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Elite Helicopters
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Elite Helicopters have announced today that they are expanding their base of operations for both the helicopter flight training and commercial air transport aspects of their business. A suite of offices have been taken on at Fairoaks Airport in Surrey and will officially open for business on 15th June 2016.
Sharon Douglas & Glenn Curtis who co-own and manage the day to day business of Elite Helicopters announced the plan, as what they consider to be a perfect extension to their already very successful business at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex.
Glenn Curtis comments “we see this as the perfect enhancement to our existing business at Goodwood. Fairoaks Airport sits just to the south side of the M25 offering easy access from all areas. It also offers us a ‘corridor of opportunity’ as we will now be able to offer a variety of helicopter flight training courses from either base, effectively giving us an area of operation for the training school stretching between the South Coast and London, and it should ideally complement our already very busy air charter operation.
Ab-initio private pilot (PPL/H) training will be offered at Fairoaks along with type conversion, CPL(H) modular and flight instructor courses. The Company will be operating the Guimbal Cabri G2, Robinson R44, Bell 206 Jet Ranger and AS350 Single Squirrel helicopter types for training.
Elite Helicopters currently operates a fleet of fifteen single and twin engine helicopters (Robinson R44, Bell Jet Ranger, Bell Long Ranger, AS350 B3 & B3e Squirrel and Agusta A109 Power, Grand and SP models) on their AOC for charter, and this is due to increase with the expansion to Fairoaks. Glenn Curtis says “one of our intentions is to enhance the charter service we already offer with particular emphasis at Fairoaks on services to the special events at Goodwood and all the major horse race meetings. We will also be offering general and corporate charter, aerial filming & photography, sightseeing trips and pleasure flights from this new location”.
For further information contact.
Fairoaks: 01276 488048
Goodwood: 01243 530165

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Another smiling student as he passes his PPL on the Cabri G2. #EliteHeli  

Learning to Fly

Thinking of gaining your Pilots’ Licence?
At Elite Helicopters we appreciate it can initially seem quite confusing when looking at learning to fly for the first time. Everyone seems to speak a strange language and use lots of acronyms, but don’t worry it will all become clearer.

Hopefully this brief introduction to ‘Learning to Fly’ will help to answer some of your questions and if it doesn’t answer them all and you wish to know more, then do not hesitate to contact us, we will be pleased to fill in the blanks for you.

The first thing to understand is that when learning to fly in the UK you are training for a European licence and that the rules and requirements for the issue of this licence are governed by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).

The first licence to begin with is the PPL (Private Pilot Licence) with this licence you can fly yourself around and take passengers if you wish, although you are not allowed to earn money from the flying. You can however allow your passengers to share the cost of the flight. So if you wish to fly for fun or personal transport this is the licence for you. The minimum age is 17 for a licence to be issued but you can start learning as young as 14 (there is no maximum age).

You will need a Class 1 or Class 2 medical from an Aero Medical Examiner (AME). You do not need the medical straight away but we suggest you get it fairly early on.

There is of course some theory involved, but don’t worry it’s not rocket science. Most of the theory is covered by self-study, so it really is a case of you reading the various publications that are available for all the subjects and then sitting the short multiple choice test on each of the following.

1. Air Law
2. Operational Procedures
3. Aircraft General Knowledge
4. Principles of Flight
5. Navigation
6. Human Performance and Limitations
7. Meteorology
8. Performance and Planning
9. Communications

Elite Helicopters are here to assist with the ground school side of things and the exams, all of which are undertaken in house. If you feel you need help with any subject you just have to ask.

And so to fun part, the flying. Whilst it is fun it is also serious. Yes it will be challenging at times and yes, sometimes you may find it a little difficult to get to grips with certain elements of the training. However, most people are perfectly capable of leaning to fly provided they put their mind to it. The best way for any student to progress efficiently is to fly two or three times a week if you can, we do however appreciate that this is may be difficult for some people to achieve and we will structure your course according to what you can commit to, we are very used to fitting in with peoples family, business and other time constraints and will make it work for you. Each lesson is reserved in a two hour slot allocation but you will only be charged for the flying element which usually lasts about an hour, there will then be time before and after for pre-flight and post-flight briefings with your instructor. Throughout the course there are a number of exercises that need to be completed, some of these exercises require more than one flight and we will structure this with you as you progress through the course.

The minimum flying time required to gain your licence is 45 hours, of which a minimum of 25 hours must be dual instruction and 10 hours of solo flight time (yep flying on your own)
After completion of the course you will undertake the PPL(H) Skills Test which will be conducted by one of our own approved Flight Examiners (FE). We will not recommend you for a the Skills Test until you are more than ready as our aim is not just to get you through the test but to ensure that we make you a safe, confident and competent pilot.

Once you have passed your test you can then rent a helicopter from us to continue your flying, we call this Self Fly Hire and it is basically the same as if you were hiring a car. You can then fly yourself and friends or family to any number of places such as pubs, restaurants, hotels, airfields or a friendly farmer’s field. You could use it for business trips or join us on one of our fly outs! All provided of course that there is a suitable landing site at your destination and we can help you with this when you are planning any trip.

If you wish you can of course buy and own your own Helicopter, you can have it purely for your own use or you can lease it back to an operator who will then earn you a revenue for the aircraft which can help to offset your annual running costs.

Different helicopters are referred to as ‘Types’, if you wish to fly more than one type, perhaps a larger machine with more seats, then you would undertake a Type Rating course for the new aircraft. So for instance if you learn on the Cabri G2 (two seater) and wish to also fly the Robinson R44 (four seater) then a 5 hour Type Rating course is required on the R44.

We hope this brief introduction has helped answer some of your questions. If you are interested in learning to fly Helicopters and would like more information or you simply want to meet the Team at Elite Helicopters why not pop in for a coffee and a chat about that first lesson!

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Coming to the #FOS  get your Helicopter Flight tickets here.

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Jason gains his PPL(H) on the Cabri G2 with Elite Helicopters here at Goodwood.

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Get your Festival of Speed Helicopter Flight tickets here.
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