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I am a high school student in Roseville, CA and I was wondering if I could get some tips on where to start for private helicopter training. I'm not sure if there is any sort of classwork that I could start in my free time, or if I would need to contact the schools specifically. Anything helps, Thanks.

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Good for you! One trap lots of guys get into is that they learn to fly faster than they learn the ground. Getting an early start is smart.

 

Most ground school involves a lot of self-study. A good start would be picking up a few books--I've made a short list here. I liked Principles of Helicopter Flight, but it tends to be technical (some physics and math, more than you need to know, and for some people it's too much); I don't think the FAA book is the best book to start with (it glazes over too much), but you can get it for free online and read it along with PHF. An alternative to Principles is Cyclic and Collective by Shawn Coyle--haven't read it myself. I'd also recommend getting the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ("PHAK") as one of your first books. It can be dry, and it's mostly for FW drivers, but it gives you a bigger picture of what flying is about.

 

I'd recommend not tackling the FAR/AIM until you're flying. Many of the other books (Weather and Weather Services) are going to make the most sense once you're flying a bit. If you're interested, I also host a training resource for students.

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You can buy the ASA Prepware(for your computer)for the FAA written test. All you really do is take practice tests over and over to memorize the answers. Unfortunately this test is like the DMV written, (a lot of pointless questions that have not much to do with anything usefull), so most of us just get it out of the way as quickly as possible. :D

 

There's also the Rotorcraft Flying Handbook. You can get it free (at least I think you still can), at the FAA website.

 

It also never hurts to go to the airport and take a demo ride. B)

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Maybe some things that you don't know. You could start any one of several self study courses and learn enough ground on your own to get a sign off and go take the written. You don't need anything except an endorsement to go take the written. What a great step forward that would be..you can also get your glider cert at 14 or your Fixed wing airplane cert at 16 years old. Gotta be 18 for your helo.....that's all from memory so may want to start by looking that up on www.faa.gov.

 

Good luck.

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An alternative to Principles is Cyclic and Collective by Shawn Coyle--haven't read it myself. I'd also recommend getting the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ("PHAK") as one of your first books.

 

I agree completely with all Kodoz recommends. I'm a Principles and C&C fan myself; Cyc & Collective is a particularly good investment if you're taking this further than Private. Shawn Coyle breaks the book in two - Book 1 for beginners, Book 2 for advanced and instructors. His writing style is engaging and (mostly) clear. He's been around for ages, though, so sometimes he may bog you down with the more technical side of things. But he fills in a lot of experience that more textbookish publications would not include.

 

For lighter reading, you might also pick up Chickenhawk (bit of history), Fatal Traps for Helicopter Pilots (bunch of stories), and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (for the development of the Whole Pilot).

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I am a high school student in Roseville, CA and I was wondering if I could get some tips on where to start for private helicopter training. I'm not sure if there is any sort of classwork that I could start in my free time, or if I would need to contact the schools specifically. Anything helps, Thanks.

 

Run up to Auburn and take a flight to see if you even like it...

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I am a high school student in Roseville, CA

 

If your a sophomore or junior in high school, one of the things you can do is contact Embry-Riddle in Prescott Az and find out about their high school summer program. By participating in this program you'll have the opportunity to learn about various aviation careers and they use to offer the opportunity to fly. I'm not sure if they still do it, but they use to also offer scholarships to their summer camp if your high school guidance counselor wrote a recommendation letter on your behalf.

 

Here's some advise, once you've determined without a doubt you want to fly, pick your top 5 colleges/universities and start requesting information packets and learn their admissions requirements. Talk to each schools admissions adviser and ask what type of financial assistance is available and what if any school grants are available that you might qualify for, FYI: grants are free money schools have available each year and are not paid back like student loans. Take a tour of each school, because I don't care what anyone tells you "they're all VERY different" and you need to know which school best suits you and your personal goals. Take the time to learn about the surrounding area and what type of recreational opportunities are available for you to enjoy during weekends while not in class.

 

Another option is Army rotc, however the Army doesn't guarantee flight slots, so to even qualify for a flight slot you'll need to graduate at or near the top of your class. Marines do offer a rotc program with a guaranteed flight slot, however you can only apply for their program after your freshman year of college and they have a get to know us, we get to know you type of program where you will spend six weeks in Quantico Va training over the summer and at the end of the six weeks, you have the opportunity to say no thanks, and at the same time they can also say your just not fit to be a Marine.

 

Since your in high school, just remember their is a huge amount of scholarship money available, even in these tough economic times. You just have to spend the time applying for it. Trust me when I say it's not easy spending all that time filling out paperwork and writing essays, but the reward of attending college debt free is well worth the effort.

 

You also have the option of applying to your list of top 5 junior colleges if you decide a four year degree isn't for you.

 

If you have any questions, just let me know.

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Hogan18, a lot of good advice posted here for you. I always suggest finding out if you are medically fit to fly before investing time, effort and money in this dream! Find an Aviation Medical Examiner and take a Second Class medical eam and get a student pilot certificate! Best wishes, Mike

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