Be a Helicopter Pilot for a Day
Arrived at 9am along with 5 other people, had a briefing of about 30min, explaining the history of the company, advantages of being a helicopter pilot, explanation of what the experience will consist of and then a detailed guide on how the controls/instruments work etc.
After that, while each person goes on the one to one lesson in the helicopter the others get to tour the hangar and watch the takeoffs from a comfortable room with a large balcony and view of the airfield.
The one to one lesson is about 12-15 minutes, followed by refreshments (ample sandwiches, crisps and biscuits) and the instructor came up afterwards to have an informal chat with everyone where you are free to ask any questions. The facilities were good and toilets clean, staff polite and friendly. Would probably not pay the full price though...
09 October 2012
A bit disappointing
I had a mixed experience at Denham. I picked this helicopter experience as it seemed to be the best in terms of one-to-one lesson time vs price. I'm not interested in becoming a commercial pilot but I was happy to sit through the presentation, which turned out to be quite interesting anyway.
Facilities were pretty good, Tea/coffee machine and water available, and there's some benches outside where you/spectators can watch the lessons and the rest of the airfield. Lunch was in the form of a voucher that's redeemable at the cafe a minutes walk away, up to about £4-5. The staff seemed polite, professional and organised, and kindly let me wear my GoPro on a chest harness for the flight.
Time whizzed by during the flight, as expected, but it was over even sooner than I thought. The video shows that my one-to-one lesson - from the door being closed to the door being opened again - was about 9 mins 48 secs (time in the air: 7 mins 36 secs). Nowhere near 15-20 mins as advertised. I was also not given the opportunity to do the hover challenge. Another guy doing the experience said he did get to do the hover challenge, his one-to-one was about 11 mins, so it seems to be a bit hit and miss.
The airfield did seem pretty busy (it was a Saturday) so I'm not sure if my experience was cut short due to other people needing to use the airfield. Nothing was mentioned to me about it at the time, and I was a bit pre-occupied with the buzz of being in the air to realise it myself.
Overall the time spent in the air was fun, but I was left a bit disappointed that my experience was not as advertised - If I knew beforehand I would have chosen a different experience.
13 October 2013
Checking the facts
Right went to denham in Buckinghamshire. This is a busy airfield for helicopters and there is competition for your business. The package was as described but there was a hard sell in the mix and this was uncomfortable. I did feel as though I was a side show compared to the students they had , and I was merely part of the conveyer belt of experience days. Nothing wrong and all as described but ...
13 April 2013
Expensive for a 10 minute flight
There were 8 people in the group.We were given a brief introduction to the event. A quick look around the hanger where the helicopter was parked along with a few other light aircraft.
We then had a 10 minute talk from a retired pilot about becoming a commercial helicopter pilot which nobody wanted to become and then went out individually for a flight. You were in the helicopter about 15 minutes but only flying for about 10 min.The pilot wasn't that interested to show you how to fly and he had the controls for most of the time.
It was great to have a go in a helicopter but the lesson and time in the air was a disappointment. . The company had double booked the time so the last people had to wait while someone else had a lesson.
31 May 2013