Learning to fly with helicopter lessons is among the most rewarding experiences anyone can have. Pilots worldwide fly the skies upon learning their trade at flights schools, and it is often viewed as a rewarding journey when pursuing pilots licenses and flight credentials.
Those looking to conquer man’s need to fly can enroll in various beginner flight schools or take helicopter lessons to get a taste of the role of a licensed pilot. However, if gaining a license is the overall aim, determining between a private or commercial license is step one.
A private license allows pilots to operate a registered aircraft, including taking onboard passengers, for leisure purposes. A commercial license serves as an employment credential that allows licensed pilots to charge for their services with independent or airline establishments.
When opting to take to the skies, both novice and experienced helicopter pilots require much preparation before takeoff.
Before enrolling or signing up to flight schools, no previous requirement is needed to commence. However, there are several stages in place for the duration of both pilots courses and individual lessons.
Basic commercial helicopter lessons involve teaching prospective pilots the impacts of motions, including seating positioning, grip, and use of the controls. After that, students will be guided through the stages of learning to operate the aircraft, including hovering, cycles, safety protocols, and route planning. These processes are designed to understand the fundamentals of flying and build competence when operating to an eventual degree of complete control.
Most commercial pilots will use iPads, computerised mapping subscriptions, and premium weight and stability software. For those learning to fly commercially, the use of home flight simulators and virtual reality headsets are often in place to assist pilots during their early stages of training. Everyday items also include flashlights, sunglasses, watches and various onboard tools.
Beginner practice is usually done with a Schweizer 300cbi, a Robinson 22, or a mix of both, including a selection of lightweight and small framed aircraft.
In order to gain an actual helicopter license, a certain number of flights is required before the issue date. Generally, commercial licenses require 105 hours of flight training, whereas a private pilot license includes 25 hours with five solo flights needed for completion.
Most flights also require a theory section, which includes a written exam to pass. These topics can include:
- General Aircraft Fundamentals
- Flight Principles of Helicopters
- Efficiency, Maintenance, and Management of Helicopters
- Related Physics
- Aerospace Regulation and Flight Restrictions
- Human Capabilities and Limits
As you can imagine, obtaining a pilot’s license does not come cheap. On the other hand, enrolling in helicopter lessons can be costly, but prices may vary depending on your location and, more importantly, the layout of the flight schools.
In general, actual fight time with licensed instructor costs around USD 200 per hour. However, as students advance to solo flying, prices for flight time ranges from $150 – $175 per hour, with an additional fee of $30 – $40 per hour for ground training costs. Thus, the overall cost to obtain a private helicopter license ranges between $10,000 – $15,000.
Depending on the reasons for obtaining lessons or an issued license, prices can lean to both sides. However, from a career perspective, investing in a pilots license can establish a long-lasting, financially rewarding career and open up many doors for employment. For individual lessons, it can be expensive, but the reward of actually lifting off and learning how to fly is no douth a rewarding achievement.