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Helicopter Flying Lessons

Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to fly a helicopter......

You can get behind the controls and take a great tour for only $249!


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Helicopter Flight Lesson

If you want to get behind the controls or give a gift to a friend or family member, we have a helicopter flight lesson for $249 that will let you fly our popular Beach Tour with an instructor.  



 You will be at the controls, plus you can bring along a friend for the ride. The lesson starts with ground school where we discuss how a helicopter flys and what each of the controls do when you move them.  You will learn information on helicopter safety maneuvers and receive a signed logbook with an FAA endorsement that permits you to operate the controls of a helicopter with an instructor present. At the end of your flight, we will enter your helicopter time in the logbook and your endorsement and helicopter time are yours to keep forever. Feel free to ask us any questions. This is your chance with a helicopter flight instructor and I'm sure you have many things you would like to know. Once in the helicopter, you will find that it is equipped with dual controls that allow the instructor to either pass you the flight controls, help you on the controls, or take over at any time. We have a grass field near the airport where you can practice how to balance and hover a helicopter. Then, it is off to Cocoa Beach and a tour of this beautiful area. Along the way you will get a chance to fly, climb, turn and create lifelong memories for yourself. If you brought along a passenger, you will have bragging rights forever.   This can be a start to a fun learning experience or maybe even a career. In any case, it is always a lot of fun.
This is a wonderful gift for anyone with an interest in helicopter flight, plus you get a great tour for two.

Pricing includes student, instructor
and 1 additional passenger



If you are curious, most people can learn the fundamentals of helicopter piloting in about 5 hours of flight time. In this amount of time, you can learn to get in a helicopter, follow a checklist, start a helicopter and be able to understand the operation of all of the flight controls. You can expect to be able to fly the helicopter around the airport area and neighboring beaches, and hover (with help) around the runway and taxiways. Our helicopter is equipped with dual controls so your instructor is always there to direct and keep you safe.

Dual Controls

At the end of 10 hours of training, the average person can fly a helicopter from the ground into a hover, taxi, land and fly around a defined area. At this level of training, the skills you have learned will be lifelong. For the rest of your life you will be able to hover and pilot virtually any helicopter. People who learned to hover 40 years ago, can still hover to this day.

At 20 hours of training, many people are ready for solo flight without an instructor present. Building up to this level and getting a solo endorsement entitles you begin logging "pilot in command" time as a solo pilot. You are able to make longer flights to other airports and travel around the Florida Space Coast area by yourself. This is a huge and satisfying accomplishment that few people ever get a chance to do.

In as little as 40 hours of flight training you can become eligible to take a Private Pilot practical test. Your instructor will make sure you are ready and have practiced all of the elements for which you will be evaluated. When you pass you will become a lifelong helicopter pilot. Only 1 in 10,000 people in the United States can fly a helicopter and the number is even less in other countries. This is a big deal. If you are looking for the most fun and probably the coolest thing you have ever tried, learning to fly a helicopter is going to be the accomplishment you treasure most.

         My name is David Watson and I am a certified helicopter flight instructor at Beachside Helicopters. You may wonder if this is something you can do or are there special skills you need. The answer is simple. No one is born knowing how to fly a helicopter just like no one hops on a bicycle and rides it for the first time. Everyone from the most experienced airplane pilot to an interested high school student, start out virtually the same. There is no such thing as too young or too old.  I have trained a child (8 years old) to take off, hover and fly the R44 helicopter .... and she did it in less than 10 hours!  I have instructed a 99 year old man and everywhere in between and it just goes to show you, it's never to early or too late to learn how to fly and you don't have to make the decision to invest in a pilots license to have fun and learn a new skill.

Helicopter flying is a series of steps. First try it and see if you like it. People that are afraid of heights or have memories of being motion sick are amazed to find that they have virtually no sensation of height while in flight and we have never had a passenger or student use a motion sickness bag, not even once. It is just a different sensation that does not trigger it. Helicopters do not bounce around like a car, boat or small airplane. They tend to move through the air smoothly and you are too busy manipulating the controls and taking in the enormous visibility, to even think about something else.


Basic Flight School Package

If you want to learn, we offer a Basic Flight School Package for $2500.  You do not need to pass a medical examination, have any special skills, or be any particular age. This program is one on one, and includes 10 flight lessons with 5 hours of flight time in the air, with you on the controls of our R44 Clipper ll helicopter. All of the time is logged in your logbook and remains with you forever. Whether you are doing it just for fun or thinking of this as a stepping stone to more, it all begins here. You are going to learn so much. Each lesson incudes discussions on the ground, before and after each flight, where you will become familiar with the parts and controls of a helicopter and how they work together to enable flight. Everything will start to make sense and you will begin to fly more and more of the flight time without the instructor's assistance.  By the end of this training, you will never look at helicopters the same. 
*If you are already a helicopter pilot but trained in the smaller R22, this training can be tailored to satisfy the transition training you need to pilot the R44 helicopter.

Advanced Flight School Package

If you want an advanced level of training, we have an Advanced Flight School Package for $5000. This package includes 20 lessons, one on one, and a total of 10 hours of flight time in the air on the controls of an R44 Clipper ll . You can enroll intially with the Advanced course, or we can add the additional 10 lessons to the Basic course for the discounted rate. The advanced course takes you to a new level of independence in a helicopter. This course does not require a medical examination, special skills or have an age limitation. You will progress to where you can take off, fly and land a helicopter. The goal of your instructor will be to rest his hands in his lap while you fly. At 10 hours of flight time, most of your flight control is automatic and committed to "muscle memory". This means it is not forgotten and the experience and knowledge will stay with you forever. If you take this course and then did not fly for 6 months, you would be able to pick right up where you left off. Each lesson combines ground school and flight time so you will have a well rounded helicopter knowledge that allows you to fly virtually any helicopter.

Additional training is available and highly customized to the individual. You can continue to purchase small or large blocks of time and go at your own pace. There are no commitments, contracts or schedules you have to maintain. Some people want to be licensed in a month and others may train on and off for years. It is all up to you. From this point on, you are training for the day you can fly solo. Until you accept a solo endorsement, there is no physical or age requirement so you can train for as long as you wish and as many hours as you want, as long as there is an instructor present. Before you can fly alone however, you have to pass a flight physical and be at least 16 years old.  A third class flight medical is all that is needed and it will also serve as your student pilot license.

After 20 hours of training, your instructor can endorse your license and logbook for solo flight. You are now a student pilot with all of the privileges of solo flight and are on your way to becoming a licensed helicopter pilot. You can't take passengers yet, but you will be able to pilot local flights independently and you will know how to perform all of the helicopter maneuvers needed for your private pilot license. You will spend the next set of hours perfecting those maneuvers, building hours and practicing for a written test. There is a knowledge test for a private pilot rating. This is a multiple choice test that all pilots take on the way to earning their license. During your training, you will be instructed on all of the subjects on the written test but it will require some independent studying to be fully ready. There are many, many online home study and mobile apps that you can download to help you pass with high scores. You need to get at least a 70% percent grade before you can sit for your practical (flight) test.

After 40 hours of helicopter flight training and an instructor's endorsement, you can be eligible for your practical test. Getting ready for a practical test is a very individual thing. Some people need a little extra time. It depends a lot on the type of training you received, how often you were able to fly, and what kind of equipment you were training in. We use the higher perfomance R44 ll aircraft. It costs more to train in it, has 4 seats, but you learn faster and you are actually training in the aircraft that most will desire to fly after earning their rating. I trained in a smaller Robinson R22.  It is a 2 seat helicopter and does not have enough power to lift 2 people and a full tank of gas in most cases. The pilot demands in this type of aircraft require near instantaneous reaction during an actual emergency. If you complete your training in this helicopter, you are not qualified to pilot the 4 seat R44 aircraft and have to spend another 5 hours of instructed training to get that endorsement. I like the R22 aircraft, but after flying one for years and then getting in an air conditioned R44 ll and having large reserves of power, I find there is no comparison.  
      For your practical test, a representative from the FAA will sit with you and quiz you on items you would have learned in your training. When he is comfortable that you possess the knowledge needed to become a private pilot, you will then take him/her for a ride and demonstrate the maneuvers you have learned in your flight training. These are things you have performed a hundred times before, but he is judging whether you are safe and ready to take passengers. At the end of your examination, the examiner can grant you a pilots license that is yours forever. It does not expire. You only need to have periodic flight reviews and a current medical to continue as an active pilot.

If you are interested in just a few helicopter flight lessons or in getting your helicopter pilot rating, give us a call. The process detailed above is to give you an idea of what is required to earn a pilot license for a helicopter. Many are surprised to learn that a person could be licensed in only 40 hours. Realistically, if you do not have aviation any experience, you will probably need additional hours. A lot depends on your own motivation. We give each person personal attention and want this to be a lot of fun for you as well as something your family can share with you. Feel free to bring them out to the airport to take pictures and chronicle your experience. You will be flying the same helicopter we take our own families in and we take pride in the fact that it is maintained to the utmost perfection. Thank you for reading and we look forward to your call.

Beachside Helicopters, LLC
475 Manor Drive
Merritt Island Airport
Merritt Island, Florida


* Helicopters sales and missions that require a helicopters are increasing dramatically. The number of commercial pilots however is shrinking as older military trained helicopter pilots age out of traditional helicopter jobs. There is always a need somewhere in the world for a trained helicopter pilot. If you are interested in a career as a helicopter pilot or wish to add a helicopter rating to an airplane rating, give us a call and we can guide you through the requirements.