Learn helicopter ops at home

Have you always dreamed of learning to fly helicopters? Are you a fixed-wing pilot who is looking for an exciting new challenge? Look no further than our helicopter remote coaching offerings, utilizing the power of home flight simulation (such as X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator) to teach you the basics of helicopter operations at a fraction of the cost.

Transition syllabus for fixed-wing pilots

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Fixed-wing to Helicopter Transition Syllabus

Estimated time to complete: 6 hours

  1. Fundamentals (1.5 hours):
    Effects of Controls (Helicopter vs fixed-wing).
    Engine and rotor RPM control/energy conservation; rotor stall.
    Straight and level/power changes
    Climbing/descending/turns
    Hovering introduction
  2. Hovering (1.5 hours): 
    Liftoff and touch down
    Basic autorotation. 
    Transition to forward flight/Approach to hover
    Leveling from climb / Initial approach.
    Circuits
  3. Advanced hovering (1.5 hours):
    Sideways / backwards. Spot turns.
    Engine failure in hover, sloping ground
    Out-of-wind maneuvers
    Dynamic roll over, ground resonance
    Precision transitions / quick stops
  4. Advanced autorotations (1.5 hours):
    Vortex ring (settling with power)
    Emergencies
    Confined areas
    Limited power

Featured Ground School Course

Sporty’s So You Want To Fly Helicopters Course: “Ace your FAA written test, save money during flight lessons, and become a better IFR pilot with Sporty’s complete Instrument Rating Course.”

About Your Instructor

David Walley

Rotary wing licenses:
‣ ATPL (H) – New Zealand, UK, EASA(EU), CASA (Australia)
‣ CPL(H) – New Zealand, UK, FAA, Bermuda, Malaysian, Kenyan.
‣ Instrument rating(H) – New Zealand, UK, EASA, CASA, FAA, Malaysian.
‣ Instructors rating (H)- New Zealand (‘B’ Cat / ‘D’Cat ). EASA (TRI )
‣ Examiner rating(H) – New Zealand (Airline flight Examiner, VFR, IFR, Route ).

Fixed-wing licenses:
‣ CPL(A)- New Zealand. (aerobatic rating)
‣ Instrument rating (A)- New Zealand
‣ Instructor rating(A)- (‘C’ Cat)
‣ PPL(A)- NZ (amphibian rating), UK, Canada (float plane rating).

Lighter Than Air (LTA):
‣ CPL(Airship)-UK
‣ CPL(Balloon) -NZ

About me

I am a New Zealand-based helicopter pilot, flight instructor, and examiner with over 10,000 flight hours, primarily in helicopters.

I especially love teaching people with no previous flight experience the thrill of flying helicopters, as well as fixed-wing pilots who want to try their hand at rotary. I also enjoy night vision ops and instrument flight training.

I initially learned to fly fixed-wing aircraft in the Royal Air Force. I later flew large helicopters to offshore oil rigs throughout the world, conducted search and rescue missions, served in the Falklands for the UK Ministry of Defence, and flew for Greenpeace in Antarctica and the Arctic. In addition, I flew commercial blimps in North America, the UK, and Australia, and was a Boeing 737-200 copilot for Air New Zealand.

I love instructing in simulators and have built several myself. Online flight instruction is the way of the future, and I’m fascinated by its potential, not only for ab-initio and scenario-based training, but also for teaching Crew Resource Management (CRM) and advanced human factors.

Flight sim experience: FSX, X-Plane 11, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Time zone/general availability: New Zealand time (GMT+13) • Flexible with preferably 24 hours warning, as I still instruct and examine in regular helicopters. I am a morning person, which is late afternoon and evenings in North America and late at night in Europe. 

Home airport: Auckland, NZ (NZAA)

I have real-world instructing experience in: Robinson R22, Hughes 300 (269), Hughes 500(369), Bell 47G2, Bell 206, Eurocopter AS350, Eurocopter AS355-F1, Bell 222, Bolkow BK117, Sikorsky S76, AW169. Commercial Balloon: Cameron N90, Thunder and Colt AX7. Fixed wing: Cessna 172, Piper 112, Lake Buccaneer. 

Additional aircraft flown as pilot: SA Bulldog Ti, Piper 160, Lake Buccaneer, CT4 Airtrainer, B76 Duchess, Boeing 737-200, Bell 206 & OH58A, Robinson R22/R44, Aerospatiale AS 350 Squirrel, Aerospatiale 330 Puma, Aerospatiale 365N Dauphine, Aerospatiale 355 Twin Squirrell, Sikorsky S76, AW169, Airship Industries Skyship, 500 & 600 American Blimp Co, A60