Depending on whether you are buying a helicopter for personal or commercial use, It can be both a liability or asset, depending on how you look at it. The need to ask the important questions like; how much does a helicopter cost to run, how much does it cost to rent a helicopter,how much is a helicopter ride is very much important. thus, we will look at the top 10 cheapest helicopter as we consider Buying or renting a helicopter? The best ways to go about it. However you choose to look at it, they have their advantages and many top celebrities, business men and private people own them.
If you ever make up your mind to purchase one, there are many factors to consider. these factors include: price, brand new vs new, cost of maintenance and so on…
Buying or renting a helicopter? The best ways to go about it.
There are many benefits of owning a helicopter, including getting to work on time when living 100 miles (ca. 161 km) away from your office. The main advantage of owning a helicopter is freedom. Once you have permission and some space, you can set your course for any destination.
A private owner in the United Kingdom can fly to Devon and back to London without stopping to refuel. A pub in Oxford, the Manson’s Arms, has a helipad. The photographs of helicopters that visit adorn the walls of the pub. It is a thrilling and bizarre place to visit.
Modern helicopters have engines that are quieter and more efficient with advanced glass cockpits that offer fewer distractions for pilots. Airbus Helicopters’ Ed Sale responded to GQ at the Elite London event giving insight into what to consider when buying a private helicopter.
1. Will You Be the Pilot or the Passenger?
The majority of helicopter owners are pilots so they can fly themselves. Private pilots and those who own a helicopter and fly themselves prefer hands-on, less bulky designs.
Bigger helicopters are usually reserved for professional pilots while the owners sit in the back. The big shots use this as their executive means of transport. Midrange helicopters have administrative abilities too but are fun to handle.
The bigger the aircraft, the more experience a pilot requires. A well-trained amateur can fly any of the Robinson chopper models. The same applies to the B3 and B4 Eurocopter Ecureuil, AgustaWestland Koala and Bell 407. If you are looking at bigger models, like the AgustaWestland A109 with more sophisticated instrumentation, you will need a professional pilot.
If planning to become a pilot, next choose a flying school. Lots of flying schools will issue Private Pilot Licenses PPLs(H). Ask friends with helicopters to recommend a good flying school.
It helps if the flying school is local to you as you need a minimum of 45 hours of training over 12 months. Training costs vary from school to school but expect it to cost around $26,200 (around £20,000). This covers your tests, exams, flying hours, medicals, equipment, and airfield fees.
Training at Heli Air, one of the UK’s largest Robinson helicopter distributors, will cost you $10,500 (around £8,000). This covers theory in subjects like meteorology, air law, and flight planning. A Class 2 medical is compulsory.
After qualifying, you need an annual review to renew your license. You can opt to expand your qualification to include formation flying and night flying. The choice is yours.
2. Predetermine Your Budget
Design, capacity, and the manufacturer determines a helicopter’s price. Set your budget right from the start. It helps narrow your search.
Just like cars, you will have a range of options. Sloane Helicopters marketing director, Giorgio Bendoni, says first-time buyers can choose from the two-seater, single-piston Robinson R22 to the twin-turbine, eight-seater AgustaWestland Grand. It depends on budget flexibility.
While helicopters are expensive, some are cheaper than a Lamborghini. The Robinson R44, the world’s most famous helicopter, costs only $350,000 (around £313,500) and half that second-hand.
When setting your budget, add maintenance costs too. Some helicopter’s cost more to maintain than others. Lower priced helicopters can cost more in maintenance over the long run.
The AgustaWestland Grand and the AgustaWestland A109 are great in sophistication and space, but with an annual depreciation of five to 10 percent, you may want to weigh your options.
You should also consider the cost of insurance, capital investment, and depreciation.
3. How Far Will You Travel?
Aircraft manufacturers offer similar models with a small tweak in design and performance. Cheaper helicopters are smaller. And this limits the number of people it can carry, fuel capacity, and distance it can travel.
So, you need to decide how many people need to travel in your helicopter regularly. Also look at the distance it can travel before needing to refuel. The H125 is a midrange helicopter that guarantees 300 to 350 miles (ca. 563 km) or 2½ hours without refueling.
4. Other Considerations
The Airbus H160 is a new sleek design marketed to business and private customers, while the H125 has strong competition from the Bell 407. The cabin is separate from the cockpit and is luxurious. It has two seats facing each other and is a great option if you have a pilot. In contrast, an Airbus is a better option with you as the pilot as there is no separation from your passengers.
The choice of interior should reflect the helicopter’s purpose. Some people ignore carpets as it is a lot of work to keep clean. Leather seats are an attractive option as are seats with twin leather stitching which are currently in vogue.
Landing Space is Limited
Landing spaces in London are limited due to their tight restrictions on noise control, which limits helicopter paths. Battersea Heliport is the best place to land and continue your journey using other means. Places you can land outside London include Elstree, Denham, Biggin Hill, and Northolt.
Grab a helicopter landing guide to find somewhere to land in London. It has a list of landing sites around the UK and their phone numbers. This allows you to request landing permission before leaving for your destination. They may let you land for free or for a small fee (around $50).
Terms You Should Know
There are terms you should know if you intend to own a helicopter:
- VFR (Visual Flying Rules) means you have to keep sight of the ground.
- IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) means you can fly above or in the clouds.
- A two-seat piston engine VFR is a basic helicopter.
- ILS (Instrument Landing System) is what you dial into to get to the ground.
- You use a noise-canceling headset for communication.
- Autopilot allows you to control the aircraft without moving the controls and is not available in all helicopters.
how much does it cost to rent a helicopter
Use a third-party escrow service like Escrow.com. It protects buyers involved in high-value transactions such as buying a private helicopter. No money changes hands between the two parties until you both meet all terms and conditions of the sale.
You hear about entrepreneurs owning fancy cars, yachts, and jets, right?
Well, I once owned a helicopter. So there.
But it only lasted a few months. When I look back on my days as a high-flying, chopper-riding, bigshot entrepreneur, I have a few regrets.
And, as with anything in life, I learned some great lessons.
As soon as my buddies learned that I owned a helicopter, they started calling it the Patelicopter. (I have corny friends, but it was funny at the time.)
No, I didn’t outright own the helicopter. I’m not that crazy. Helicopters are expensive. Instead, I did a fractional corporate lease (think timeshare).
Instead of dropping a few million on a fancy helicopter, I did the math and figured out a way to “own” it without too much hassle. I didn’t need it on demand or everyday. It made more sense for me to lease it.
My leasing fee was only a few thousand a month and allowed me a certain number of hours to use the helicopter. The leasing fee covered fuel, the pilot, insurance, and landing fees.
Basically, on a bad month, I didn’t spend more than $5,000.
Why did I lease a helicopter to begin with?
At that point in my business, I could justify the helicopter expenditure.
If you know me, you probably realize I can be obsessed with numbers and ROI. I knew down to the penny how much one hour of my time was worth. I also knew down to the penny how much money I would save by getting from point A to point B faster.
I was spending hours driving between San Diego and L.A. The trip cost me as much as three and a half hours in traffic! I also had a lot of flights into L.A., and I would waste over an hour and a half getting from LAX to my hotel. It was driving me crazy, and costing my businesses thousands of dollars in lost time!
Solution: I leased a helicopter.
Now, the trip from LAX to my hotel was only 15 minutes, and the commute from San Diego to L.A. was only 30 minutes!
My time in San Diego was extremely valuable. For example, I would spend an hour collaborating with my business partner, Mike. We would tweak a landing page, and that would net the company a few extra hundred thousand over the course of a few months. The money spent on the helicopter lease was well worth it.
Yes, it was fun to “own” a helicopter.
There are some things you can do with a helicopter that are ridiculously awesome. Sometimes, I used the helicopter to have some fun. Mostly, I just let my friends use it for their enjoyment, like fly out to Catalina for the day.
One time, just to freak out the friends who were flying with me, I had the pilot fake a crash into the ocean. (Cruel joke, but absolutely hilarious.) I would sometimes fly to the Staples Center for a Lakers game just for the heck of it. (Does anyone in their right mind want to drive a car to the stadium on game night?)
Mostly, though, the helicopter was a business tool. It served its purpose, had a positive ROI, and taught me a few things.
Lessons from the Patelicopter.
About the time that I ended my lease on the helicopter, I was having all kinds of realizations about money and life.
You see, I grew up as a normal middle-class kid in the U.S. My parents worked hard to put food on the table. I didn’t go to private school, didn’t receive a new car when I graduated, and didn’t always wear name brand clothes.
When I started making a lot of money, I wasn’t sure how to enjoy it. At age 16, my businesses were making $20,000 a month, but I wasn’t even taking a salary. I sunk every penny back into the businesses.
Eventually, I decided to enjoy my success. I bought fancy clothes, started collecting watches, and scooped up real estate like crazy. Life started to spiral out of control, and into a frenzied mess of stuff, hassle, confusion, and materialism.
I hated it. So I made some major changes. Here’s what I learned along the way.
When you take luxury for granted, something is wrong with you.
I was recently visiting a friend in Toronto. He’s an ultra-rich multimillionaire who buys a lot of nice stuff. He picked me up from the airport in his $250,000 McLaren. This car turns heads.
On the way home from the airport, he told me, “Last week, I noticed that my side mirror got dinged up. And you know what? I didn’t even care! I stopped trying to baby the car. I mean, it’s just a car! I take it for granted now. And that’s kind of sad.”
I totally understood what he was saying, because I have experienced the same thing. When you start to experience life at a new high, it’s exciting at first. But soon, the new high becomes the new normal. Any increase in enjoyment requires a huge boost in spending or risk-taking. But then it’s back to humdrum, normal, boring.
Keep doing that for a while, and you’ll end up ruining your life. I got to enjoy some nice things and fun experiences, but when I started taking my lavish spending for granted, I knew that I needed to change.
Wastefulness is sickening.
The other thing I noticed about owning a helicopter was the waste. First, I would waste money if I didn’t use all my minutes in a month. I was also contributing to L.A.’s pollution problem.
I got to thinking about wastefulness. If I could rid my life of wastefulness, I could make a positive difference elsewhere. Instead of spending the cash on faster and better transportation, I realized I could make a great difference in other people’s life with the same amount of monthly cost.
Spending money on ultra-luxury items isn’t normal. It’s kind of twisted.
More stuff does not equal more happiness. Even though we know this is true, we don’t always act like it. I knew that yet another Patek watch wasn’t going to make me happier, but I still collected them.
If I wanted something nice or expensive, I would just buy it. Helicopter? No problem. Thousand-dollar shoes? Of course.
It occurred to me that this kind of behavior wasn’t normal It was actually a bit twisted.
More money on more stuff means more stress.
Stuff creates stress. And when we spend money to buy more stuff, we’re basically purchasing stress!
A stress-free life doesn’t cost much, as long as you have enough to cover your basic needs.
As I made more money, I started investing in real estate at a rapid pace. One day, I called up my credit card company, American Express, to add a second user to my card. The representative began working through the security questions with me, asking me about the homes that I owned. The American Express employee listed four properties, and asked me to select the one that was mine.
But I didn’t recognize any of them! I had been purchasing properties so fast I didn’t even know what I owned. I would buy properties without ever looking at them, let alone walking through them! I was buying homes I didn’t live in (they were for investment purposes), purchasing crap I didn’t need, and collecting stuff that was sucking away my enjoyment of life!
There’s a limit to how much stress you can take. I was stuffing my life full of stressful stuff, and getting zero joy from it.
Gratitude is more fulfilling than greed.
What it boils down to is this: Greed sucks.
I had always wanted to be rich. As a kid, I used to dream of being able to buy Air Jordans with my own money. In high school, I thought it would be cool to be like one of the rich kids who drove to school in a new BMW. I wanted to make it big one day.
And then, eventually, I did. I waited years to give myself a salary. Then, I let myself enjoy it all.
It got disappointing fast. There’s only so much happiness you can get from riding in a helicopter, sitting in a Ferrari, or wearing a Patek timepiece.
My life transformation began when I finally understood that gratitude was more fulfilling than greed. Greed cost money, created stress, and produced disappointment. Gratitude, however, was free, and it made me happier than any helicopter ever could!
I’m not saying that owning a helicopter means you’re greedy! For me, it made businesses sense. If owning a helicopter makes business sense for you, then go for it!
I don’t own a helicopter anymore.
My stint as a helicopter owner only lasted six months. I had it long enough to experience it and learn lessons from it. Eventually, I figured out that it was cheaper to pay people to travel to me than pay to lease a helicopter.
That’s why I don’t own a helicopter anymore. In fact, I don’t own a car. Or a home. Or much stuff at all!
Why not? Maybe it’s because I’m just reacting to the lifestyle of greed and excess. But I’ve found that living without stuff is a deeply fulfilling way to live.
I can focus better, enjoy more, and live in a way that allows me to value relationships over possessions. Giving my money to others is truly satisfying! Forming relationships with people is enjoyable!
My life isn’t entirely normal, but it’s stress free (other than business). It’s a lot more enjoyable. And I don’t need a helicopter to enjoy it any more.
The freedom, convenience, and class that comes with private helicopters are truly unmatched. And owning one is the ultimate move to stepping up your game a notch.
So, what does it take to ride on a private chopper? For starters, you need serious money – the tunes of £2M or more to own one of these VIP toys. And there is more coming – insurance, hangar fees, landing charges, service, and fuel. But the quality of materials and work put in producing these luxury choppers blows all the other helicopters out of the water – literally.
how much does it cost to rent a helicopter
If you do the math, renting a luxury chopper is relatively cheaper than owning it. For a one time fee, you can assume temporary ownership of the machine plus a pilot for several hours a day, for as long as you can afford. That also covers the landing fees, fuel, and servicing so you can “own” it without a care in the world.
To be fair, the machines also come with a couple of cons. The major one being, you can’t use it for commercial purposes- only the owner can. Also, the pilot cannot land on unauthorized spaces. The company has to send a representative to survey the potential landing site and decide if it’s in their favor or not.
Life is short, so taking the time to enjoy some luxury while on a business trip could do you good and earn you VIP treatment.
cheapest helicopter price
Let’s face it; this option is only available to 1% of the world’s population. And that explains why most of these luxury helicopters are governments and businesses properties. But the idea of having air parties, business meetings, or exploring the world in a luxury helicopter is priceless.
So the main advantage of having a chopper to your name is you can use it for anything -personal stuff or for commercial purposes. And you also call the shots on where to land.
In the end, nobody wants to spend several million on one helicopter – unless you are a member of the Royal Family. But hiring one makes the cut, you get to experience luxury minus all the strings that come with owning it.
As usual, you need to do your homework before getting yourself involved in high stake purchases. And that means talking to friends and finding helicopter owner forums online. That way, you’ll make better decisions and avoid nasty surprises later.