Flight School

Flight Training Programs and Certificates

Below you will find example cost breakdowns for helicopter pilot training. The costs and training hours provided are minimum estimates. All students learn at a varied pace and may require more than the minimum required hours for training. For questions regarding certificate programs, call 763-784-4354. Introduction rides available for $199 Plus MN Sales Tax


MN Helicopters offers three training programs designed for your specific needs.

  • Professional Pilot – includes private and commercial pilot training with an instrument rating and certified flight instructor certificate. You can become a professional pilot without an instrument rating; however, more employers are requiring this certification.
  • Recreational/Non-Professional Pilot – this program is created for individuals interested in learning how to fly a helicopter for fun or recreation.
  • Degree Program – this two-year accredited program can train students to become a professional helicopter pilot with college credentials. There are only eight two-year degree programs in the country.

Flight Instructor

Certified Flight Instructor is typically a pilots first flying position in their aviation career. Large commercial helicopter companies typically require a minimum of 1000 to 1500 flight hours for their new pilots because of insurance costs. Newly certified Commercial Pilots have around 150 flight training hours. New Graduates from our Professional Pilot helicopter training program are probably going to be close to 200 hours. This leaves a significant flight time gap.

A Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) is required for a pilot to give instruction to other pilots, and CFIs are responsible for all aspects of training pilot applicants. Our CFI program is designed to provide you with the skills to instruct both helicopter flight and ground lessons. The primary focus of our CFI program is to train you to be an effective educator, elevator and motivator. This is a great way for pilots to build time while enjoying a rewarding career.

Commercial Certificate

Commercial Pilot is the next step on the professional helicopter pilot’s path to success. The commercial certificate is required to earn money for flying. In addition to perfecting the maneuvers you already learned during your private training, your commercial training will introduce you to advanced maneuvers. Your ground training will include advanced helicopter aerodynamics and the rules and regulations that govern commercial helicopter operations. A greater emphasis is placed on professionalism, helicopter power management, off-airport landings including pinnacles and confined areas, and good judgment

During your Commercial Pilot training many students choose to apply hours to an instrument rating. This is a great way to utilize the hours required for both instrument and commercial training. The FAA minimum hourly requirement for Part 141 commercial helicopter certificate is 30 hours of ground training and 115 hours of flight training. Typically your commercial training will require 95 to 115 to 115 hours of additional flight time. The amount of dual training depends on your choice of additional training modules. The average ground training time for the commercial certificate is 30 to 50 hours.

Foreign Pilot Certificate

“Restricted” FAA Private Pilot Certificate can be issued to students on the basis of their foreign pilot license. A person who is applying for a U.S. pilot certificate/rating on the basis of a foreign license must go through an authentication process at least 60 days before arriving at the designated FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) where the applicant expects to receive the U.S. pilot certificate. To authenticate your status and pilot license, you will need to complete the Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating and Medical certification form from the Airman Certification Branch, AFS-760 found at the following web site: http://www.registry.faa.gov. The applicant must send the completed form and appropriate documents to the
FAA’s Airman’s Certification Branch AFS-760
P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK, 73125.
AFS-760’s FAX number is (405) 954-4105.

At this time, the pre-application documents cannot be sent electronically.
The Airman Certification Branch will then verify the authenticity of the applicant’s foreign pilot license and medical license with the foreign civil aviation authority and issue a verification of authenticity letter to the designated FSDO, and a copy to the applicant. The applicant must then complete the form 8710-1 and call the FSDO listed on the authenticity letter to make an appointment to come to the office with the required documents and complete the process.

A letter or completed FAA form (Verification of Authenticity) must be sent to the FAA in Oklahoma City, preferably accompanied by copies of foreign pilot and medical certificates.

Instrument Rating

The Instrument rating is an optional addition to your Private Commercial or Instructor certificate. Whether you plan on using your pilot’s certificate for transportation or endeavoring to pursue a career in aviation, the instrument rating becomes very valuable. Without the instrument rating you are restricted to flight in clear weather only. The instrument rating is necessary for flight into adverse weather conditions, and our instrument training program will teach you to both control and navigate the aircraft solely by reference to the instruments. The training will begin with the basics of attitude flying and progressively move to advanced approach to landing procedures. Most Commercial and Instructor jobs today require the Instrument helicopter training for safety and Insurance purposes.

Private Pilot Certificate

The Private Certificate is the first stage to a pilot certificate.  The private certificate will allow you to fly for fun, take friends and family for rides, provide yourself with aerial transportation, or build flight time for future ratings. During the process of achieving your private certificate, you will receive instruction in the basic operations of a helicopter. The best approach to this certificate is to integrate the ground training with the flight training. You will be in the cockpit from day one getting hands-on practical experience. Ground training will cover diverse topics such as airport and heliport operations, radio procedures, weather, navigation, and more.You can get ahead start by looking at the FAA publications that are free to download by clicking here.

Your first major goal is to fly the helicopter solo. In preparation for your first solo flight you will learn maneuvers such as hovering and auto-rotations and learn how to operate safely at a tower-controlled airport. The first solo flight is an experience that is never forgotten. After solo, you will move onto more advanced lessons covering areas such as night and cross-country flying.

During the final stage of training, you will sharpen and polish your skills in preparation for the practical examination (check ride) conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated examiner. Upon successful completion of the practical examination, you will be issued a private pilot certificate. The FAA minimum hourly requirement for a Part 141 private helicopter certificate is 35 hours of ground training and a minimum 36 hours of flight training, although the average completion time is around 60 to 70 flight hours.

Why can we not guarantee a specific time for your training!

It depends on your personal skill level — especially how thoroughly you understand emergency procedures. We do not compromise your safety to guarantee a minimum number of hours towards your certificate! Home study is a must and will increase the efficiency of your training and save money in the long run.