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Learning to Fly in Seattle

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Hello there,


I've been reading these boards for a while and still want to learn to fly helicopters. I was wondering if anyone knows much about the flight schools around Seattle. I know there is one in South Seattle called Classic Helicopter Corp and I was curious what there reputation is. Also, is it better to train in helicopters in rural or urban areas? Does it even make a difference?


Thanks a bunch,


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O.K. since TQN oouted me on this one <_ src="%7B___base_url___%7D/uploads/emoticons/default_biggrin.png" alt=":D"> )


I'll repeat my post from an earlier thread (http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterfor...ic=4015&hl= ):


In Seattle, at Boeing Field, there is


Also on the west side of the Cascades is

with 3 sites, Olympia, Spanaway, and Skagit Regional Airport.

in the Corporate Air Center at Skagit Regional Airport

at Harvey Field

. at Paine Field in Everett

at Tacoma Narrows Airport

Over in Spokane is

Two are listed as
"FAA-approved schools"
(Part 141). Have I left anyone out?

Looks like I did leave out Silver State Helicopters <_ location at arlington in that previous post.>


To answer your question(s) directly Colin, Classic Helicopter Corp is a Part 141 school with an excellent reputation that has been around longer than most.


You should plan on visiting as many schools as possible, for both formal tours and informal visits, talk to lots of people, and take an intro flight at your top picks.


I think that you want to be exposed to both urban and rural environments in your training. Traditionally, most of the operational activities of helicopters have taken place in rural and more remote settings. There are a lot of helicopter operations that (at times) take place mostly in urban settings though, including: tours, traffic watch, ENG, medevac, law enforcement, corporate transport, construction, aerial film production, etc... You want to become comfortable to the extent possible with operations in all environments.


Good luck!

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O.K. since TQN oouted me on this one <_< ( :D )

Aha! You were already oouted (not sure that's a real word there, leadfingers :D)! Note to self: Never arrive late to the party, 'cause all the good rumors will have already flown! :lol:


And if you haven't already, Colin, you must go to Boeing Field and take in the Museum of Flight. Awesome! :rolleyes:

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Also, is it better to train in helicopters in rural or urban areas? Does it even make a difference?


Thanks a bunch,



There are differences in training in either a rural or an urban area. The main difference is the amount of congestion that you are going to experience at both the airport and in the airspace. Training in an urban area will mean that you may experience delays in departure or arrival when the airport or controller is extrememly busy. This can be a disadvantage when you are the one being charged while the Hobbs is running. You may also have to transit to get to the training areas as well, again a possible disadvantage when you are the one paying. The advantage of training in an urban area is usually the immediate availability of instrument approaches. The disadvantage of shooting approaches in a busy urban area is that you are doing 80 knots and the Southwest 737 behind you is doing 160 knots, you are going to get vectored off of the final approach to make room for the airliner. Again, this is not a good thing when you are the one paying for the helicopter.


Training in a rural area usually has more advantages. The field is usually much less crowded, to the point of most have no control tower. The training areas including off airport landing sites are usually closer. You do need to make certain when you are looking at training at a rural field is the availability of instrument approaches. More and more rural fields are getting GPS approaches and many still have NDB or VOR approaches, however, many IFR training helicopters do not have NDB receivers. Make sure that you are not a 30 minute flight away from the nearest airport with multiple approaches. Also, make certain that there is a controlled airfield nearby to meet that training requirement.


Both rural and urban training presents thier own sets of advantages and disadvantages. I personally feel that training at a rural field is better as you are not encumbered with having to deal with excessive traffic that some urban airports have. This frees you up to concentrate on learning to fly without having to constantly be listening to the radio and looking out for the other traffic. High traffic areas put a higher workloand on the pilot and this is why student pilots are generally not allowed into Class B airspace. This is why in driver education classes students learn to drive on less busy surface streets before getting onto the freeway. It's better to learn to walk before you try your hand at running.


Anyway, that's my two-cents on the subject.



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I'm flying in the rain,

Just flying in the rain.

What a wonderful feeling, I'm

happy again.





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