Can I take an introductory flight?
Yes you can. Prior to your introductory flight, time will be spent with your instructor learning the very basics of the flight controls. Then you will begin the flight portion of your lesson where you will get to fly the helicopter with the help of your instructor.
What is a “private” pilot certificate?
A private pilot is someone who became a pilot for personal reasons such as fun or travel. You will not be able to fly for compensation, but you will be able to take up family and friends.
How long does it take?
Depending how often you fly and how much time you commit to ground study, on average you should be able to achieve a private rating in four to six months. It is possible to finish in less time if you can commit time to training almost every day.
How much does it cost?
Helicopter training is expensive. A realistic estimate for most people to achieve a private rating is around $16,000. And a word of advice NEVER PAY ANY SCHOOL UPFRONT FOR ALL YOUR TRAINING COSTS.
What are the age requirements?
You can start training at any age. However, you will not be able to fly the helicopter alone until 16 years of age. A student pilot certificate can be issued at 16 allowing you to solo the aircraft and train towards all the requirements for a private pilot certificate. Then at 17 you become eligible for a private pilot certificate.
Is a lot of ground study required?
Yes, becoming a pilot involves much more than just flying. You will learn about weather, aerodynamics, FAA regulations, airspace, and so on. In addition to studying on your own, you will receive one-on-one instruction with a qualified instructor.
Are there health requirements?
You will be required to get a medical checkout from an FAA certified aviation doctor prior to solo flight, so we encourage you to schedule a medical early on in your flight instruction. Your instructor can help set you up with a flight doctor. If you have medical concerns, be upfront with your instructor. They will know where to find the answer.
Are there weight limitations?
The R22 has a maximum seat weight of 240lbs. If you are under that weight you are okay to start training.
Do you offer R44 training?
Yes, we can do training the on the R44 for those above the R22 seat weight or those that want the R44 signoff. As Robinson a dealership we offer training with no additional cost with the purchase of a helicopter.
Do you offer R66 training?
Yes, we offer turbine transition training in the R66. As Robinson a dealership we offer training with no additional cost with the purchase of a helicopter.
Should I get a fix-wing licence first?
Helicopters (rotorcraft) and airplanes (fixed-wing) are considered two different categories by the FAA. Therefore, you do not need any fixed-wing experience to start training. If you plan on getting both, we recommend that you start with the helicopter. The ingrained reactions of an airplane pilot can compromise your safety when flying a helicopter. Basically, people tend to revert back to their initial training in an emergency. These emergency “airplane” reactions can compromise your helicopter safety. Even if you already have a fixed-wing licence, you can still learn to fly a helicopter. It will just take a little extra effort from you and your instructor to break your airplane habits.
Can you train foreign citizens?
Yes, but first you will have to register with homeland security. Go to https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov/index.html and fill out the required paperwork.
What is a “commercial” certificate?
After achieving your private rating, you can obtain additional instruction for your “commercial” certificate. Your commercial rating will allow you to fly for compensation. This will require more flight training along with more in depth ground school. Starting from zero pilot experience to your earning your commercial rating should take approximately a calendar year.
What are my career options?
The most probable first step is to become a CFI (certified flight instructor). Almost all non-military trained pilots were instructors at one point. CFI jobs are abundant all over the country, and they allow you to build time and experience while getting paid. There are other jobs we all are familiar with such as air ambulance/EMS, tours, electronic news gathering (TV helicopters), and corporate pilots. There are also many jobs you may never have thought off such as flying to off-shore oil rigs, logging, pipeline patrol, aerial photography, and more.