Helicopter Training

Helicopter pilot training is available through NMC’s Aviation division, offering students another option to expand their skill portfolio and career opportunities. The training and the helicopter are provided by our partner, TC Helicopters, a Florida and Traverse City-based company that offers helicopter training, sightseeing tours and a wide variety of commercial helicopter services.

Application Process »


All Helicopter Option

If you select this training option, you will conduct all of your flight training in the helicopter and helicopter simulator. You will complete the fixed wing ground school classes for each license and receive instruction on any differences that apply to helicopters from your helicopter flight instructor. You may earn Private, Instrument, Commercial and Flight Instructor (CFI and CFII) certificates. Training is conducted under FAR Part 61 and you will finish the program with 180–250 flight hours.

Fixed Wing Option with Helicopter Transition

If you select this option, you will conduct most of your flight training in fixed wing aircraft. After earning a commercial license, you will begin the helicopter transition course to earn your commercial helicopter license. You will have 250–300 total flight hours, with at least 50 hours in helicopters. This is a lower cost option to reach the commercial helicopter license milestone.

TC Helicopters owner Mike Terfehr said he looks forward to employing some of the students as flight instructors, sightseeing pilots and, eventually, in commercial and utility operations:

“We want our graduates to work for us. This will help bridge the gap to the commercial helicopter world. Highly-trained helicopter pilots are in demand. We’re going to work diligently to make sure our top graduates have job opportunities.”

Other career opportunities include oil platform transportation, power line inspection, air ambulance transport, corporate transportation, and work in the logging and fire fighting industry. Students could also pursue military or Coast Guard careers.

Expected Costs

(2015 rates)

Private Helicopter License:
(based on 55 hours flight time + tuition + ground school + testing fees)


Instrument Rating:
(based on 45 hours flight/simulator time + tuition + ground school + testing fees)


Commercial Helicopter License:
(based on 80 hours flight/simulator time + tuition + ground school + testing fees)


Flight Instructor Rating:
(based on 25 hours flight time + tuition + ground school + testing fees)


Instrument Flight Instructor Rating:
(based on 8 hours flight time + tuition + testing fees)


Notes: Actual costs experienced will vary by individual. Flight fees are subject to change without notice.

Application Process - Helicopter Training

To help ensure student success, all students must apply to and be admitted into the NMC Aviation Program, separate and in addition to be admitted into NMC as a general student. The application and instructions for completing it are below. Acceptance into the NMC Aviation Program is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Note: all applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the aviation admissions specialist, Al Laursen, at (231) 995-2911 or alaursen@nmc.edu.

NMC Helicopter Aviation Program Application »

Helicopter Program application process and instructions »

NMC Helicopter Aviation Program Application for VA students »

Helicopter Program application process and instructions for VA students »

How to obtain your FAA medical and student pilot certificate »

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