Q. How long does it take to get my Private Pilot License?

A. It depends upon whether or not you are a full time student, as a full time student attending the school around 6 days a week expect to take up to 5 weeks (4 is realistic). Part time students need to divide the hours required (approx 50) by the number of hours a week they are budgeting to fly.

Q. If I study with Cloud 9 Helicopters for my PPL (H) can I rent a helicopter?

A. Yes we rent out R22's, 300 CBI's and R44's to existing students of the school. Our insurance prohibits the rental of aircraft to Pilots who are not enrolled as students.

Q. I want to be a Commercial Pilot, is it really that important to gain an Instrument Rating?

A. Absolutely yes for 2 reasons. First you must have an IR (Instrument Rating) at the 1,000 hr point to get work in turbine helicopters and it makes total sense to do this during the time building portion of your Commercial Training (50 - 120 hrs), additionally career pilots generally have to flight instruct in order to get to the 1,000 hr point and most schools require the CFI and CFII (Instrument Flight Instructor, requiring an initial Instrument) prior to hiring.

Q. How important is it for a new Instructor to have Robinson R44 flight time?

A. It is very helpful to have at least 25 hours in R44 Helicopters. You are required by the FAA to have at least 25 hours in R44's (50 total in Robinson's) in order to be legal to teach in them. Some schools even have a 50 hour requirement - hence the 'special' price offered to students in the Professional Pilot Course. We use 3 R44's in our flight school for training and therefore need instructors who are legal to teach in them

Q. Do you employ all of your Professional Pilot Graduates?

A. No school can honestly guarantee employment for all of its graduates, however we operate a preferential recruitment policy where we will go to our pool of CFI/CFII graduates first when we have a vacancy, 9 of our current 10 Instructors graduated from our school CFI program.

Q. Can I fly in Europe on an FAA PPL (H)?

A. Absolutely yes, you are legal to fly with Private Pilot Privileges anywhere in Europe.

Q Is FAA flight time / training recognized for additional training requirements in Europe.

A. Yes any ICAO member state is bound by agreement to recognize other member states training.

Q. Are you an FAA Part 141 approved flight school?

A. We are currently approved for Private, Instrument and Commercial Part 141 training by the FAA.

Q. Do you have Commercial Operations that your instructors move up to?

A. Yes we are a 135 Air Carrier and will shortly be Part 133 and 137 approved for utility operations. We also work for the State of Florida and have extensive aerial photography and videography contacts.

Q Do your instructors gain turbine experience?

A. Absolutely, we operate 3 turbine aircraft in the school and we manage 3 other turbine machines for private owners (all Twin Turbine). 

Q. How long does it take for a Career Pilot Student to progress into a mainstream turbine job?

A. The time line is something like this;

Training through to CFI/CFII - (6 months), Work as an Instructor (paid employment) to gain 1,000 hrs (12 months), First turbine job (0 - 1,000hrs) 18 months.

Q. Which employers regularly employ 1,000 hr flight instructors with no turbine helicopter experience.

A.Gulf of Mexico (Air Logistics, PHI, ERA, Rotorcraft Leasing), Alaska (Temsco).  All of these employers have high demand for pilots and will fund turbine transitions for new hires.

Q. Do you require pre-payment or large sums of money 'on account' for students training with you?

A. No all we ask is that you keep your training account in a positive balance.

Q. Why should I train in the Robinson Helicopter (R22/R44)?

A. Most (85%) of flight schools in the USA train with Robinson machines and accordingly are very keen to recruit flight instructors who have as many hours experience in Robinson Helicopters as possible (the FAA deem a mimimum of 200 hrs total time plus at least 50 in Robinsons before a flight instructor is legally able to teach in a Robinson).

Q. I hold an FAA PPL for airplanes what do I need to do to gain a PPL (H).

A. Simply a minimum of 30 hours (20 dual, 10 solo) in helicopters (no written test).

Q. I hold a foreign license can I fly in the USA or use it as the basis to take further FAA ratings (IR/CPL/ATPL)?

A. It just needs validating first with the FAA - this is a simple process that we can take you through step by step.

Q. I am a non - US citizen, what training do I need a TSA clearance for?

A. A TSA clearance (Cat III) is only required for Initial Private Pilot and Initial Instrument Training. If the license is an additional rating and the initial licence was gained prior to Sept 2001 then a TSA clearance is still required.

Q. What is your school accident / incident rate?

A. To date we are very fortunate to be able to state that we are totally accident/incident and FAA violation free, we have been the recipient of the Prestigious  HAI Operator safety award for the last 2 years. As an operator we are extremely proud of our safety culture.