Tallahassee Helicopters Robinson R44 Raven I:  N561CH Pilot Training & Flight Services - distinguished by Excellence
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Home  >  Pilot Academy

Welcome to our Helicopter Pilot Academy
- dedicated to your success -

Are you looking for something different, something exciting, something that will change your life? Becoming a helicopter pilot is just that. No day will be like the previous, you will continuously be challenged, and your life will never be the same. Flying helicopters is a lot of fun, exciting, rewarding, and - contrary to common belief - very safe!

At Tallahassee Helicopter we care! Whether you just want to take a few lessons to experience the thrill and excitement of piloting a helicopter or if you are ready to become a professional helicopter pilot, we offer the highest-quality helicopter flight training at the most affordable rates. Give us a call to discuss how we may be able to assist you to achieve your dream of flying helicopters.

Our Training Environment

All our Pilot Training Programs consist of the highest-quality flight training and ground school in a professional and inspiring environment. We understand that each student learns differently and is going to excel in different areas. That's why we will work with you one-on-one to optimize your learning progress not only to systematically prepare you for successfully passing both the written and the practical tests with ease but to provide you with the knowledge, skills, and tools that will enable you to operate helicopters safely and competently. Safety is the number one priority and that is the reason why our students are held to the highest of standards in the flight training industry.

By the way, you DO NOT need any prior aviation knowledge or fixed-wing flight experience prior to starting your training. In fact many experts agree that it is easier to learn to fly helicopters if you are not already a fixed-wing pilot.

Our Training Aircraft

To emphasize our commitment to safety we conduct all our flight training in new Robinson R44 helicopters. This helicopter is much easier to fly, more forgiving, and more fun to pilot, making it a much safer training helicopter than older or other training helicopters such as the Robinson R22 or the Schweizer 300.

By providing you with valuable R44 experience, your employment opportunities are significantly enhanced in two ways:

  • the R44 by now is the most popular helicopter worldwide and even low-time pilots with plenty of R44 experience can find jobs not available to those who choose to do their training with R22s or S-300s.
  • the Bell 206 Jet Ranger - the typical entry-level turbine helicopter in the industry - has the same flight characteristics as the R44. Thus, helicopter operators prefer to hire candidates with significant R44 times because they can be brought onboard with significantly lower in-house training expenses than pilots with most of their experience in R22s or S-300s.

And even if you don't seek employment as a pilot but plan to purchase or lease your own R44 for pleasure and business, the money you save in insurance premium during your first year alone by training on the R44 instead of R22s or S-300s, will more than just offset your slightly higher training expenses.

Cost of Training

We tailor and optimize your training to your schedule, your pace, and to your abilities, which minimizes your cost of training. You only pay for the actual time you fly our helicopter and for the one-on-one training you receive from your instructor. Additionally, you can pay-as-you-go rather than having to pay huge lump sums up front.

Even though a new, well equipped R44 such as ours typically rents for $500 to $650 per hour, we are proud to be able to offer our 2011 IFR R44 for as low as $425 per hour - among the lowest R44 rental rates world-wide!!! Our instructor fee is also most competitive at only $55 per hour. However, the knowledge, skills, and experience of our flight instructors as well as their dedication to your success are among the best in the helicopter flight training industry.

Give us a call, ask your questions, schedule a visit, or book an introductory flight lesson to find out why more and more people choose to obtain their flight training from Tallahassee Helicopters.

In the sections that follow you find additional details on various flight training programs:

Please refer to our Price List for information on the cost of any of our pilot training programs.

If you are ready to enroll in one of our helicopter pilot training programs, please follow the steps outlined in our Training Course Enrollment Checklist.

Introduction to Piloting Helicopters

Introductory Flight

The best way to experience what helicopter flight training is all about is to indulge yourself with an introductory flight lesson. You will spend about one hour with one of our experienced flight instructors who will explain to you the basics of helicopter flight and what you can expect from your training. Included in this introductory lesson is also your first helicopter flight. You will not only experience the thrill, enjoyment, and satisfaction of flying in these most remarkable aircraft but you will actually take the controls and experience how it feels to pilot a helicopter yourself - of course under the close supervision and assistance of your instructor. After that flight you will debrief and will have plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you may have. This is also a great opportunity to assess our flight-training academy, the quality of helicopters we provide and the quality of training you receive from your instructor. This introductory flight lesson is currently only $250 (regular price is $275). By the way, for only $49 extra you can have a friend or family member ride along during your introductory flight as an observer - a great deal for someone interested to ride in a helicopter and to enjoy some aerial sightseeing for a very low price.

Extended Introductory Flight

The Extended Introductory Flight Lesson is essentially the same Introductory Flight Lesson detailed above but your flight time during the extended lesson will be twice as long than during the regular intro lesson. However, the cost for this extended introductory flight lesson is only $399 - you save $100! An observer may ride along for only $75 extra.

Double your Training Experience and Pay Less!

If you bring a friend who also wants to experience the thrill and excitement of piloting a helicopter, then each of you will go on TWO flights instead of just one: during one flight you will be sitting up front and piloting the helicopter while your friend is able to observe your flight lesson. During the other flight your friend is on the flight controls and you sit in the back observing the flight and the interactions between the instructor and your friend. Being on two flights in a row - once as the pilot and once as an observer - is a very valuable experience especially if you are still trying to decide if becoming a certified helicopter pilot or maybe even a professional career helicopter pilot is the right path for you. Additioanlly, each of you will be flying along as an observer FOR FREE. Thus, you save $150 on two extended introductory flights or $98 on two regular introductory flights.

What are you waiting for? Give us a call right now at 850-841-1111 and schedule your unforgettable (Extended) Introductory Flight Lesson for yourself or for you and someone else.

Career Pilot Program
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If you are ready for an exciting and rewarding professional career you may want to consider becoming a Professional Helicopter Pilot. Here are just some of the reasons that make this career one of the best-kept career secrets:

  • Starting salary for professional helicopter pilots is about $70,000 per year plus a generous fringe benefits package. The average helicopter pilot makes between $80,000 and $120,000 per year. Based on experience and specialization quite a few pilots earn in excess of $200,000 per year.
  • The entire career training can be completed in as little as 9 months.
  • We guarantee employment with us as a flight instructor and commercial pilot upon completion of your training.
  • There is a huge demand for helicopter pilots in the industry. About 30% of all current helicopter pilots are reaching retirement age, the military is producing less pilots than in the past, there is an increased use of helicopters in many fields such as Emergency Medical Service, law enforcement, offshore oil transport, and tour operations, and the development of new, more cost-effective helicopters is opening up more helicopter operations opportunities every day - all this is creating a tremendous demand for new helicopter pilots.
  • Ask anyone who flies helicopters as a career and you will be able to confirm that flying helicopters is fun, exciting, varied, rewarding, and - contrary to common belief - very safe!

Thus, if you are ready for an exciting new career as a helicopter pilot you came to the right place. We specialize in professional helicopter pilot career training that takes you from no aviation knowledge and no flight experience through being an employed commercial pilot and flight instructor in about 9 to 48 months depending on whether you train full-time or at various levels of part-time. During this training program you will receive your Private, Commercial, Instrument, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), and Instrument Instructor (CFII) certificates/ratings. You will have also obtained 200 hours of flight time experience in the R44 and the skills, knowledge, and proficiency, which will enable us to hire you as a flight instructor. From then on you will be paid for your flying (about $20 per hour) and gain additional flight experience which will allow you to move on to more challenging helicopter pilot jobs. Once you have above 1,000 hours of flight experience you are ready for employment in the helicopter industry with a starting annual salary of about $70,000 plus excellent fringe benefits. Later in your career and depending on specialization your salary may increase to way over $200,000.

The cost of our three Career Pilot Programs are competitively priced at $79,225, $84,950 and $97,550 respectively and cover all your helicopter flight time, instruction time in the helicopter and one-on-one tutoring on the ground. You also need to budget for some ancillary expenses such as books and materials ($150), an FAA written test ($150) and the FAA practical test ($500) for each of the five courses. With our financing options, all training may be covered with little to no out of pocket cost and deferred loan payments until after training completion.

Please also have a look at our Professional Helicopter Pilot Brochure, which we hand to folks who attend our free, no-obligation, career orientation meeting during which we provide you with all the information and answers to your questions you need to determine if becoming a professional helicopter pilot is the right career path for you.

If you are ready to enroll in our career helicopter pilot training program, please follow the steps outlined in our Training Course Enrollment Checklist.

Bachelor in Aviation Science with Career Pilot Program

Earning a bachelor degree in addition to becoming a professional helicopter pilot is a great career choice because pilots with a university degree are more marketable, have significantly enhanced career advancement opportunities, and enjoy 10% to 50% higher salaries. Earning your Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Administration from our affiliate Utah Valley University (UVU) has numerous advantages: An aviation-related bachelor degree is obviously the best type of degree for a professional pilot. Additionally, UVU is the the third largest, fully accredited, and one of the fastest-growing universities in the U.S. and has a reputation for providing exceptionally high-quality aviation training. All course work, readings, assignments, and interactions with your professors take place online, i.e. you will never have to set foot on their campus in Utah. This will allow you to live close to our flight school and to study at times most convenient to you and when you learn most effectively. Some prefer to study early in the morning, some late at night, and others yet a little bid at a time throughout the day. The online distance learning programs from UVU have been optimized and refined over the years to provide the highest quality of aviation education available today. And best of all, through UVU's financial aid opportunities you will have access to free grants, free scholarship, and low-interest federal education loans that will cover not only all of your university expenses but also your entire flight training with us. You will start paying back your education loans in small installments generally six months after you complete your university education which coincides approximately with the time when you will get your first job in the industry as a professional helicopter pilot making about $70,000 per year plus substantial fringe benefits.

You can learn more about UVU and their Aviation Administration Degree program through our UVU brochure or by visiting their website at flyUVU.com. For any questions you may also contact their Aviation Advisement Center by calling 888-901-7192. For financial aid information, please see our Guide for Flight Training Funding and call the UVU Financial Aid Office toll free at 877-336-8872. If you a a veteran please contact the UVU Veterans office at 801-863-8212 to find out how your GI bill benefits can be utilized to keep your needs for any student loans to an absolute minimum.

If you are ready to apply for UVU, please access UVU's Admissions Page which will systematically lead you through the enrollment process.

If you are ready to enroll in our career helicopter pilot training program with funding for your entire training expenses through UVU, please follow the steps outlined in our Training Course Enrollment Checklist.

Private Pilot Program

Our Private Pilot training program is your first step towards enjoying all the excitement and privileges of helicopter flying. This program is intended for people who want to learn to fly helicopters for pleasure or for personal business or for people who are planning to purchase their own helicopter. The Private Pilot license is also the first major milestone for seeking more advanced certifications or for starting a career as a Professional Helicopter Pilot.

With your Private Pilot License you are allowed to take family, friends, and co-workers on board a helicopter you own or rent while acting as Pilot in Command. Even though you may share the operating expenses with your passengers, you are not allowed to be compensated for your piloting skills. To fly for compensation or hire you must carry a Commercial Pilot License.

Instrument Rating Program

The Instrument Rating training program teaches you the techniques to fly when there is no or very poor visual references outside the helicopter such as when flying in fog, clouds, or at night over unpopulated areas and no moon light. You will develop the skills to evaluate adverse weather conditions and the ability to maneuver and to navigate the helicopter precisely with reference to the inside gauges only, instead of purely looking outside of the aircraft. In addition to increasing your capabilities as a helicopter pilot, it also enhances your confidence, safety, and your ability to control the aircraft. It also provides you with a better understanding of the flight environment in which most flights are conducted. One of the major causes for general aviation accidents has been as a result of continued flight in deteriorating weather conditions. A pilot with this rating is more prepared when weather conditions deteriorate. They have a better understanding of how to avoid unsafe weather and are able to safely and legally fly through clouds or dense fog when it cannot be avoided. Flying in "Instrument Meteorological Conditions" (IMC) is also often quoted as being the most challenging and most rewarding flying pilots ever do.

Commercial Pilot Program

The Commercial Pilot training program teaches you several advanced flight maneuvers and teaches you to perform all basic private pilot maneuvers with higher precision and with more confidence. As a commercial pilot you may fly helicopters for compensation or for hire.

Flight Instructor Program

The Flight Instructor Program teaches you to fly the helicopter from the left seat and to teach all piloting skills and pertinent aviation knowledge effectively to student pilots. There are two types of flight instructor licenses. As a CFI you can teach anyone to become a Private, Commercial, or ATP helicopter pilot or to train any commercial pilot to become a CFI. As a CFII you are qualified to train licensed helicopter pilots to obtain their instrument rating and/or to become CFIIs. Typically, you would first obtain your CFI and then your CFII.


If you already hold an FAA certificate for fixed-wing aircraft you may add a helicopter rating to your fixed-wing pilot certificate. Generally, it will take a non-pilot or a fixed-wing pilot about the same time to learn to fly helicopters. However, because fixed-wing pilots already have a lot of general aviation knowledge and experience in air traffic communication, navigation, flight instruments, etc., the FAA minimum requirements for add-on ratings are slightly lower than for initial piloting credentials.

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