Helicopter flight training testimonials
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!
I called Tom, learned about the school and a couple weeks later I was flying. I went from 0 to 300hrs and got the job just as promised. It was a great experience and now I'm flying tours and moving up in the helicopter world! Thank you Helicopter Academy for getting me started and all the help along the way!
Scott Reas, April 10, 2015
I would like to thank you again for your amazing program. I learned more than a few things with HelicopterAcademy that are now vital for my flights here. I miss the Boatpix flights a lot and hope somehow I will fly for you again.I just wanted to let you know that I found a pilot job in Canada in a spraying company,
Laurent Abat-Roy, Quebec, October 7, 2013
Before I started flying at HelicopterAcademy 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. Read more
Barnabas Szilagyi, CFI, May 25, 2013
I got trained in the 1990’s and scoured the world for an opportunity to build helicopter time after I got my helicopter licenses. I really looked around the world. I found that in America with this company that combined boat photography and low time pilots. I paid money to fly with an instructor and earned my way into a job. I took various jobs and now work on a well known television show. Most every flight I fly there is something I learned taking pictures of boats with an instructor that is applicable to what I do now. It is the best training and got me to the pinnacle of any helicopter career. Flying on the top rated TV show in the world.
Ken Grey, CFI September, 23 2013
"Have you recently graduated flight school with a CFI or just finished your private license and are wondering if your flight school is right for you. Well, Helicopter Academy/Boatpix can provide some options no other flight school can offer. I was just such an individual just two years ago. I had graduated with my CFII from a good school that provided all of the basics for my advancement into the helicopter world. However, the only thing they could not provide was a job. As most of you already know, this presents a very big obstacle.
After searching for far too long for a job I finally found Boatpix. It is a non-tradition way of building hours but provides wonderful real world experience. It is not free, but has been the best investment I have made in my helicopter training. After completing the 100 hours of photo flight training necessary to be safe and competent at the job, Tom turned me lose with an R22 Mariner and my first student. Since then, I have flown over 1200 hours and completed my ATP. None of this would have been possible without Boatpix.
Tom McDermott provided me with free housing while I was training and provided me with students in the busy season. He also found me a job at the local airport during the winter months. This coincidentally lead to a job flying tours in an R44. Also one of Tom's connections. I now have a full time salaried position in the South Florida area that was given to me by a former Helicopter Academy/Boatpix graduate and instructor.
South Florida is a hot bed of helicopter action and is a great place to live, learn, and work. Do yourself a favor and call Tom to learn more about Boatpix/Helicopter Academy today. I still work for Boatpix on my off flying an the R44 days because it is probably the most fun you will ever have flying a helicopter."
Brian Treptow, CFI November, 28 2013
Hey everyone, I did my 300 hours with helicopter academy and got my private,
commercial, and flight instructor rating in that time. Once I got 300 hours
Tom hired me on the spot as he promised, from December 2012 to September
2013 I built over 500 hours. Doing boat photography and training with
helicopter academy gave me the experience and confidence needed to land a
professional job. Now, 9 months after being hired I have 850 hours and am
starting my first career job as a law enforcement/news/utility pilot flying R44s and Bell 206's. Not bad for a first job! Tom is a man of his word and will get you where you need to go.
Sam Crithfield, Myrtle Beach, September, 24 2013
"Helicopter Academy is by far one of the best companies I have every worked with! As a business owner, I know the importance of customer service; and it is a shame how many businesses and companies do not take it seriously anymore. Helicopter Academy however, has the greatest customer service I have ever dealt with! Tom and the instructors were more than willing to make things happen to work with you. The training received was also top notch! I was able to learn the R-22 and the boat photo mission quickly thanks to well trained and easy to get along with instructors. As a former military helicopter pilot, I have to say that doing boat photo has been one of the most fun helicopter experiences I have had the chance to do. It was definitely more fun than military training, and on par with some of the other fun stuff the military gets to do. Working with Helicopter Academy is an experience I will never forget, and I definitely give a solid recommendation for Helicopter Academy. It was a pleasure working with them, I cannot wait to fly with them some more in the future; and I hope you get the unique opportunity to do the same."
LT Darryl Abriam, U.S. Navy
I am glad I joined as a Flight Instructor with Helicopter Academy. I enjoyed teaching all levels of student pilots, from new students with no prior experience, all the way up to Commercial and Instrument pilot applicants. Seeing students fly their first solo, pass their flight exams, and achieve their pilot certification was a very rewarding experience.
The time building flying with Boatpix also gave me the opportunity to do things and go places I would have never been able to as a flight instructor with other schools. This benefit is also passed on to the students. They get a real world experience often lacking in most training regimes. Most instructors and students stay in the immediate vicinity of their home airfield during their teaching/student careers. However, we would often find ourselves on photo missions, taking us all over the coasts and lakes of the United States. It has played a huge part in helping to build the skills, confidence, and experience needed in the world of commercial helicopter aviation.
The opportunity to instruct student pilots combined with the time building flying of Boatpix, allowed me to build my first 1000 hours of flight experience. I now have a job as an S-92 Co-Pilot in the offshore Oil and Gas sector.
Niklas Larsen, CFIII, November, 14 2012
"I started from another helicopter school and I had less than 200hrs. I had my CFI but most helicopter company demands 300 hrs or more to hire you. I contacted HelicopterAcademy and I got to fly up until I had my 300 hrs in no time. After this I flew as instructor and I got up to 785 hrs in a little bit more than half a year. After this I went back to my home country because my student visa ran out. There I took my JAA CPL in the AS 350. Right now I'm applying for jobs in Europe and I'm waiting for the high season spring/summer.
I had a great time flying for HelicopterAcademy and I got a lot of hours in a short amount of time. The flying is also great because no day is the same. You get instruction and at the same time you get to take pictures of boats. It is real fun flying and good for learning to handle a helicopter in a real commercial situation.
HelicopterAcademy helped get many hours quick for a really cheap price. Other helicopter company's it takes long time to get up to 1000 hrs but if my visa would not have ran out I would have 1000 hrs in no time. Its really important to get some experience as the helicopter company's with turbine helicopters often demands around 1000 hrs. HelicopterAcademy can give you this in a short amount of time.
All the people I talked to that was flying with HelicopterAcademy enjoyed the flying and I also had a great time flying whit them."
Alexander Klausen, CFI
"After completing my flight training I started flying for Boatpix to build hours. The flying was great fun and at the same time challenging. I learnt a huge amount doing the boat contract and my flying improved enormously. In addition it took me to a variety of locations, including Key West. Flying to so many different locations helped to improve my flight planning, navigation and radio skills. I left at the end of my visa feeling that learnt more than I would have done if I'd been based at a single airfield teaching flight maneuvers only. I left with the 500 hours that were promised to me. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to build hours and get the crucial first job. I kept in touch with an operator and fly a helicopter in Singapore."
Jonathan Beeby, CFI
"I worked for Helicopter Academy as a pilot and flight instructor for about a year, and I had a great time working there. After finishing flight training with another school I started with Helicopter Academy to work as an instructor and pilot. When I started working for Helicopter Academy they arranged with housing at the location I was stationed, which was very convenient. I was in charge of the Ft. Lauderdale location and had students training for Private Pilot license, Commercial Pilot license and Instrument Ratings. In addition to training students I flew sight-seeing in the Miami area and did photo-flights with professional photographers taking pictures of airport terminals, golf-courses, real-estates and boats.
The diversity made every day interesting, and you get to fly a lot. I flew about 100 hours each month and ended up with well above 1000 hours before I left. Maintenance issues and inspections on the helicopters were taken care of when due as one should expect.
Working for Helicopter Academy is a lot of fun, and as a trusted pilot you are given a lot of responsibility from which great results are expected. The owner and manager, Tom, is a man of his word and a stand-up guy. Helicopter Academy is very customer oriented and will go a long way to tailor the training to suit the students needs."
Svein Olufsenm CFI
"My flying in New York with Boatpix was not only a great fun but also a fast and a cheap way to build up hours and experience. Now I have a great job in Iceland as a PIC flying turbines. The mind buildup and the hours that I got boatpixing was a key factor for the job I have now. I would like to thank Tom and the pilots that I flew with for a unforgettable time and all the help during my stay with Boatpix. I fly a turbine helicopter in Iceland.
Gudjon B. Sigurjonsson
"As an active duty Marine, Helicopter Academy allowed me to affordably explore a life-long fascination and prepare for my next career. Using the GI Bill in combination with the 300-hour program, I was able to reach my CFI endorsement and fly near my home in North Carolina.
Mr. McDermott worked with me to post a ship and instructor near my duty station and I have made some quality long-term friends in the helicopter industry. Dr. David Smith and Dave Brookes and are two of the finest instructors I have ever known and there is an additional wealth of knowledge shared among the resident CFIs and students. Flying aerial photography missions while earning your ratings is a fun way to enhance your skills, knowledge, and logbook simultaneously and I look forward to continued service with the organization. I'm on a ship right now but when I return I know I have a fun job with them.
Jay Kammerer, CFI
I fly a Bell 407 in Hawaii. You can sometimes see me on the television show "Hawaii Five-O" on camera. I had a ppl(h) and walked in to the HelicopterAcademy office and asked for a job. They put together a program for me and gave me free housing in Florida. Fun times!
Josh Lang, CFI
"I started with the time building program at Helicopter Academy with CFI and 213 hours. I built 100 hours, and they gave me job consisting of a combination of flight instruction and photo flying. My students learned quickly air traffic picture and airport operation since we flew at so many different locations. I think students taking their education at Helicopter Academy learn valuable skills, since they are getting trained for real missions in addition to traditional training. And best of all, they know that they will get a job after they are done with their CFI rating and 300 hours"
Eivind A. Arntzen, CFI July, 10 2009
"It's a real pity I didn't hear about Helicopter Academy earlier, as I did all my training at another school. As soon as I started with Helicopter Academy I had great fun and flying with Boat Pix at the weekends is a really great way to build time. You get to really fly the aircraft and visit lots of great places. The travelling helps you greatly with your radio communication learning and Cross Country flight planning which you don't get at a lot of schools. I loved my time at helicopter Academy and as a result of all the experience I gained, I now have a great job flying an S76 commercially in New York!"
Fred Hanna - CFI