In July Get Into Flying was proud to promote the Phoenix Helicopter Academy 5 Hour Introductory Helicopter Flying Scholarship and we are now delighted to report that the successful applicant is airborne.

Intention
September 2016 saw the first Air League introductory helicopter flying scholarship take place at Phoenix Helicopter Academy (Goodwood). This new initiative headed up by The Air League aims to target the lack of helicopter opportunities open to aspiring rotary pilots.
The intention of the scheme is to offer one deserving candidate the opportunity to kickstart their helicopter pilot training and to inspire them to continue towards a career in aviation in the future.

Selection
phoenix-1Fully funded by the training provider, this years scheme was extremely popular and competition was tough. Ben Heenan was the panels selection for the course, having shown a keen interest in rotary flight over a number of years, completing a weeks work experience placement at CHC, an offshore helicopter operator, as well as regular weekend work at Heli-Air. Ben’s obvious interest in rotary flight specifically, coupled with his enthusiasm for aviation impressed the panel, so much so, that he was awarded the 2016 Scholarship.

Training
As with a fixed wing licence, in order to complete an EASA Private Pilots Licence – PPL(h), trainees must sit 9 theoretical examinations as well as complete a minimum of 45 hours of flight training. Due to the generosity of to Pooleys Flight Equipment, the Helicopter scholarship winner, Ben, has a full training pack including books & charts to help him with his further ground & flight training.

Ben’s flying lessons saw him progress through the initial stages of the PPL(h) course and consisted of a structured mixture of upper air flying and hovering exercises.
img_3872Ben will be flying in one of phoenix Helicopters’ 5 Robinson R22 aircraft, a worldwide favourite for helicopter training. Although not initially intended as a trainer the R22’s dual controls, stable flight platform, relatively small engine and basic design make it the perfect aircraft in which to learn the art of helicopter flying.

This years scheme is funded as part of Phoenix’s 10,000th flight hour celebration and marks the run up to some big announcements that they have for 2017, with more on this in the future.

With a large historic airfield & specific Helicopter training areas, a huge array of modern and vintage aircraft, as well as the famously friendly air traffic controllers – Goodwood is the perfect training location.

Please enjoy a short video of Ben flying on one of his lessons.

The Air League
For more information on membership visit The Air League
If you’re an aspiring pilot or aviation engineer why not become a member of The Air League. For as little as £38.00 a year you have the chance to apply for annual scholarships and bursaries as well as year round aviation visits.
If you are a flying school or flying club and are interested in offering something similar to aspiring pilots, then please contact The Air League Panel for more information.

Acknowledgements
img_3865James Rowland is a qualified PPL(h) pilot at the beginning of his career and has worked tirelessly to bring this scholarship to fruition. Demonstrating all of the skills that the aviation industry is seeking in order to grow and prosper, James is dedicated to bringing the opportunities that he enjoyed from Air League Bursaries and Scholarships to other young aviators.
From formulating the conceptual plan of the 5 Hour scholarship, right through to greeting Ben Heenan as he crossed the threshold at Phoenix Helicopter Academy for his first flight, James has been integral every step of the way.

Text and photographs provided by James Rowland and Phoenix Helicopter Academy – With thanks.