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Helicopter rental Phoenix AZ


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I know this has probably been beat to death on here, but I couldn’t find anything recent so figured I would give it a shot on here. I’m a soon to be minted private pilot. I plan on taking my training all the way to CFII. But I’m beginning to get a little disheartened. I want to be a professional rotor pilot, and that is my motivation for training, but I would also like to be able to enjoy it recreationally. I asked my school if they would be willing to rent to me after I finish my private and was given the big NO. I just want to be able to enjoy some of the fruits of my labor and I haven’t been able to find a single place in the whole state of Arizona that will rent a helicopter. Is anybody familiar with a place that will or are there any owners are here that would consider it granted I spend so time with them and complete a check ride of sorts. It’s already hard justifying paying almost double what the fixed wing guys pay for a career that will make less than what the fixed wing guys make and now I find out I can’t even enjoy it on my free time short of buying a half a million dollar helicopter. Please someone give me some good news.

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Sad to hear no one in Phoenix does that, as I was looking to do same at some point.

My school where I learned to fly did that but it was in Illinois.  Pretty handy and they gave you reduced rate, too.  Flew for yrs like that.  Too bad others don't follow.

Edited by klas
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  • 1 month later...

I have not rented a helicopter in a long long time but even back in the 80's you could not just rent one for fun.  However if you had your PPL you could rent a helicopter if you were working towards your commercial rating.  When you got your commercial rating you could rent one while working towards your CFI.   Nobody expected you to only fly with a flight instructor while building all the time required for the commercial.    You might ask them about that.  

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Difficulty finding a helicopter for private hire is distinctly a US problem; in most other G7 countries it is no problem.

I’m European and have rented in five US states (but not Arizona) and it is always a damn research project to find one.

Sadly, the main online helicopter forums or Facebook groups offer little to no help as they are frequented by either old-timers who only fly the bosses helicopter or retired and/or young pilots doing the zero-to-hero thing to get a job in the industry – so replies to posts on hiring a helicopter to go to lunch for fun gets scant useful feedback. 

Most private pilots don’t bother with these forums/groups, so you are really on your own.   You just have to Google every flight school and/or maintenance facility of the type of helicopter you wish to fly.  Most don’t advertise publicly that they do self-fly-hire, but a personal call can often get you what you want.  At differing locations in the US, I’ve had pre-hire check flights that ranged anywhere from 20 minutes to near an hour.  I’ve also run across places that wanted anywhere from 4hrs plus with their instructors to hire (not useful for me a visitor, but could be OK for someone living in area and seeking ongoing hire).  Additionally, you may find groups that require you to have some additional insurance from the likes of Regal Aviation or Starr.  I’d avoid places like that as it shows them to be penny pinchers; if they scrimp on insurance, it doesn’t give me a warm feeling about their maintenance regimes.

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  • 1 year later...

Seems like if yo are going all the way through CFI you'll be getting a fair amount of flying in and once a CFI you will be able to find a job instructing and that will be more flying (maybe more than you want).  Consider Experimental if you just want some fun flying or possibly Hiller 12C or Bell 47G if you want passengers.

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