Helicopter flight training testimonials

What our students have to say about Helicopter Academy

Just want to say thanks, I came to your school with 0hrs, after going around in others schools all over the country, I picked your school because you worked the location with me, excellent ground preparation (never failed a check-ride),really good and knowledgeable CFI (Instructor) and the work 100% guaranteed after I finished all my license. You gave me my first job as promised, which was really fun and really good experience with the real world( not flying in the same airport like all the other instructor jobs, I flew all over the USA which was real fun at the same time making real experience), and after reaching 700hrs you got me my first Turbine job (thanks again for that), so I have no word how to say thanks to Mr. McDermott for making my dream to became a Helicopter pilot come true, and for the excellent and fun experience as a student and employee.

-Lorenzo Nicolosi

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

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

Before I started flying at HelicopterAcademy I did not 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.

- Barnabas Szilagyi, CFI

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

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

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

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

Helicopter flight training testimonial from Greg Peterson, CFII 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, CFII

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