Lake Superior Helicopters - Learn to Fly!
Private License Training
The private rotorcraft license is the first step to an exciting hobby or career. The private license will allow you to fly for fun, take friends and family for rides, provide yourself with aerial transportation, and/or build flight time for future ratings
During the process of achieving your private license, you will receive both flight and ground instruction in multiple areas from meteorology to the operations of helicopter systems. You will start out in the cockpit from day one getting hands-on practical experience which coincides with your ground training
Your first major milestone in flight training is your inaugural solo flight. This experience will always be a cherished memory when looking back on your training. In preparation for your solo flight, you will become competent performing maneuvers such as hovering and normal airport operations as well as various emergency procedures. Once you solo, you will move onto more advanced lessons covering areas such as night flight, cross country flights, and landing away from airports
IMG_8806During the final stage of training, you will sharpen and polish your practical skills and knowledge in preparation for your private pilot check ride (oral and flight test). It is on the successful completion of both the written and practical examination, you will be issued a private pilot rotorcraft helicopter license
The FAA requires a person seeking a private pilot rotorcraft helicopter license to have 40 hours of flight time but the national average for completion of the private pilot rotorcraft-helicopter license is in between 50-60 flight hours. The reason is flying a helicopter requires a great deal of hand-eye coordination and multitasking skills which can take time for some to learn.
What do you need to get a private pilot license?
Be at least 17 years of age.
Read, speak, and understand English.
Obtain at least a 3rd Class Medical Certificate.
Receive 30 hours dual instruction in a helicopter.
Fly 10 hours solo in the helicopter including 3 hours cross-country.
Take the written FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Private Pilot Rotorcraft-Helicopter Test.
Complete your final exam, called a "check ride" which includes an oral and practical (flight) test administered by an FAA-Certified Examiner.
COMMERCIAL PILOT LICENSE (CPL)
Once you receive your private license, your time in the helicopter can then be logged as Pilot In Command (P.I.C.) time. You need a minimum of 100 hours PIC time as well as 150 hours total time to receive your Commercial Pilots License.
After the Instrument Rating, the commercial license is the next step on the professional helicopter pilot’s path to success. This is required to fly for hire. In addition to making your maneuvers you learned training for your private pilot license more precise, your commercial training will introduce you to advanced helicopter maneuvers and more practical application of these. Your ground training will include advanced helicopter aerodynamics as well as the rules and regulations governing commercial helicopter operations.
Instrument Rating (IR)
What is an instrument rating and why do I need it?
Now that you have your private rating, the next stop on the road to becoming a professional helicopter pilot is receiving your instrument rating. An instrument rating allows you to fly an appropriately equipped and approved helicopter without external visual reference to the ground. In other words, you, as a pilot, would be rated to fly through the clouds in "Instrument Meteorological Conditions" (IMC) under "Instrument Flight Rules" (IFR).
During your instrument training you will achieve a greater understanding of the aircraft and gain a deeper knowledge of how the instruments within the helicopter operate. Why do you need this? There are several reasons why it is prudent to get an instrument rating after your receiving your private. If you are on the road to becoming a professional pilot, it would be the most efficient use of your hours. Once you receive your Private License, you will need between 90-110 hours of flight to receive your Commercial License. You don’t need 90-100 hours of flight time to prepare for your Commercial so it is prudent to fulfill some of these hour requirements by training for your instrument rating.
A great reason to get your instrument rating is statistically, it will make you a better, safer pilot. A danger all pilots may encounter is to inadvertently fly into to the clouds and become disoriented. This disorientation is much less likely to have an adverse effect on those who have an instrument rating.
This statistical advantage instrument rated pilots have over non-instrument pilots is not over looked by the insurance companies. This brings up another good reason to get your instrument rating - employability. The helicopter industry is one governed by the insurance companies. More often than not, it is the insurance companies who establish the minimum hour requirements for employment as a commercial pilot.
These insurance companies also give sizable discounts to those companies who’s pilots are instrument rated which is why it is crucial to get an instrument rating if you want to be a professional helicopter pilot.
You can start working on your Instrument rating as soon as you finish your private pilot license. During your instrument training you are required complete at least 40 hours of simulated instrument flight time and 50 hours of cross country time.
Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) -
Flight Instructor is often the first flying position a helicopter pilot will acquire. A Certified Flight Instructor Rating (CFI) is required for a pilot to give instruction training other pilots and future pilots (YOU!?).
A CFI is responsible for all aspects of training pilot applicants so our CFI program is designed to provide you with the skills to instruct both helicopter flight and ground lessons. The primary focus of our CFI program is to train you to be an effective educator, evaluator and motivator. This is a great way for pilots to build flight time while enjoying a rewarding career.
Generally, the flight time for the CFI is the difference between your flight time upon earning a commercial license and 200 hours of total time needed by law to teach in Robinson Helicopters.
The average training program consists of 15 to 25 hours of flight training and about 30 hours of ground training.
Students learn best when having fun!
Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)
After receiving your instrument and commercial ratings you are able to apply for your Instrument Instructor rating or CFII(Certified Flight Instructor Instrument).
The CFII rating allows a rated flight instructor to teach the instrument rating. This becomes a valuable tool for instructors when applying for teaching jobs and beyond making you more marketable.
During your CFII training you will learn to apply the teaching skills you learned and developed in your Certified Flight Instructor rating to teach your students instrument flying. You will develop ground and flight lessons that will aid you in carrying your students successfully through their instrument training.
During your training we will place you in simulated and real world teaching situations to give you the tools and confidence you need to be successful as an instrument instructor.
Financing Your Flight Training
At one time or another every one of us was in your shoes; we had the overwhelming desire to fly helicopters but the financial aspect seemed to be quite a hurdle. Let me tell you from experience this hurdle is not as high as it appears. There are numerous options for funding your training as long as you know where to look. We have made our payment policy as student friendly as possible and have listed many of the financing options here on our website but we encourage you to come down and meet with us so together we can find a financing option that is right for you.
Our Payment Policy
We require no upfront payments.
There is no minimum account balance needed to get our advertised student price.
If you would like, you can pay upon completion of each flight.
There are no penalties or charges if you need to stop your training or remove money from your account with us.
Lake Superior Helicopters is not approved on its own for VA education benefits. Lake Superior Helicopters has a long-standing partnership with Lake Superior College (LSC) and the Center for Advanced Aviation (CAA) and we conduct all of the rotorcraft flight training for the two year Professional Pilot degree program. By enrolling at Lake Superior College for their Professional Pilot Degree at the Center For Advanced Aviation, eligible veterans are able to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill funding to cover up to 100% of their flight training and college education.
All of your VA and school enrollment will be done through LSC. Most classes and your flight instruction will be conducted at LSC’s Center for Advanced Aviation facility. Additional classes may be conducted at LSC’s main campus just ten minutes from the LSC/CAA facility. Every person flies the number of hours required to reach proficiency for the certificate or rating they’re working towards. If you require more flight time than allowed by the course, you may be responsible for those additional costs. The Post 9/11 GI Bill is for veterans who have served after 9/11. Depending on how much time you served/were active after 9/11, the VA will pay up to 100% of your tuition and fees at a degree-granting school. Click here to see an overview or register for Lake Superior Colleges Professional Pilot Degree Program.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill also has a living stipend and annual allowance for books and supplies. The VA pays you directly for this.
For more information on LSC’s VA program contact:
Daniel Traska: Aviation Program Director
Monday - Thursday: 09:00-16:30
We look forward to assisting you in taking off in your career!