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!