter required very few skills he had developed in over 4 years in the air (4 years flight time, not total time).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I'm not sure that anybody really cares, but maybe somebody else will be in my shoes again down the road, so I'll update everybody on my progress.

 

Shortly after posting on here, I started training in the Hughes 269A at my local airport with a terrific instructor. Perhaps it was the abundance of chair flying I did when I worked for a large helicopter manufacturing company (not flying anything but a desk there), but I seem to have picked it up relatively quickly--I soloed last month at about 6.5 hours and have since built about 4 hours of solo time, along with knocking out the night cross-country flight with my instructor and doing more training in the meanwhile. My instructor has been throwing everything he can find at me, and while I'm still learning a lot every time I go up to fly, my instructor is pretty confident that I'll be ready for a checkride by 30-35 total hours. I was supposed to go on my first solo cross-country today, but unfortunately the helicopter had some unexpected maintenance and it will be put off until at least next week. Of course it does help that there's not much training required for towered airports, navigation, weather, and so forth, since I've obviously got plenty of general experience, so the training can focus nearly entirely on helicopter-related maneuvers, procedures, and emergencies.

 

I've elected to take the Private Pilot exam and build my PIC time toward the Commercial after the checkride. I believe the flight school I'm at will allow me to take passengers as long as I'm licensed, but I still expect to spend a fair chunk of the remaining PIC time working with an instructor and tightening things up. There are no instrument-certified helicopters at my home airport, so I haven't worked out if or when I'll add the instrument, but that's still a while off, I guess.

 

What I will say is that the flying is a blast, and I'm dragging my feet more and more to go and fly the RJ when all I'd really like to be doing is going back to practice my hover. I wish I'd done this sooner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you are doing well with the transition. While I’m not a jet driver, my main flying is in fixed wing, and I too find myself “dragging my feet” to stay around and fly the helicopters. I agree with your decision to do the Private add-on first, then the Commercial, I just feel that your time and money are better spent that way. (Just my personal opinion) The instrument won’t be that big of deal, the worst part is the 15 hours of hood time in the Helicopter, doesn’t sound like much until your trying to get it done.

 

Just curious, in what part of the country are you training?

 

Fly Safe

Clark B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Another update from the fixed wing guy...

 

Took my checkride last Thursday for the Private Rotorcraft Add-On........and passed! 30.2 hours in the HU269A before the checkride.

 

It's been an eight year long dream to learn how to fly a helicopter for me, and I'm (albeit slowly) on my way. I'm planning on trying to continue to work toward the Commercial add-on and Instrument ratings, but the cost threshold being as high as it is, I'll probably have to slow the process down (again).

 

Thanks again for the advice, everybody!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another update from the fixed wing guy...

 

Took my checkride last Thursday for the Private Rotorcraft Add-On........and passed! 30.2 hours in the HU269A before the checkride.

 

It's been an eight year long dream to learn how to fly a helicopter for me, and I'm (albeit slowly) on my way. I'm planning on trying to continue to work toward the Commercial add-on and Instrument ratings, but the cost threshold being as high as it is, I'll probably have to slow the process down (again).

 

Thanks again for the advice, everybody!

 

 

congratulations! 30.2 for transition is pretty impressive.

 

if you do your instrument before commercial, the 15 hours of instrument instruction will count toward that 35 hour PIC requirement for the commercial... but then again, if you're not going to USE the instrument, don't bother. an IFR ship usually costs more to rent, and it will be the most boring 15 hours of your life if you're doing an add-on because you'll have the hang of it in the first 3 hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That good to hear SF. I started reading this thread today, and decided to get my logbook out and check my add on times. I soloed after 12 hrs and my PPR after about 32. I took my commercial checkride at 83, and I am convinced that it could have been sooner, but I had some cross countries that my instructor had questions about, so off I went, AGAIN.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that you may want to go for the instrument next. With the amount of 'hood' time you shurely have by now, not to mention the actual IMC experience, you should just have to add on a few (15) hours of helicopter hood time. And you may as well 'kill 2 birds with one stone' while you can.

 

In the end it will help keep costs down.

Edited by Helo-Pilot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that you may want to go for the instrument next...

 

That sounds like a good idea to me, but unfortunately the flight school nearby doesn't have an instrument-equipped helicopter. They're looking at getting one and things are changing a lot (for the better) around the flight school, so maybe by next year that will work out.

 

Other than that, the only folks I know that might have an instrument helicopter nearby are down around Cincinnati, if memory serves me, and I don't know that for certain. It might be an R22 as well, which might require that I spend a lot of time learning a new helicopter while learning the instrument stuff (interesting, but perhaps not cost effective).

 

If anybody knows of any other training helicopters in Ohio that might be near Columbus, by all means let me know. It's going to be a few months before I go much further, but I definately want to keep going as far as I can...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SF why not try to find a school that has a flight sim?? The FLY IT Simulator is pretty nice and can be logged toward you're instrument rating. I believe most schools with a simulator are in the $100 hr range with the instructor.... Just food for thought.

 

I wasn't familiar with such a thing, but I'm very interested in finding out more. Commence Google searching...

 

The flight school I've been training at just acquired a 300 (I think it was) with the full instrument package, so I've got options to continue on that route, too. I'll keep everybody posted in case somebody else follows in my footsteps...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SF why not try to find a school that has a flight sim?? The FLY IT Simulator is pretty nice and can be logged toward you're instrument rating. I believe most schools with a simulator are in the $100 hr range with the instructor.... Just food for thought.

 

I'm under the impression that, being already instrument rated, I don't know if the FlyIt sim time would count or not toward the 15 hours I have to get in helicopters. Plus, I'm sure the 15 hours of actual helicopter time will be looked at more favorably, and just accounting for hotel costs and other travel expenses to get somewhere that has one nearly offsets the costs of renting an actual helicopter; whatever difference is made up in the fact that flying real aircraft is more fun, anyhow...

 

Just for the record, does anybody know how FlyIt simulator time can be applied toward an instrument rating for an airplane guy who already has one in that category?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strikefinder,

 

Having just gone through the instrument add-on, the sim time is logable but doesn't count toward your 15 hours, as they have to be in category. Save the sim time for keeping your instrument current as your airplane currency will not keep your helicopter currency. I did my helicopter add-ons a little different. I did a commercial add-on then my CFI. I wish I have done my CFI a little sooner after my commercial. Then I did my instrument and CFII at the same time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...