Helicopter Pilot Resources

Helicopter Flight Training in Diverse Conditions

“If you want to be a great pilot, I believe that you need to be comfortable flying in different situations, terrains, and weather conditions. Hawaii offers a wide range of landscapes. You can go from flying over the wettest spot on earth, Waialeale, to the second driest spot in the country, Kawaihae. On the Big Island you can fly from sea level up to 14,000 ft. This island alone allows you to fly in all climates except for the frozen tundra. The options Hawaii provides are limitless. This is why I chose Hawaii to do my training…”  Read the rest of this guest article here. (Photo by Jon Davison)

Why Mauna Loa Was The Best Flight School For Me

“As expensive as it is to become a pilot, it was important to me to have a high standard of instruction. In the US, schools operate under two designations; FAA Part 61 and FAA Part 141.  Basically anyone can open a school and start operating under FAA Part 61, there are fewer regulations and little oversight.  To operate under FAA Part 141 schools must apply and have their training courses approved by the FAA, they then must continually meet standards and are strictly overseen…”  Read the rest of this guest article here. (Photo by Jon Davison)

The Thousand Hour Conundrum

“Conventional wisdom has it that you won’t get picked up for your first “real” pilot job in aviation until you have at least 1,000 hours Pilot-In-Command (PIC) time.  Certainly employers have the right to require a modicum of experience among potential job candidates.  And most employers have insurance company guidelines and restrictions to deal with, so the 1,000-hour mark was not simply plucked from thin air. The 1,000 hour requirement, however, can be a frustrating barrier for many…”  Read more. (Photo by Jon Davison)

How Positive Attitude Helps Your Pilot Training and Career

“Winston Churchill once remarked that, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  Does it ever.  Having a positive attitude can lead to your ultimate success in helicopter flight training much more than intelligence, than circumstance, than skill, education, money or background.  A positive attitude towards your flight training can spark positive outcomes and extraordinary results.  And that same positive attitude can and will give you an edge through your entire flying career…”  Read more here. (Photo by Jon Davison)

Understanding Autorotations

“As a future pilot, one of your most valuable helicopter pilot resources is the maneuver known as an autorotation.  Every student pilot practices autorotations over and over and over again, as well they should: being able to successfully autorotate your aircraft to a suitable landing spot after an engine failure can mean the difference between walking away and eating hospital food…”  Read more. (Photo by Jon Davison)

How to Hover a Helicopter

“Did you find the hover button yet?–It’s a question asked in jest of some new students, but learning the fine art of hovering can challenge even the most determined aviator.  After all, a stable hover is where helicopter flights begin and end, so it’s a maneuver you’ll need to master early on. You should know that once you achieve a feel for the aircraft, hovering will eventually become second nature, something you won’t even think about as you progress as a pilot…”  Read more. (Photo by Jon Davison)

How to Take Great Aerial Photos

“Mauna Loa Helicopters allows novices and budding photographers to charter a helicopter for aerial photography.  And what better landscape to shoot from the air?  Whether it’s the snow-capped peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the verdant valleys along the Hamakua Coast, the stunning color and violence of erupting Kilauea Volcano, or the breathtaking perfection of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, you’ll find some of the most memorable scenery on earth passing beneath you…”  Read more. (Photo by Jon Davison)

Advice for Europeans Looking To Do Flight Training in the U.S.A.

“If you play your cards right, the US training can offer you the possibility to obtain more licenses within the same amount of flight hours as demanded for a commercial license in Europe. Instead of just finishing with a European Commercial License (JAA CPL) you can finish with an American (FAA) CPL, an FAA Instrument Rating, FAA Certified Flight Instructor and FAA Certified Instrument Instructor. It is actually possible to do this within 185 hours, but most people accomplish it in 200 hours or slightly less…”  Read more. (Photo courtesy of Nordic Rotors)