Be it a scrap helicopter for sale uk, luxury helicopters for sale, military helicopter for sale, or mosquito helicopter for sale this post will help you decide which type of aircraft best suits your needs.
Initial visions for helicopter ownership may include room for a pilot, family, luggage for a big trip and perhaps a dog. High-value decisions and long-term commitments like these can be daunting and require more than just scanning the internet and going it alone in the hope of acquiring the best helicopter available. If you’ve never purchased a helicopter before there’s much to understand. If you currently own one and are seeking to upgrade, you may be facing some similar challenges. The following tips help ensure you get the value you want from a helicopter you plan to purchase.
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Buying a helicopter: six tips
1. Get to your destination in a third of the time
Andrew Butt, founder of Enable Software, needs to get from his base in Stratford-upon-Avon to clients around the country. For years he’s been dodging the traffic in his Robinson R44. He says: “I can get to the east, south or west coasts in about an hour. Yesterday, I flew to Brighton and the return journey was just over two hours – compared to six hours by car.” He emphasises that helicopters can be as spontaneous as their four-wheeled rivals. “A popular misconception is that you need to file a flight plan and be on the radio, which would be a real hassle. In reality, you can fly from field to field without talking to anyone.”
2. You get much more leg room
Unlike cars, where one of the biggest choices is petrol or diesel, choppers have a wide variety of dimensions. If your budget is tight, stick to a two-seater. If you’re planning to take your board along for the ride, you’ll need something with a bit more leg-room. Giorgio Bendoni, marketing director of Sloane Helicopters, says: “First-time buyers go for anything from the Robinson R22, which has two seats and a single piston engine, to the AgustaWestland Grand, with eight seats and a twin-turbine engine.”
3. They’re cheaper than a Lamborghini
The world’s most popular helicopter, the Robinson R44, costs £350,000 new – and only half that second-hand. A top-of-the-range AgustaWestland Grand is in the region of £5m. Hourly costs run from a few hundred quid for the Robinson, through to £1,000 an hour for the Grand. These exclude yearly fixed costs – in the tens of thousands of pounds. The big question is whether you need a pilot or not. The bigger the chopper, the more experience the pilot needs. The Robinson R22, R44, and R66 models are all able to be flown by a well-trained amateur. Even the Eurocopter Ecureuil B3 and B4, the Bell 407 and AgustaWestland Koala, valued around £2m, are flyable by an amateur. But when the instrumentation gets sophisticated – such as the kit you’ll find on an AgustaWestland A109 and Grand – a professional pilot is a must. As for depreciation, you’re looking at five to ten per cent a year.
4. You’re less likely to die
Unlike the Japanese bullet trains, which boast a zero-fatality record since 1973, helicopters do occasionally crash and claim lives. High-profile deaths such as rally driver Colin McRae and Lake District tourism entrepreneur Mark Weir tend to skew perception, exaggerating the dangers. Looking at statistical databases such as the US Civil Helicopter Safety Trends study (on Rotor.com), deaths average one per 150,000 hours flown – a similar rate to aircraft.
5. No more frustrating three-point turns
Denys Shortt, founder of the £120m-revenue cosmetics firm DCS Europe, says learning to be a pilot was a cinch: “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.” He learned at Wellesbourne-based Heli Air (the UK’s largest Robinson helicopter distributor: www.heliair.com) and paid £8,000 for the course. First, you’ll have to get your PPL(H) licence, which requires 45 hours of flying training. There’s schoolwork too – subjects including Air Law, Meteorology and Flight Planning. A Class 2 medical is also mandatory. Once qualified, an annual review is required for licence renewal. Most pilots, including Shortt, continue to add further qualifications, such as night flying and formation flying (for the show-offs!).
6. But… there aren’t many london parking spaces
Your fantasy of landing on the roof of a skyscraper in the City is not going to happen. Sorry. Noise controls and the proximity of Heathrow and City Airport mean there are tight restrictions on helicopter flight paths. Your best bet is to land at Battersea Heliport and continue on foot. Vanguard Wharf on the Isle of Dogs is restricted to the smallest craft. Outside London, you can alight at Northolt, Denham, Elstree and Biggin Hill.
What Do Helicopter Pilots Do?
Helicopter pilots are primarily responsible for ensuring the smooth and safe operation of helicopters before, during, and after flight missions. They work in a variety of areas, such as health and safety (including in rescue work, forest fire fighting, and health transport operations), law enforcement, news gathering, tourism, and commercial transport. Helicopter pilots are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are mission-ready, which involves examining maintenance and regulatory compliance records and checking that their helicopters meet industry, federal, and state standards. Pilots must seek out repairs and inspections as needed. In flight, helicopter pilots guide the vehicle and communicate with air traffic personnel, following all guidelines for safe travel in the skies. Additionally, they ensure that all passengers and cargo are properly secured prior to take off and at all times during flight. In cases of inclement weather, helicopter pilots must monitor conditions and determine the safety of flying conditions.
Helicopter pilots work in several environments, principally in the cockpit of their vehicle and in the hangar or landing pad preparing the vehicle for flight or maintenance. They may also meet with clients, co-workers, and regulatory officials to give information about their and their vehicles capabilities and status. Helicopter pilots work a variety of schedules; they may work rotating shifts, by contract, or on a fixed schedule.
Helicopter pilots are required to hold a substantial number of certifications and specific relevant experience. They must have an appropriate helicopter pilot’s license, as well as any industry specific certifications (e.g., a medical certificate to transport patients or organs for transplant). They must have a minimum number of flight hours, included aided and unaided time in the air. In some positions, they may be required to have night flight experience
Helicopter Pilot Tasks
- Inspect and conduct pre-flight tests and fly helicopters to designated locations.
- Communicate with ground control, home office and other aircraft.
- Monitor navigational aids and flight instrumentation.
- Register flight plans, load helicopters, calculate weight and monitor and adjust fuel levels.