Customer Feedback: Training for Professional Pilots at Heli Transair!
Early 2014, I decided at age 35 to learn to fly a helicopter…
Before and during my studies in Computer Science, I had no points of contact with aviation, but the desire to fly a helicopter was always there.
After visiting several flight schools in the Federal Republic, I opted for Heli Transair not just due to its central location near Frankfurt, and started there the integrated CPL-H training on the Guimbal Cabri G2 in July.
First, the training began with teaching of the PPL theory; in which I was made familiar with the helicopter and its mechanics over a period of about three weeks. A subsequent period of self-study and passing of the PPL theory exam were immediately followed by the first flight hours. The first hovering attempts, the first times lifting off and putting down the helicopter and hovering to the helipad were exhausting, but especially exciting experiences that will of course always remain in my memory. It then went onto the traffic circuit amazingly fast, and after about 25 hours I flew this alone. The first solo traffic circuits are a very nice experience that are not so quickly forgotten.
Parallel to the first flight hours, I began to self-study for the CPL theory and accompanied with this, to work through the related questionnaire. It was very helpful to have the opportunity to use Heli Transair’s training rooms and thus also have a contact person, whether a flight instructor or another student pilot, present from time to time. This possibility also promoted the formation of small learning groups. In my opinion, the CPL theory should not be underestimated, already because of the scope alone. Additionally, one should be able to learn on one’s own and to set learning objectives. It is also recommended to brace oneself for the teaching of the CPL theory in order to get as much knowledge as possible. The lessons were well structured, and it was always possible to hand in questions to the teachers, even after classes were finished.
During the winter months up to February, it was hardly possible to take flying lessons due to the weather, hence my decision to get the CPL theory out of the way first. At the end of April 2015, I was able to sit the examination in Braunschweig with a clear conscience also because of the good teaching, and to pass it with a little bit of luck.
The focus thereafter, was on the practical training with an intermediate goal, the PPL-H licence. Since the scheduling of a flight lesson includes the consideration of four variables, the flight instructor, the student pilot, the weather and the airworthiness of the helicopter, it was unfortunate that not every flight lesson could take place as planned. Since I had decided to relocate my main place of residence to the vicinity of Heli Transair for the duration of the training, I was even able to use flight appointments made on short notice thereby eliminating unnecessary delays on my part.
I could then obtain the PPL-H licence somewhat later in the year, in the middle of September; therefore I could carry out the subsequent approximately 40 hours of solo flights in October, again not always as planned due to the weather. Naturally, it was still a lot of fun! It was however, unfortunate that I was not allowed to take a passenger with me and to share the flying experience, due to my choice of the integrated CPL-H training. This was a pity because there were very beautiful moments on each flight which additionally validated my decision to start this training.
Upon completion of the solo flights, the CPL training was intensified; in addition to the specialisation of already known flight procedures, other more sophisticated ones were added. Also due to the fact that the flight instructor specifically responded to my weaknesses and ironed out the problems step by step, I was finally able to take the practical CPL-H test before the end of the year and passed in spite of unfavourable weather conditions. First of all, a big thank you for that to all employees of HTA!
I would like to express a special praise not only to the instructors who have in my case shown remarkable patience, but also to the engineering staff who was always approachable and helpful, and who tried to answer each of my questions about the aircraft as best as possible.
Furthermore, two special highlights during my training must be emphasised: on one hand, the opportunity to be allowed to participate in a cargo flight and as such, learn more closely about a future field of work. On the other hand, to be allowed to participate in the Helidays 2015 in Austria and at this annual meeting deepen my enthusiasm for helicopter aviation.
It remains to be said that I am very happy to have started and successfully completed this training. I do not know exactly in which direction I am heading – but Heli Transair definitely got me started.