I have a question about flight hours.

Many civil airlines require first-officers to have over 1500 hours.

I have 300 hours for fixed-wing, and also have 2000 hours for rotorcraft(helicopter).

In this situation, do I have over 1500 hours as necessary to apply?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ the country of jurisdiction and/or the airline is probably a factor in this. could you tell us at least what country has issued your pilot's licence? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Mar 17, 2022 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ FAA Licnese! My questioning gist is that airlines requiring 1500 hours can be counted by my combination hours of 'FW hours + HC hours' $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2022 at 10:13
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Please don't make more work for others by vandalizing your posts. If you want to say thanks, upvote a comment or answer that helped solve your problem, but don't remove your question's content. $\endgroup$
    – Ollie
    Mar 17, 2022 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


US Federal law (the Colgan Rule) requires both pilots to have an ATPL for flights under part 121. In most cases, an ATPL requires 1500 hours, but only 250 of those hours need to be in an airplane per FAR 61.159(a)(5).

Major airlines have substantially higher minimums than the FAA, and most won’t even look at you without 1000+ AMEL turbine PIC. The only common exception is for ex-military pilots.

In contrast, regional airlines are indeed hiring folks who meet the legal bare minimums—or are close enough they’ll cross the line during training. They were happy hiring first officers at 250 hours (the ICAO minimum) until the Colgan Rule was adopted, and they’ve never recovered from the disruption it caused in their hiring pipelines. While the common joke about “1500 and a pulse” isn’t quite true, it’s not entirely wrong either.


There is no single answer across the board that helicopter time will "always" or "never" count for airline hiring; each airline will specify if they consider helo hours or not.

Major airlines that I'm aware of typically specify their minimums in terms of fixed-wing hours only, although regional airlines may be more receptive to helo time.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .