Our Mission

Always striving to provide excellent customer service while keeping our clients safe.

First and foremost, we, at Helistar, would like to thank you for your interest in our company. We are excited about the opportunity to serve you. Owned and operated by husband and wife, Keith and Adelynn Chapman, Helistar Aviation has been serving Nashville and the Middle Tennessee area for over five years. Safety is our primary focus. Therefore, we only employ pilots which reinforce that commitment. Our pilots have over 180 years of combined experience along with over 145,000+ flight hours, some in both helicopters and airplanes. With twelve pilots, nine instructors and a Designated Pilot Examiner as one of our owners, there will always be someone available to meet your helicopter needs. Helistar employs a full-time mechanic to ensure that all of our equipment remains in top condition.

 

The Basics

In order to perform duties as Pilot in Command, the FAA requires:

  • third class medical certificate issued by an approved AME (Aviation Medical Examiner)
  • read, speak, write and understand English
  • must be 17 years of age to be eligible for your private license (though you can begin your training before then.)
  • pass a written, oral and flight examination

Training Information

The hours listed below are the FAA minimums to obtain a Rotorcraft Certificate, actual time required will vary from student to student. Flight time builds upon itself and carries over from one certificate to the next. This means if it takes a student 60 hours to achieve their Private Certificate then only another 90 hours of flight time is required to receive the Commercial Certificate.

In the FLY IT Simulator, you can receive 7.5 hours of dual instruction that you can credit towards your Private Certificate, 20 hours towards your Instrument and up to 25 hours towards your Commercial. The use of the simulator can drastically reduce the cost of your training. The time can be used and counted for in many different ways depending on the individual student’s path to their ratings.

Helicopter flight training can be broken down into four steps or stages: private, instrument, commercial and certified flight instructor certificates. Each of the stages of your helicopter training will consist of flight hours needed to meet the minimums, the FAA written test, and your final check ride [oral and flight exam]. The following is a list of minimum hours to be flown as listed in the FAA’s Federal Aviation Regulations for each Certificate sought, i.e. private, instrument, or commercial, etc… The FAA’s regulations can be hard to understand at times, and they are constantly changing.

Private Pilot Certification Course – Helicopter

  • 40 hours of flight time that must include:
    • At least 20 hours of flight training from a Flight Instructor
    • 3 hours of cross country flight training in a helicopter
    • 3 hours of night flight training in a helicopter
    • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test, within 2 months of the test
    • 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter
  • Up to 7.5 hours in the FAA approved flight time in Fly It Simulator can count toward Private Helicopter Pilot Certification
  • Ground instruction as required

Commercial Pilot Certification Course – Helicopter

  • 150 hours of flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:
    • 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in helicopters
  • 100 hours of pilot in command flight time, which includes at least:
    • 35 hours in helicopters
    • 10 hours in cross country flight in helicopters
    • 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter or 10 hours of flight time performing the duties of pilot in command in a helicopter with an authorized instructor on board
    • 20 hours of training on helicopter operations including 5 hours of instrument training
    • 5 hours of night flight
    • 3 hours in a helicopter with an instructor in preparation for the practical test within 2 months of the test
    • Up to 25 hours in the Fly It Simulator can count towards the Commercial Helicopter Pilot Certification

Instrument Rating Course – Helicopter

  • 50 hours of cross country flight time as pilot in command, of which 10 hours must have been in a helicopter
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time of which 15 hours must have been with an instructor who holds an Instrument Helicopter Rating, this instrument time must include: 1 cross country flight in a helicopter performed under instrument flight rules, consisting of 100 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from an air traffic control facility; An instrument approach at each airport; and three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems
  • 3 hours of instrument flight training from an instructor in a helicopter that is appropriate to the Instrument Helicopter Rating within 2 months before of the practical test
  • Up to 20 hours in the Fly It Simulator can be used to count toward the Instrument Helicopter Pilot Certification
  • Ground instruction as required

Flight Instructor Certification Course (CFI) – Helicopter

  • Commercial Helicopter Pilot Certificate or Airline Transport Pilot Certificate required
  • Flight and ground instruction as required

Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)

  • Commercial Helicopter Pilot Certificate or Airline Transport Pilot Certificate required
  • Instrument Helicopter Rating required
  • Flight and ground instruction as required

Private Pilot Helicopter Add-On

Pilots that already hold a Private Pilot Certificate in fixed wing aircraft are eligible for add-on rating:

  • 40 hours of total flight time required
  • 30 hours in helicopters
  • 20 hours of flight training from a Certified Flight Instructor
  • 10 hours of solo flight
  • 3 hours of cross country flight training in a helicopter;
  • 3 hours of night flight training in a helicopter that includes- One cross country flight of over 50 nautical miles total distance; and 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.
  • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within 2 months of the test
  • 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter, consisting of at least- 3 hours cross country time; One solo cross country flight of 100 nautical miles total distance, with landings at three points, and one segment of the flight being a straight line distance of more than 25 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and three takeoffs and landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
  • Up to 7.5 hours in the FAA approved Fly It Simulator can count toward Private Helicopter Pilot Certification
  • Ground instruction as required

Commercial Pilot Helicopter Add-On

  • 50 hours of total time in a helicopter (55 if flying in a Robinson Helicopter)
  • 35 hours PIC in a helicopter
  • 10 hour cross country in a helicopter including:
  • One cross country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure
  • One cross country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure
  • 20 hours of dual flight training including:
    • 3 hours in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test
  • 10 hours solo training in a helicopter including:
    • 5 hours at night
  • 1 cross country flight with landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment consisting of a straight line distance of at least 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure
  • Pilots can apply for a Commercial Add-on without taking a Private add-on first

Instrument Helicopter Add-On

  • Must hold a Private Pilot Helicopter Certificate
  • 15 hours of instrument flight training in a helicopter including:
  • 3 hours in preparation for the practical test
  • One cross country flight in a helicopter that is performed under IFR, and consists of:
    • A distance of at least 100 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing
    • An instrument approach at each airport
    • Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems
  • Ground instruction as required

CFI / CFII Helicopter Add-On

    A minimum of:

  • 15 hours will be required in Helicopter to be eligible for the practical test
  • In addition a minimum of 200 hours total time in helicopter is required to be eligible to provide flight instruction in a Robinson R22 or R44

Professional Pilot Program

Please feel free to contact us via email or by calling our office to discuss the many options in becoming a professional pilot. We tailor fit each program on a case by case basis because there are many different paths one can take to become a professional pilot. Our job is to find and provide the very best one for you. Becoming a professional helicopter pilot is challenging yet, extremely rewarding for those that pursue it.

How long will it take?

The length of time that is required to complete a rating or an add-on rating depends largely on your previous flying experience, motivation to learn, and proficiency. Please contact us for further information.

Rates

Please contact us directly by calling our office 615.350.1122, by emailing us at info@flyhelistar.com, or by filling out the contact form on our Contact Us page.