How can a EASA fixed wing pilot, get the equivalent for helicopters?

We received a question from a fixed wing pilot that holds a EASA ATPL.

He asked, how he can get the equivalent license for helicopters.

The question was a respond to a earlier post we had a few days ago here on

And that post was mostly aimed for FAA fixed wing pilots., that wants to learnt to fly helicopters.

Back to the question, and more important the answer.

There are two way for the EASA fixed wing pilot, that want to get the same for rotor wings.

The first option is to do your training with a EASA helicopter flight school, you will get credited for your knowledge, and the flight hours requirement to get a EASA CPL (H) is reduced, since you already hold EASA ATPL (A), the same if you have EASA CPL (A).

If you hold a CPL(A) you'll get credit for 50 hours, making the minimum requirement 105 hours in a helicopter.

In the EASA world this is know as "Fixed wing conversion"

So in short terms, to get a EASA CPL (H) if you hold the same or higher in fixed wing, you do the ordinary helicopter training course, except you get a reduction in the flight hours.

The second option for a EASA PPL, CPL, ATPL fixed wing pilot to get the equivalent for helicopter is the FAA route.

Here we need to break it down to two scenarios.

1. You are a EASA fixed wing pilot, and also a holder of the same from FAA.
Then you can do a so called helicopter add-on training course.

This is what we described in the original post, click here to read it.

2. You are a EASA PPL, CPL, ATPL fixed wing pilot, and not a holder of the same from FAA.

Then you have to do the helicopter add-on training course, plus you also need to do the required written exams, and the FAA medical.

After you have completed one of the two scenarios above, then you are a FAA CPL (H) pilot.

So now the next step is to do a conversion to the EASA.

How to do a conversion from FAA CPL (H) to EASA CPL (H)

Pilots with an FAA Commercial Pilot Licence Helicopter CPL(H) can convert to an EASA ATPL.

To convert your ICAO/FAA CPL(H) to an EASA ATPL(H) you will need 1000 hours flight time, including:

350 hours on multi pilot helicopters;
250 hours pilot in command (or 250 hours pilot in command under supervision; or 100 hours pilot in command and 150 hours pilot in command under supervision);
200 hours cross country;
30 hours instrument time; and
100 hours night flying

If you don’t have this amount of hours, you can still do the conversion but you will be issued with a EASA CPL(H). 
When you meet the experience requirements, you can upgrade it to an ATPL(H),without taking any more ground exams or flight tests.

And when it comes to the the theory part of the conversion, there is no credit given, it is required you do the complete ground school training course and pass all the 14 exams.

The flight part of the conversion from FAA CPL (H) to EASA CPL/ATPL (H)

You will need to pass two flight tests, the skill test and, if you want an ATPL(H)IR, the Instrument Rating (IR).

The skill test is a control and handling check.

If you are converting a CPL(H), there is no set training requirement but you will probably need around 5- 10 hours to get prepared for the profile and the aircraft.

If you already hold an ICAO/FAA IR(H) and want to convert it then you must complete at least 15 hours before the test, up to ten of which can be done in a simulator.

If you need assistance or advice related to this topic, or anything else related to flight training contact us at

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