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I just completed a helicopter rating and was excited to take friends for a ride in the R22 and R44. Then I learned that my flight school's insurance requires a total of 100 hours in helicopters and attendance of a 4-day course at Robinson in California to allow for taking guests. Are there alternative ways to make it legal to take friends for a flight without having to meet these requirements? E.g. can I buy insurance elsewhere? Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ It's not a legal issue, it's an insurance issue. If you take your friends on a flight you aren't breaking the law, you would probably be held liable for any incident costs though. You should simply call other places you could rent a helicopter and ask, or talk to your training provider. $\endgroup$ – GdD Mar 20 '18 at 16:44
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The flight school might issue a waiver of that policy but it’s going to be based on a number of factors, including instructor opinion of your pilot proficiency on rotorcraft, time in the particular type you want to rent, and whether the insurance company can do this for you. I’ve had to do that during my flight training when renting high performance and complex airplanes which had certain minimums set for their solo operation under the terms of the school’s insurance policy. Ask to speak with the chief flight instructor for the school and see if they are flexible with a similar arrangement. If they feel comfortable with your skill and proficiency in operating the R22 and R22 and you have at least a few hours in each type, they might just approve this. Again, this is largely their insurance company’s call and not the flight school’s. I’d guess the school gets discounted rates for insuring their rental aircraft by requiring pilots to undergo factory authorized training programs.

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