Purchasing a helicopter is a big investment, bringing with it luxury travel and significant freedom. If you are hoping to fly over the morning rush hour, or take a more direct route to your holiday destination, owning a helicopter is a fantastic and exclusive mode of transport. But with a wide variety of models and manufacturers on the market, deciding on what specific helicopter model to choose can be a difficult decision. In this blog, we will take a look at five top tips you should consider in your decision-making process, to ensure you choose the best helicopter for you.
Lay out how far you plan to travel
The first thing you should consider is how you plan to use your helicopter. Although the idea of owning one may be utopic, you should seriously consider how and where you intend to use your helicopter. Typically, the lower-priced helicopters will be smaller and therefore will not be able to travel as far as more expensive and larger models. This extends to how many people it can take, with the same trend being true in this respect: the larger models will be able to transport more people.
Despite the fact that it may seem like a luxurious toy for the wealthy, the majority of private helicopter owners use their choppers for business. So, taking into account where you want to travel in your helicopter will aid in narrowing the scope of your helicopter hunt. If your typical destination is closer to home and you are only transporting yourself, a smaller model may be the best option. But if you’d hoped to travel further afield with the family for example, then considering a larger model may be more appropriate.
Do you want luxury or practicality?
This ties in quite closely with the previous tip, but in extension it is important that you consider whether you want your helicopter to be a show of splendour or a product of practicality. Either way, opting for a helicopter is a luxury mode of travel. But if you intend to be the only passenger in your helicopter, there may not be as much of a pull for bespoke leather seats and lots of space. Yet this may become more important if you intend to regularly carry more passengers: your family or friends, or even your business colleagues. As with cars, and most other vehicles, the higher market models will offer you the latter as well as larger engines which will therefore be able to fly much longer distances.
Plan for your helicopter’s maintenance
Helicopters are a large financial investment. Here at Arkle we specialise in offering our clients exclusive light aircraft mortgages to ensure that they can purchase the helicopter of their dreams. But in purchasing one, it is also incredibly important to consider the cost of running and maintaining it. This can be particularly costly and regular expense, so it is important that you assess what these payments might look like. Maintaining your helicopter can include paying for such things as: insurance, servicing, various housing fees (like a hangar) and of course, fuel. As with any vehicle, these costs will be influenced by its model and how much you intend to use it, so considering these expenses alongside how far you plan to travel and how regularly will be an essential consideration.
Decide whether you’ll fly or be flown
This is another big aspect in deciding what particular model of helicopter you will purchase. If you are a complete newbie to the aviation world, it can seem a bit daunting to fly your own helicopter. So, early on in your decision to purchase one, you should decide whether you will hire a pilot to fly it, or whether you will train to do so yourself.
Hiring a pilot will ensure there is less stress and responsibility on you to take yourself from A to B. This could nudge you in the direction of purchasing a larger helicopter model, whereby you can put your feet up and relax in a more spacious seat, rather than having everyone in the cockpit. The opposite could also be said.
Make sure you secure your licencing
If however you choose to fly your helicopter yourself, you will need to attain official licencing in order to do so. As a private owner, you will need to get your Private Pilot Licence (PPL(H)) in order to be able to pilot your new helicopter. Achieving this licence requires a minimum of 45 hours of flying training, which includes various exams and of course flying. Pilots will also require a class 2 medical certificate to pass their licencing. Once you have qualified with your licence, it must be renewed annually.