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How do I Choose the Best Helicopter Flight School?

By Carol Francois
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Helicopter flight school is available in major city centers, through a very limited number of schools. This type of training is required for helicopter pilots and assistant pilots. Upon successful completion, candidates can find employment opportunities with private helicopter firms or government agencies. There are very few privately run helicopter firms, so the vast majority of helicopter pilots work for law enforcement, air ambulance services, national parks, or other government agencies.

There are five items to consider when choosing the best helicopter flight schools: availability of simulation equipment, student services, program length, skilled instructors, and tuition fees. When selecting a school, it is important to realize that the admissions criteria are higher than for other training programs. For example, the military offers helicopter flight school, but this program is restricted to enlisted personnel or reservists. Private sector programs typically require a criminal background check and physical and vision exams as part of the application.

Simulation and actual helicopter equipment is critical when looking at helicopter flight schools. Although all schools have this equipment, check the availability and the class size. The best schools state exactly how many hours of flight time are in a simulator or a physical helicopter. Other schools are much vaguer in their statements, and students may find that practice time is significantly less than anticipated, or all in a simulator. Practice time has a direct correlation to eligibility to complete the licensing examination, as well as employment opportunities.

Student services are an important aspect to consider when looking for the best helicopter flight school. Athletic facilities, clubs, social activities and holiday events are all important during the education experience. In addition to these items, look at the professional services available. These services typically include professional counseling, financial aid, career services, health care, and housing assistance. Read the details of these programs to find out how long after graduation you can access these valuable services.

Helicopter flight school should be eight to 12 months of full-time school in length. These programs are also available part time, and typically require double the time commitment. The level of focus and effort required to successfully complete this type of program suggests that a full-time program is best. There are a number of additional certificates available after graduation from the basic pilot program. Talk to the school about the options available.

The instructor qualifications play an important role in the quality of training you will receive from helicopter flight school. Courses should be taught by experienced, licensed helicopter instructors. There is a great deal of information that must be absorbed in a short period of time. An experienced instructor can provide real life examples and context to the lessons.

Tuition fees for this type of school range from $27,500 to $57,000 US Dollars (USD). This fee includes helicopter rental fee, use of a flight simulator, course materials, and the licensing process. Some schools also offer student residences, at an additional cost ranging between $8,000 and $15,500 USD per year.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Gailfrank — On May 26, 2010

It is an informative article. Teens interested in joining pilot schools can get significant help from the article. It contains brief detail of various fields related to flight training program. There are number of websites that provide useful information related to courses and programs offered by various pilot training schools.

By PilotSchool — On May 20, 2010

There are various pilot training institutes which provide all information about how anyone can choose the right option for successful career. These institutes also provide various effective training programs with the help of simulators and crafts. Various helicopter flight schools are helpful to build a good career in aviation industry.

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