Real Answers from Real Pilots

Helicopter Training

Hi , my name is Karl Partlow and I was wondering if ATP offers any courses on helicopter training and any starting point you would recommend? Thanks!


ATP only offers airplane training. I wish that I could point you in the right direction, but I am rather unfamiliar with the helicopter industry.



I actually was really interested in flying helicopters before I settled on fixed wing flying (I have 14hrs rotary). I decided to make the switch due to the number of flying jobs for airplane pilots vs the relatively few for heli’s. When I was weighing my options I did a lot of homework and if I had gone rotary I would’ve done my training with Bristow Helicopters. They have 2 locations, one in Titusville FL and one in Carson City, NV. VERY pro organization, great reputation and equipment. I’d take a look.


If you want to spend some money… Mauna Loa helicopters in Hawaii are a 141 school and they have a good rep. Ben the owner is very personable and will do anything to help you out. Another school is Hillsboro aviation. They were another top choice for me with what they offered. Looks like they have changed some things since I last looked into it, but it’s worth a shot.

I can tell you that with Mauna Loa, you will get personal interest from the owner. I have talked to him personally and I wasn’t even a student. He will do anything to help anyone. They also don’t BS you with the cost, they give you a realistic number, just as ATP does. Most other schools will quote the minimums. And best of all, there is no better scenery to be leading to fly in, Adam can probably attest to this.

I, like Adam, saw the writing on the wall between heli and fixed wing. The pay isn’t near as much in the end and there aren’t as many jobs. Plus the training is more expensive. I still think helicopters are more interesting and challenging but the airlines are more appealing to me at this time. Good luck. I have done a ton of reasearch on 141 helicopter schools (and airplane schools)

Great answers, I will most likely pursue a career with ATP as jobs will be more readily available and get a private license for my helicopter fix , thank you guys!

That sounds like a good plan to me, the jobs are just not there in the helicopter business and the training costs are so expensive. Flying for the airlines will also allow you to see the world, which I think is a great benefit.