Achieve your Helicopter Licence – 5 tips to success

Training for a helicopter pilot’s licence is no small task. You’ll need a well-planned budget, large chunks of time and bags of determination to succeed. In the end, though, the result will be a large reward for your determination and you will learn a unique skill that could open the door to a satisfying new hobby or career. To get started, look at these five tips to help you make a success of your training.

1. Which helicopter licence will I need?

Firstly, you must decide which helicopter pilot licence to apply for. Most people go for the European JAA PPL(H) private pilot’s licence (PPL). Upon achievement of this, there’s the possibility of conversion to other helicopters, training in night flight and instrument ratings. And for those with 155 hours experience on their PPL who want to go further to make a living out of flying, there’s the professional CPL(H) modular course and advanced courses such as mountain flight or instructing.

2. How can I finance my helicopter licence?

Depending on your rate of progress and natural aptitude, expect to pay at least £11,500 for a private licence in the UK, plus another £35,000 for a professional course. A lot of money, yes, but some sources suggest that costs may be lower if you are prepared to train abroad, perhaps in North America or South Africa. However, the British Helicopter Advisory Board warns that this may not be the case in practice as there are often major hidden costs associated with this route. Either way prepare for the reality and check the figures first.

Some people are fortunate enough to have the cash to finance their training, while others may decide to re-mortgage a property or get a loan. Whatever you decide, the costs, particularly for the commercial licence, are sufficiently high to weed out those who are serious from those who are dreaming.

3. How can I choose the right helicopter flight school?

It is vital to choose the right helicopter training school. Think: Is it convenient to your home? Does it have ground school facilities? Can it demonstrate a sound record in the training you want to embark on? Do you feel comfortable with the staff? All of these factors are as important, if not more, than the financial cost of your training.

4. Will all helicopter licences require lots of study?

Many people start out on helicopter licence training, only to give up during the course. Sometimes money becomes too much of an issue. Others discover that they don’t have the right physical or mental fitness to continue dealing with the unique challenges of helicopter flying. Some just find that the amount of study involved is just too much. Whether training for pleasure or profit, helicopters demand intense study and dedication. Don’t underestimate what’s involved in these courses, such as the European JAA PPL(H) course or the CPL(H). Be aware of the time required and study hard if you want to be successful. It will be worthwhile.

5. Where can I use my helicopter training?

The standard private helicopter licence allows you to fly one particular type of aircraft and is recognised throughout Europe. This license allows you to fly for recreational purposes. To fly different helicopters or to fly for a job, or fly elsewhere in the world, additional training will be required.

Despite the challenges involved (or perhaps because of them) helicopter training offers a fantastic opportunity to make your dreams of flying come true. You will get a huge sense of achievement and your friends and family members are sure to be impressed. You might even embark on an exciting new career. Rise Helicopters is one of the leading helicopter training organisations in the UK with superb facilities and engineering on site. We can cater for all your individual needs.

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