So You Think You Know England Quiz

We all love a good quiz… almost as much as a helicopter pleasure flight. So, we thought we’d combine the two with our helicopter pleasure flights-inspired So You Think You Know England Quiz. Our helicopter experiences take off from across the country, taking in spectacular views of landmarks and famous locations. So, how many can you spot below? Good luck!

Want to see some of these famous locations yourself during a flight you’ll never forget? Learn more about our range of helicopter pleasure flights.

hire a helicopter for your wedding day in Nottinghamshire

Ever noticed that the most memorable weddings are those when the bride and groom can really leave their stamp on the day, showing off their style, charisma, and personality. When they break away from convention and make a statement that lives long in the memory of guests as well as the happy couple.

Well, for these trend-setters, one way to break from the norm is to hire a helicopter for your wedding day in Nottinghamshire. A vintage car, even a horse and carriage are great, but if you really want to arrive at your venue in style, and make a stunning impression, then nothing matches being flown in.

Central Helicopters has a tailored Wedding Flight Service for Nottingham and the East Midlands. Our expert team will work with you to consider your location and its suitability for a helicopter arrival, and the all-important timings, so you arrive exactly on-cue, and your unforgettable arrival is captured on pictures and your big wedding day video.

Plenty of space
Hire a helicopter for your wedding

Forget about squeezing into a cramp car, our Robinson R44 is the ultimate limousine, where you can stretch out and enjoy a glass of bubbly. If you’d like to bring some wedding guests along for the ride, you could even charter our larger Bell 206 LongRanger.

Depending on the length and time of your flight, chartering a helicopter can be very competitive on price in comparison with more traditional (and less exciting) forms of wedding day transport. If you’d like to find out more about how to hire a helicopter for your wedding day in Nottinghamshire, call 01664 823846, or find out more about our private flights.

2017 UK sports events best reached by helicopter

Britain is blessed with some of the best sporting events in the world. In 2017, the UK will stage the Champions League final, the pinnacle of club football, as well as playing host to the best golfers on the planet at the British Open.

Sounds good? Well, if you fancy experiencing the excitement, action and glamour first-hand, you’ll also be joining hundreds of thousands of other sports fans. While all those spectators make for an unforgettable atmosphere, you’ll also have the hassle of queuing, trying to find a car parking space, not to mention the long journey home.

Well, there is another way. By chartering a helicopter, you’ll be arriving in style, making the ultimate entrance, and ensuring you embark on the ultimate day out. Here are five 2017 UK sports events best reached by helicopter.

  1. Grand National, Aintree, Liverpool, April 6-8
    The Grand National is one of the most famous horse races in the world. The iconic jump race is also the most valuable in Europe, with last year’s prize fund at more than £1m. First run in 1839, the four-mile race is the ultimate test for horses and jockeys alike, and includes the infamous Becher’s Brook and The Chair.
  2. Uefa Champions League final, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, June 3
    It’s the most watched sports event in the world, and this year, the Uefa Champions League final will be held in England. The 80,000-seat Millennium Stadium will again play host to some of the best footballers on earth. Real Madrid, the most successful club in its history, have won the competition 11 times, and are once again amongst the favourites to lift this year’s trophy.
  3. Wimbledon, London, July 3-16
    Wimbledon is still one of the top events on the sporting calendar. The romance, glamour and style of Wimbledon is legendary, and still make it the most exclusive tennis competition anywhere. What better way to get there than by private helicopter? You can be flown to within just a few miles of the famous All England Lawn Tennis Club.
  4. Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, July 14 to July 16
    Nothing is quite as glamorous and thrilling as F1. You’ll be joining 100,000 spectators on the Sunday race day, watching the quickest race cars on the planet tear round one of the fastest circuits on the calendar. Make your day that much more memorable and exclusive by chartering a helicopter and flying directly into the circuit. Avoid the traffic jams and get to your trackside-seat in style.
  5. The Open, Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, July 20-23
    The only golf Major outside of the U.S., The Open is also considered one of the grandest, with its long history dating back to 1860. You’ll be flown within a whisker of this year’s course, Royal Birkdale, one of the UK’s best links courses. On your way, you’ll get some spectacular views of the north-west coastline and the beautiful old course.

Find out more about chartering a helicopter, or for flying to these 2017 UK sports events best reached by helicopter, or call 01664 823846 to find out more.

Heli Skiing Helicopter, Mont Blanc ski resort, France, Europe.

Have you always liked the idea of becoming a pilot? Slipping on the aviator shades, firing up the engines, and flying to whichever location takes your fancy? Well, here are five reasons why we think flying a helicopter is the best job in the world.

<h3>1. Because helicopters are very cool… do you remember the 80s?</h3>


OK, so perhaps it’s not quite Top Gun and a speeding F16 fighter jet, but helicopters and flying one has always had qudos, especially, for kids growing up in the 80s. They were the stars of TV shows such as AirWolf and Blue Thunder, and this glamour and exclusivity has continued with the increase of celebrity pilots such as film star Brad Pitt, whose ex Angelina Jolie bought him one to fly around.

<h3>2. Because you’ll be flying machines that cost more than palaces</h3>

Luxury yacht with helicopter on the deck, digitally retouched and toned photo.

There are all sorts of different helicopters manufactured these days. From light training aircraft, to attack helicopters, to high-end luxury, one thing is for sure, they are expensive… very expensive. From the AgustaWestland AW609 with a price tag of $14 million that cruises at a speed of 300 mph – that is around double the speed of a normal helicopter – to the giant Airbus H225 Super Puma that will set you back a cool $27 million. For that, you could well find yourself flying an 11-tonne beast, that can transport up to 20 passengers at any one time.

<h3>3. Because pilots fly in the most beautiful places on Earth</h3>

Na Pali Coast on Kauai island

Do you ever catch yourself gazing out of the office window at the beautiful view? No, me neither, probably because there isn’t one. The same can’t be said for helicopter pilots whose view is pretty good, to say the least. Whether it is flying above the New York skyline, over active volcanoes in Hawaii, or taking in the Grand Canyon in Arizona, helicopter pilots work on a daily basis in the most spectacular location on Earth.

<h3>4. Because it’s not a plane.. it takes real skill</h3>

beautiful Cape Town coastal aerial view from helicopter

Flying an aeroplane is a bit like playing elaborate video games – you push a few buttons and it flies itself – whereas helicopters are much more delicate and potentially volatile. This requires a pilot to have precise mental and physical co-ordination. Only the best pilots fly helicopters.
Whether you are flying a group of excited tourists on a day-trip, navigating a storm while trying to land on an off-shore oil rig, or working as a test pilot, the job is unlikely to ever become boring. And, you never know, you might just land a job flying in one of those glamorous locations.

<h3>5. The pay is not bad either</h3>

Depositphotos_5426456_m-2015 (1)

While the starting salary (around £24-000-30,000) won’t exactly change your life, and you’ll have to hold off ordering your own AgustaWestland AW609, once a pilot is established, payback can come quickly. Starting salaries in the North Sea, where recruits are in demand to service oil and gas rigs, are around £45,000, and can rise to £100,000 at senior level.

Learn more about helicopter training with Central Helicopters. Talk to our friendly team on 01664 823 846.


We’ve all been there. After finishing off the year with a large slice of over-indulgence, we feel it’s time to get back on the scales, swap something sparkling for a smoothie, dust off your gym membership card, and start making some 
real life-changing resolutions.

Fastforward to six weeks later, and our best-laid plans are in tatters. Those good intentions get overtaken by day-to-day events, lose their appeal, or are just simply too soul destroyingly boring to tolerate any longer.
Now, how about making a resolution that you’ll actually stick to? One that really grabs you, fills you with excitement, plays to your sense of adventure, represents a challenge, tests all your skill, and ultimately changes your life forever. We think we’ve got just the thing… make 2017 the year you learn to fly a helicopter. 

If that sounds appealing, then there’s no better place to learn than at our Nottingham-based HQ, where we teach CAA-authorised PPL, LAPL, CPL and FI courses, at our modern, purpose-built flight training centre in Widmerpool. 

Whether you like the idea of building a career in aviation, or are simply flying recreationally for the sheer joy of it, learning to fly is probably one of the most rewarding challenges you’ll ever undertake. Central Helicopters can take you as far as you want to go – we have got all levels of helicopter training covered.

The lowdown on licences… 
If you’ve never flown before, then our trial lessons are the perfect place to start. You’ll have a safety briefing with one of our expert pilots, before climbing aboard one of our dual-controlled training helicopters to fly yourself. Get ready for an unforgettable experience, and prepare to catch the flying bug!

If you have already experienced a trial lesson and the thrill of piloting a helicopter by yourself, then why not take the next step and obtain your own licence by training for the Private Pilot’s Licence PPL(H)? This will allow you to fly throughout Britain, and even Europe. You will be able to hire aircraft from us and other operators, and even take your family and friends along for the ride.

Another popular pilot licence is the Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence LAPL(H), the requirements of which are not as demanding as the PPL(H). With a less stringent medical requirement (a “Part-Med”), this licence is valid within the EU for helicopters of less than 2,000 kg maximum take-off weight and carrying no more than three passengers.

The CPL(H)
For those of you who have dreamed of making a living from flying a helicopter, then this is the licence you’ll need. 
The CPL(H) is required if you want to become a fully-fledged commercial pilot. The opportunities to fly commercially are varied, and include flying off-shore into oil rigs, to working for a helicopter tours company, to working as a flight instructor.

The FI
Becoming a flight instructor is one of the most rewarding challenges as a helicopter pilot. The training course leading to achieving the coveted Flight Instructor’s Certificate (FIC) is an intensive programme designed to develop the pilot’s flying skills, give a thorough understanding of all aspects of helicopter flight theory, as well as build presentation and teaching skills. 

TRaining image

Why Central Helicopters?
Our family-owned helicopter tour and flight training company has been successfully training the next generation of pilots for a number of years, with one of their lead pilots, David Marsland, one such success story.
David, who has progressed through the various stages of flight training with Central Helicopters, including the FI licence, will be overseeing the 2017 training programme. 

He said: “We are proud of our high success rates for newly-qualified pilots, which is based on giving more personalised training to smaller numbers of students.
“Students fly in our Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters from our our recently developed heliport, which includes our state-of-the-art training centre.”

However far you wish to pursue helicopter training, make learning to fly your 2017 resolution. 
To learn more in the coming months about what’s involved in our helicopter training, and for expert advice from our instructor David Marsland, keep your eyes peeled to our blog.

Find out more, or call 01664 823 846.

Helicopter gift experience was unforgettable

To give you a better idea of what it is like to fly on one of our pleasure flights, we talked to a recent first-time flyer about his helicopter gift experience with Central Helicopters. Here he describes one of our best-loved pleasure flights from start to finish.

Like many of those coming to enjoy a helicopter gift experience, Norman Parker was a first-time helicopter passenger.

Living in Cheshire, he often visits the Peak District, and is an avid walker, but, he’d never seen it from the air. With four different flights taking in the national park, there’s plenty of opportunity to see famous landmarks, such as Chatsworth House, as well as the rugged terrain, forests, hills, rivers and more.

But, for Norman, the Dambuster and Chatsworth Tour stood out in particular, as he explains:

“I’ve always been interested in the Dam Busters. Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated with the story, the heroics, the danger. So the idea of combining my first flight by helicopter with a tour of the Peak District, that I know so well, and a tour of the famous Derwent dams, where the Dam Buster pilots trained, was the obvious choice.”

After a one-hour drive from Stoke-on-Trent, Norman and his family arrived at our Peak District flight location, Owler Bar. Set on the edge of the park, it is the ideal spot from which to lift off and explore the diverse landscape.

With Norman were his son, Justin, wife Pat, and daughter-in-Law Anna, whom like Dad, had never taken to the skies by helicopter before. Awaiting to fly them was one of Central Helicopters’ most experienced pilots, Dave Marsland, with the Bell 206 LongRanger. With a capacity for six passengers, the helicopter is perfect for gift experiences, allowing for a great view, and easy access for taking those all important photos.

Norman explains the take-off: “As the helicopter took off, the nose dipped, as if you are going to dive down, and then you are up and away, climbing steeply and turning all in one movement. As you leave the ground, fields, forests, houses and roads all rushed into view. The helicopter climbed to around 1000ft before levelling off.”

‘It brought the adventure to life’

Dam Buster's helicopter gift experience

Norman enjoying his helicopter gift experience over the Peak District

From Owler Bar, Norman and his family headed north-west to follow the same route taken by the 617 squadron, retracing one their training routes as they practised low-level flying in their Avro Lancasters. Their heroic feats were captured on film in the 1955 movie The Dam Busters, which was also filmed right here.

Norman picks up the story: “We headed first over the Ladybower Dam, the Howden Dam, and then to the iconic twin towers of Derwent Dam. It was great to be able to see in person where the Dam Busters trained. To be able to visualise the dams and the countryside from the air, it really helped bring their whole adventure to life, and makes this such an interesting place for a helicopter flight.”

Another famous location that has been the backdrop of numerous movies, including Pride and Prejudice, is Chatsworth House, one of the grandest and magnificent estates in the UK. Built in 1552 by Sir William Cavendish, one of its most notable moments was when it became the residence of Mary, Queen of Scots, while she was kept under house arrest.

Norman says: “It was a fun way to round off the flight. It’s another landmark I have been to many times, having visited the house, and walked the grounds, but it is really interesting to see it from high above, you really get a better impression of its size and magnificence, and, the pictures I took are that much more unique and special – I’ll treasure them.”

Norman added: “The flight was around 30 minutes, which was brilliant, giving us plenty of time to see the dams, countryside and Chatsworth. But, the whole helicopter gift experience was so memorable. The staff and pilot were great, and we even had lunch included at the Moorlands pub. It was a great gift, and so special to have the family along, too.”

Learn more and find out how to book.

Why you''ll love a helicopter pleasure flight

1. Take to the skies like a celeb

If you like the idea of flying like a celebrity or high-powered VIP in a helicopter, a pleasure flight is for you. For the likes of US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Star Wars hero Han Solo (aka Harrison Ford) and Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt, (whose soon-to-be ex-wife Angelina paid £1.3 million for his helicopter) this aircraft simply trumps (excuse the pun) any other form of transport.

2. Witness the spectacular

Lake district

The Lake District

Sit back and relax in our comfortable Bell LongRanger helicopter as it cruises along at several thousand feet. During your helicopter tour you’ll be treated to a spectacular bird’s eye view of the constantly changing scenery that stretches out for mile after mile in every direction.

3. Learn something new

Our highly-qualified helicopter pilots have years of experience flying fun-loving pleasure fliers all over the UK. Who better then to tell you about the many beautiful locations, historical gems, and other points of interest along the way. Listen up! You will learn something.

4. Marvel at the magnificence of one of the UK’s most important stately homes…

Chatsworth House

Aerial view of Chatsworth House

The grandeur and magnificence of one of the UK’s most amazing stately homes, Chatsworth House, awaits. Our Peak District and Chatsworth House Tour will take you directly over the great house, which was Built in 1552 by Sir William Cavendish. One of its most notable moments was when it became the residence of Mary, Queen of Scots, while she was kept under house arrest. More recently it has been the set of a number of TV productions and films, including Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre, partly for the spectacular grounds and gardens, which you’ll get an unmissable view of… cameras at the ready!

5. Take once-in-a-lifetime photos

Taking photos of everything from stunning landscapes, to some very special selfies onboard your flight. Where better to take some of your best photos or even video, than on a helicopter experience? Whether it is using a simple compact, iPhone, or an SLR camera, helicopter photography is for everyone. Just remember these key points: Make sure you have plenty of available memory on your device; put your camera close to the window to minimise reflections; keep the shutter speed above 1/1000 of a second, this will help reduce the impact of any camera shake, leading to blurred photos; have fun, try and get different, imaginative pictures, like helicopter shadows. On any of our helicopter flights, you are certain to capture some very special shots to add to your photo album!

6. Discover the Dambusters

Hope Valley Bamford

Derwent Reservior

Flying over the iconic spot where the Dambusters RAF pilots practised for one of the most daring raids of the Second World War. In 1943 a select few pilots carried out low-level flights over the Derwent Reservoir in Derbyshire because of its similarity to German dams in the Ruhr Valley, three of which they would go on to destroy months later using the ‘bouncing bomb’.

Our Dambuster and Chatsworth House Tour departs from The Moorlands pub and heads north-west to follow the route of the famous 617 squadron down the Derwent Valley and over the twin dams. If that’s not enough, the flight also takes in other spectacular aerial sights over the Peak District, including Chatsworth House. We’ll even throw in a free lunch. Sound good?

7. Experience a unique ride – there’s nothing quite like it

Strapping into a helicopter, listening to the spinning rotors, followed by the sensation of lifting off and rapidly accelerating as you fly high into the sky – there’s nothing quite like it. For first-time fliers the excitement of take-off is a unique, thrilling part of your pleasure flight. Whether you are departing from our Nottingham Heliport or are leaving from one of our locations in northern England, you can be sure your flight will be memorable from the very first minute.

8. Head for the lakes… mountains, wild moors, cityscapes, and beaches


8. Discovering lakes, mountains, wild moors, cityscapes, beaches and world-famous historical landmarks. Our Derbyshire helicopter rides are centred around the Peak District with its varied landscapes and famous landmarks. If you prefer city helicopter tours, we’ll show you the sights of Nottingham and York. Or, how about a coastal flight taking in those famous old English seaside towns, such as Blackpool and Skegness? Why not bring along the family to qualify for a group discount, and share the experience of a lifetime!


Great British View

Share your Great British View and WIN!

Here at Central Helicopters our pleasure flights take us to some pretty spectacular, varied locations, where we are lucky enough to regularly get a Great British View. From scenic national parks like the Lake District, to historic cities such as York, to unique seaside favourites including Blackpool.

A stunning scenic selfie

But, one thing they all have in common is spectacular views… and plenty of them.
In tribute to these, we are asking YOU to get involved and send us your pictures and videos of your Great British View taken during a Central Helicopters flight. Maybe you’ve got amazing aerial photography, or a scenic selfie? Whatever the composition, we want to see it.

WIN a flight voucher

Share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GreatBritishView. The chosen winner will receive a FREE 6-Mile Helicopter Air Experience. Be in it to win by Friday, November, 4. All entries will forfeit their copyright, allowing Central Helicopters Ltd to use the photographs for marketing purposes. The winner will be chosen at the discretion of the management. Winning photos will be displayed on our website!

Choose your Central Helicopters pleasure flight and experience unforgettable views of some of Britain’s best-loved locations.

The Lake District: 10 Things You Didn't Know

Here at Central Helicopters we like to celebrate the incredible destinations of our pleasure flights, and this month we thought we’d bring you some facts and trivia about the Lake District. Whether you are interested in one of our helicopter experiences to this unique national park, or simply want to top up your trivia, our Lake District: 10 Things You Didn’t Know guide might just pique your interest.

Five hundred million years ago The Lakes stood on the edge of the so-called “ring of fire”.
This was an area of intensive volcanic activity with lava and basalt being thrown up resulting in the creation of some of the area’s craggy peaks.

You’ll be flying right over the impressive Lake Windermere, but did you know, that in 1895, visitors and locals were ice skating right the way across it! It was completely iced over for six weeks.

The picture-perfect white Lake District cottages originally got the look for more practical reasons, being coated in red lead and limewashed to keep out the damp.

Look carefully during your helicopter tour and you’ll spot grey sheep dotted around the fells.
These hardy creatures have super thick coats of wool, creating a protective barrier in blizzards – they have even been known to survive under a blanket of snow for days on end while eating their own wool.

The Lake District is of course well-known for having England’s largest lake, Lake Windermere (cameras at the ready). But, do you know the country’s deepest? Well, that title also goes to the Lake District, with Wastwater measuring in at 243 feet, or 74 metres.

We couldn’t write a top-10 without looking ( or slightly smirking) about some of the customs of the 40,000-plus people who live in the Lake District. One of those that has to be near the top is Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, which dates to the Viking era. Here, grown men grapple with each other while wearing the traditional costume of long johns and an embroidered vest with a velvet centre piece over the top… coming to a high street near you!

During the 16th century, graphite was discovered in the hills and used to make pencils, and to mark sheep. Today, the Pencil Museum in Keswick attracts almost 100,000 visitors each year.

One more accolade for you… the park is also home to England’s wettest inhabited place — about 140 inches (356 centimeters) of rain falls on Seathwaite each year. Someone pass me a brolly!

As late as the 19th century, wild, remote areas of the Lake District were seen as uncivilised, and even dangerous. That didn’t put off one of the area’s best-loved residents, William Wordsworth, who took inspiration in the spectacular, rugged countryside that others dared not explore.

The only official lake in the Lake District is Bassenthwaite Lake – all the others are ‘Waters’ or ‘Meres.’

Discover the Lake District on one of our unforgettable pleasure flights.


It’s been months in the making, with all the team here at Central Helicopters HQ getting involved to help make our website just right for you.

We have got loads to show you and tell you about, and we wanted to ensure that all this good stuff was wrapped up in a lovely, easy to use package, which is an even better place to purchase breathtaking helicopter experiences, private flights, and flight training.

25% off just for you!
As part of our launch, we are giving you a 25% discount on two of our most popular flights from the stunning Lake District. On our 15-minute Lake District Flight, you will fly towards Lake Windermere, over the town of Bowness and Belle Isle – the largest of Lake Windermere’s 18 islands. Or, join our Lake Windermere Tour 30-minute flight, where you will take in spectacular panoramic views of the Furness Fells to the west, before reaching Ambleside at the far north of Windermere, rounding off a truly breathtaking helicopter trip.

Our next flights depart on September 24.  Simply sign up for our mailing list and we’ll send you the DISCOUNT CODE.   

Get more offers
We will be giving our Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and all our mailing list customers exclusive offers first,
so start getting involved.

Tell us all about it – share your flight videos!
If you loved your flight, then we want to hear about it. Share your experience on Twitter and Facebook and tweet us links to your videos.

Learn more, experience more
Over the next few months, we’ll be bringing you lots of news, interviews, and more, right here on our blog. We’ll be speaking with our pilots, who will tell you what it takes to become a pilot, and you’ll learn about Central Helicopters’ HQ, including our amazing fleet of helicopters, and the stories of those that fly with us, from celebs, to first-time flyers. Watch this space!


There is an alternative available to the Private Pilot’s Licence if all you want to do is fly smaller helicopters and do not have any thoughts about progressing to larger machines or earning a living as a pilot. The Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence for helicopters (LAPL(H)) is designed for those who do not want to undertake a full PPL programme, and is also suitable for those who would like to fly who do not quite meet the medical requirements of a PPL.

The medical examination for an LAPL candidate is not quite as rigorous as the Class 2 medical needed for a full Private Pilot’s Licence. If you think that you might not be awarded a Class 2 Medical Certificate, don’t despair – you may still be able to fly! Have a chat with the Operations team at Central Helicopters for guidance – and don’t forget that we have an Aviation Medical Examiner visiting regularly, so advice is available.

The training programme for an LAPL(H) is slightly shorter than the PPL programme. You will need a minimum of 40 hours flight training, of which at least 35 must be on the helicopter type you take your Skills Test on. You can, therefore, do the bulk of your training on the Robinson R22 and give the R44 a try during the programme, which will stand you in good stead if you decide to do a type rating later on. At least 30 hours of the training must be dual (i.e. with an instructor) and at least 10 hours must be solo, including 5 hours of solo navigation training including an 80 Nautical Mile navigation exercise. You will still need to pass nine ground school exams. With the lower flight hours requirement, and the reduced medical requirements, there are limitations to the privileges on the licence. You can only fly EASA helicopters registered in the EU of less than 2,000 Kg Maximum Take Off Weight. You can only fly with a maximum of three passengers (plus pilot), so you would be limited to the R22 and R44 – or an aircraft like a Jet Ranger if there were never more than three passengers on board. You cannot be paid for any flying on an LAPL, so if you ever wanted to become a flight instructor or commercial pilot you would need to upgrade your medical certificate and undertake additional training to qualify for your PPL, CPL or FI licences. Central Helicopters are authorised to offer LAPL, PPL, CPL and Flight Instructor training. For advice on which is the best licence for your needs and aspirations please call 01664 823846 or pop in to see us for a chat. We will be more than happy to talk things through with you, without any obligation.


Becoming a Flight Instructor is a challenge. And rightly so – your future students will be relying on you to know an awful lot more than them, for you to pass that knowledge and experience on to them – and to keep them safe whilst you do so. The Flight Instructors training course is an intensive programme involving 125 hours of ground school and 30 hours of flying over a 5 – 6 week period.
Pilots take on this challenge for many reasons. For some, it is a vocation – the job satisfaction to be gained from guiding students through their first tentative trial lesson through watching them go solo for the first time and on to achieving their Private Pilot’s Licence is immeasurable.

For others, it is a sensible way of ensuring that they can fly throughout the year (and earn throughout the year) as a professional helicopter pilot. The charter and pleasure flying season tends to slow down significantly from September onwards whilst flight training carries on year round. It is also said that Flight Instructors make better Commercial Pilots as they are constantly teaching their students how to fly correctly – and Commercial Pilots make better Flight Instructors as they are teaching their students with plenty of “real world” commercial flying to talk to their students about.

Having said that, new EASA rules mean that Private Pilots can now train to become Flight Instructors, which means that it is now possible for sufficiently experienced and skilled Private Pilots to earn from their hobby, being paid to fly at weekends and during holidays, keep their regular careers going – and improving their piloting skills as they train for their FI qualification.

And for those pilots whose ambitions lie in the world of larger aircraft, flying Search and Rescue or in the North Sea, becoming a Flight Instructor not only hones the flying skills that the larger helicopter operators are looking for, it also enables pilots to build the flying hours and experience at a faster pace than a pure Commercial Pilot may achieve. And the FI Qualification may also come in useful later in a pilot’s career – someone has to teach pilots how to fly the bigger aircraft!

Here at Central Helicopters we are ideally placed to provide Flight Instructor training. Our dedicated heliport facility means that students are immersed in the world of helicopters throughout their time with us (it is amazing what you can pick up by chatting with other pilots and students over a coffee in our comfortable café / reception area), and the flight training area is not disturbed by fixed wing aircraft wanting to land! The Heliport building has brand new, comfortable briefing rooms and conference facilities so you can concentrate on ground school and theory study without disturbance or distraction. And Central Helicopters are fortunate to have one of the UK’s most experienced Flight Instructor trainers leading the course – Geoff Day has joined the team. He has almost 15,000 instructional flying hours under his belt and he is here to pass on the benefit of that experience to you!

Call in to Nottingham Heliport or call 01664 823846 for a chat about our Flight Instructor programmes – we look forward to seeing you soon!