Our Joint EASA-FAA Helicopter Training and Why You Should Care

When we talk to prospective students about what makes our helicopter school, Hillsboro Heli, different from all the other programs out there, we mainly talk about things that have been true about the school for a long time: the camaraderie that surrounds a dedicated helicopter school and campus, our exceptional location, the quality of the instruction, and for international students, our F-1 visa. In helicopter training, consistency and reliability are important, and that extends all the way to the words we use to describe what makes us different.
So you know it was a big deal when we became the first F-1 helicopter school to offer joint EASA-FAA helicopter training last fall, because that announcement become a central part of our message to aspiring helicopter pilots. Especially for European students, this new program was a game changer. Here's why:
  1. Training time. At other US-based flight schools, European students have to complete their FAA helicopter training in the US, followed by EASA training in Europe, resulting in a program length of 24-36 months vs. our 15-21 month program. We designed our program to maximize the number of hours that count both toward FAA and EASA in order to eliminate those extra months. And of course, the sooner you complete your training, the sooner you can begin earning at your dream career.
  2. Cost savings. There is no question that helicopter training is expensive everywhere, but it's significantly more expensive in Europe -- about 50% more, on an hourly basis.  Completing both FAA helicopter training and EASA training in the US eliminates that additional cost.
  3. Hours-building. We say it often, but it bears repeating: the F-1 visa is absolutely critical to earning the hours that commercial operators need -- typically about 1000 -- without paying for the extra flight time. Students on the F-1 visa who gain employment as a Certified Flight Instructor for up to two years get paid for flight hours rather than paying for them.
  4. No additional conversion. At the completion of our EASA-FAA program, you'll complete a check ride -- an in-flight skills test conducted by a licensed EASA examiner right here at our Oregon campus. There will be no need to put additional hours toward a license conversion in Europe. It's as simple as that.
  5. International careers. Obviously our EASA-FAA program appeals most to European students for the reasons stated above, but it's really for any student who wants the optionality of being able to fly in as many places as possible. After all, that's the spirit of adventure that drives us to a career in aviation in the first place. 
If you're a European student considering training in the US, there is no reason to settle for FAA helicopter training. Train without compromise with our joint program. When you're ready, complete this inquiry form, or reach out to us at info@flyhaa.com