Branabas testimonial

To all aspiring helicopter pilots,

Like many of you I always knew that I was fed up with going from one badly paid, boring job to another and it took me a while to turn my dreams into reality. In the beginning of 2009 I was finally able to sell my house. I was determined to use this money wisely cause I knew, that this was my only shot to do something meaningful with my life. Therefore, I first chose an occupation that is line with the lifestyle and life quality that I imagined for myself. I got through this stage very fast, I knew I would become a helicopter pilot. However, choosing the right school was a long process. I have spent several months of research on the countless amount of flight schools to make sure that I am not gambling with my money.

Today, after 2000+ hours of flight time, looking back to the process of choosing the right flight school, I can tell you that it is easy to get sidetracked with the carefully prepared marketing techniques of the different schools telling you how professional they are and showing pretty photos and videos to attract student-customers. Although I encourage you to do your own research, I can save you a lot of time if you accept my suggestion when looking for the right flight school. It can be summarized in one word: FACTS.

1. Does that school GUARANTEE you a job upon completion of your training?( Again, guarantee is the key word, not the empty promises like so many schools are doing it in a very dishonest way as part of their recruiting process) No job guarantee? You will have spent about a year studying hard and spending close to 100,000 dollars to stand in the line with the other licensed but jobless 150-200 hour pilots who graduated at that fancy famous flight school. Your first potential job as a helicopter pilot is most likely going to be as a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) as long as you meet the company’s minimum requirements which are also determined by their insurance policy too. Make sure you know exactly what to expect after you have finished your training, otherwise don’t even bother starting the training.

2. Price- there can be a huge difference in price between companies and eventually you’ll get the same license. Real training only starts once you get that first job anyway!

3. Safety Record- check. No need for further comments.

4. Free housing? It can save you serious money over 1 year or more. Note: We offer free housing for bachelors flying 20 hours per month or more in South Florida where you can fly every day of the year!

5. What kind of flying will you do that your potential employer will appreciate? Before I started flying at Helicopter Academy I didn’t realize how priceless the experience I was receiving as a student and an instructor. The kind of operations we used to conduct there teaches (and demand) you all the necessary skills you need as a “real-world” pilot: INDEPENTLY be able to do good decision making, multitasking, flight planning, interpreting weather fast and accurately, coordinating certain jobs with the customers, maintenance, fast reaction and problem solving, better flying skills, etc, etc. Go to a regular flight school and you’ll never ever learn these skills like students at Helicopter Academy simply due to the fact that you are not required to leave the airspace that you are so familiar with or do maneuvers other than the normal maneuvers as described in the PTS. These schools prepare you for your flight exam only, Helicopter Academy prepares you to be a real commercial helicopter pilot.

There is also the fun part of Helicopter Academy. Memories, that will stick to me for a lifetime and I would gladly do it again if I could. Having chosen wisely my flight school, I was given a job after my graduation as a CFI as guaranteed by the owner/operator ,Mr Thomas McDermott, who is a very flexible, down to earth guy .After I finished the job at Helicopter Academy I had enough flight experience to apply for a job in the “real world”. I have been given positive responses from 3 different companies and I chose to work in the Republic of China doing different kind of flight operations on 5 different helicopter including 2 turbine helicopters. Besides of all the useful skills I picked up naturally from doing the job at Helicopter Academy, I must say that it never really felt like a job (except for the fact that I was getting paid) Imagine flying to the most beautiful places of the US, waking up in a different city almost every day to do low level aerial photography chasing boats and their very sexy passengers. Many times we then meet them at night at the local bars and make friends with them.

I am not saying that Helicopter Academy is perfect in every way, no flight school is. Nevertheless I do believe that it is the most fun and result oriented training available today while being one of the cheapest options on the market.

Time permitting, I will answer questions if you have any.

Barnabas Szilagyi
Email: szbarn@yahoo.com

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