FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS GROUND SCHOOL TAUGHT IN A GROUP OR 1-ON-1?
At Pacific North Helicopter Academy we have the utmost respect for the student and believe in providing the highest standard of ground training. For this reason, we conduct our Ground School in 1-on-1 sessions. This way the pace of the training can be tailored to each student’s specific learning style. We understand that finances are often the biggest hurdle when training and we strive to provide quality, efficient instruction for every future pilot without wasting their time or money.

DO I NEED AN AIRPLANE LICENSE BEFORE I FLY HELICOPTERS? 
You do NOT need to obtain a fixed-wing license before you fly helicopters. Many of our students have never been behind the controls of an airplane and prefer it that way. It is solely a myth that you need an airplane license before flying helicopters. We certainly offer add-on ratings for fixed-wing pilots looking for a new challenge in the aviation world.

HOW OFTEN WILL I BE ABLE TO FLY?
Both our Tahoe Bases get an average of over 300 days of sunshine per year. The ideal weather conditions of our locations make it possible to fly year-round, 7 days a week. Even when it is not sunny, we rarely see cloud ceilings that prevent training flights.

WHEN CAN I START FLYING?
Since our training is built on a 1-on-1 program, we are ready when you are. The FAA requires that we obtain a birth certificate or passport, as well as a picture ID when we enroll a student into the program. Students need to be at least 16 years old before they are able to solo the helicopter, and effectively take the test for their Private Pilot License. We also recommend obtaining a 1st or 2nd Class Medical (Flight Physical) before beginning training. Feel free to contact us for local Aviation Medical Examiners (AME) who can perform this physical.

ARE THERE ANY FINANCING OPTIONS AVAILABLE?
Pacific North Helicopter Academy has partnered with Charter College to offer more options for obtaining a degree in Aviation Science, as well as offering more financing options for flight training. We are also currently working to obtain approval from other third-party lenders to help students get started with their training.

DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNT PRICING FOR TIME BUILDING OR TRAINING WHEN PREPAYING FOR MULTIPLE HOURS? 
Yes, Pacific North Helicopter Academy  understands the commitment you make in time, money, and efforts towards earning certificates, advanced ratings, or time building. We offer bundle pricing to help you complete your goals in the beautiful Lake Tahoe region. This environment will help you become a better trained pilot in actual mountainous, high altitude conditions. We fly year-round from South Lake Tahoe, California

Our bundle pricing is based on prepaid hourly blocks towards your certificate or time building as follows:

10 hours – 5% discount

20 hours – 10%

50 hours – 15%

100 hours – 20%

Note: Any refunds will be deducted from the discount and remaining hours will be used to calculate pricing.

DOES TRAINING INCLUDE OFF-AIRPORT LANDINGS OR PINNACLE LANDINGS?
What sets Pacific North Helicopter Academy  from other schools is that we offer actual mountain training in high-altitude environments ranging from 5,000ft to over 11,000ft. This includes safe pinnacle and confined off-airport takeoffs, approaches and landings. Many schools can offer landings that are in areas other than the airport environment, but very few can offer the challenge and diversity of off-airport training found at Pacific North Helicopter Academy .

WHAT IF MY SCHEDULE ONLY ALLOWS ME TO TRAIN ON NIGHTS OR WEEKENDS?
We understand that many of our students need to work and have limited availability for training. That is why we are open 7 days a week with instructors available for night training as well. We can accommodate any schedule to help you reach your goals of becoming a helicopter pilot.

WHY DO YOU USE ROBINSON HELICOPTERS FOR TRAINING?
Pacific North Helicopter Academy’s reasons for using Robinson Helicopters are threefold.
First, training in a Robinson Helicopter means you don’t need to pay for a ton of extra training to fly a Schweizer 300C or a Guimbal G2. However, if you train in a Schweizer or Guimbal you will not only need to pay for extra Robinson training to instruct in one, you will be considered unhireable as an instructor because Robinson flight schools want instructors who were trained in Robinson helicopters. By training in a helicopter other than Robinson it effectively eliminates you from being hired from the majority of flight schools.

The second reason is that by training in a Robinson helicopter you will be more marketable as a CFI and set you up for for future success in your pilot career.

Thirdly, since we fly at high altitude neither the Schweizer or G2 comes close to the performance of the Robinson R22 Beta II. Per the manufacturer information the IGE max gross for the G2 is 5000ft. For the Schweizer 300 CBi it is 7,000ft. And for the Robinson R22 Beta II it is 9,400ft.

WILL I BE HIRED AS A CFI WHEN I FINISH MY TRAINING?
At Pacific North Helicopter Academy  we prefer to hire our instructors directly from the students who graduate our program. This is the only way to be sure that the pilots we hire meet the standards for our flight knowledge and proficiency. With that said, your interview for employment begins the day you become a student and we never guarantee a job. If you work hard, spend time understanding the ground, fly smart, and show that you are a dependable person of upstanding character you will be strongly considered.

ARE THERE ANY STUDENT HOUSING OPTIONS AVAILABLE?
There are many affordable housing options near the each base. We currently do not have dedicated student housing, but we are willing to help you in any way we can.

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Tours & Charters

(530) 214-0711

[email protected]
[email protected]

Helicopter Academy

(530) 544-2211
[email protected]

Turin Alps European Branch

+39 (340) 283-2051
[email protected]

Truckee Airport

12219 Business Park Drive, Suite 12
Truckee, CA 96161

South Lake Tahoe Airport

1901 Airport Road
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Rio Vista Airport

3000 Baumann Road, Suite D
Rio Vista, CA 94571

Turin Alps European Branch

Via San Francesco D’Assisi 22
Turin, 10121 Italy