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New Degree-based Helo Program in Colorado

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Hi folks,


Wanted to pass on the news about AIMS Community College and Front Range Helicopters new collaboration on a degree program in Northern Colorado. The press release is below, and you can also find out more information through AIMS, on the FRH website (http://frontrangehelicopters.com), or contact an instructor at info@frontrangehelicopters.com.


Aims Community College launches first degree-based Helicopter program in the state


With a final stamp of approval from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the Aims Helicopter program has taken off as the only degree-based helicopter pilot training program in the state.


Working in partnership with Loveland-based Front Range Helicopters, the college now offers a 61-credit associate degree in the Professional Helicopter Pilot program.

“What’s so unique about this program in Colorado is the fact that students can qualify for financial aid,” said Aims Aviation Department Chair Gina West. “We’ve been getting a lot of interest from military personnel who can use their veteran benefits, too.”


Students train with pilot-instructors from Front Range Helicopters, navigating the course sequence that includes Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot, and Certified Flight Instructor I and II. The course work is a mix of ground instruction, simulator training and flight time.


“We are very excited about the program,” said Don Griffith with Front Range Helicopters. “A lot of work went into getting this going. It’s a unique program with a lot of opportunities.”


Call Aims today at (970) 330-8008 or visit www.aims.edu for more information on how to register for classes.


Aims Community College is an EEO/AA Employer


Aims Community College is one of the largest and most comprehensive two-year colleges in Colorado. Founded in 1967 in Greeley, Aims has since established additional campuses in Fort Lupton and Loveland. Curriculum now includes 6,000 day, evening, weekend and online courses annually.

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sounds ok and a better option than some,


but the problems I can forsee for some people would be..


here in california, if you are broke and under twenty three, student financial aid, free money is given to students twice a year at a 4,000 dollar max, and you must be enrolled and pass 12 units each semester...

thats only 8 grand a year that way...


then if you want to take out a student loan,through the gov, which you do have to pay back, at a much lower interest rate.... the max amt allowed for student loan money for each year is 7 thousand... you also have to prove you are in school and passing your classes.....


so if you did do this two year program, and lets say you wanted to take out the maxes. you could only get 30,000 total, 14 of that you would have to pay back, and that would be your two years in that school and you would be done with loan money and finanicial aid... you would still have to pay for tuition, books and all of the homework and studying......


that would only give you about half of what you needed to get your two hundred hours... that could be a problem then the students would still have to take out a thirty thousand dollar loan, at a higher interest rate to become a cfi and get into the business. yess it might help you out a little bit to have a two year degree saying you know a little about becoming a professional helicopter pilot....


but the only thing you would be gettting for free is the gov financial aid, if you qualify, meainng you are broke and over 23, or your parents and you are broke and you are under 23. then over the next two years you would get about 16,000 free, if you were very broke, then you would qualify for the max, about 4000 a semester.... dont forget, you would have to be a full time student and move very slowly through the program. during this time you still have to live, pay rentl, eat and bills, gas and so on..... then you have a really specific two year degree, that will only help you just a tiny bit in aviation. most people think that two year degrees are pretty worthless no matter what they are in......


don't get me wrong though, any help is greatly appreciated but you could do the same thing, by just being broke, taking 12 units of fun and easy classes, passing them and applying for the same financial aid and student loans... this is only helpfull if the government woulld allow students to take out big loans, at low interest rates for flight training. meaning they will pay the 250 dollars an hour for you and lend the money to you at a low interest rate. when you get the financial aid and student loan money, it comes directly to you anyway, so you can spend it on whatever you want....

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sorry for rambling,

but just remember a distant friend who did this. he didn't have any college, but he did have a twenty thousand dollar truck payed off...... he had not started college at this time...


he came up with this plan, he refinanced his truck, got like 15 grand or so. started junior college, taking general ed. his parents were very broke and so was he, so he qualified for the 4k each semester, he took that money for two years or more, had to have twelve units each semester and pass them. then he also took out the max government student loan that he could. it was about 7 grand. he took that out in march or so, and he had been going to school and flying since august. so he took his 8k from free money, his 7 per year at low interest rate from gov loan. and took his 15 grand re financed truck, which the bank owned now. he was working part time as a waiter, barley paying his bills, going to school mostly nights and flying alot during the day. this gave him 31 k for helicopters. I actually think he got his tuition waved for being broke as well through some bogg fee waver i believe. he blew through his money flying then got another 4 grand the next august, finished all of his licenscenses with credit card money. stayed in school for his fourth and fifth semester and payed down his credit cards as well. anyway he ended up about thirty thousand in true debt, but at a very low interest rate and had many years to pay this money off. the payments were low and his truck was a secured loan so that was much lower than sallie maes 10 percent or so. this is how he did it... he somehow made it work. I know he got his cfi 2 and was teaching for awhile, i think he was handed alot in the business and ended up doing alot of work for a very large ranch or farm. I believe he did everything from frost control, spraying fields, hurding cattle, to shoffering the owner who lost his medical wherever he wanted to go...


needless to say, this young man died in a freak dirt bike accident. he was riding with a friend of ours and they decided to take a different trail than they normally took in the back woods... they were playing around and riding fast on a logging road and come over a large blind hump.... they were side by side, he was on the left side and they both were going about 40 miles an hours and caught about three feet of air and didn't see the bull dozer down the road parked or broke down. he smashed into the front of the bull dozer and died instantly. No glory in this story, He was 27 or so and had a baby on the way with his long time girlfriend.... He died doing what he loved and must have been needed somewhere else more....... nice story but bad ending.....rip scotty

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Wow, what a terribly sad story! Sorry to hear about your friend.


how many hours can you log by doing this degree program? instead of a simulator id rather be doing the real thing.



Details on hours and requirements are below. As far as funding, you'd have to talk to the finance dept at AIMS, but my understanding is that you can get student loans for the majority of the program (depending on your credit, etc). And generally student loans have fairly low interest.


Hope this helps,






Professional Helicopter Pilot Course


Course Sequence:

Private Pilot Course

Commercial Pilot Course

Instrument Rating Course

Certified Flight Instructor Course (CFI)

Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)


Flight Hour Requirements:

Private Pilot Course 50 – 55 Hours of Flight Time*

20 Hours of Ground Instruction


Commercial Pilot Course 150 Hours of Flight Time*

20 Hours of Ground Instruction


Instrument Rating Course 40 – 50 Hours of Flight Time*

20 Hours of Ground Instruction


CFI 10 – 15 Hours

10 Hours of Ground Instruction


CFII 10 – 15 Hours

10 Hours of Ground Instruction


Aircraft Used in Flight Training

Schweizer 300C (Piston)

Bell Jet Ranger 206BIII (Turbine)


Helicopter Flight Simulator Used in Flight Training

FLYIT Professional Flight Simulator

9.5 Hours in Private / Commercial / CFI Courses

20 Hours in Instrument Course

10 Hours in CFII

Recommended Weekly Flight Schedule

*FRH recommends students fly a minimum of 3 times a week to complete each course in the times indicated.

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