Helicraft employs five flight instructors and two ground instructors. Each student is assigned to a primary flight instructor, and may occasionally be assigned to another instructor for the purpose of creating different flight experiences. The Chief Instructor supervises all instructors – so he is in charge of maintaining the quality of the training at all times. Occasionally, he also flies with the students to validate the gains.
All instructors meet once a month to share best practices, resolve teaching impasses and anticipate difficulties. The instructor is in constant contact with the student to help him / her optimize progress, both on the ground and in flight.
All our instructors are qualified and able to teach on each of our helicopters. Thus, the student can freely choose the type of helicopter on which he will train in flight: Robinson RH22 (RH22), Robinson RH44 (RH44), or Astar 350 (AS350).
Training is given on a basis of about 3 courses per week. Each course lasts from 1:30 to 2:30, and is in groups or individual. The theoretical courses are made with powerpoints, enriched with papers, books, films, Internet references, technical visits of the maintenance center and other complementary workshops. At the end of the course, an assessment of the achievements is made and the subject under consideration at the next course is given to the students. The topics covered in the courses are:
- Air Law and Procedures
- Cells, engine and systems
- Theory of Flight
- Aircraft Operations
- Human Factors
Usually, students perform 3 to 4 flights a week, depending on the weather. Each flight takes about 1 hour. For each hour of flight, the machine is booked for two hours. The first 30 minutes are devoted to the aircraft inspection and refueling. Then, the instructor makes a briefing of about 15 minutes during which he explains the exercises, sets the objectives to be reached, checks the flight plan and confirms the weather forecast. On returning from the flight, the student shares a report with the instructor and fills in his flight documents.
The training periods indicated are based on 3 flights per week, with 3 to 4 theoretical courses. At a minimum, Hélicraft recommends that students perform one flight per week, as well as two theory lessons, in order to maintain the acquired skills.
The various courses are offered throughout the year. Students can fly in any season, even if each season has its specificity. In summer, heat can limit the performance of machines in aerial work. In winter, students must adapt their flight to climatic constraints and snow drifts. The winter flights are sometimes reduced in frequency and duration for these reasons, but these rigorous flight conditions also deepen the quality of training. It is therefore interesting to complete his training between different seasons. When a flight is canceled due to weather, it is deferred as soon as possible according to the available slots.
The atmosphere of Helicraft has always been family and we work every day to keep it friendly and enjoyable for all. The world of pilots is often a bit individualistic but we encourage mutual help and team spirit through all kinds of friendly and informal activities. We organize football matches, karting races, paintball outings, friendly moments during the winter and BBQ during the summer, to create links between students and employees.
The premises and common spaces of the school encourage fellowship and fraternity among the candidates. A cafeteria allows students to meet members of the various departments of the company (administration, maintenance, experience pilots, management …). A huge dining table allows students and employees to be brought together every lunchtime. Study rooms are available for students who prefer to study at school rather than at home. Our instructors remain available to students throughout the day to answer any questions.
Students are invited to participate voluntarily in the activity of the school during their training, according to their skills. They can assist in boarding passengers, or ensure that safety instructions are followed. This experience allows them to become familiar with various clienteles, to observe the constraints of security on the ground and to develop a spirit of team and mutual aid.