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Southern California Flight Schools?

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I recently heard a radio ad from the ever popular Silver State Helicopter Company. Naturally, their sales oriented style sparked my interest. I attended thier "seminar" just long enough to realize that the president Jerry (I think) is a self absorbed businessman who happens to fly helicopters. Well, needless to say their sales pitch and $30 helicopter ride worked. I have done nothing but continuous research since then. I have come to the conclusion that SSH is a bunch of garbage. Now I am left with a list of about ten schools in the area to research. Has anyone had any first hand experience with any schools in the Orange County Area? I have compiled the following list of schools:



*LA Helicopters, Long Beach, CA

*Pacific Coast Helicopters, Torrance, CA

*Helistream Inc., Costa Mesa, CA

California Helitech, Riverside, CA

Civic Helicopters, Inc., Carlsbad, CA

USA Academy of Aviation, Murrieta, CA

Rainbow Air, Long Beach, CA

JJ Helicopters Inc., Long Beach, CA

Western Operations Inc, Rialto, CA

Universal Air Academy, El Monte, CA


The starred schools on the list seem the most appealing based on location and website content.


If anyone has any information, opinions, or experience with any of the above schools, please reply. I am very excited about a career in aviation, but very confused!



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Hey X2,


Do Lots of research, and I mean LOTS... check out the other flight schools in other states as well. I have a list of about 75-80 links on my favorites list of Helicopter flight schools that I was even remotely interested in. Most of the others that are not on the list were left off for various reasons, like they didnt offer instrument, or cfii etc. Or they were in places I just didnt want to go, such as Oklahoma, or Mississipi, or the prices were way to high etc. And others for more personal reasons that could differ with anyone...I also have a link to a web page that I could send you that has some schools that I don't have on my list as well (I went through the webpage and got all the ones I wanted and put them on my list). Over all I have looked at over 150 Helicopter flight schools. I am going to be putting my list in a zip file when I get around to it in the next day or so and will send it to those interested. I might even see if Rey would be interested in posting it as a link on this site as I prefer it to the Excel one because you can just add it to your favorites list and just click on the links one by one and look at the different schools (verses the Excel list in which you mostly have to cut and paste to go to the links, and some of them don't exist) Anyway, I've gone off on a rabbit trail... do your research... find the best schools for you and ask alot of questions... I think most people here will tell you not to be afraid to relocate if you have to, if it will mean better training, etc. Take your time, especially if you are confused!...hope this helps!



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I have trained at both Helistream and Western Operations. Both are excellent flight schools. They may not be the cheapest options out there, but you get what you pay for. You will get quality training, from experienced instructors, without outrageous promises that cannnot be kept at either of those schools.


The other schools might be great as well, but those are two that I have first hand experience with.

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I recently switched schools, after not flying for awhile. I picked Pacific Coast Helicopters, because of price, location, and I liked their Chief Pilot Bruce Cochran. Will be doing my CFI there. Check them out in person. I was completely satisfied with their operation.





But, keep doing your homework, until YOUR satisfied.

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Hello x2wdtoyotax,


I have done all my training with Pacifc Coast Helicopters,Private and Commerical. Currently working on my CFI. I highly recommend them. The CFI's there are friendly and profesional. All the training is one on one.

If you have any questions you can pm me. Good luck in your training.






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I did most of my training at Rainbow Air Academy (it's not what it sounds like) and it worked out real well for me I went from nothing to CFII helicopter and PVT-INST fixed wing in about 10 months. The price I think is reasonable as well. Frank one of the instructors is a high time pilot whos likes instructing and he's a great guy as well. The HMFIC Dave is a busy guy but if you are able to spend some time talking to him he is an encyclodedia of aviation knowledge. I had a great time there.


If you need something further down south I have heard nothing but good things from Civic Helicopters in Carlsbad.


Semper fi and good night,


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