Ice Bike Mountain Top Riding on a Frozen Lake

Filmed in the winter of 2015 near Mt. Mason, British Columbia, Canada, Bill Hitchon riding his monster ice bike, Suzuki Boulevard on top of a frozen mountain lake at 5000 feet above sea level. It is crazy to think that Bill Hitchon is probably the only man or earth to race on this lake. Bill is a former ice racer who owns his own custom motorcycle shop in Richmond, BC. He built this bike for a movie called “Dead Rising, Watchtower” that filmed in Vancouver. http://5thgearbeta.com

The bike took 880 hex head screws in the back tire to be able to ride on the ice and about 250 screws in the front tire. The bike has an ATV tire on the rear and a KTM front end, which lightened it by about 250 lbs, making slinging it to the mountain possible.

Bill and Bill, pilot and racer, took their collective skills and pulled off one of the most amazing sports events ever filmed.

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.

Helicopter Pilots: Landing a Good Job Includes Networking

What is your industry network and who is in it? If you don’t know, you need to know. For helicopter pilots, landing the best job is all about pilot skills, experience, AND networking. Of course, you will need a good resume, the right type of experience, and some very good people skills. But even more important, you must be known by those who have influence in the industry. Helicopter pilots get hired because they have good connections with reputable people within the industry. Essentially, they know somebody. If you are not known, you might struggle to find good jobs that pay well.

The absolute best “networking” opportunity is to attend Heli Expo presented by Helicopter Association International. Another great opportunity can be found at the Heli Success conference in Las Vegas. Both conferences are incredible opportunities to meet prospective industry influencers.

Being “professional” is a serious matter, and you need to be a serious pilot. However, having a good personality is just as important. Always be approachable, humble, and courteous. Be willing to smile, laugh at appropriate times, and be comfortable being yourself. If you struggle with “people” (too shy or too aggressive) work on your people skills during flight training. Both “piloting skills” and “people skills” will advance your career, or hold you back. Again, landing the best pilot job is all about networking.

Networking is not about passing out business cards. In the helicopter aviation world networking is work. You must be authentic, genuine, conscientious, alert, and passionate about the helicopter industry. It helps if you like people, or at least enjoy meeting new people. When networking with the influencers of the helicopter industry remember that they have the same interests you have – flying helicopters. Learn to enjoy the process and maximize your opportunities. Always remember, first impressions are important so take it seriously.

Networking – What is it?

  • Building professional relationships
  • Introducing yourself and meet people known
  • Find people with similar backgrounds and interests
  • Get known
  • Join industry associations and be willing to serve
  • Listen, learn, and be receptive

What networking isn’t

  • Schmoozing, brown-nosing
  • Appear needy, pushy, disingenuous
  • Whipping out business cards
  • Connecting online without a proper introduction
  • Shot-gunning blind resumes

Your First Connection Comes From Your Flight School – Choose Wisely

The first important connection you will establish comes from the helicopter flight school you attend. This connection can help you, or hurt you. It depends on the quality of the helicopter school and the type of training you receive. The top schools will prepare you for industry, including helping you to development leadership skills (people skills).

Moreover, the best helicopter flight schools can help you get your first job. First, the better flight schools hire their top graduates (CFI). Second, the best flight training programs are networked with Tier 1 employers, and, therefore, are positioned to help graduates get their first industry job outside of flight instruction. Tier 1 employers will recruit pilots from the best flight schools. Your reputation as a pilot will be tied to the school you trained with.

You will hear that the “helicopter aviation industry is very small”. You will hear this over and over again. Why? Because it is true. Helicopter pilots build their reputations over time, both good and bad. If you stick around long enough, people in the industry will know you by reputation before they meet you. You certainly do not want to burn any bridges or fail an employer. Negative “nicks” on your reputation will follow you everywhere. If you are a good pilot, people will know. If you are jumping from job-to-job, they will know that too. If you are “networked,” a great communicator with good people skills, AND you are a good pilot, your resume will be at the top of every stack.

How are your people skills? Do you need leadership training?

Helicopter pilots with good people skills naturally know how to build strong connections with industry leaders. The question is: “How are your people and leadership skills?” Are you coachable? Are you teachable? Do you listen? Do you communicate well? Do you follow instructions? Do you submit to authority? Do you get along well with colleagues and customers? If not, you need help. Your pilot career will only go so far, and regardless of your experience you will be overlooked and left behind.

If you are a great communicator with good people skills, it will be easier for you to build strong connections with industry leaders. If not, get some help now. Find a school that will teach you flight training AND people skills. We are not suggesting that you become a “brown noser” – that never works and will always backfire. We are referring to an authentic desire to learn from the best. Be a good student, never be a know-it-all, and be hungry to learn while working very hard. Be dependable, flexible, courteous, respectful, and fair. Always be willing to learn from every situation. Treat everyone with respect, honor, and protect their dignity – just like you would want to be treated. Essentially, be a professional in every way.

Industry experts will tell you to find a mentor

The helicopter industry experts will tell you that you need to find several mentors early in your career. Find several people who have risen to the top of the aviation industry. Reach out and establish a professional relationship. At the right time, in the right moment, ask them to help you to be the best all around pilot. Don’t be intrusive, or arrogant, but simply say, “how did you get here (industry leader) and can you help me craft my career?”

Attend industry conferences and meet people face-to-face. Be patient. It may take dozens of conferences before you can connect with industry leaders. Once you have established a connection, never “name drop”. Never exaggerate your experience. Be humble and appreciative. Show prospective mentors that you are serious about professionalism, and be willing to develop real relationships. Never let your mentor down and do not soil his/her reputation by acting like a bonehead – you might not recover.

The time to develop a network starts before you start flight school

The time to develop your industry connections is now. Before you choose a flight school, do your homework. Call Tier 1 employers and ask them for a recommendation on flight schools. If you have chosen a school, before you sign on the dotted line, call around and find out if they have a good reputation for producing quality helicopter pilots for the industry.

Networking Tips for Introverts

  • Network one-on-one rather than in big groups
  • Work toward creating valuable, deep relationships with a handful of approachable influencers
  • Prepare in advance – anticipate key topics and have questions ready to get a conversation going
  • Help someone else network, or pair up with someone you know to get an introduction

5 Tips to get your foot in the door

  • Discipline yourself and make a plan
  • Stay alert – look for opportunities to be around the right people at the right time
  • Don’t hijack conversations or outstay your welcome
  • Be open to new ideas and alternative plans
  • Utilize the people you already know

The Network Code of Ethics

  • First impressions are everything
  • Everyone you meet will be evaluating you – be smart
  • Helicopter aviation is a small industry – people talk
  • Think about proper business attire – if in doubt, overdress
  • Take out piercings and cover tattoos
  • Be smart with alcohol – don’t get sloshed
  • Know your career plans
  • Get rid of negative attitudes or sense of entitlement
  • Social Media can sink your ship

HAI – Heli Expo Networking Opportunities

  • Pilot Mentoring Panels
  • Industry Job Fair
  • Rotor Safety Challenges
  • Welcome Reception
  • Annual Membership Breakfast
  • Committee Meetings
  • Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner
  • Heli Expo Exhibitor Booths
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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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)

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.

Volocopter: The Worlds First Green Helicopter

The VC 200 is the world’s first green helicopter. E-volo introduces the VC200 Velocopter– the first Volocopter able to carry two passengers while powered by batteries.

Exactly What is a Volocopter?

The Volocopter is a different type of aircraft, an no category to fill.  Although the Velocopter is very similar to several different types of aircraft, it really does not fit any particular category. Basically, a Volocopter is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) manned aircraft that is currently without a specific classification. What’s more, theVolocopter is an electric battery powered Manned Aerial Vehicle (MAV). This is in contrast, but similar to, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

The VC 200 Velocopter looks like a helicopter, and acts somewhat like a helicopter. But the Velocopter differes because of all its propellers (18 propellers) and operation mechanisms. Helicopters have rotors, and the Volocopter has propellers. Helcopters have cyclics, foot pedals, and the collective. A Velocopter has a joystick. The e-volo company believes that propellers are an advantage over rotors because the mechanism that drives the propellers are a lot less complex.

Plus the VC 200 is designed to be safer than a helicopter. With the VC 200 there is a great deal of redundancy built in, which supposedly makes this aircraft safer than a helicopter. For example, if one or more of the propellers fail, the VC 200 is designed to land safely through two separate safety means.

The people behind the VC 200 e-volo project are Alexander Zosel (CEO and overall strategic coordinator), Stephan Wolf (CFO and Lead Software Developer), and Kathrin Mohr (Management Assistant). The aircraft is under development in Germany.

What Makes The VC 200 So Different?

The VC 200’s flight controls work through the “fly-by-wire” principles by the use of a joystick. The VC 200’s control system makes it vastly different from any other aircraft. Basically, flying the VC 200 is as as simple as it gets.

The VC 200 takes off and lands vertically. The pilot does not have to invest a great deal of energy or effort into the flight path angle, minimum speed, stall, mixture control, pitch adjustment and many other things which make helicopters difficult to fly.

The propellers generate the ascending force, and by means of a selective change in propeller speed it takes care of the steering. Different from helicopters, the VC 200’s mechanical pitch control of the propellers are not an issue at all.

Moreover, the position control and the directional control of the VC 200 takes place by means of several independent and mutually monitoring airborne computers which control the rotation speed of each separately.

Other Important Highlights of the Volocopter
  • Two passenger private aircraft.
  • Added pusher propeller enables an even faster flight.
  • Electric power plant – environmental friendly (green technology).
  • Up to an hour of flight powered by batteries (no fuel costs).
  • Hybrid combustion engine that powers batteries under develop (to extend flight range).
  • Improved safety – redundancy of all flight components and back up batteries>
  • Parachute attached in case of emergencies.
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.

Pilot Resume: This is Key to Your Career

In the aviation industry, a resume is much different – unique – and does not follow the traditional resume format that you will find within most industries. Building a pilot resume for a helicopter employer should be designed to fit the specific needs of the employer. Essentially, your resume will be all about YOU as it relates to the job offering. Sounds a little narcissistic, but it’s the truth. It should be noted, your resume should be about the AUTHENTIC you!. The following information was presented at HAI 2015 by Lyn Burkes, from Rotorcraft Pro.

What is the purpose of a resume? Simple, to gain the attention of the hiring authority which results in a phone call, email reply, and ultimately an interview. Your resume, along with some well-placed networking support, is the hook that will hopefully land you the job.

“Having a dream IS NOT a plan”, Randy Rowles – Helicopter Institute

Your resume is a key component to getting a face-to-face interview (initial interview). As a pilot, your goal is to get in front of the decision maker(s) and create dynamic interest. If you do it right, your resume will lead to an in-depth interview, a test flight, written exam, and then landing the JOB! You are competing against many other prospective pilots, including those with more experience. Your resume is one important part of getting an interview.

Keys to Presenting a Successful Pilot Resume

  • Format counts – present vital info how they want to see it
  • Realize and understand that aircraft experience is KING
  • Understand how hiring authorities read resumes
  • Gain positive attention by being creative and different
  • Little experience? Then highlight your experience as it relates to the position
  • Keep your resume to 1 page
  • Do not add a picture to your resume
  • Follow the employer’s instructions
  • Use a WORD doc with KEYWORD list
  • BE and sound interesting when sending the resume via email
  • Always customize your resume for the position that is being applied for

Resume Mistakes to Avoid

  • Spelling errors – poor grammar
  • Long-winded paragraphs
  • More than one-page resume
  • Funky format
  • Flight hours not broken down or too vague
  • Lists helicopter flown but fail to list flight hours in each aircraft
  • Only listing the last job you held
  • No schools listed
  • Does not match up resume with the job description
  • Fail to get the company name correct
  • Poorly written cover letter
  • Contact info incorrect or not listed

Proper Format of an Pilot Resume

  • Name, Address, Phone Number, Email Address
  • Summary of Qualifications
  • List of Qualifications – Professional Pilot Skills
  • Flight Time – Aircraft Type
  • Related Aviation Training
  • Education
  • Employment History
  • Personal Statement

More Resources for Pilots

Resume Writing for Pilots

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.

Preparing For Your First Commercial Helicopter Pilot Job Interview

Do you want to land a commercial helicopter pilot job with a top company? Do you want to make good money while working for a great helicopter company? Then be prepared to follow this advice… The purpose of this article is to teach new commercial pilots how to conduct an interview with a prospective employer AND LAND THE JOB!.

Our first recommendation is to refrain from pursuing a commercial helicopter pilot job (scheduling an interview) until you’ve done ALL of your homework on the prospective employer(s). To be successful (which means you are offered a job) you need to be totally prepared for the interview. You have to “kill it!”

You Need to Know the Company, and Know People within the Company – Be Strategic

The first step to a successful interview is to get an interview scheduled. There is an art to scheduling an interview. For the best advice in setting up an interview with a Tier 1 helicopter employer.

If you have already networked with industry leaders and you have the necessary flight hours to compete for a job, your next step is visit the company (the interview). In the best scenario, you already know someone who works for the company, or someone who once worked at the company. It’s always helpful to know someone in the company (insider leverage) who will make an introduction and a recommendation on your behalf.

If you have not networked, or you do not know anyone within your company of choice, read “Helicopter Pilots: Landing a Good Job Includes Networking“. Again, there is an art to getting an interview, just as their is an art to landing the job through the interview. They are both connected to each other. There are no short cuts.

Become Known and Make a Positive Memorable Impression

If you do not know someone who currently works, or worked, for the company, be prepared to make your own memorable introduction (but please, do not attempt before you know everything about the company).

Although it may seem awkward, you have to get to know someone within the company of your choice. At the very least, be brave enough to call someone within the company and ask the right questions. Follow the company’s Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram…). “Friend” employees of the company (especially pilots). “Like”, “Comment” and “Share” their posts (be supportive and postive, but be geniune).

Take your time building relationships through Social Meda, and don’t be pushy. If you do “friend” people within the company, make sure your Social Media account are 110% professional. Thier first impression of you might come from your Facebook news stream. An inappropriate meme (politically charged) or an image of a drunken escapade will not help your chances.

After building “professional relationships” through Social Media look for opportunities to schedule an informal visit. Let your intentions be known, but always be appropriate in your engagement with staff and employees. And, most importantly, if you do schedule an informal visit (“just dropping by to introduce myself in person”) make sure you are ready for an impromptu interview on the spot (you just might get one).

BIG WARNING: Find out all that you can about a company before you submit a resume and fill out an application – the goal is to get an interview. But if the employer does don’t know your keen interest in their company you are just a resume on a stack of many resumes.

In addition, before you submit your resume and complete an application, make sure the targeted company knows the resume is coming. If the company is lookin forward to receiving your resume, you have won half the battle. Then, we highly recommend that you “get prepared” for the interview. Don’t wait! You might get a call for hastily scheduled interview (“can you come in for an interview tomorrow?”). Be ready for anything.

For advice on writing a solid commercial helicopter pilot job resume, click here.

How Do You Get The Interview?

How do you get an interview with a Tier 1 helicopter company? There seems to be some “magic” to it. The more you are invested into the process, and the more you know the prospective employer, the higher your chances are of setting up an interview. It’s weird, but the truth is that when you are prepared, you are more likely to be bold. The more bold you are, the more likely you will find unique opportunities that others miss.

To be successful in landing an interview with a helicopter company, you must first be willing to invest in yourself.  Be prepared for an interview by investing into the process, as if you already have the job (at least in your heart and mind).

For example, be thoroughly prepared to slam dunk the interview before it is even scheduled. For instance, be willing to go so far as to seek out people who have gone through the interview process with the company and actually landed a commercial helicopter pilot job with them. Know what to expect and be ready to successfully navigate the employers unique interview process.

The more you are invested, the better you will show up (but don’t be cocky). The employer will see your heart and your good intentions (the employer will see you as a potential loyal and committed employee… his or her impression of you will be positive, as you increase your chances of being the one they choose to hire, over all the rest).

Second, invest in yourself and your future. Remember, this will be your first aviation interview, but not your last. If you are a good pilot and career-minded, there will be many more interviews in your future as you advance your career – so be prepared to learn from the experience and become a “professional interviewer”. Those that show up the best in interviews tend to get the job, even if they have less qualifications and experience than other interviewees.

Finally, to become an experienced pilot whose career has advanced up the employment ladder, he/she has viewed the interview as being a part of the job. These pilots have taken the interview process seriously and have developed a positive attitude about it. They found a way to “like the chase” between the employer and the employee, and they got good at doing it. It’s almost like dating. To get the best “girl” or “guy”, you got to know how to play the dating game. If you hate/loath/fear the interview process, your career will be stifled. I recommend that you change your attitude now, and find a way to like/love the interview process.

How to invest in yourself in constant preparation for the next interview:
  • Do your homework on prospective employers and know everything about them.
  • Know yourself.
  • Know your personal mission – be able to articulate it.
  • Know your personal brand – know your values and career plan.
  • Know your weaknesses and how you plan to address them.
  • Find out what these employers are looking for in their pilots.
  • Let your mentors know your career path.
  • Continuously keep in contact with industry references (friends and colleagues) and previous employers.
  • Attend industry events and network with influencers.
  • Share your professional pathway and vision with people who like you and believe in you.
  • Visit the prospective employers (always schedule an appoinment).
  • Always be patient – never be pushy.
  • Be diplomatically persistent and always show continued interest.
  • Keep your one-page “aviation” resume updated with relevant info only – ready to send out at anytime.
  • Know your strengths and continue to work on them.
  • Keep educating yourself.
  • Take leadership and communication courses.
  • Take “people skills” courses.
  • Mentor others.
  • Have positive and professional Social Media accounts – employers will check you out.
  • Don’t be involved in negative posts in industry forums.
  • Don’t get arrested for domestic violence, drunk driving, or drug use.
Once I get an interview, how do I prepare?

Be prepared to demonstrate, answer, convey, and articulate the following (practice makes perfect):

  • Know everything about the company who is interviewing you.
  • Stand out from other candidates because you know the company intimately.
  • Know the company’s mission, vision, and culture.
  • Know their interview process.
  • Know what they are looking for in pilots through the interview.
  • Know the top people in the company and their experience.
  • Know what strengths you bring. Have a plan to work on your weaknesses.
  • In everything you do communicate how your personal brand message matches the company’s brand message.
  • Show how you are committed to “safety”.
  • Know the company values and be able to articulate how you will represent them.
  • Outline your best attributes (but do not brag).
  • Be ready to describe how you handle pressure or adversity.
  • Be ready to describe your experience working with the public.
  • Be ready to describe how you are a team player without bragging.
  • How are you willing to improve your communication and people skills?
  • How do you deal with any transition (i.e., be willing to relocate)?
  • Receive employer training with eagerness.
  • Arrive early.
  • Be ready to describe why the employer should hire you over others.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Be ready for the test flight and any other exam.
What is my Personal Brand?

Be prepared to demonstrate, answer, convey, and articulate the following (practice makes perfect):

  • Your values.
  • Your attributes.
  • Your attitude.
  • Qualities that make you trustworthy.
  • Qualities that make you memorable.
  • Your legacy – who did you train with and why that matters.
  • Your career goals.
  • Your career plan.
Sins of the Interview Process

Avoid the following:

  • Failing to do your homework on a company.
  • Not knowing the history of the company.
  • Not knowing the experience and credentials of the key players within the company.
  • Bragging.
  • Exaggerating your flight experience.
  • Certificates not signed.
  • Medical not updated or not signed.
  • Log book in disarray or inaccurate.
  • Failing to be prepped for the test.
  • Bashing present or former employers.
  • Dressed inappropriately.

In summary, if you follow these guidelines you will have a much better chance of success in landing your next job as you advance your career.

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.

Call Now ButtonCall Us