AirOcean Aviation is proud to provide the highest standard of training for all levels of FAA Helicopter Pilot Certification. Whether you simply want to take a pleasure flight, get licensed as a Private Pilot or aspire to become a career pilot with an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate our knowledgeable and experienced instructors will guide you every step of the way. We offer both Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) training to ensure that our graduates are ready to operate safely within the FAA airspace environment. Below you will find more information on each step of the process.
Whether you are considering a career in aviation or just want try experience of piloting a helicopter, an introductory lesson is the first step. Introductory lessons are normally conducted in our Robinson R44 training aircraft and if you decide to continue training this first flight will count towards the total requirements required for a Private Pilots license. We recommend at least a 45 minute flight, however the minimum is 30 minutes.
Your introductory flight lesson will start with a short tour of our operation at Yalesville Heliport. Then you will sit down for a one-on-one briefing with your instructor where you will learn about the basic flight controls and operation of a helicopter. After that the true adventure begins, once airborne your instructor will demonstrate some of the unique capabilities of the helicopter and you will get to try your hand at flying yourself. After the flight you will have a short debrief and can choose to log the flight towards future training requirements.
The Introductory Flight experience will take a total of about two hours from when you first arrive at our facility. If you have received a 30 minute gift certificate and would like to spend more time in the air please be sure to mention it when booking the flight and we will be happy to accommodate your request.
Click here to purchase a gift certificate or introductory lesson.
Private Pilot Training
No matter how far you wish to take your flying career the first step is the Private Pilot Certificate. A Private Pilots license qualifies you to operate a helicopter solo, with friends on board, however you cannot receive compensation for acting as a pilot. The minimum flight time required by regulation to become a Private Pilot is 40 hours. Most pilots are not ready to take the test within this timescale. A more realistic number is 50 hours. The aircraft we use for primary flight training is the Robinson R44 helicopter. Along with flight instruction you will need considerable ground instruction. All of our ground lessons are conducted one-on-one with your own instructor. The more self-study you do the less time you will have to spend with your instructor thus saving money and time. It is a good estimate that for every hour of flight instruction you will need an hour of ground instruction. You will be thoroughly briefed before and after every flight lesson.
The first 20 hours concentrate on preparation for solo flight. After you have achieved solo flight you will combine both solo flight and dual instruction to develop and practice your skills. By the time you have reached 50 hours you will be ready for your checkride. The test will consist of an oral and flight portion conducted by a FAA qualified examiner. Before you can take your checkride with the examiner you must pass an FAA computerized knowledge exam by at least 70%. Your instructor will guide you in preparation for this exam.
If you are considering becoming a pilot we strongly recommend you come to visit us to see our facilities and take an introductory flight. You will get a chance to try your hand at the controls and your pilot will demonstrate the unique capabilities of the helicopter. From there, if you decide you want to continue and start training the time you flew during your introductory flight will be counted towards your training so your money will have been put to good use.
Instrument Rating Training
An instrument rating is a must if you are considering a career as a pilot. We recommend that after completion of your private pilot certificate that your next step is an instrument rating. Even if you don’t plan on making a career in aviation an instrument rating is a great way to increase your knowledge, skills and situational awareness in the event that you encounter bad weather while on a flight. You will learn to fly the aircraft by sole reference to instruments. This training is a different challenge than your basic flight training and will take 40-50 hours of flight time to complete. These hours count towards the minimum of 150 hrs required to qualify for a commercial rating which will be your next step. There is quite a bit of studying required at this stage which can be daunting at first but our staff will be there to guide you through the process. Remember that you will need approximately one hour of one-on-one ground instruction for every hour of flight. As before there will be one FAA computerized written exam to pass prior to taking the checkride with an examiner.
Commercial Pilot Training
If your goal is to make a career of flying helicopters your next step will be a commercial pilot certificate. By the time you have finished your private license and your instrument rating the average student will have approximately 100-110 hours of flight time. To become a commercial pilot requires a minimum of 150 hours of total flight time. This means you have another 40-50 hours of flight training to complete. These hours of training will concentrate on developing your skills in all aspects of helicopter flying. As before there will be one FAA knowledge exam to take prior to the checkride.
Flight Instructor Training
Most helicopter pilots start their careers working as a flight instructor. This allows you to build hours and experience essential for a transition into bigger more complex aircraft. We can offer you flight training to become a certified flight instructor (CFI). Our highly experienced instructors work with you to teach you how to pass on the skills of helicopter flight to others. To become a flight instructor there are two knowledge tests to take. The examiner will expect an exemplary level of aeronautical knowledge in addition to your flying skills. There is a lot of work to be done in preparation for your checkride here and you will be well tested! You must hold a commercial license in order to qualify for the CFI and on average it will take an additional 10-15 hours of flying to prepare for the CFI checkride.
Instrument Flight Instructor Training
In order to teach instrument flight you must become a Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII). This is relatively straightforward for someone who holds CFI and Instrument Rating already. This qualification makes you much more employable as you will be able to teach both VFR and IFR flight. You can expect only to fly a very small number of hours in preparation for your CFII checkride. However, as before there will be one FAA computerized written exam to pass prior to taking the checkride with an examiner.
Turbine Transition Training
We offer a basic turbine transition course consisting of 5 hours of flight training and 10 hours of ground training. This training is conducted in the Bell 206.
How much does it cost?
It is our goal to ensure you know exactly what you are paying for. Apart from the cost of the flight training itself there are some other costs you should know about so that you have a complete picture and can make an informed decision. We operate a pay as you go system of flight training so there is no need to pay large lump sums up front however discounts may be available if you purchase a block of time. A breakdown of our charges is as follows:
- $600 per hour for Private and Commercial flight training
- $600 per hour for Instrument, CFI and CFII training
- Note: Significant discount available for enrolled students. Please contact us for additional information.
- $1,300 per hour for Turbine training
Please note that all prices are exclusive of tax.
Each computerized knowledge test will cost you approximately $150 and as you have seen above there is one to be taken with each certificate or rating except for CFI certification where you must take two.
Prior to your first solo flight you will need to obtain a student pilot certificate and at least a Class 3 medical. However, we recommend that you take you medical as soon as possible after your introductory lesson. You can obtain one from a number of doctors in the area known as AMEs (Authorized Medical Examiners). You will need to renew your medical every year. The cost of your initial medical and each subsequent renewal is approximately $150.
Books and Equipment
You can anticipate spending approximately $200 on books and other equipment. These are a one-time expense. We also recommend to that each pilot buy his/her own headset. Headsets range in cost from $250 to upwards of $1000 depending on brand and features.
If you would like a more detailed explanation of the costs then please feel free to call us. It is important that you do as much research as you need to make you comfortable. You will be investing a considerable amount of your time and money if you decide to take on this challenge. We will be happy go over all this in detail with you so that there are no unexpected surprises.