March 3rd, 2012
Time for an update and some overdue kudos to students who are making great accomplishments in their helicopter training.
Ali came to us from Turkey last fall to get his Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) helicopter rating. After flying for years with the Turkish military he had the hours he needed, and was looking to get the FAA rating to help him get a job flying helicopters overseas. He came ready to work, having already passed his ATP written. It wasn’t quite as simple as we expected, what with the new aircraft, the new airspace, and a new language, but he finished up in just over 10 hours and walked out the door ready to work! All of us here were impressed with his drive and hard work, and wish him the best in his new adventures.
After a successful checkride
We’ve had a couple of new solos too. Mike Williams is a graduate of our previous ground school, and has been coming in on the weekends to fly when his busy work schedule permits. He’s out of town a lot, but he’s a natural with controlling the helicopter and gets right back in the swing of things when he does stop by to fly. On a clear day last winter he came in and flew a few trips around the pattern with his instructor Chris, who then stepped out of the helicopter and after a few last minute words of encouragement sent Mike off on his own. Mike did a great job and had a fantastic time.
Mike after his first solo
And Ed Bond, a fixed wing pilot who flies up from Beverly for his training had his first helicopter solo just this last week. After a few minutes warming up in the air with his instructor, Ed did a picture perfect pickup from the ramp and off he went. After a good time playing around in the pattern he was back, all smiles. Even though he had already had a ‘first solo’ in an airplane, this one was just as exciting. “They’re all firsts” he said, and it was good to see he was just as thrilled with his second ‘first solo.’
You're a helicopter pilot now, Ed!
We are proud of all of our students, from students who are just learning to hover, to those honing their advanced skills for that next move in their helicopter careers. We believe every lesson should be both productive and fun, and our smiles are as big as our students’ when they meet their goals. Whether you’re already a helicopter pilot, a curious fixed wing pilot, or starting from scratch, we are your best choice for that next step in your helicopter flight training.
December 31st, 2011
Congratulations to our newest Private Pilot, McLovin! (Michael du Breuil). With hard work and his commitment to flight training, Mike has proven that the FAA 40 hr minimum is still an attainable goal! Mike studied hard throughout our Helicopter Private Pilot ground course which runs 12 weeks, flew through his solo requirements, and shortly after, greeted his examiner with full confidence as he became a licensed pilot! His training was based at our Marlboro (9b1) location, with training flights conducted at nearby airports such as Minute Man, Hanscom (Bedford), Worcester Regional, Mansfield, Norwood, Lawrence, Fitchburg, and Plymouth. Michael even had time to get some extra Class Bravo training/experience as he navigated around the Boston skycrapers, Fenway Park, and the Charles River! McLovin is now preparing for Part 141 instrument training beginning early in 2012. Chicka Chicka YEAH!!!!!
Confined approach practice
Preflighting the helicopter
At North Andover Flight Academy, we have the facilities and instructors to get your rating done for you as efficiently as possible. Show up ready to work and we will get you flying! Our next ground school starts at our North Andover location on January 21st – you are welcome to come and check it out, whether you’re an old student returning for a refresher or someone who’s just interested in helicopters and curious about training. Come and see what makes North Andover Flight Academy Boston and New England’s top choice for helicopter flight training!
December 19th, 2011
It’s hard for me to imagine NAFA without Steven – he’s one of those students who has really become a part of the place. He came out to New England from Montana a couple of years ago to train in our Part 141 helicopter program and it was obvious from the start that he was truly passionate and committed to becoming a professional helicopter pilot. He trained hard through the private, instrument and commercial ratings, and he worked hard, not only at learning everything he could about helicopters but also helping out around the school and generally becoming one of the family here.
Helicopter CFI training in New England
Autorotations, confined area approaches… flying the helicopter was something Steven picked up quickly and he flew with skill and confidence in the left seat as well as the right. Then we stuck him in front of the white board for some practice CFI time and the REAL work began. Sometimes it’s hard to resist the urge to run out of the classroom and practice those full down autos one more time when you really should be getting your lesson plans together, but he stayed and soldiered on. He gave us lessons on all aspects of helicopter flying and answered dozens of questions from us as we played ’student’ and did our best to stump him.
Teaching approaches to a Boston helipad
When we could stump him no more and he had two phone-book sized notebooks of lesson plans, it was time for his checkride. After all of the time spent with our instructors, especially Anthony, going through the lessons, the final test was a breeze. As usual, Steven did an excellent job, and walked out a newly certified helicopter flight instructor.
A couple of happy CFIs!
At NAFA we are committed to our students’ success, from the private through the CFI and CFII ratings. We are fortunate to have a great group of students at the school and would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Steven and others like him whose positive attitudes and hard work make our jobs that much more rewarding and fun. We couldn’t keep Steven away from the mountains for Christmas – he’s back in the west breathing some of that good high altitude air for now – but we look forward to seeing him again in the coming year and watching his helicopter career take off.
April 17th, 2011
With all the congrats and “atta-boys” coming our way, let’s talk for a bit about Steven’s commercial helicopter check ride.
It’s been almost 1 year to the day since Steven started his helicopter training here – part-time in the beginning, and recently full-time.
Hanscom Airport at Night
I’ve had the opportunity to see him though from basically the beginning of his training, and it’s been a fun ride! We’ve been training hard for the commercial helicopter check ride, and we’ve far exceeded the PTS in many maneuvers – full touchdown autorotation in the Robinson R22, zero airspeed and pedal turn autorotations, elevated helipads, and so much more – training smarter all the way!
Ready for Commercial Helicopter Check Ride
Steven took advantage of our ground school sessions, and is now moving on to the CFI course.
Steven has been exposed to our Boston helicopter tour operations and has navigated the Boston helicopter routes many times (look for our little story about navigating the Boston helicopter routes and practicing night autorotations into the Norwood Airport).
Steven completed the oral examination section of the commercial helicopter check ride in great form, and the flight portion of the check ride followed exactly as practiced!
We skipped the typical victory pic, but have a few other types.
Look for Steven in the left seat soon!
Now – take another look at the board!
That’s 3 this weekend…and the weekend isn’t over yet!
January 24th, 2011
In what was the coldest day of this cold and snowy winter season, there was one pilot braving the early morning sub-zero temperatures at our suburban Boston airport.
Not cold, wind, nor snow drifts that tower over most aircraft could stop Mike from arriving in the early hours to prepare his helicopter for yet another check ride at our helicopter school.
For the last 40 hours Mike has been working diligently to attain his instrument rating, and using the Part 141 instrument helicopter program, was able to do it in much fewer hours.
So what’s the next step for Mike? Looks like the commercial license will be coming up in the next several weeks. Time to polish up the autorotations, maybe work on some advanced autos, get up to speed on the commercial regs, and study for the commercial written.
After that? Well, CFI of course!
Cold Winter Day Instrument Rating
But what’s up for the next couple days?
Vacation from helicopter books.