Flight Training Programs and Certificates

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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 218.262.0099. Introduction rides available for $125.


Northern 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 – together with Hibbing Community College, 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.


Bell 206 B3 - Jet Ranger
Robinson R22
Robinson R44


Private Helicopter Pilot Certificate »

Students must be at least 17 years old, have a minimum of 40 hours flight time and have a third-class medical certificate.

Minimum Flight Time is 40 hours. Average flight time is 50 hours.

Plus R44 Transition (optional)


Instrument Rating Helicopter »

Must hold a Private or Commercial license.

Minimum Flight Time is 40 hours. Average flight time is 50 hours. 20 hours can be completed in the flight simulator.


Commercial Helicopter Pilot Certificate »

Must be at least 18 years old and have a minimum of 150 hours of flight time, hold a private pilot certificate and have a second-class medical certificate.

Private and instrument hours go towards your 150 hours for commercial.

Plus R44 Transition (optional)


Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) »

Must be at least 18 years old and hold a Commercial or ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) certificate and have a second-class medical certificate.

Average flight time is 15 hours.


Helicopter Pilot Add-Ons

Private pilot and commercial pilot add-ons are designed for those who already hold a pilot certificate but want to earn a helicopter rating.

Private Pilot Add-On »

Commercial Pilot Add-On »

Turbine Transition in Bell 206-B3 »