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Recent Articles

Becoming A Pilot

VA Benefits & Helicopter Training
By Heidi McBride

Having the opportunity to use our VA benefits to pay for professional helicopter flight training is, for many of us Veterans, an incomprehensible dream come true. Using the Post-9/11 GI Bill can genuinely pay for 100% of your fight training, pay for your books and supplies, and provide a reasonable housing stipend. There are, however, many crucial factors to consider before you blindly pick a flight school and jump in feet first. More than one veteran has chosen too hastily and regretted their choice of school once they became aware of all the options available to them.

GOMER: Working in the Gulf of Mexico - Part 2
Article, Photos, & Video by Lyn Burks

Gomer VideoIn my experience, if you would like to see how serious a helicopter operator is about safety, then look no further than its new hire or recurrent pilot training programs. On one hand, there are programs which barely meet the FAA minimums, with their training program loosely packaged between the covers of Part 135 Operations Specifications. On the other, there are operators who go beyond the OpSpecs and fill the training “tool box” with innovative techniques and dedicated people.

Need Money To Fly?

In aviation today, it is financially difficult to fund advancement in the helicopter industry.  However, there are opportunities out there.  These opportunities can be found through the Whirly-Girls Organization.  The Whirly-Girls Organization is a non-profit organization of International Female Helicopter Pilots.  The organization is a charitable organization that is dedicated to advancing women in helicopter aviation through the industry’s largest pool of annual scholarships, while providing women helicopter pilots a forum for the exchange of information and opportunities. Each year, the Whirly-Girls Organization attends the HAI conference and awards these scholarships.

In November of 2008, a helicopter flight training school in Broomfield, Colorado, received their part 141 Certification, a designation earned through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The process of writing a standardized curriculum, training the Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs), and upgrading classroom facilities was rigorous, but the owners and instructors at this school were convinced that the benefits they would receive through certification would far out-weigh the heavy workload necessary to get there. They anticipated that their students would qualify for career training loans at a variety of banks and lending institutions, that the State of Colorado would allow access to training grants and loans available, and that ultimately federal grants and loans would be available to students who qualify through the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1956.

It didn’t take long for those beliefs to be shattered.

Why you don't make any money! By Willie Dykes

Foreword: The article is a little raw. It is an attempt to describe a 37 year love/hate relationship with this industry. The open-endedness is deliberate. Though it's a little hard to see in the exchanges contained in online forums, I have found helicopter pilots to be among the most intelligent, clear thinking, and broad minded people on the planet. They don't need to be told what to do. This problem of ours needs all the creativity and energy we can muster from the boys. If the discussion/debate is kept loud and noisy, the solution will emerge-usually from the least likely source. Your site is the best thing we have going for us. Power to the people.

The Life of an Army Helicopter Pilot by CW3 BERNIE SMITH, US ARMY

I offer this article as an Army UH-60 Blackhawk pilot since 1990, therefore my views are that of the Army and not any other Service. I will give information as accurate as I can. Pilots of other Army aircraft may disagree on some details, such as the Blackhawk being the finest helicopter ever produced. Thanks Igor.

The Life of a Test Pilot by SHAWN COYLE

Test Pilot Background

The first thing that has to be made clear is that Test Pilot refers to Research and Development, Certification or Engineering flight testing. The US Army has a course they call the Test Pilot course, but it should be more properly called the 'Post Maintenance Check Pilot (PMCF) course. The two are completely different.

 Is now a good time to become a Helicopter Pilot? by Lyn Burks

On the supply side there is a trend occurring that is beginning to create a shortage of qualified helicopter pilots. There are many factors that are influencing that trend. One of the factors is that over the last decade the rate at which new pilots are being trained has been steadily decreasing.

By Paul Huston - A story written by a female heli pilot when she received her CFI license.

I am a certified flight instructor! Believe me it feels fabulous!

The ground started at about 9:00am. There were lots of questions about endorsements, training techniques and some really tough aerodynamics. I had a moment of panic when my brain checked out for a few minutes and I misinterpreted an airspace requirement. I took a minute to collect my thoughts and then told the examiner that I had answered the question completely wrong. He agreed wholeheartedly, which didn't make me feel much better but the brain kicked on again and I had the correct answer. Then after about two and a half hours of oral questioning I presented a ground lesson to five other students. Two of the students were fixed wing students so they asked great questions ...

By Paul Heuts - A 3 blade rotor chopping 1 meter above your head, a small screaming engine under your seat and rock solid ground 1000 feet below you. Oh, and because it is hot we left the doors off the helicopter so each time we bank the little Schweizer 300CB to the right I get the feeling I’m going to drop out.

By Tony Fonze - Becoming a US ARMY Helicopter Pilot, You are in the Army Now! Army pilots are, by definition, soldiers first, officers second, and then aviators. Consequently, applicants for the aviation program must first meet the requirements for acceptance into the military, acceptance into the Warrant Officer program, and finally, admission into the aviation training program.

Are you searching for information on how to become a helicopter pilot? Search no more!
We here at Justhelicopters.com have produced a comprehensive downloadable EBook titled “Everything you ever wanted to know about becoming a helicopter pilot”. This EBook is offered by TheHelicopterStore.com.

By Lyn Burks - A common question that gets asked from potential pilots here at Justhelicopters.com is, “What can I expect by becoming a helicopter pilot?” Along with the usual comments, “I hear the pay is bad”….”I hear that you must pay your dues”….”How fast can I expect to move up the chain?”……and so on.

By Randy Rowles - Like so many before , you ask “How do I choose the right flight school for me”. Well , that depends on several factors. We will attempt to guide you through the selection process and give a few pointers along the way. When beginning the selection process , you must first understand the terms used in describing flight schools and their level of certification.

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