In this post, we shall discuss how To Own A Helicopter and the cheapest helicopter price for your budget. Ever wanted to own your own helicopter, so you can fly from your country home to work 100 miles away without dealing with traffic? It’s easier than ever today, thanks to new helicopter designs with more efficient and quieter engines, and advanced glass cockpits which allow the pilot to fly without distractions.
People often ask me, “what is it like to own a helicopter?”. It depends on who is asking what my answer will be. The basic answer is, GREAT! To be free to fly, see and set down pretty much where you want is such a fun adventure. It isn’t all fun and games though. I hope to share with you a few things involved with owning a helicopter and a helicopter business.
A basic starting point in flying helicopters is the big, how do you do it? There are many ways to get started. I took the route of getting my Private airplane license years ago. A friend of mine lied to me and said I could get my helicopter added onto my airplane license cheap and easy.
how to own a helicopter
First, decide whether you want to fly or be flown “Helicopter owners tend to be owner pilots, similar to the way you own and drive your own sports car. Most of the guys who have bought a helicopter from Airbus for private flying in the last few years have been massive petrolheads. They’ve got a garage full of cars and they’re interested in the hands-on type of stuff.” “When you get to the bigger helicopters, the guys tend to have a professional pilot and they’ll be sat in the back and be flown from A to B, and it’s very much their executive mode of transport. The mid range helicopters have that ability too, but it’s more fun and can be a bit of a plaything.”
If you want to fly yourself, choose a flying school… “It’s best to get a personal recommendation about a flying school to get your Private Pilot Licence PPL(H). It’s quite a small community, but if you’ve got friends who’ve got aircraft, it’s best to ask them where they learned to fly. There is a small group of pilots who are very well known in the owner community. ” “You’ll probably want to choose a flying school that is local to you, as you’ll need a minimum of 45 hours training which usually takes up to 12 months to work through. Expect to pay around £20,000 to get your PPL(H), which includes all your flying hours, exams, tests, airfield fees, medicals and equipment.”
…and get your rating “Airbus offers a type rating for when we sell a helicopter. On your licence you might be able to fly a smaller helicopter which doesn’t give you the right to fly other, more powerful helicopters.
As part of our duty of care to the owner and as part of a new sale we will provide a type rating to be able to fly the helicopter.
We’ve got a flying school which will give you all the training over a week long period from our in-house test pilots. You’ll get everything from sitting in a classroom and looking at all the books, to actual hands-on flying.” “Our pilots will also be available to give you advice for new experiences. Say you’re flying to Paris and you haven’t done that before, they’re always available to come and fly with you the first time.”
cheapest helicopter price
Which manufacturer is right for you?
** “Many manufacturers will offer similar models and similar performance, but with subtle differences in features and design.
One of the main helicopters in competition with the H125 is the Bell 407, which has a cabin separate to the cockpit, and it’s in a club form with two seats facing two seats. Some people love that because you have a separate cabin to the cockpit, and if you have a professional pilot you don’t have to talk to him, you can just say
‘fly me here along with my guests.’ It’s got good performance, but if you’re an owner-flyer you’ll choose the Airbus, since everyone sits up front and is involved, and can see what’s going on.” “It’s a question of whether you want a Maybach or a four-seat Ferrari. Both do a job, they’re both as good as each other, but they have a different market.”
Decide how far you want to travel “Cheaper helicopters tend to be smaller, and that restricts the number of people you can take, the amount of fuel you can take and therefore how far you can go and what you can do. A good helicopter will be quick, let you take as many people as you want, and doesn’t require stopping every half an hour to refuel.” “With the mid-range H125 you can get a range of about two and a half hours at about 135 knots, which will get you about 300-350 miles without refuelling. That’ll get you to Paris in an hour and a half from London. You might even make it up to Edinburgh in one go.” “The thing with helicopters is that, just like a car, after a couple of hours you’ll want to stop and stretch your legs. There’s a private owner in the UK who fills it to the top with fuel, flies it down to Devon, and then back to London without having to refuel, and he can do that in this helicopter.” “The private guys in the UK don’t use it as a toy – it’s a mode of transport for them that means they don’t have to sit in their car. If you’re lucky enough to have a big enough garden you can go to the office, you can go shooting, you can pop around the UK.”
© © Charles Abarr – Airbus Helicopters
Choosing your interior
Your choice of interior should reflect how you will use your helicopter “There are customers who aren’t massively interested in carpet and leave in the metal utility flooring, which in the winter is practical because if you’re off shooting and you land in a field, you don’t want to get mud on your pristine helicopter.”
How to “leather it up” “A very popular choice for helicopter seating right now is an alcantara (suede leather) centre with leather sides. If you start going along the lines of a cream leather interior – which is very popular recently – it isn’t going to last very long. Black, on the other hand, is very practical.” “Twin stitch leather seating is currently ‘in’. Piping is old-school and is viewed as quite old-fashioned today, despite being popular in the Nineties and 2000s.”
How to get the most out of your helicopter
Freedom is the main advantage of a helicopter
As long as you have a bit of space and permission to land, you can go wherever you want. Some guys use them to travel from their house on the south coast and then you can work up in Silverstone, for instance, and you can be there in an hour instead of driving, which is impractical.
You can even fly to the pub… “In Oxford there’s a pub, the Mason’s Arms, which has its own helipad.
There’s a wall full of pictures of the helicopters that have flown in, it’s cash only, and the food is amazing. It’s just an eccentric, bizarre place.”
…but make sure you get the guide “There is a helicopter landing guide which has thousands of places in the UK where you can land. It’s list of landing sites and phone numbers around the UK, and you phone them up and ask if you can come in. Some of them will say that’s fine, others will charge you a small fee (say £50) if you want to land. You don’t need anything special to land a helicopter in your own garden except for the space to do it.”
How to get the most out of your helicopter
Important jargo you need to know
This is not a “chopper”. It’s a helicopter.
VFR – visual flying rules. Which means you’ve always got to be in sight of the ground.
IFR – instrument flight rules. Which means you can fly in and above the clouds.
Two seat piston engined VFR – the most entry level of all the helicopters. “Basically a tractor engine.”
**Single engine VFR ** – that’s what this is (H125 helicopter)
**ILS ** – instrument landing system to dial into to get you on the ground.
**Bose noise cancelling headsets ** – everyone goes with these. They use microphones on the outside of the headset to play ambient noise back to the user which at a wavelength which is opposite to the ambient noise.
**Autopilot ** – helicopters don’t necessarily come with this, but you definitely want it. It’s like a cruise control for the sky and means you can control the aircraft without constantly moving the controls.
Floats – allow you to land your helicopter on water.
**Autorotation capability ** – this is a feature which means if the engine dies or stops, then the blades will carry on turning and you can glide a helicopter to any landing site. That’s your major advantage of a helicopter over a plane. If the worst happens, you can pick someone’s garden and you should still be able to land it. Professional pilots and private pilots alike, everybody is trained to do this. Passengers should barely even notice the difference.