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once i have completed all my training and testing, when its all said and done, do i get some sort of recognition as a pilot? it might sounds funny but i mean will i receive "wings" or some type of jacket or whatnot? just curious might sound silly i know. also, I dropped by my school and picked up 3 books to get started on reading up about the basics such as: basic helicopter flight, controls, engines.....etc, when it comes down to understanding instruments better should i look for a specialized book or wait till ground school starts?










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I guess it depends on where you train, but I really haven't heard of helicopter pilots getting any trinket like wings or anything like that. Of course there is plenty of stuff like that in the Sporty's catalog if you really want something like that.


The best thing you'll get is that plastic card from the FAA, oh and the ability to fly a helicopter. :)

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Where I trained, Mazzei Flying Service in Fresno, CA they give you a tiny little set of wings when you pass your private check ride. You don't get anything else until you get hired by them, and then you get a proper set of wings with the company logo to put on your flight suit.


Like Galadrium said, the wings are no big deal and the FAA cert is all that matters, but it does give you a little sense of accomplishment when you get hired on as a CFI in your own school.

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Yup, depends on the school, I went to Bristow Academy and they gave you a set of metal wings when you got your commercial, some schools give you restaurant coupons. You should also get some kind of paper certificate. Some employers ask to see your certificates so make sure you get something from the school for each rating (private, instrument, commercial, CFI, CFII) or extra course of training you do (external load, high altitude etc).


As far as the instruments are concerned, there should be some information in the books you already have. If not then get on the internet and read about the pitot-static instruments (altimeter, airspeed indicator and VSI) - you don't have to know these in too much depth for private but if you plan to do an instrument rating then you'd be better off understanding it sooner rather than later. These instruments are extremely important for pretty much every single thing that flies and a detailed understanding of them will stand you in good stead for the future.


The other instruments in your helicopter will probably be manifold pressure (simply shows how much power you're pulling), RPM (keep that constant "in the green" - automatic in the R22, pilot controlled in a Schweizer 300) and possibly some 'gyroscopic instruments' (attitude indicator, turn co-ordinator and heading indicator). Do not concern yourself too much with gyroscopic instruments until you do your instrument rating.


Finally, the helicopter will have a magnetic compass (worth reading a little about these if you don't know how they work) and a whole load of smaller, more simple gauges such as fuel quantity, cylinder head temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature, ammeter, outside air temperature and either fuel pressure (fuel injected engine) or carburetor temperature (carbureted engine).


If your training helicopter is fitted with a GPS I'd recommend getting to know that too - if it's a Garmin 420 or 430 (very popular and very capable units) then go to the Garmin website and download the Quick Reference guide:




and the PC-based trainer:




Again, you don't need to know too much about the GPS for private but if you're planning to do instrument and commercial then the more you do now, the easier the instrument rating will be.


Hope that helps



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