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What is the cost of becoming a helicopter pilot in 2023

This post is an update to the one we did in 2022. Read here.


The cost of flight school for becoming a helicopter pilot in 2023 can vary based on location, type of flight school, and the type of aircraft you will be training in. On average, flight schools charge between $100 to $400 per hour of flight time*.


To obtain your private pilot license (PPL), you will need around 40 to 50 hours of flight time, which will cost you approximately $12,000 to $24,000*. Keep in mind that this is only the first step and will not be enough to secure a job as a commercial helicopter pilot.


After obtaining your PPL, you will need to work towards getting your commercial pilot license (CPL). To obtain a CPL, you will need around 150 to 200 hours of flight time, which will cost approximately $30,000 to $40,000*.


If you want to increase your chances of securing a job in the helicopter industry, you may want to consider obtaining additional licenses and certifications, such as an instrument rating or a flight instructor license. The cost of obtaining an instrument rating is approximately $18,000 to $22,000*, while a flight instructor license can cost between $7,000 to $10,000*.


If you choose to attend a university flight school, the cost can be significantly higher, with tuition fees averaging around $150,000* for the entire program.


However, graduating from a university flight school can offer additional benefits, such as advanced training, a degree, and more flight hours, which can help you stand out in a competitive job market.


It is important to note that the cost of becoming a helicopter pilot can vary depending on fuel prices, aircraft maintenance, and other factors. Additionally, the type of aircraft you fly can also impact the cost of your education.



In conclusion, the cost of becoming a helicopter pilot in 2023 can range from approximately $50,000 to $100,000* for the basic licenses and certifications, and can increase significantly if you choose to pursue additional licenses or attend a university flight school. While the initial investment may be high, the rewards of flying a helicopter can be immeasurable.


*All prices are in USD and are approximate estimates only.

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