Important Things To Know Before Starting Your Helicopter Training


If you’re thinking of training to fly a helicopter, there are a number of things that you will most certainly need to consider before signing on the dotted line. Elements regarding the cost, insurance, and cancellation policy, experience of the instructors and how long it takes to qualify are vital.

How much will it cost in total

Cost is one of the biggest variables when it comes to training to be a helicopter pilot. There are a vast number of things that will need to be covered when you are training and whether or not these are included as part of the quoted cost or not will have a massive bearing on the amount that you need to pay. Things like the cost of the aircraft and the insurance thereof, the instructor rates, cost of fuel, pre and post flight briefing and ground training should all be included in the fee charged.

On top of these costs, your helicopter pilot training will need to include fees for your pilot’s test and license, as well as books necessary for your ground training. Whilst your flight school may be able to rent you a helmet when you are training, this is something that will also need to be paid for in the long run. Once you’ve dealt with the costs of your training, it is worth checking to see what the payment schedule is. Will you need to pay for everything up-front, or can the payments take place over a longer period of time? This will vary between training course providers, so it is vital to check with your training school.

Who are the instructors?

Just like when you learn to drive a car, it is best if you stick with one instructor for the bulk of your course. Excellent helicopter pilot training often relies upon a great relationship between instructor and trainee, but there should be some kind of cover available should your instructor take ill, or have holiday that he needs to take part way through your training.

One of the best instructors to have is an instructor who is also an examiner. Whilst this will not earn you any breaks during your examination, these instructors are far more experienced in the requirements of the helicopter pilots’ exam than others and will have a perfect idea of whether or not you are ready to take the exam.

What happens if you can’t complete the course?

If you choose to leave your pilot training early, what will happen to the money that you have already paid and how much more will you be liable to? This information should all be contained within your contract when you book your training, but it may be worth your while enquiring about their refund and cancellation policy before you sign anything.

How long should it take to train fully

To train for a professional helicopter pilot’s license, anything from 3 to 6 months is feasible, depending on how much time you can dedicate to your training. Training intensively on a full time basis will ensure that you do not have large gaps between flights and that you don’t have to spend your sessions revising the things you have forgotten.

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