Flight School — Learn to Navigate the Sky and Fly with Ease
February 25, 2019
The thought of helicopters usually elicits thoughts of flying them, not just being a passenger. If this was ever you, it’s not too late to go to flight school. We often have these big dreams when we are younger, standing amongst our models, but never make the final decision to get out and learn. Even if you don’t decide to make a career out of it, this could be a great thing to learn regardless. Learn a new skill and how to drive a different type of vehicle that could get you from point A to B in a flash. Learning to fly isn’t as hard as most would scare you into believing. When you’ve made the bold choice to finally go through with the learning process, there are just a few more things to consider. Notably, you’ll need to figure out where to take flight lessons, determine what the purpose is and learn more about helicopters and the world you’re getting into.
Choosing your Flight School
Arguably, this is the most important step in the process of learning to fly. This is the part where you do a lot of research for yourself. In order to know what best suits your needs and what you want to get out of flight school, you need to know what your options are. You’ll quickly find out that there are two types of schools to get a pilot certificate. Part 61 and Part 141 are your two options. These refer to the parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) under which they operate. Though the hours needed to complete each part is different by 5 hours (40 hours under Part 61 and 35 hours under Part 141), the real difference is the structure and accountability of each.
If you learn under Part 61, as a student you’ll have more flexibility to arrange flying lesson content and sequence. So, if you need to be a part-time student while you continue with your current job, that is possible. Though many Part 141 schools train students under some Part 61 rules, flexibility is not always the case. Part 141 schools are often audited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and must have detailed FAA-approved course outlines. They must also meed student pilot performance rates. Part 61 does not have the same rigorous standards.
Other Notes on Picking a Flight School
After going through the different options you have on school types, there are some other things to keep in mind. This mostly depends on why you’re learning to fly in the first place. Is this more for fun; something you can add on to the list of things you’re able to do? Or, are you doing a career switch and needing to get your license? If it’s the latter, then you want to compare your school to the requirements needed in your future place of employment. What kind of services are available at its airport (instrument approaches and control towers)? How long has the school been in business? And, are you aiming to get your Private Pilot Certificate or your Complete Professional Pilot Program?
No matter what the reason for your learning, it’s not cheap to get behind the controls of a helicopter. In fact, this is the part where many shy away from the process of learning. Ground time is usually around $30-$40 per hour. That can easily lead you to costs up to $15,000. Those aren’t definite numbers though. The school you choose to go to, where that school is and the helicopter model available are usually factors in how much you will be paying. Either way, whether you’re learning for fun or as a career move, you’ll want to consider this a big investment and take lessons and your time very seriously.
Learning how to fly is a never-ending process. So, your initial training will provide a great foundation for anything that follows. Some schools will include books, supplies, and aviation ground school. Others don’t and only include the cost of your flight hours. Remember to read the fine print and know what you’re getting into!
Your New Career
Learning how to fly a helicopter (or plane) can lead to a lot of open doors. The sky is the limit for you now. Your new skill can get you into many different fields, depending on what you’re looking for. You can help with search and rescue teams, work with the police, or work with different tourism groups. Whichever makes your soul happy, you’ll now be able to control and fly a large rotary machine. And, if you’ve always just dreamed of owning your own helicopter, you can now turn that into a reality when you can successfully fly one.
Hollywood Helicopters — Cinema and TV Keep Bringing Helicopters to Viewers
Fan of war movies or action-packed adventure films? Chances are you’ve seen soldiers or conmen fleeing a scene in a helicopter. Or, you’ve seen a helicopter get shot down before exploding into nothingness. Hollywood helicopters are widely seen in many high-budget films and many TV shows. We know the cost to buy a helicopter doesn’t make sense for filmmakers to buy a helicopter outright, so where are they getting them from? And what has been their impact?
Hollywood Helicopters in Action
For an average, everyday person, the most we’ll see a helicopter is when it’s on film. When you search “helicopters” and “movies” there are various fan sites dedicated to the niche genre. Blogs will tell you how many helicopters have exploded in film history. Others will tell you the ins and outs of the helicopter used on film. A lot will debunk anything the film got wrong. This is the start of the impact that they’ve had on viewers. People want some sort of access to the action. They want to see these machines they aren’t riding themselves—or the machines that they have always been fascinated with.
Back in the early 1900s, aerial cinematography was trying to make a breakthrough. This is the first note of using any kind of aerial machines in a movie. It was something not widely supported, as air travel was still not a popular or trusted mode of transportation. This slowly transitioned to having helicopters on film. As a way to tell a story better, it was crucial to use these vehicles. In that way, it quickly evolved to what the industry is satisfying now: a demand to see action-packed movies with helicopters and CGI coming together to create awesome scenes. It has created trends, such as calling helicopters “choppers” or “Hueys”. Though technically the Huey is a brand, movies have popularized the term to have more of a general meaning.
Where Are They Coming From?
When you read through the blogs, there are multiple ways that film producers are getting helicopters on screen. Digging a little deeper, a lot of movies lease their helicopters for their production days. In the case of many army-related movies, a movie liaison is usually in contact with a government official who will handle all of the negotiations and logistics. In many other cases, films will simply go to a helicopter company that specializes in leasing out to Hollywood. It is also not beyond film crews to know someone personally that will rent out a “chopper” to complete a movie. If you’re curious, stick around for the credits at the end where the company will most likely be named.
Rotorcrafts Inhabit a Unique Space in the World of Aircraft
Helicopters are an amazing invention. For many of us, our curiosity starts a very young age. We rush home to our parents with random facts about helicopters and ask for models to build. If you have a child currently doing this, it’s great to foster the curiosity because most times it fades. When that happens, helicopters become a second thought and only noticed when flying ahead as a search party. But, the rotorcraft, as it’s defined to be, has a unique story and holds a unique place in the world of aircraft.
Why are helicopter labeled rotorcrafts? Because they use rotors to supply the thrust and lift required for flight. This can include two or more blades. This by far differs from the way an airplane is engineered. What is so great about helicopters is the way in which they can fly and make it to their destinations. It is capable of flying forward, backward and laterally. It can also just hover above. Because of this, their flight capabilities make them a great choice for search and rescue missions, fast hospital deliveries and much more.
Long Live the Curiosity
We have a pretty big soft spot for learning about helicopters. We like to embrace those with a curiosity about the machines we work with and lease out every day. The facts collected about helicopters are vast and can get very random. For example, the nut that holds the main rotor to the shaft of the helicopter is lovingly called the “Jesus nut”. The story goes that it was named after a pilot said, “Oh Jesus, if that nut comes off... ” Or, what about the fact that the farthest a helicopter has traveled without landing is 2,213 miles. We could go on and on…
An Incredible Vehicle
Ultimately, they still prove to be a unique source of flight. While they travel at speeds a lot slower than an airplane, the advancing rotor blade can exceed the speed of sound. In terms of search and rescue, helicopters have proved to be an excellent invention, able to reach difficult places. It is actually estimated that more than three million lives—during war and peace—have been saved because of a helicopter since 1944. For such an amazing vehicle to take a slight backseat to other inventions is beyond us. But then again, we might be a little biased.
Since helicopters are our passion—outside of work,too—we happily make them available for businesses to lease out. It’s the perfect option. Leasing has all the perks of owning a helicopter without actually owning it. We have an experienced team ready to guide you through getting your business it’s very own (leased) helicopter! Contact us today and let’s get started!
Helicopters Helping Search and Rescue More and More
Many stories have made headlines about lost families who were hiking. Or, people missing after wandering off solo during a camping trip. When a person is lost, finding them and assisting them is a top priority. Time becomes increasingly important under these intense and dangerous situations. And, these conditions are usually always the case. In order to get a good assessment of the area to search, you need more than just dogs and humans. Thus, helicopters helping search are the prime option. They allow for a new set of eyes.
Many search and rescue missions have used helicopters. This is for many reasons. For one, they provide a wider view of the area. The aerial view from a helicopter has been helpful in several cases. More notably, a helicopter is able to quickly retrieve an injured person and take them to a hospital.
Unfortunately, getting people out of dire situations happens more often than you would think. Thankfully, there are many skilled people that are able to help.
Helicopters Helping in Different Situations
As a company from California, we don’t just service our area. And, just because we have helicopters that are helpful in wildfire situations, we know that there are other instances that require a search and rescue team.
Wolf Packs. Sure, watching a movie about being surrounded by a wolf pack seems entertaining, but no one wants to be the star in real life. Recently, a student from Washington found herself up a tree near the Tiffany Springs campground in Okanogan. Surrounded by a pack of wolves, the student had to call dispatch. Luckily, a helicopter was able to retrieve her and return her to safety.
Catastrophic Flooding. Hurricane Florence caused a lot of damage on the east coast this year. In this case, nine helicopter crews were sent out to search the Georgia and South Carolina coastline searching for anyone that needed to be rescued. Having helicopters helping from up above allowed for more people to be safely recovered. They were also extremely helpful in providing supplies like food and equipment. More people were able to get rescued because of these helicopters.
Up in the Mountains. Unfortunately, there are so many headlines that mention people getting lost while hiking desert mountains. Many times, people forget to bring enough water, or they get off the trail. Many park rangers have called in search and rescue teams to find lost families or individual persons. In some cases, having rangers on foot is not enough. Not to mention, when a person has run out of water, rangers aren’t quick enough. A helicopter's size and ability to carry supplies (like gallons of water) make them an ideal choice for these missions.
Best Line of Defense
When it comes to search and rescue, helicopters are a great first line of defense. Take for instance the Forest Service and Fire and National Interagency Fire Center. They hired various helicopters ranging in weight and performance. Fixed-winged aircraft, for instance, are better and play a different role in wildfire suppression. Often, a helicopter can carry 1,000 gallons of water and are best for a situation like this. It is critical for firefighters, National Parks, and other agencies to have helicopters employed for these reasons.
You might not think of all the work that a helicopter can do outside of a war movie. But, they have become a crucial piece of machinery that aids a lot of people.
Law Enforcement: Leasing Helicopters for Your Agency
Since their main production during WWII, helicopters have drastically moved out of a confined box of uses. Being a machine of war is not the only thing they are good for and people have since discovered other ways to utilize these aircraft. Many local businesses have taken to leasing helicopters. And though aerial touring businesses and Hollywood are leasing out helicopters, the government is still a very prominent customer. A question arises within certain departments on cost-effectiveness and value, but ultimately, a helicopter is a huge investment. The cost of purchasing a helicopter is not, as the saying goes, a pretty penny. This is why it’s beneficial for law enforcement to lease a helicopter—and why many do.
Helping the Mission
Why do law enforcement agencies have helicopters? A lot has to do with the capabilities of a helicopter. Helicopters can provide an emergency response, perform patrol duties, provide back up in dire situations, and can cover pursuits with a wider range than a police car can. With this scope of helicopter operations, it’s easy to see why law enforcement would need a helicopter (or two) on their side. Having a helicopter literally gives you a different perspective. You’ve seen the movies—the helicopter shines the light and is able to find the person of interest in a tiny alley that police cars couldn’t get into.
With any kind of vehicle purchase, the cost is a huge consideration. Not only do you want to purchase something affordable, but you also need to consider the maintenance and storage, amongst other factors. The same thing is applicable to a helicopter. This is also why many don’t purchase a helicopter. Many leasing companies make having a helicopter attainable. We can provide you the knowledge to maintain upkeep on the helicopter, as well as pay for the county property taxes. It's one expense that you won't have to worry about. And with law enforcement having to consider taxpayer dollars, this makes for a positive argument.
Models to Lease for Law Enforcement
When it comes to choosing a model for an agency, the model should be the last point of discussion. But, when you’re leasing from us, you get the very best in the industry. We only use Robinson Helicopters, a trusted and experienced manufacturer. Our Robinson R22 or R44 helicopters are great, versatile aircraft. When it comes to law enforcement, or any other company or entity, we only provide the best machines to fly.
Filling a wide range of needs and missions, helicopters for law enforcement have been a steady thing because of their capabilities. Take a look at our website or give us a call today to learn more about leasing a formidable helicopter for your business.
Robinson Helicopter Lease—Reasons Why This is the Best Option
The Robinson Helicopter Company has built an extraordinary flying machine. They are a popular choice when it comes to helicopter tour companies and eager pilots in search of something for a prospective business. The downside to this is that while many businesses want to own their own helicopter, the reality is very gloomy. Helicopters are expensive and a long-term investment. This is why it is a better option to lease your helicopter. A Robinson helicopter lease is something you can do with us.
Leasing vs. Buying
One of the more prominent reasons why businesses are, and should, lease a helicopter, is cost. There’s no other way to say it: Helicopters are expensive. That is why not everyone has their own helicopter for their business. They are a luxury asset that is purchased/leased after a lot of consideration and talks to your bank. Having the leasing option gets your business running faster. This also gives you flexibility. Over a certain time period, you can lease a top model helicopter, without the responsibility of any long-term contracts or need to sell in the future. Buying your own helicopter could easily run you up to upwards of a million dollars, depending on model and size. That isn’t even including the cost of fuel and regular maintenance. That may not look like a good business expense. Or it just might not be a smart option for your business.
Terms and Conditions
These are good to note. As we said, leasing gives you flexibility in the world of obtaining a helicopter for your business. In a typical three-month period, it’s important to note that the hours flown are a big factor. Flying less than a certain number of hours in three months wouldn't really be beneficial to your business. You want to get the most out of what you're paying for. Further, there are different guidelines for the models we lease. Take for example the R22. When you’re leasing the R22 model, we suggest you fly it for more than 100 hours in any contiguous three-month period. For many, that makes sense. Usually, as a business, you’re easily going to be flying the helicopter for much more than that. With the R44 model, we suggest flying it for a minimum of 20 hours per month.
Lease Your Helicopter from Us
Leasing from us means fewer expenses. That’s great news for you and your business. How does this happen? We pay for all the upgrades the helicopter may need. We also pay for a 2,200-hour overhaul and county property taxes. Already, that’s taken a lot of your payment. Another important thing to note is that payments are configured based on the age of the aircraft. For returning business, no down payment is needed. Payments and flight reports can all be handled online
Now, a few things to know about the possible models you can lease from us.
Robinson R22 Model
The Robinson R22 model is a two-bladed, single-engine light utility aircraft. This two-seater has been in production since 1979 when it was first built by Frank Robinson. If you don’t have any plans on carrying more people besides you and one other person, then this is the model for you. Though it is an enclosed cabin, the doors may be taken off. This is usually done to benefit photography or if you want to decrease the weight by 10.4 pounds. Think of it as the Jeep of aircrafts. This is for a more particular experience. Having only enough room for one other person besides the pilot, this will garner the attention of photographers, other media, and others planning on seeing an area by themselves.
Robinson R44 Model
This is the Robinson R22’s roomier brother. Whereas the R22 only sat two people, this one can comfortably seat four. Another great feature is its hydraulically assisted flight controls. This model of the Robinson has also been the world’s best selling general aviation (GA) helicopter since 1999. It’s a prestigious title for an aircraft that’s only been in production since 1992. As with the R22, the R44 is also a two-bladed, single-engine aircraft. What differs, besides the number of seats, is that the tail rotor rotates in the opposite direction, improving the yaw control authority, which means the wind turbines also face the wind.
No matter which model you choose on leasing, you should definitely plan on leasing one. For any business continuously needing to fly ahead, this is a viable option for you. Your business likely isn’t going to need just one helicopter for the clients you have. Now, with helicopter leasing, it would make more sense than buying, to have several helicopters or options for your business. It would be a better business expense to lease those instead of buying and maintaining them yourself. Often, hiring a third party like us to supply your business results in better, quality care and upgrades in the future. We would be able to service and provide for your business while you provide a unique tour and experience for your customers. It’s a win-win.
We have an easy way to apply online and we are available for any of the questions you might have. Leasing a helicopter is a smarter way to shop and a smarter way to get by. With over 30 years of service, it’s no wonder people keep coming back to us. Let us help your company and check something off your list.
The World’s First Helicopter: A History in Flight
Have you ever stopped to think, “When did helicopters become a ‘thing’”? When you look up and see a helicopter, you’re probably not thinking about this question. You might be thinking that it’s for government use or that someone is ranking up flight hours. But, the history of the helicopter is quite fascinating. Nowadays, we have become so accustomed to different technology and everyday occurrences, that we don’t stop to marvel at anything anymore. Our curiosity of inventions has become a quick come-and-go thought if it doesn’t involve our phones. But, let us take you for a spin on the adventurous story of the world's first helicopter.
Flight on the Brain
In the world of Google, we can easily access the question of when helicopters became an advanced tool that we used. Sure, you could pull up a date when it was first put into production, but the story of how it became leads all the way to 400 BC in China. No—China did not construct anything that allowed them to fly. They were an advanced society, but not that advanced society, but not that advanced. They did, however, construct a bamboo flying toy composed of a stick and a bamboo rotor. Once children spun the top and let go, the toy would fly up into the air. This model and science have been referenced ever since. In 1754, Russians developed a small device modeled after this Chinese top. In 1783, it was again referenced in France.
Taking (Slight) Flight
With steam power being popular with inventor during the 1860s, an Italian inventor powered his unnamed vehicle with a steam engine. The vehicle rose to 39 feet, hovered for 20 seconds and then grounded itself. Fast forward to 1901 in Berlin, where Hermann Ganswindt’s helicopter made a slight flight into the air carrying passengers. It is noted as probably the first motor-driven flight carrying humans. Around the same time, Thomas Edison was producing his own experiments towards a flying machine. After years of trials, it was in 1908 that he finally patented his own design for a gasoline-powered helicopter. Unfortunately, it never flew.
Inventors all over the world were trying to come up with ways to build a successful flight machine. Experimentation was key during these times. Jacques and Louis Breguet, two brothers from France, were able to fly their Gyroplane 1 in 1907 up to two feet for a whole minute. This flight is considered to be the first manned flight, but it was very unsteady. Another Frenchman, Paul Cornu, built his Cornu helicopter that flew up to 6.5 feet. But, he quickly abandoned the model after it failed to remain steady. Nonetheless, these were incredible feats being conducted early in our time.
World’s First Helicopter
Finally, in 1939, we got the world’s first functioning helicopter. The aircraft was designed by Igor Sikorsky. Built by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation, the helicopter was also the first to use a single main rotor and tail rotor design. Not unlike the helicopters that came before it, it took several trials to get it in the air. But, the concepts used in the VS-300 model swiftly became the basis for the first production and the standard for the manufacturing of them across the world. And where did this happen to take place? Here in the United States, in Connecticut. If you’d like to view this awesome piece of history, it’s on display at the Henry Ford Museum.
Helicopters weren’t immediately available for us ordinary people to use. In fact, they were used for World War II. They were used for observation, transport and medical evacuation in Nazi Germany. Not only in the hands of the enemy, but the Allied Forces also used helicopters for the extensive bombing to prevent Germany from producing a large number of helicopters. Because of their ability to fly laterally, carry supplies and ease into different locations, they were a prime tool to have during the war.
Igor Sikorsky built several different models of helicopters, mostly used for the military. However, the Bell 47 model was the first developed and certified for civilian use in the United States. This model became the most popular for nearly 30 years. We now use them for search and rescue missions, photography, construction, news and media, and many others.
Now, the uses and demand for helicopters have expanded. Many businesses need them for several reasons and that is why our company started. The evolution of the helicopter is a fascinating tale of ingenuity and perseverance over time. We think back to the models first inspired by a Chinese design, and the simplicity of what it has become is not far from it. We have grown and our needs have changed. Though we’re not fighting a world war, our need for helicopters is still prevalent. We lease these amazing machines so that your business is able to have easy access to them. That way, we can help you grow your business and accomplish new feats.
The engine and the body of the helicopter have become a very sophisticated thing. And the next time that you look up to spot one flying ahead, you can now understand the trials and inventors throughout the time that worked to create it.
A quick understanding of history allows us to appreciate our product and what it took to get where it is. We provide helicopters from the Robinson Helicopter Company. These are the models that are now ranked top in the world. Find out more from contacting us today.