We have posted some of the most frequent asked questions here with answers.
Q. (lets start with the most common question…) Why shall I choose Northern Helicopters and not of the others?
A. First of all the choice is absolutely yours, we are only two schools in Sweden that offers both practical and theoretical training. Then there is the choice of helicopters, we simply refuse to use the Robinson 22 since we consider it to be a less safe helicopter for basic flight training. (there is a reason why they require instructors to take a special safety course at the factory…) We use helicopters that has a great rotor inertia and has the margin that is needed for training. Now we are exchanging our Schweizers to the most modern helicopter that ever has been produced as a piston, the Cabri G2. If you are looking for a school that has the latest equipment, only focused on helicopters and can offer theory preferably integrated, all together with competitive rates then take a look at our school. We are the largest school for a reason.
Q. What is the difference between the class 1 and 2 medical?
A. A class 1 medical is for use for commercial purposes, a class 2 for PPL use. Below the age of 40 a class 1 lasts for 1 year, class 2, 5 years. Over 40 this drops to 6 months and 1 year respectively.
Q. I have a PPL (A) do I still need to do the 45 hour course?
A. You will usually get a 6 hour reduction on the 45 hour minimum requirement.
Q. I currently fly the R22 and wish to learn on the S300 what do I need to do?
A. A type rating course. (link to type rating details page)
Q. Why don’t you train on the R22 helicopter?
A. The R22 was designed as personal transport not as a training machine, the 300 series was. It is a more stable, forgiving helicopter we find the 300 series to be easier, quicker and cheaper.
Q. I am not sure if I am capable of doing a PPL what should I do?
A. Many people are a little unsure to start with, why not come in for a visit, a coffee and a trial lesson (link to trial lesson page)
Q. Its been a long time since I was at school, how hard is the theory for the PPL?
A. The theory involves quite a bit of effort, especially if you haven’t studied for a while, our ground school courses are tailored to help.
Q. I have looked on the internet and found the training is much cheaper in the United States, why is this?
A. Overhead costs are cheaper in the states, Fuel, helicopters, rent and insurance, etc
Q. I am unsure which licence to take, what advice have you?
A. (link to thinking of learning to fly)
Q. I often feel a little unwell on an aeroplane is this the same as a helicopter?
A. The turbulence you feel in a helicopter is a lot less, also better all round vision helps those who are not so keen on air travel.
Q. Am I too old?
A. No. Though for a licence you will need to pass a medical
Q. How much will a licence cost me?
A. It is difficult to give an exact cost, we can only tell you what it will cost to reach the minimum requirements. Speak to us if you are unsure.
Q. Do I need to have perfect eyesight?
A. No, If you wear glasses or contact lenses that is fine
Q. Can I just go to the United States and get a licence there, it seems to be cheaper?
A. Yes you can do this. If you plan to do a CPL you will need to convert this licence and this will offset any savings. Also how will you decide which school to use, the quality of training can be variable.
Q. Do I have to buy my own headset?
A. No, all our helicopters have headsets supplied. Many people prefer to use their own, there are many types available, do not buy one until you have tried a couple of different types and had some advice.
Q. What happens if the engine stops?
A. The popular myth is that the helicopter will drop like a stone, this is not true and it is possible to ‘glide’ in a helicopter. During your training you will practice numerous engine failures or ‘Autorotations’ as they are called. Whilst it will not glide as far as a plane the landing area required is much smaller. Nowhere near as far as an aeroplane but then it doesn’t need anywhere near the size of landing area either. The helicopter in autorotation is still under control of the pilot – you can manoeuvre the helicopter to touch down in a suitable landing area.
Q. Is it safe?
A. There is a certain amount of risk in everything. Helicopters are safe machines but they are not toys and should be treated with respect. Your safety is the most important job of our instructors. You will not be treated as ‘just another student’. Our emphasis is on training you on a one to one basis at your pace.
Q. I am still trying to find a school, have you any advice?
A. Visit the school, look at the facilities, talk to the owner/director. Find out their costs and don’t forget about hidden extras, accommodation, travel costs, some schools will surcharge for certain items, ask about ground school programs if this interest you. Look at their fleet, and check availability of their machines, if they have one aircraft what happens when its in maintenance. Ask to see insurance documents. Next speak to an instructor or two, what is their availability and will you use the same instructor, training with 5 different instructors is not good. Ask the instructor if he enjoys working there, what is the average time for someone to gain their licence, is the maintenance good. Finally and most importantly speak to some of their current or recent students. Ask the same questions of them, if there is a big discrepancy wonder why. If students are regularly taking 90 hours for a PPL (Occasionally someone will need to take this long) then the school is overtraining them. Ask the students what is good and bad about the school.
Q. I am interested in an IR and wish to do it on a Jet Ranger as this is cheaper, is this wise?
A. Whilst it is possible to do a single engine IR, you are not allowed to fly in IMC with a single engine under JAR rules. A potential employer is interested in the multi engine rating.