Questions You Should Ask Before Starting Helicopter Training
The demand for qualified commercial and private pilots is steadily increasing, and it's no wonder why — flying a helicopter is an incredibly exhilarating experience. But before taking to the skies, there are some important questions to consider.
Here are the four most commonly asked questions that potential helicopter pilots should consider before starting their training.
How Much Does It Cost?
This question is one of the most important when it comes to helicopter training. Several factors can affect the total cost of your training, including instructor rates, aircraft rental fees, maintenance costs, and more.
You can expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars for your entire training process — but this number can vary depending on where you train and how often you fly. You can get the actual estimate by talking to a few local operators and helicopter schools to better understand the cost.
How Long Will Your Training Take?
The length of your training will depend on your previous flying experience and the type of certification you're pursuing. Generally speaking, it takes 40 hours of flight time to get a Private Pilot License (PPL), while an Instrument Rating (IR) may require more hours to complete.
However, if you have prior experience with fixed-wing aircraft or have taken ground school courses related to helicopters, this could potentially decrease your total flight time requirements. Your flight school instructor will be able to provide you with more information about the time it would take to complete your training.
What Kind of License Do You Need?
The type of license you need depends on what type of flying you want to do and how much experience you already have. A Private Pilot License would be sufficient if you plan on only doing recreational flying, such as sightseeing or photography. However, if you plan on using helicopters commercially, then either a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) or an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) would be required.
The licensing process also involves taking written and practical exams, so make sure to research what's required in your area. You want to be aware of all the requirements before you start your training.
Where Should You Get Trained?
Choosing the right flight school is just as critical as choosing the right instructor, so make sure that both fit your needs. The ideal situation is finding a school with experienced instructors who use modern aircraft. But even more importantly, they should be certified by the FAA and insured properly.
Make sure to read reviews about each school and take a tour to get a feel for the facility before making your decision. The right school should be able to provide you with the resources and expertise you need to become a safe, competent helicopter pilot.
To learn more, contact a helicopter pilot flight training course provider in your area.