How To Find More Money For Helicopter Pilot Training

If you’re looking into helicopter flight training, you’re likely no stranger to seeing some pretty substantial price tags. The question is, given the current economic state, how on earth do you come up with $75,000 or $80,000 dollars to pay for a professional helicopter training program? Here are some ideas on how to find the money for helicopter training.

In the past, before the current credit crisis, it was relatively easy to secure educational loans that would cover programs like helicopter flight training. Now, unfortunately, many financial institutions have all but stopped making these loans and the flight training industry is suffering a significant drop in students. This is made all the worse in the rotary-wing industry by the higher costs associated with helicopter operations.

It’s not all doom and gloom. While the easiest programs may have gone the way of the Dodo, there are a number of options out there. Most notably, companies like Pilot Finance, Inc., have sprung up offering flight training specific loans. Their programs allow you to pay for your training with fixed monthly payments but train as fast as you’d like. The only drawback is these loans won’t cover the costs of an entire professional program.

Other options include personal and home equity loans, if you qualify, or even credit cards. The trouble is, in the current economic climate, the average program will require a combination of these, as none is likely to cover the entire costs.

If you’ve served in the US military, you have a number of other options available to you. For example, the GI bill will cover 60 percent of your training costs for ratings beyond your private pilot certificate. While that’s nothing to scoff at, you’re still on the hook for a tidy sum. Until this year, some veterans qualified for 100 percent funding under the Post 9/11 GI bill for training taken at colleges.

An effort to expand this funding to include flight schools passed, unfortunately, this bill capped that funding at $10,000 per year for flight training.

When it comes to paying for your training, there are options, it's just a matter of finding the ones that will work for you. The trouble with the current economic climate is that many entry-level helicopter pilot jobs are hard to find despite looming shortages. The important takeaway here is that there is money out there, and while it may not cover all of your training, every little bit helps.

For more information on helicopter training and choosing the right school, check out our Helicopter Training Resource Center or find helicopter training near you.