# Do some helicopters require classes, type ratings, or special endorsements, the way some airplanes do?

I've been looking online for the different ratings and classes of helicopters but I can't find much.

For example in fixed wing aircraft you have retractable gear, constant speed propeller, IFR, multi-engine, tricycle gear, etc.

I am curious to know what the helicopter equivalents are. What does a basic helicopter rating allow you to fly? What comes after that?

• I attempted to make the title of your question more clear, but if I misunderstood your intent, please feel free to revert it. – Steve V. Feb 10 '16 at 2:06
• @SteveV. no problem, thanks for the clarification! – OneChillDude Feb 10 '16 at 5:29
• Are you asking in the context of FAA regulations? – J Walters Feb 10 '16 at 14:31
• @JonathanWalters an FAA regulation would be great if you have one – OneChillDude Feb 10 '16 at 14:57

I can't see a connection between "classes" of helicopters and ratings.

You also don't specify which jurisdiction so I will answer for the UK CAA which I know.

To fly any helicopter under VFR needs nothing more than your license, gained on any type, and a type rating for the specific aircraft.

For example, I gained my license on the R22. I am therefore also type rated on it. The second aircraft I learned to fly was the B206 which is jet powered. I didn't need anything extra than the appropriate type rating.

I can fly any helicopter for which I am rated under VFR. If I had an IFR certification, I could fly any helicopter I am rated for under VFR, and any IFR certified helicopter for which I am rated under IFR.

"Difference training" is simply part of the the type rating. For example, if I ever learned to fly a craft with a retractable undercarriage, I would be rated to fly that type, but not another type with retractable gear.

What does differ is the type of license, e.g. CPL or ATP. I would need that license in order to carry passengers for hire and to conduct other commercial operations, but I still need a type rating on whatever helicopter I use to carry those passengers.

Put it this way, the day after I gained my license, I could climb into any helicopter and act as pilot under training.

Hope that's all clear!

Note: This answer is given for

Rotorcraft is an aircraft category; helicopter and gyrocopter are classes of the rotorcraft category.

14 CFR 1.1 defines aircraft Categories and Classes for airman certification, and gives examples of each. In these definitions helicopter is included under classes; rotorcraft is included under categories.

Category:

(1) As used with respect to the certification, ratings, privileges, and limitations of airmen, means a broad classification of aircraft. Examples include: airplane; rotorcraft; glider; and lighter-than-air;

Class:

(1) As used with respect to the certification, ratings, privileges, and limitations of airmen, means a classification of aircraft within a category having similar operating characteristics. Examples include: single engine; multiengine; land; water; gyroplane; helicopter; airship; and free balloon;

Elsewhere in chapter 14 of the CFR, helicopter is given as a class of the rotorcraft category, for example in §61.161

§61.161 Aeronautical experience: Rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating.

(a) A person who is applying for an airline transport pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating, must have at least 1,200 hours of total time as a pilot that includes at least:

Therefore, we see that helicopter is a class and will not have any sub–classes. Helicopter and gyrocopter are the classes of the rotorcraft category.