Tag: pilot licence


Student Financing

What kind of financing is available for Flight Training?

This is one of the questions that we get from our students who want to pursue a career in aviation.

First, let’s talk about the cost of flight training vs attending traditional college:

If you went to college to get a degree, you’d spend between 2-4 years full time to either advance your career or switch fields.  According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016–2017 school year was $33,480 at private colleges, $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.  That means that over 4 years you could spend $38,600 – $133,920 and hopefully have a job when you’re finished.

Flight training on average costs roughly $76,000 at Independent Helicopters to go from zero experience to a job as a flight instructor.  It can take as little as one year to complete, but on average takes roughly 2 years while working a full time job.  A degree is not required, although recommended.

Speaking from my experience, I attended Utah Valley University’s online Global Aviation Degree Program and received my Bachelor’s in Aviation Science while attending flight school and working 2 full time jobs.  I used the courses I took through UVU as the basis for my student loan requests through Sallie Mae.

Now, let’s talk about the types of funding available.

Federal Financial Aid

If possible, this should be every student’s first stop on the road to financing. However, students pursuing careers as commercial pilots may find that this isn’t an option as not many schools meet the requirements to receive Federal Financial Aid.

  • The Federal Pell Grant – Unlike a student loan, money from a Pell grant does not have to be repaid. The Pell grant is awarded on the basis of financial need, and the maximum award amount is $5,500.
  • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans – These low interest student loans are offered by the Federal government to help students find the money they need to complete their education. They are based on financial need. Qualifying students will have the interest on their loan paid by the government while they are enrolled in school.  Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need and students will be responsible for all interest that accrues.
  • The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents – The Direct PLUS loan can be borrowed by the parent or legal guardian of a dependent child to help pay for their child’s education.

Students pursing Federal financial aid will also need to fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid  to determine the level of financial assistance for which they are eligible.

Private Student Loans

Private, or alternative, loans are offered through banks, savings and loans, and private lending organizations, but not all lenders offer loans for career training.

Career Options in Aviation

Helicopter pilots can work for law enforcement agencies, or for agencies which conduct search and rescue operations, or for border patrols or forestry commissions. Some are aerial photographers while others work for offshore oil companies. There are also opportunities with radio and TV companies, sightseeing companies, or even firefighting.
The opportunities are almost endless, but it is a demanding career which requires a lot of training and it can cost a lot of money to complete the necessary flying hours which are often necessary to gain employment.  A career in aviation is a challenging path to pursue, but it is one that offers excitement, travel and financial stability.



Aviation Scholarship Reception!

Join us for the 1st ever Marius Ivascu Aviation Scholarship Reception!

Nearly 3 years ago this fund was created to honor the legacy of Marius Ivascu.  Help us continue to pay it forward by attending our reception on September 16th, 2017 at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.  

As we continue to award scholarships we need your support!

We’ll be providing small bites and cocktails after the Old Rhinebeck’s Airshow.  Learn how you can support local aviation and keep his memory alive!

Date/Time:  September 16th, 2017,   4:30pm – 7pm

Where:        The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

                      9 Norton Rd, Red Hook, NY 12571
Cost:           $40 in advance and $45 at the door

10 years old and under are $10, contact us directly to purchase children’s tickets.

Click here to RSVP before September 8th!

If you are unable to attend, please consider supporting the
Marius Ivascu Aviation Scholarship Foundation


Marius loved all things aviation!
Help us support the dreams of future aviators in all aspects of aviation!



Dreaming of warmer weather…

We’re so lucky that the February temperatures have been so good to us, but it still seems like summer days are still so far away. After some quality time perusing YouTube we stumbled across this video of an R44 helicopter tour in Hawaii. These are the same helicopters we use, just half a world away! It’s always fun to watch videos like this and see how different an experience can be when you’re in a totally unique setting. The scenery we get to explore in the Northeast is just as beautiful, but it’s hard not to envy the year-long high temps of Hawaii. Are you daydreaming of summer plans, too?

PS: Just a reminder, check us out on Instagram to see some of our exciting day-to-day operations! @Independentheli


Valentine’s Day Inspiration

One of our lesser-known services is very close to our hearts, and that is helicopter engagements. What better way to create a memory that will last a lifetime? This unique proposal will be cherished for years to come and admired by friends and family members. One of our favorite things about flying with couples is that we get to share our passion for flying while creating a truly unforgettable experience. It’s difficult to think of a more unique way to bond with your partner than being hundreds of feet in the air together, away from the chaos of everyday life. So, even if you’re not ready to pop the question, think about making your Valentine’s Day experience even more romantic by sweeping her off her feet… literally.


12-3-13 - Engagement - Garcia (1)


Aviation Encyclopedia

At Independent Helicopters, we work with a wide range of customers, all of whom have a set of unique needs. Our fleet is made up primarily of Robinson R-22s and the Robinson R-44s, which both happen to be extremely fuel efficient, lightweight and fun to fly. These models allow us to maintain the level of service versatility that our customers value while we continue to pursue our passion for flight. Explore this link to learn about other types of helicopters and why ours serve us so well!

Heather Saratoga R44

Heather flying one of our R44s.

Aviation Enclyclopedia: http://www.flugzeuginfo.net/acdata_rotorcraft_en.php