Helispeed Academy Welcome Letter
We would like to offer you a warm welcome to HeliSpeed Academy based at Blackpool Airport.
If you’ve been a pilot or trainee pilot at Blackpool Airport, you will have seen the slow but significant change in the way that helicopter training and support services are delivered. HeliSpeed Academy is pleased to announce that we have now completed our Approved Training Organisation (ATO) approval with the CAA. This is the highest standard of approval that can be awarded to a helicopter training organisation, and it’s taken nearly two years to complete the process.
HeliSpeed Academy is part of the Helispeed Group which also includes HeliSpeed Solutions, which focuses on the supply of professional pilots and engineers. Currently, we have a bespoke database of over 2,000 qualified pilots and engineers working in 36 countries and on 83 different aircraft types. HeliSpeed is an approved supplier to Airbus, Leonardo, Abu Dhabi Aviation, HeliOne, Cobham and Babcock, to name but a few.
Due to our connections in the industry, global operators frequently ask us to provide basic and advanced helicopter training for their pilots and cadets; hence the requirment for HeliSpeed Academy. We are also very aware that there is a notable shortfall in the availability of high-quality training, self-fly hire and support for pilots in the local area.
What training can you expect at HeliSpeed Academy?
The Academy is focused first and foremost on SAFETY. We ensure that all decisions relating to flight training and self-fly hire are made with this in mind. We aim to continually improve our safety management system – any changes to procedures and regulations are then clearly communicated to all pilots. Our goal is to make aviation safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved, creating a healthy and engaging helicopter community in Blackpool.
HeliSpeed Academy’s ATO approval allows us to offer helicopter training on the R44 and Cabri G2 helicopters. We will also be able to provide Night Ratings and Type Rating Conversions onto these helicopters. To support our students who wish to become professional pilots, we offer a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilots License (ATPL) ground school training here at Blackpool.
HeliSpeed’s plan for the future HeliTrax®
To appropriately keep track of all the expiry dates of various components, certifications, qualifications, permissions, approvals etc., we’ve developed a market-leading bespoke system – HeliTrax. Before any flying missions are accepted, ALL pilots must register their details onto HeliSpeed’s HeliTrax® system.
This system generates automatic alerts to warn us of upcoming expiry dates and ensures that all our pilots are appropriately licenced to fly. Within the next few months, HeliSpeed’s IT team will also be releasing a software update which will enable our students to book training and self-fly hire. Furthermore, HeliTrax is completely free to use.
The majority of the time, a flight will take place without any incidents. However, occasionally damage does occur. This can happen with or without the pilot’s knowledge. If this damage is not reported, there is a risk that the aircraft will continue to fly in an unsafe condition, and the wrong person may become liable for this damage. It goes without saying that all helicopters are appropriately insured; however, all policies carry an excess. To remove this risk, we have imposed an annual membership charge of £150 + VAT which gives the pilot full cover if they damage the aircraft. This encourages a truly open safety culture where pilots don’t need to worry about reporting a problem with an aircraft.
Flying helicopters is expensive, so we all need to keep costs to a minimum. At HeliSpeed, we aim to simplify the charging structure and encourage pilots to be completely honest. To this end, we have decided to charge Self-fly hire based upon datcon time for the R44 and Cabri and flight time for training flights. We’ve also managed to negotiate a reduced rate landing fee at Blackpool. The total price you pay for the machine should remain roughly the same, but this system will simplify costs and promote safer operational practices.
HeliSpeed also needs to keep its operational costs down. To do this, we are asking that accounts are in credit at all times. It may therefore be necessary to credit your account before you fly.
HeliSpeed is committed to offering world-class training, improving the skillet and safety-standards of our pilots. This will also improve our services to the helicopter industry. To do this, we need everyone’s cooperation. If you have any suggestions or improvements that we can implement, please feel free to contact me, or any of our instructors. It’s our mission to make your flying experience more enjoyable and most importantly, safe.
Happy, safe flying!