The Robinson R44 Type Rating and Why Pilots Should Have It

We’ve written before about why we use the Robinson R44 for our helicopter training rather than the cheaper R22. Learning on the R44 from the outset means that your type rating for the four seat helicopter becomes an integral part of your learning, with no conversion required.

But for pilots already qualified, who perhaps learned elsewhere on other helicopters, we offer the type rating conversion course. We explain why pilots come to Hields to gain this very useful qualification and what the course involves.

The R44 is often seen as a stepping stone to larger types
The R44 is often seen as a stepping stone to larger types

Why bother with the R44 type rating?

A rating on the Robinson R44 will open doors to many more exciting flying opportunities. Whether you are a Private Pilot or a Student Commercial Pilot looking to gain further experience, the R44 is considered by many to be the next step up from the smaller 2 Seat Helicopters. This is one of the reasons we train all our pilots on the R44 four seat helicopter.

What will I need to achieve an R44 type rating?

The type rating course consists of a minimum of 5 hours flight training plus a skills test over a minimum of 3 days. These days don’t have to be consecutive however, it will certainly be beneficial to keep them as close together as possible to benefit from continuity of learning.

What does the five hour course consist of?

During the course you will learn how to effectively complete the basic manoeuvres such as Climbing, Descending, and Turning, before moving on to more Advanced Exercises and Emergency Procedures specific to the Robinson R44. There is no navigation element to the course however we will ensure you complete the course successfully with confidence in all of your flying.

It’s important to maker the most of the five hours, so training at our Sherburn airfield base means no time wasting holding and transiting from controlled airspace, your training starts as soon as we lift off.

All variants of the R44 are covered by the type rating
All variants of the R44 are covered by the type rating

Robinson make both the Raven and Raven II with the fuel injected engine. Do I need two separate ratings?

No. One rating covers both carburettor and fuel injected variants. Obviously as part of your training we cover the elements of engine handling that are different between the two, plus of course the importance of carb heat if you swap often between the two models.

Once I have the Robinson R44 rating, what can I do?

On completion of the course you can then Self Fly Hire one of our Helicopters and continue build your experience. The opportunity to take three friends or family flying for the first time is the big thing that most pilots achieving the R44 type rating enjoy. The greater range and higher cruising speed allow you to cover ground far more efficiently. Plus of course the R44 is probably one of the most numerous helicopters in production, so if you travel and wish to self fly hire somewhere, there will be a Robinson R44 not far away.

If you are interested in adding a Robinson R44 rating to your helicopter licence, or indeed if you’re interested in learning to be a helicopter pilot, use our contact page to drop us an email or call our office direct for a chat on how to get started.

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