What is the best helicopter flight school? Prospective helicopter pilots seeking guidance on selecting the best helicopter pilot school frequently ask us this question. We believe the answer resides within the hearts and minds of the future pilots themselves – The best helicopter flight school is the one that is right for you. To guide you along the way, here is some information that may provide insight.
The Best Helicopter Flight School
Family & Friends – The location of the helicopter flight school you choose is important for a couple of obvious reasons as well as some not so obvious reasons to the newbie pilot entering helicopter flight training. Choosing an aviation program that is in your “backyard” or at least within a day’s travel is ideal. Helicopter pilot training is demanding and having a support system of family and friends is extremely beneficial. But finding the ideal location isn’t always easy. The helicopter flight school you want to attend may not be near you. In this case, make certain to consider the follow:
Moutains and High Altitude – There’s another aspect of location not so obvious to the prospective flight student. Look into the what the physical location of the school is like and does it support your goals of what you want out of your helicopter pilot training? Specifically, if you are interested in mountainous high altitude flying, perhaps you should choose a school location that is in a mountainous and high altitude environment. Some may argue that you don’t need to be located in a high altitude or mountainous environment to get the proper training, but that sounds like putting off the inevitable. If you’re a pilot candidate competing for a job in a mountainous, high altitude environment and the person next to you has the identical amount of hours of experience and training as you, except that he has 1,500 hours of training in a high altitude mountainous environment and you don’t, you’d better put on one heck of a show in your interview because it is going to be hard to compete with that real world experience. Furthermore, others will continue to argue that “you’ll get your high altitude and mountain flying along the way” – don’t worry about that now. Again, not only does it sound like putting off the inevitable and necessary training, but you have to wonder why even the U.S. Military has developed its own high altitude helicopter flight training facilities. Check out HAATS (The High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site) . Because flying at high altitude is much more difficult. – You’ll learn about denisity altitude and power management at your helicopter flight school.
Over Water Operations – On the other hand, you may be interested in training at sea level because you want to fly in the Gulf of Mexico – the busiest helicopter operations in the world. If so, the best helicopter flight school for you may be one located near the Gulf that can provide you with that experience of over water helicopter operations.
What is the safety culture like at the helicopter flight schools you are considering? Do they have personnel and a department dedicated to safety? Do they have a Safety Management System (SMS) in place and does the school conduct safety training sessions for both the students and the school staff? These are great questions to ask when seeking the best helicopter pilot school for you.
Career Placement Success – Are the graduates coming out of the program getting jobs? Can the school show you ample examples of graduates successfully moving on to careers in helicopter aviation? What programs does the helicopter school have in place to support career placement? For example: Assistance with resume writing and personal development; Existing relationships with companies that are hiring pilots; Does the school have a track record of hiring its own graduates?
OPPORTUNITIES BEYOND THE NORMAL FLIGHT SCHOOL ROUTINES – Has the helicopter pilot school developed a culture outside of the classroom that not only supports student lifestyles, but also creates unique opportunities and real world experience for both the student and flight instructor? Remember, your first job might just be that of a Certified Flight Instructor – Instruments (CFI-I) for the school you graduate from. So, will the flight training be unique and will the job after the training be interesting and provide real world experience beyond the standard fight school experience? The best helicopter flight school will want to assist you in both your professional and personal development.
A Department Dedicated to Guiding The Student – None of us like poor customer service. Do the schools you are considering have a dedicated student services department? Are they knowledgeable about your financing options and necessary paperwork to complete the application process successfully and on time?
EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS – Does your helicopter flight school provide the option of acquiring a college degree while becoming a professional pilot? Acquiring an Associates Degree in Helicopter Aviation while also earning your wings is a fantastic option and will look good on your resume.
Are you ready to choose the best helicopter flight school for you? Contact Guidance Aviation today.