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Researching Chicago area flight schools

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I've recently been discharged from the military and have decided to commit to a career as a helicopter pilot. I've spent the last few days researching Chicagoland helicopter schools online and intend to speak with them this week, but considering i'm completely inexperienced and don't really know what to look for in a school i was hoping if i listed the schools i've looked at here maybe you guys could give me a hand. Also, if someone knows of a school i don't have on the list i would love to hear about it. I live basically right next door to O'Hare airport and am willing to travel up to one hour to attend a school. The school must also accept the Chapter 33 GI Bill.








Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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My colleagues who trained in the CHI area say Sunaero does not do Chap 33, they recommend checking out Lakeshore Helicopters in Kenosha, WI. I'm not from those parts but that's the info I could drum up. Also, Helicopter Academy is better known as Boatpix, that should help you find more info on them.


Good luck :)


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I got my rating at Sun Aero - good school and instructors, but don't know about the hr drive time from near O'Hare. It is probably that during weekends with good traffic, but certainly not during the week. I lived on North Side of Chgo, and getting to Sun Aero took me anywhere from 45 minutes to little over an hr, on the weekend, with no traffic. But as heligirl says, they don't do Ch 33 from what I remember so time is moot.


A and M aviation was a little more expensive, compared to Sun Aero when I checked. Looks like they only have one R22, though. Sun Aero has bigger fleet, but A and M is probably closer to you. Their place is right next to a restaurant where you can get cheap eats and plenty of family's come out and watch the goings on. But I don't think they do Ch 33, either.


Midway Aviators I don't remember as having helicopter lessons - I thought they were just fixed wing. But probably closer to you than others.


Helicopter Academy (Boatpix) flies out of the same airport as Sun Aero, at Lansing Airport. That airport is close to IN border off of I-80.


I've heard of Chgo Helo, but not sure where they fly out of. Would bet they don't do Ch. 33.


The school in Kenosha that heligirl spoke of I would be surprised if it is within an hr. I-94 can get quite crowded, especially during construction season. And from O'Hare, you'd probably have to drive south, then back up north.


You might also want to do a search on the forum here, for Chgo area schools. There have been one or two other threads about it and many other people have chimed in about the schools.

Edited by klas
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