The Cicare CH-12 Helicopter

The CICARE CH-12, is the latest offering from the Cicaré company. It is a two-seat light helicopter for civilian use that is sold as a kit. This product summarizes the experience of Augusto Cicaré and the creativity of an avant-garde design team.

The result is an aesthetically stunning helicopter for both exterior and interior lines, an unprecedented design in this type of aircraft. One of the most important design premises were the interior comfort, so that we can say that our cabine is one of the most comfortable of the segment.

The CICARE CH-12 is made entirely of aerospace materials and the blades are made of composite materials with useful life on condition. The CH-12 is presented as a new option and it sums up many technical solutions provided for the creativity and experience of Augusto Cicaré. The power plant used is Lycoming O-360, which gives us the greatest safety as regards one of the most important components in a helicopter.

About Cicaré Helicopters

  • Cicare has 14 different models of helicopters, and the Helicopter Flight Trainer Cicaré SVH-4, which positions them as worldwide Research and Development leaders in the Aerospace sector.
  • Throughout their developments they have researched and tested different technologies. As for rotors: (two-bladed, three-bladed and four blades, rigid, semi-rigid and articulated, conventional and contrarrotantes). As for different engines (piston and turbine), and different sizes (from 115 kgs cars a two-seater of 1400 kgs), so that the solutions that we are using in their products today are the result of experience.
  • Cicaré technical manager, Mr. Augusto Cicaré has an important track record. Among his main achievements there are: in 1958 flew his first helicopter, the CH-1, becoming the first to do so in Latin America; he was the world pioneered of ultralight helicopter.
  • Cicaré built the CICARE CH-4 in 1980, one of the world’s first ultra-light, then the CH-6 CH-7 model, recognized for its innovative command system.
  • In 1996 he invented the Simulator / Trainer Helicopter Flight Cicaré SVH-3, which was awarded with gold medal for best invention of the world in the aerospace category in the Geneva Motor Show in 1999.
  • Cicare S.A. have a professional team that have been working with Augusto Cicare for years, and a variety of developments that allow us to offer models and configurations that will cover the needs and tastes of different markets. They are currently producing the Simulator / Trainer Helicopter Flight CICARE SVH-3, the one seat helicopter CH-7B and the first pre-serie of the two-seater helicopter CICARE CH-12.
  • Cicaré is also in the final stage of development of the tandem two-seater helicopter powered turbine CICARE CH-14.
Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

6 Student Pilot Mistakes That Can Ruin a Career

There are certain things that student helicopter pilots need to know before they invest in an expensive flight training program. In other words, you might want to consider some things that can sink your career before you ever start. You may be surprised to know the following examples of student pilot mistakes have kept many student pilots out of the cockpit.

#6. Social Media Disasters: Posting photos that would make your grandmother cringe or inappropriate Facebook posts can ruin your career. Images and videos you post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram last forever. Controversial, offensive, and off-color posts/images can keep a career from getting off the ground. Remember the day you got drunk with your buddies in Tijuana?  As a Facebook or Instagram post, it might be funny to you, but if you aspire to be a professional helicopter pilot, it could be a job killer.

When your potential employer finds photos of you looking less than professional, it could put your resume in the trash. Google your name and see if you need to start looking at damage control. When you post anything, think deeply about how your posts could affect your future.

For example, Alica Lynch did not think when she posted an image of herself in the outfit she’d put together for a Halloween party. She had on a Victoria’s Secret running skirt, blue T-shirt, and road-race bib, accessorized by a faux gash on her forehead and bloody, bruised legs. The 22-year-old Michigan resident uploaded the image to her Instagram and Twitter accounts, as she had done with so many photos before. She used the hashtag #boston #marathon #runner. Her costume? a Boston Marathon bombing victim. You can imagine how this social media disaster played out for Alica.

Your future aviation employer will check out your social media accounts – count on it. A recent survey by Vault.com found that 44% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. Therefore, be smart… use social media to present yourself to the world in a way that reflects the values of prospective employers. Brand yourself to succeed.

#5. Being Too Heavy – Overweight: Helicopter pilots have to watch their weight. To a student helicopter pilot, weight is extremely important. Why? The cheapest aircraft for pilot training is the Robinson R22 ($200 to $300/hour). The weight limit for each seat in the R22 is 240 lbs. However, with fuel load and other considerations, student pilots above 200 lbs may need to train in bigger, more expensive aircraft, such as the Robinson R44 ($500 to $600/hour).

If you are a prospective student pilot above 200 pounds, and it is possible to lose weight and maintain a health BMI, our recommendation is that you start dieting now. Eat healthy, and cut out the beer, sodas and potato chips. We realize that this may sound cruel and insensitive, but the repercussions of being overweight are real. It’s also a safety issue, not to mention an expensive journey.

Some students lay down a big sum of money for flight training, sign up for courses, and attempt to start their training 15 to 20 lbs overweight. Guess what? They are grounded until the shed the excess weight – unless of course, they are willing to pay twice the amount for the larger aircraft.

#4. Piercings, Tattoos, and Dyed Hair: You need to know how piercings and tattoos can limit your career opportunities. Piercings and tattoos will not prevent you from becoming a pilot, but they might slow you down when it comes to getting your dream job.

A recent study from the Pew Research Center found nearly 40% of people between the ages of 18 and 29, have at least one tattoo. And, it should come as no surprise that body piercings are a growing means of self-expression among people in this age group. Although piercings and tattoos are becoming more acceptable, they can harm people in certain industries – aviation being one of them.

Just as important, piercings and tattoos can limit each new job opportunity – not to mention future performance evaluations, raises, promotions. The fact is that most employers will make assumptions about your character based on your appearance.

#3. Criminal Record – Driving Under the Influence & Domestic Violence Charges: If you are charged or convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), it will affect your future as a professional helicopter pilot. It might even prevent you from becoming a pilot. As a pilot, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence your career can be ruined. Although each situation may be looked at differently (case-by-case basis), a DUI is hard to overcome.

The FAA is not going to stop you from obtaining your pilot ratings if you’ve been charged with a DUI. It is also true that you can earn your pilot ratings having been convicted of a DUI. However, as a professional pilot your job prospects will be very limited at best.

With a DUI conviction, no employer will be eager to put you in an expensive aircraft with precious cargo. Prospective employers are very concerned about driving records (speeding tickets, reckless driving, etc.). So, a DUI can be considered a job killer.

If you don’t have a DUI, we recommend that you never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Never! If you have a DUI, the best thing that you can hope for is to put some distance between yourself and your past poor choices. Somehow you have demonstrate that you have learned from your mistake(s). Show that you have become the kind of person who will never do those things again.

A domestic violence conviction will end your commercial flying career – period. Essentially, if you have a criminal record it will be very hard, if not impossible, to get a good job in the aviation industry. Our recommendation is that you don’t spend a dime on flight training if you have a substantial criminal record. There are way too many helicopter pilots out there without a criminal record – competing for those same jobs. Very few aviation companies will take the gamble on you.

#2. Skipping School – A College Educational: Earning a college degree is not necessary to obtain your flight ratings. Moreover, you can land good paying helicopter pilot jobs without a college degree. However, having a college degree is becoming more and more important to the industry. This trend is gaining momentum.

Some industry experts believe that it is only a matter of time before a relevant college degree will be a prerequisite to applying for the best jobs. Furthermore, in the aviation industry, there are plenty of incredible aviation jobs that pilots aspire to land – good-paying jobs. The top jobs in the industry require a college degree. At the very least, without a degree, you will be limiting your future career options.

#1. Choosing the Wrong Flight School: The best and worst decision a student pilot can make is related to the helicopter flight school they choose. Too many prospective student pilots fail to do their homework on flight schools before enrolling. Unfortunately, students can spend a great deal of money before they realize they chose the wrong school.

To become a commercial pilot (professional pilot), all students must earn a Commercial rating. But to get an entry level job as a commercial pilot it takes a lot more than ratings – it takes 300 to 400 flight hours or more (in most cases, a lot more). A student pilot can earn a commercial rating at 150 hours, which is not enough flight time to get a job. Therefore, most students go beyond the Commercial rating and obtain a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating. As a CFI, a pilot can earn the flight hours necessary to obtain their first industry job (referred to as a Tier 1 job). Find a flight school that can take you all the way through the process, including CFI.

What’s more, is the fact that most new pilots get their first industry job through networking. The aviation world is small, and where you get your training matters. To effectively compete for Tier 1 pilot jobs, you have to be credible – as a pilot and as a person. That means you have to be known by someone with credibility. Your mentors, flight instructors, and the school you get your training through must be able to help you enter the industry. So make sure you get your training through a school with a verifiable track record of graduates landing good paying jobs.

We hope this helps you avoid these student pilot mistakes and keep your aviation career progress on track.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

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SFAR 73: What is it and Why is it Important for Student Pilots?

Due to a series of “student pilot” accidents involving Robinson aircraft the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), on March 27, 1995, established a specific training requirement for the R22 and R44 helicopters. These requirements applied to students under instruction, pilots acting as pilot in command (PIC), and flight instructors. Below we provide a bried explanation of the SFAR 73 and what it means. For a detailed explanation please see the resources provided at the bottom of this page.

In order for a student, pilot, or instructor to manipulate the controls of an R22 or R44 helicopter, they first have to have received “awareness training” from an authorized flight instructor (CFI). The CFI is authorized by the FAA, and therefore able to issue the students or pilots an endorsement stating that they have received the propoer awareness training regarding the R22 or R44.

Over the years, innovations in helicopter design and new regulations from the FAA have made helicopters safer, more reliable, and easier (less complicated) to fly. SFAR 73 was an innovation to flight training that made a big difference in regard to safety and improved flight training.

For more information regarding SFAR scroll down below the videos.

ULA Training Video – R22 Collective Video

To see all the ULA Training Videos on Youtube – click here

ULA Training Video – R22 Cyclic Video

ULA Training Vidoe – R22 – AntiTorque Foot Pedals

Student Solo Flight

In order for any student pilot to solo in an R22 (assuming the student does not hold a rotorcraft helicopter rating), he/she must log 20 hours of flight first. These hours must be flown with a CFI (dual-instruction), and obtain not only the standard solo endorsements (in logbook and on student pilot license), but he/she must also obtain an SFAR solo endorsement from the instructor.

If the student wishes to skip the R22 and start in the R44, he/she must log 20 hours of dual-instruction in the R44and obtain not only the standard solo endorsements (in logbook and on student pilot license), but he/she must also obtain an SFAR solo endorsement.

The endorsement is as follows:

I certify that Mr./Ms. _______________ has received the awareness training required by SFAR 73, 2 (A)(3)(i-v) on __________ (Date).

__________ (Instructor) __________ (Certificate Number) __________ (Exp. Date)
Robinson R22 and R44 Helicopter SFAR 73 Awareness Training is the required ground training that students and pilots must have before they can manipulate (fly) the flight controls of an R22 or R44 Helicopter. The awareness training also covers Low RPM leading to Low Rotor RPM Stall, Low G leading to Mast Bumping and Energy Management.

Other Valuable Resources

SFAR Youtube Video Training (training video 1) (training video 2)

Helicopter Training Videos

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Certified Flight Instructor Training Pays Off for ULA Graduate

Jeff Vogel, Certified Flight Instructor with Upper Limit Aviation is “Living the Dream”. Jeff instructs student pilots at ULA’s Cedar City campus. If your dream is to fly helicopters for a living, contact Jeff.  He is more than happy to talk you through the process of going through certified flight instructor training and becoming a commercial pilot ([email protected]).

Against All Odds – Chasing The Dream Until it is Achieved
Some people have a knack for spending every waking moment working to reach a goal they have set. Jeff Vogel is that type of person; he knows what he wants to do in life and won’t let anything deter him from his dream. The world of aviation can be intimidating, but for Jeff it has been an adventure. At thirteen, Jeff had already completed his first intro flight in an airplane.
“I grew up in an aviation-loving family; I have photos of when I was a baby sitting on the hood of the car watching planes come in while eating french fries. When I was thirteen I flew my first intro flight lesson in a Cessna 172. I remember that I could not stop smiling for weeks,” said Jeff Vogel, CFI with Upper Limit Aviation.
“As a kid I usually had a GI Joe in one hand and a model plane or helicopter in the other, and when I was in kindergarten I remember telling my teacher I wanted to be a pilot.”
Jeff’s father passed away when he was only eight years old. However, Jeff’s father did influence him in regard to “following his passion” for aviation.
“My father told me when I was young ‘Don’t fuss about things in life that you don’t really love or care for… if aviation is your passion and you know that’s what you want to do, give it your all, give everything you have to strive and make it work, and that really stuck with me,” said Jeff.
With his determination to become involved in aviation, Jeff flew an airplane before he drove a car, and while most kids participated in the regular extra-curricular activities after school, Jeff flew over them in an attempt to continue building his solo flight time.
“I remember my Junior year in high school, the football coach came to me and told me that he wanted me to play on the varsity football team. The coach told me that I needed to stop flying so much. I remember looking at him and saying ‘I don’t think so’,” recalled Jeff. “Football was all this guy lived for and flying was all I lived for. I remember flying over the football team while they ran scrimmages saying to myself and smiling, ‘I think I made the right choice here’.” 
Jeff_Vogel_HelicopterAfter Jeff had finished high school, he joined the United States Marine Corp while attending Ohio University and received a degree in Aviation Management.
“I went into the Marine Corp because I thought I would like to be a pilot in the military and it was good. But I realized didn’t want to pursue being a military pilot, but that’s where my love for helicopters grew,” said Jeff.
“I flew around in helicopters in Afghanistan, but that wasn’t nearly as fun as being up front and in control.  I looked at twelve or more flight schools before I choose ULA.  I really wanted to make sure I picked a great flight school. One that would take care of my needs – having an impeccable job placement rate to set me up for success.  So, I chose Upper Limit Aviation and I haven’t looked back.”
Never Looking Back – Setting Goals Until They Become Reality
After leaving the military, Jeff joined Upper Limit Aviation’s Helicopter Pilot program. Like most first-time helicopter pilots, Jeff’s first flight was one he would never forget.
“I distinctly remember my first flight in a helicopter and walking out to the flight line, seeing all the Upper Limit pilots in their flight suits and it was slightly intimidating. But everyone one was just really nice and had a fun attitude.  When we first picked up into a hover, I knew this was something special, and absolutely exciting,” said Jeff.
“I knew this was where I wanted my office to be, in the front seat of a helicopter – in the pilot’s seat.” 
Jeff_Vogel_MarinesFlight school has its challenges, but for Jeff these challenges have been learning tools he’s leveraged for success.
“My biggest challenge was being as proactive as possible. People are there if you need help, especially in Upper Limit, but its up to you to be your own leader and make sure you study” said Jeff.
“You have to be a self driven and motivated individual. I have wanted to fly since I was born. I would pick flying over everything, but sometimes it can be a lot of work. You have to be dedicated and disciplined to become a professional pilot.”
Jeff makes it clear that anyone coming into the ULA Flight program should know a few key things. “You have got to be focused and driven – you have to know where you are headed and the pathway that gets you there,” said Jeff.
“You have to be driven, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. People can get burnt out and just go too fast without realizing the work behind it.  I like to set a good pace and focus on the finish line.”
Jeff_Vogel_as_a_young_pilotJeff does take some time to focus on other things besides flying, and has found a way to stay focused and proactive to reach his goal of becoming a skilled professional helicopter pilot. Jeff is a newlywed and he loves to ride motorcycles and enjoys the great outdoors.
“For student pilots it’s non-stop studying, and our students group up to study together, and have fun doing it… It’s a family atmosphere at ULA. In the summer students are out by the pool and they study by the pool in-between swimming and playing golf,” said Jeff.
Jeff highly recommends Upper Limit Aviation to any prospective student who has the dream to fly, especially if they are interested in certified flight instructor training.
 
“With big work comes big payoff, and flying helicopters is not for everyone. You have to be willing to sacrifice and stay focused. Everyone at ULA has had to get in a U-haul and move across the country to attend flight school. It’s scary, but understand that most of the ULA students and instructors have had to sacrifice, and those that took the leap and worked their tail off are happy they did.  For me, I am entering into a booming industry with fantastic job opportunities. I am living the dream.”  
Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

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Caleb Mason: ULA Graduate and Ag Pilot

Caleb Mason, Upper Limit Aviation graduate and current Agriculture Pilot (or Ag Pilot), recently shared an update regarding his commercial pilot journey – bringing us up to speed about what has transpired since he finished the ULA flight training program less than a year ago.

Ag Pilots fly specially-designed helicopters to apply herbicides, insecticides, seeds and fertilizers on crops, orchards, forests, fields, and swamps. Other applications include counting cattle and inspecting crops.

Caleb Mason is 33 years old, and has accumulated 550 of flight hours by flying for Ag Air, Inc., in Central California. Ag Air, Inc., is a fairly small Agriculture aerial applicator company, flying between 400hrs to 600hrs annually. Caleb shared his impression of his new job with Ag Air, “I love what i do, I love working with the growers and getting to know them and being able to help them continue to farm in the area.”

Caleb started our conversation by saying, “agricultural piloting is an interesting field, and I don’t have a wide spread grasp of the entire industry, but in my particular area, which is the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County, we work predominately with row crops, tomatoes, corn, beans, alfalfa, pumpkins and watermelons. We are also branching out to include walnuts and almonds orchards.”

Caleb’s Agriculture Career Journey Stated Well Before Flight School

Caleb stated that he got into Agriculture spraying because he knew the owner of Ag Air, Inc., prior to attending flight school. Caleb had actually started working in the agricultural industry prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps. In addition, during his flight school training in Salt Lake City, Caleb studied for the for the California’s aerial applicator license. Caleb used his network contact and previous work experience to plan out his career path before he earned a single pilot certificate.

While Mason was not flying or studying during flight training he found the time to pick up some work with Ag Air, Inc. as a “loader” (loading chemicals on to the helicopter tanks). It was during that time that Caleb received the training about chemicals, how they interact, their applications. More importantly, Mason learned how to work safely around helicopters.

When Mason left Upper Limit in December of 2014, he earned his commercial and instrument ratings, along with gaining experience with external load flying (300 flight hours). Caleb started full time employment with Ag Air right after he left Salt Lake City.

Due to the fact that Caleb had low flight hours, his boss came up with a training program in order to get the company’s insurance provider to cover him. Caleb stated that “An Ag Pilot from his area earns any where between $30,000 to $80,000 annually, depending upon experience and commission rates”.

Caleb’s Early Employment as an Ag Pilot

“At first, I could only ferry the helicopter to and from the job site. I couldn’t actually work as a crop duster. Next, I was to rinsing loads at the end of each job. At the end of every job we would run clean water through the spray system to rinse out any chemical residue that may damage the crops in the next job. While it seemed frustrating at the time, it helped me get used to taking off with a load, how to effectively perform Ag turns, and how to survey the fields for hazards such as wires, irrigation stand pipes, people in adjacent fields and other crop dusters in the area.”

Eventually, Caleb was ready to fly, “My boss and I would fly together – he would fly a load, and I would fly a load. That way he could double check how far off line I was and if I was able to get good coverage.”

“Before and after jobs we did a lot of training on how to lay a job out, what is the requirement from the farmer? I learned how many gallons per acre are we trying to achieve and the proper material required for each job. I learned all about the difference between coarse droplets and fine droplets and their proper use. I also learned about where to best set up the nurse truck and be efficient through the field.”

“By May I was flying jobs solo with oversight of our senior pilot, who would watch from the ground and then critique the job after we got back. There is a lot that goes into flying Ag applicators.”

How Caleb Stood Out Over Other Pilots

During flight school Caleb constructed a smart career plan. Caleb shared his method with us to pass along to current students, as Mason stated, “One of the things that I did to make myself more appealing to my boss was that I also got my A&P (Airframe & Powerplant) while i was going to flight school. So not only do I work as an Ag Pilot but I also do almost all of the maintenance.” Now that was smart!

Because of where Ag Air is located they are able to fly about 9 to 10 months of the year. They spray herbicide to kill weeds and pesticide to kill insects. In addition, Ag Air performs aerial fertilizing, seeding, cherry drying and frost control. Caleb went on to say, “An area we are getting more work from is the organic sector. There are 268 registered chemicals you can spray on organic produce and it is still considered organic. It is big business in California.”

Caleb’s Time in Salt Lake City, Utah at Upper Limit Aviation

“There are a lot of nice things about Utah. I got big into rock climbing when I was there and was spoiled with being so close to all the fantastic spots that were only minutes away. I also really enjoyed all of the instructors I worked with at ULA. From Matt Tanzer, who was my private pilot instructor, to Chelsea Tugaw, Chad Stevens, Kevin Horn and many more. These people brought fort. In addition, ULA was very helpful when I was looking to move to Salt Lake City when I first got out of the Marine Corps.”

Caleb has a job that he loves, working with people he likes, and has a clear vision of his future. We congratulate Caleb on a job well done, and wish him continued success as he advances his pilot career.

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Solar Impulse 2 – Exploration to Change the World of Aviation

Latest Update on the Solar Impulse 2 Journey (see video below)

On June 29th, 2015, 18:03 GMT Sunday, the Solar Impulse 2 took off from Nagoya, Japan. It’s traveling to the Islands of Hawaii of the United States. This feat, if accomplished, will be the first ever flight fueled by solar power only. This achievement has never before occurred. If successful, clean technologies like solar power will once again be in the forefront of aircraft manufacturers drawing boards and design floors.

Piloting the Solar Impulse are Captain Andre Borschlberg, who is the co-founder, CEO and founder of the Solar Impulse Airplane with Bertrand Piccard, co-pilot, initiator, and president of the Humanitarian Foundation, “Winds of Hope”. Together they are taking on the challenge of flying around the world in an airplane propelled especially and solely by solar energy. Completely without fossil fuels of any kind or creating even the smallest amount of pollution, the Solar Impulse Aircraft promotes the potential of renewable energy sources and new technologies.

Latest Updated Video of the Solar Impulse Journey (posted September 2nd, 2015)

Original Video of the Solar Impulse Journey

Solar Impulse Si2 by Solar Impulse on Sketchfab

Will the Solar Impulse make it to Hawaii, U.S. from Nagoya, Japan?

The Solar Impulse is flying in the dark about the Pacific Ocean right now on its track to Hawaii. There is a optimal day and flight cycle that is scheduled but can be greatly affected by weather and also by air traffic. When the Solar Impulse’s route is altered it can trigger a flight simulation to check whether the stage is still feasible due to the changes and or external constraints.

The flight is expected to take 120 hours and with solar power only reach the Hawaiian Islands.  This flight, if successful, will help promote and encourage the use of clean technologies for future aircraft design.

The SI2 will be monitored from the Mission Control Center which keeps the pilot and Solar Impulse 2 on its plan. The Sat. Com System transmits data to the mission room, everything from temperature of the motors, to the position of the aircraft and even the tension in the accumulators. One of the projects main accomplishments was the energy system that optimizes the system architecture. It is similar to the challenges faced in dealing with satellites, so a satellite specialist was involved in the system design from day one.

The team believes that all possibilities have been simulated by a very disciplined team that found the right combination of weather patterns and paved the way for the solar airplane to go into controlled airspace and be prepared for landings at international airports.

Interesting facts about the Solar Impulse 2:

  • By simulating flight routes, the eventual plan for Solar Impulse 2 was optimized.
  • At sunset the Solar Impulse 2 must be at maximum altitude to make it through the night.
  • Solar Impulse 2 glides down during the night, with the propellers just ticking over to reduce air resistance.
  • The pilot must still wait at sunrise before climbing, until the sun is strong enough.
  • The outputs from simulation models are checked again and again by each team for feasibility.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford, American Industrialist and Founder of the Ford Motor Co.

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ULA Students with Flight School Training Support Rescue Missions

Upper Limit Aviation is known for launching student pilots into careers flying commercially – taking students from flight school to flying helicopters and fixed wing aircraft for a living. ULA students get real-world flight school training experience during their time with us.

What makes Upper Limit different from other flight schools is their commitment to real-world flight experience training. ULA students train under a scenario-based philosophy for the purpose of being uniquely prepared for real world “industry experience”. ULA students get actual industry experience as a part of their flight school training, distinctively preparing them for their first job as a commercial pilot.

Upper Limit Aviation (ULA) flight students participate in real-life rescue missions in the Utah area. ULA has flown ten life-saving missions since the program began in August 2013. ULA student Chris Powell states, “When we jump from a scenario-based training to an actual real-world situation, that’s what we’re all hoping for as students. It’s always fun.”

What does “real world experience” mean to prospective flight school students researching a variety of flight schools? Essentially, it means that ULA is one of the top-flight schools in the US. The aviation industry, particularly employers, are aware that ULA trained pilots are more experienced, and better prepared to start flying commercial missions.

ULA – The Pathway to a Commercial Pilot Career

When looking at flight schools, most prospective students want the best pathway to a commercial career. Danielle Vogel, ULA’s Director of Admissions, states, “we talk to hundreds of prospective students each month. Almost all of them are locked on a dream to fly commercially. This is their dream job, their passion. But they want to know if ULA is the school that will take them from being a student to landing a top job.”

Michael Mower, ULA’s Chief Flight Instructor and Director of Schools, explains that ULA students are the only students in the industry to take part in rescue missions. ULA students have supported rescue missions as “coordinators and spotters”. Mower explains, “If we are able to get the students in the plane, seeing what is going on and seeing what they would be doing on these missions once they receive their license, that’s a huge advantage,” he said. “Anything to get the students more involved on these missions is great experience for them.”

Rich Cannon, the Assistant School Director, and ULA graduate stated that ULA students are frequently part of the search and rescue missions and that the experiences students receive through ULA’s unique training approach is invaluable.

ULA is committed to teaching students through real-world flying situations, opening them to incredible opportunities whenever possible. ULA flies, on average, 103 flight hours per day, 11,000 flight hours per semester. Prospective students want the real world experience because they know it will give them an advantage in the job market.

Mower shared that a few of the rescue missions have been in coordination with local law enforcement – searching for homicide suspects and juvenile runaways, including one a girl who ran away and was stuck in the nearby mountains. Mower’s team of professional pilots, along with support of ULA aviation students, spotted the girl just before sunset – they might have saved her life.  Through ULA’s efforts, they were able to get her to safety within 30 minutes of learning about the missing girl.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

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Drone Racing League Receives 1 Million In Funding

Safe, low flying Drone (UAV) racing, with the Drone Racing League, is one of the fastest growing recreational sports worldwide, and professional pilots are right in the mix of things. Drone racing is performed on a specially designed course, which is often indoors. Professional and recreational pilots, RC aircraft enthusiasts, and normal everyday Joe’s are jumping into “Drone Racing” because it’s an absolute blast. And, Drone racers fly close to the ground and do not interfere with commercial aircraft (helicopters and airplanes). Drone racing is a fun, safe, and responsible application of drone-powered UAV’s.

Watch this video below and check out the extreme talent and skills of this drone pilot.

Recently, Drone Racing League fans have a lot to be happy about with the current trend in drones going up and up. Now, the billionaire developer from Florida and the owner of the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, has invested one million dollars into the New York Drone Racing League reported the Wall Street Journal on August 12th, 2015.

Drone League Racing Receives Big Investment

Known for his real estate ventures around the United States, Stephen Ross, is looking to make a name for himself in a totally new arena: Drone Racing. The Drone League races drones that can get up to speeds of 70 mph.  The pilots use goggles that send a live video feed from the aircraft to the FPV (first person view racing), otherwise known as the pilot.

The league’s CEO, Nick Horbaczewski, says “I felt drone racing could be a sport that resonated with people because it touches on the heritage of racing, but also brings in the benefits of new technology,”

More Good News for the Drone Industry

Another major event, the US National Drone Racing Championships, took place earlier in 2015 and attracted over 100 pilots and there was $25,000.00 in cash prizes awarded. Races of a similar size and stature have been held in Australia, England, and France.

One aspect of drone racing that the promoters of Drone Racing must come to terms with is the fact that millions of people will watch Drone Videos on Youtube but coordinating and arranging to have spectators actually come out and physically attend a Drone Racing Event has been less successful. There were approximately 60 non-racing spectators attended the Championship Race. Mainly this is due to the extreme heat but watching drones race in person is complicated because of the small size of the aircraft.

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More Female Helicopter Pilots in the Industry

There is a very recent upward trend of female helicopter pilots entering into the “male dominated” helicopter industry. We believe this is good news, and this movement seems to be world wide. At Upper Limit Aviation we are finding that more women are donning flight suits with the aspiration of becoming commercial helicopter pilots.

This article focuses on this upward trend, and attempts to bring more awareness to women regarding the career opportunities in aviation – specifically the helicopter pilot segment of aviation.

Currently, there are many women working in the aviation industry – from airline gate agents and flight attendants, to every nook and cranny of the corporate airline arena. However, until recently, not many women have been found in the cockpit as pilots, especially in the rotorcraft world. But things are changing.

And on that positive note, the Whirly-Girls Scholarship fund has announced five additional scholarships to be awarded to women in the helicopter aviation industry. The application for procuring these scholarships closes on October 1, 2015.

One example among many is Starlite Helicopter and Fixed Wing Training Academy, out of Western Cape, South Africa. Starlite has seen a tremendous increase in the enrollment of women into their helicopter flight school. (see recent news video below). Starlite’s story is only one of many stories being played out all over the globe.

For many years now most everyone in the aviation industry has been trying to attract more women into the pilot’s seat. However, for women there seems to be insurmountable walls, hurdles, and obstacles preventing them from joining the commercial pilot ranks. We believe that we can be a part of changing that.

There has been a noticeable stagnation in the number of women pilots up until 20 years ago. The reason for the lack of growth is complicated. Some of the more obvious reasons are related to our culture, lack of funding, misconceptions regarding skill development, and lack of awareness of career opportunities. And, there has been some unexplainable “mysterious” reasons that no one can put their finger on.

Growth Trends of Female Helicopter Pilots in the Industry

Although women have been involved in the aviation industry since its beginning, the growth of women pilots over the last 100 years has been less than impressive. Nonetheless, we believe that there is a bright future for women in aviation, especially in the area of helicopters. There are strong indicators in the industry that the number of female pilots is going up, and will continue to do so into the next decade.

Currently, 5% of airline pilots are women, and only 450 sit in the captain’s seat. However, the 5% represents a big increase when compared to twenty years ago. We believe this growth trend will continue for fixed wing pilots. In the helicopter world women pilots make up less than 3% of the total number of pilots. Even though 3% seems small, its a huge increase when compared to even 10 years ago.

At Upper Limit Aviation we have seen a steady flow of women enrolling in our flight schools. However, we are not satisfied, and we are committed to work even harder to recruit female students until we see explosive growth and see more female helicopter pilots.

The Misconception of Skill Development in Women

It takes a great deal of physical coordination to fly helicopters. In addition, pilot’s have to have good eyesight, good hearing, and be able to handle mulit-tasking well (both mental and physical activities). It should also be obvious, that good pilots need fast and smooth reflexes, and stable minds (they cannot panic or crack under pressure).

Some industry experts say that women are better equipped than men in their ability to make the delicate and graceful controlled movements that are required of helicopter pilots. They even say that women can react more quickly, handle navigation with more finesse, and have a better sense of direction (intuition).

Some believe that women, in regard to their fine motor movements are more subtle, giving them an distinct advantage over men when movement involves piloting skills. Women pilots are also thought to have great leadership abilities. They are more patient, more humble, and more cautious. Whether any of these statements are true is debatable, and more importantly, irrelevent. Female pilots we have known have shown that women can be great pilots, just like men, period!

Generally, most women are physically and mentally equipped to be pilot helicopters. It is our experience that women make incredible pilots, and we would like to see more women enroll into flight school. If this is true, the issue must be that too many women do not think they can become good pilots.

To become a commercial pilot it takes a total 100% commitment. To become an employable (safe and competent) pilot it takes piloting skills, competency, and professionalism. We believe that women are just as capable as men, in regard to fulfilling the important elements of piloting. Women are just as committed, dedicated, and willing to make the sacrifices of becoming a professional pilot as the men. The only issue is that there are less women venturing into flight school. We would like to change this dynamic.

If you know any women that have dreamed of becoming a pilot, please go and encourage them to pursue their dream. Perhaps share this article with them and be a part of the movement of more women becoming commercial pilots.

For more information about Helicopter Pilot Careers, see the links below.

Tier 1 Piloting Jobs

Tier 2 Piloting Jobs

Tier 3 Piloting Jobs

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Enstrom TH180: Will it Compete with the Robinson R22?

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has a new training aircraft called the TH180 but the company had been keeping the details of this new helicopter confidential until Heli Expo last March 2015. Could this helicopter, the Enstrom TH180, answer the call for a low-cost training alternative to the Robinson 22, which is by far the most widely used helicopter in flight training?

It is uncertain whether the new TH180 will impact the well-defined niche and sales of the Robinson R22, but we know for sure that Enstrom is passionate about safety and their helicopters offer superior performance for flight training, aviation law enforcement training and commercial operations.

Enstrom TH180 Helicopter is a low-cost, 2-seat, piston-powered aircraft is slated for certification before the end of 2015. The TH180 aircraft is a cut-back version of the Enstrom’s popular FX-280 three-seat model.

Enstrom officials said the TH180 should have direct operating costs of approximately $175 per hour and an hourly fuel burn of less than 12 gallons per hour. The price of the TH180 at launch is expected to be around $365K.

This aircraft is powered by the 210-hp Lycoming HIO-390 engine and it features an electric clutch switch and a engine harness. All Enstrom Helicopters are made in the United States with domestic parts and labor.

Will Enstrom’s plan to release a flight training aircraft competitor to the Robinson R22 create downward pressure on the price of flight training? This prospect is one that many in the industry are watching closely, since the it may influence flight training costs and availability in a significant way. We will most definitely be watching these developments with great interest, and keeping you posted on this topic.

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Landing Helicopter Tour Jobs

“Almost every day during flight training or flying tours you’ll have an incredible Ah-Ha moment.  You are in the air when it  hits you; you can’t believe you get to fly helicopters for a living,” said Troy Barnum, former helicopter Flight Instructor for Upper Limit Aviation.

An aptitude test taken in high school is what ignited the spark of curiosity for Troy to look into the aviation industry.  The test recommended he seek a career in fixing airplanes, but he saw himself flying them instead. “The test said my interest would put me as being an airplane mechanic. I said ‘I don’t know about turning wrenches, but I’ll go fly the darn things’ and from there that’s where it all started.”

Troy attended Boise State University in Boise Idaho and earned bachelors degree in Business Administration.  After he was done with his degree, he decided to go to flight school where Tina Barnum, Troy’s wife helped to keep him motivated throughout his training.

“My wife was supportive of me following my dream and without her I don’t think I could have made it trough it.  She helped quiz me when I was learning everything I needed to learn, but the biggest help was when she helped boost my confidence after a bad flight.”

After Troy had completed helicopter flight school, he began instructing new students that enrolled in the school.

“It was the biggest weight lifted off my chest, this was the career I wanted and to be offered a chance to be an Instructor after flight school was a huge relief.”

While Troy was the teacher, he was still able to learn a few things himself. “Your first student, when you start instructing, is always the scariest, it is because of the small amount of instructing time you have gone into it.  Every little thing seems like a big deal and after you get more time as an instructor you realize it actually isn’t that big a deal.”

“The thing I love the most is teaching new students how to hover.  I remember sitting in the seat and watching them struggle thinking ‘I was that guy just a few months ago’ and now I’m the guy that stabilizes the helicopter for them.”

For Troy, it was important to know he gave his students everything they needed to succeed. “I loved to see my students get it and succeed, for me it is more about teaching them how to fly rather than just building my own flight time.  The first student I sent for his check ride actually failed it, and it just felt like I had failed the check ride.  After a remediation flight, he went back and passed and was actually flying at commercial standards.”

Helicopter Tour Jobs After Flight Training

Troy took his first job after Upper Limit Aviation, landing one of the available helicopter tour jobs in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  While Troy’s main job was doing tours over the beach, he was able to do a few unique flights that opened his eyes to just how diverse helicopters could be. “You get groups of people who get weird ideas and they throw a helicopter into it because they know people love helicopters.  I was able to do an Easter egg drop for a bunch of school kids. I had never done it before so when I dropped them they all landed in one big pile; afterward I realized I should have scattered them.  As I flew away, I looked back to see a bunch of kids running toward this big pile of eggs… it was great. The other flight that was different was a golf ball drop for a fundraiser, where I dropped about one or two hundred pounds of golf balls on the putting green. uUnfortunately I missed the hole by about 10 feet.”

After flying tours in Myrtle Beach, Troy made the move to come back to ULA as an instructor, but this time he had more than just the normal point-to-point flights under his belt.  Troy had real helicopter industry experience to share with his students, which gave them a first-hand account of the industry, and opportunities such as helicopter tour jobs, outside of flight school.

“Helicopters are different from airplanes; you get to do random things like drop Easter eggs and golf balls, which makes flying helicopters a lot of fun.” While it was important to keep his students excited about their future in flying, he also tried to keep them focused on the hard work ahead.

“The biggest misconception about flying is that it is only filled with fun – that is only 50 percent of things. There is a lot of work to do as a pilot and when you go through flight school.  You have to know how to react in emergencies and such, there is a lot of serious natured things when flying a helicopter that people need to be prepared to handle when they get into it.”

Troy has built enough flight time after instructing at Upper Limit Aviation to move on to helicopter tour jobs in the Grand Canyon.  He is now flying for Papillon Airways, which is the world’s largest aerial sightseeing company. “I look forward to continuing my progression in learning new things.  The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world, and I get to fly in it every day.  You never get tired of seeing all of these beautiful scenic locations.  The variety of things you get to see when you fly is what makes flying so great.”

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Mosquito Helicopter: How Low Can a Helicopter’s Cost Go?

For over twenty years, the Canadian geniuses John Uptigrove and Dwight Junkin researched and then developed the Mosquito Helicopter. The helicopter’s innovative and simple design allows the aircraft to fly wherever it is needed for a fraction of the cost normally spent for corporate helicopters. The Mosquito is an affordable helicopter for pilot’s who have their FAA licenses but do not want to keep dishing out money to rent to fly.

What do you think about the Mosquito Helicopter?

For approximately $20K the entire Mosquito Helicopter Kit can be purchased, prices may vary according to which dealer you contact. You can actually start building the Mosquito for a lot less because the kit is sold in small affordable chunks and the first kit, the frame, sells for only $3K.

The Mosquito line of helicopters is one of the world’s most lightweight, manned helicopters.  Each aircraft has been developed to deliver excellent performance, reliability and most importantly ease of flight. Kit Planes Magazine says “The Mosquito is convincing, it is as close as you can come to real flying almost no means of support.  And the view is at least as good as a bird.” Ken Armstrong, with Kit Planes, went on to say “Flying the new Mosquito Ultralight was the most fun I’ve ever had with a Helicopter!“.

The frame of the Mosquito is aluminium and uses a simple triangulated structure with tubing all the through to maximize strength. The tail boom and support struts are made of Carbon Fibre to improve the power to weight ratio. The engine in the Mosquito is a two cycle and two cylinder with the highest power to weigh ratio on the helicopter market today.

The Mosquito Helicopter is made in Australia and currently the XE, XE285, AIR and XET models are available at their headquarters in Koo Wee Rup, which is 65 kilometers from Melbourne (CBD Central Business District).  The team at Mosquito is available for sales, spare parts and support for all Mosquito aircraft. In addition, you can receive assistance in assembling your aircraft, just contact a Mosquito representative for more information.

Pro’s and Con’s of Ultralight Helicopters

Ultralight helicopters are actual helicopters, despite what critics say. However they much more simply designed, and are a great deal lighter (in comparison to an R22 for example). Ultralights can have one or two seats, gas engine or turbine. And, the rotors diameters are much smaller.

Since the ultralight helicopters began to come out pilots have been intrigued. In the pilot world the opinions of light aircraft vary greatly. Some really like them, others claim they are dangerous and difficult to fly. One thing both sides agree upon, is that they are cheap.

The positives are that a pilot holding a private pilots license can own a ultralight helicopter $20,000!  Critics of the ultralights bring up the point that it’s possible to buy a used Robinson R22 for $45,000, and is much safer and performs much better.

To get the price down ultralight manufacturers sell the aircraft as kits. Meaning, the owner must build the helicopter. Buying a kit to build the helicopter yourself is will save you tens of thousands of dollars. The build out takes 200 to 300 hours.

When purchasing the ultralight kit, typical materials will include fiberglass, machined parts, instruments, rotor blades and engine are provided. A complete assembly manual also comes with the kits, along with customer service.

Video: Mosquito XE Ultralight Helicopter (Autorotation)

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