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Studies & Degrees in Helicopter Pilot Training

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Have you always wanted to fly a helicopter, either for fun and recreation or commercially for economic gain?  Have you considered enrolling in one of the many Helicopter Pilot Training courses throughout the country as a way to earn your pilot’s license and the various certificates and ratings needed to pilot the aircraft yourself?  Helicopter Pilot Training schools are becoming increasingly prevalent, largely due to the high demand for this type of training.  To help you become more familiar with these schools, below we will provide a brief overview of Helicopter Pilot Training, including a comprehensive description of the various certificates and ratings students can pursue en route to earning their pilot’s license.
Helicopter Pilot Training:  Certificates and Ratings

Helicopter Pilot Training is not a one-size-fits-all program, as there are many different levels of certification.  Participants can choose to pursue several different certificates and ratings, based primarily on how they plan to fly the aircraft once they finally receive their license.  Some of these certificates and ratings include:

Private Pilot Certificate

The Private Pilot Certificate is designed for participants who merely want to fly for fun and recreation.  It allows pilots to use the helicopter to travel from one place to the next, or to take their family and friends up to show off their new skills and give those passengers a rare treat.  It is also seen as a type of stepping stone to future ratings and certificates—a basic class that helps to prepare them for more advanced certificates. Through ground and flight training students enter the helicopter from day one, learning the basic operations of the aircraft as well as radio procedures, weather and navigation and heliport operations.  This course is very hands-on and a great place to start for novice and first-time pilots.

Instrument Rating

An instrument rating is absolutely essential and required by law for pilots who intend to fly into harsh and adverse weather conditions.  The training for this certificate aims to teach students how to fly blind, using only the helicopter’s instruments to guide them.  Students who fail to achieve this rating are limited to flying in fair weather conditions only, and would not be given aviation clearance if a threat of bad weather is looming. 

Commercial Pilot Certificate

Students who wish to fly for a living—for economic gain—must earn a Commercial Pilot Certificate.  In addition to the basic skills students learn while training for their personal certificate, this course will expose them to advanced maneuvers and techniques.  Students begin this course with ground training, through which they learn about aerodynamics and the laws and procedures that govern commercial pilot flight.  Strong emphasis is placed on professionalism in this course, as well as helicopter power management, pinnacles, confined areas and the use of good judgment.  Many students pursuing a commercial certificate do so concurrently with the instrument rating course, as this is a great way to build up the required hours necessary to fly solo.

In addition to the three certificates/ratings mentioned above, Helicopter Pilot Training may also involve specialized courses at the student’s request, including a mountain flying course, turbine transmission course and a course that covers the details and procedures involved when flying cross country.