Introductory/Discovery flights - $195 - You take the controls!
Taking an introductory flight is an incredible experience. We want you to get the feeling for how exciting being a helicopter pilot is and to get a good sense of the challenge that is in store. One of Alamo Helicopter's Certified Flight Instructors will go over how the helicopter works and how to control it. Then you and the Flight Instructor will take off. Over the course of the next half hour you will experience takeoffs, straight and level flight, hovering,landing and an amazing view. Not only will you land with a much more clear concept of what it means to be fly helicopters but will have flown one! We are available 7 days a week to take you for your first flight.
How to get started... Come and take an Introductory flight and see what becoming a pilot is all about.
Next you will need to obtain a FAA Medical Certificate. We will refer you to an FAA Approved Medical Examiner in your area. Some of the areas they will test are: checking that your vision is correctable to 20/20, that you have good hearing and that you have no medical problems that would hinder your ability to safely pilot an aircraft. If you have specific questions or concerns feel free to contact us.
We are available to help you in arranging financing in order to help cover the cost of flight training. Most lending programs require that students have a cosigner for loan applications, decent credit standing, and 2 years of work history. We will help you walk through the lending process as well as offer you the opportunity to take advantage of Federal Financial Aid.
What kind of jobs are available for helicopter pilots?
Career Options - Tours, Air Ambulance (EMS), Electronic News Gathering ( ENG), Agricultural, Search and Rescue, Fire Fighting, Wildlife and Game Counting and Capture, Aerial Photography, Heli Skiing, Corporate Charter, Off Shore Oil Support, Movies and Television, Seismic Oil Exploration, Logging, etc
Why Choose Alamo? Our Pilots- At Alamo, your Flight Instructors are employed by numerous commercial helicopter companies including US Helicopters Incorporated, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, PHI and Air Logistics. This means that you are being trained by pilots who have been through intensive training and have flown with some of the industries best pilots. They then bring that experience and knowledge back to you.
I remember when I was a teenager and saw an ad in the back of Popular Mechanics for a Gyro Helicopter Kit. I cut out the ad and taped it to my wall ( to my Mother's displeasure) and read it everyday dreaming of becoming a professional helicopter pilot someday.
My first flight instructor was a crop duster from Arkansas that was a very seasoned pilot. To this day the principals and procedures I learned from him are ingrained in me and are part of my piloting fabric.
At this time in my career my goals are to impart the skills I learned from him and improved upon over the last 30 years to the next generation of students who share the same goals and dreams I once had.
Come to San Antonio and let me start you in an aviation career that will challenge, excite and ultimately leave you with the skills necessary to having a great career of your own.
Sincerely, Randy Riggs
Location - San Antonio has been a hub for military flight training for the last 50 years. We feel if San Antonio helps best prepares the pilots of the United States Military, it is perfect for us. The weather here is mild and allows us to train year round.
Airspace - Our school is located at Stinson Airport which is in Class D Airspace ( operating control tower). 5 miles to the south is another training area with an uncontrolled airport for training at non towered airspace and The San Antonio International Airport is within 10 miles to the North for more intense training in radio procedures. The benefits of training in mulitple different airspaces in close proximity, give Alamo graduates an advantage in gaining future employment.
Our Aircraft - With growing usage within the US, we feel the Robinson is one of the best aircraft for helicopter pilot training. In 2008 alone, the R22 and R44 outsold there nearest competitor 13 to 1 with over 749 aircraft sold. Robinson aircraft are versatile and are used in many facets of this industry. Robinson pilots are more prepared, better trained and have more job options than other pilots. Robinson pilots that transition into larger, turbine aircraft understand their incredible control and precision. They gain a clear understanding of power management and truly capture the feel of the helicopter. http://www.robinsonhelicopter.com R22 Specifications PDF
Alamo pilots have a wealth of real-world experience to help you learn faster.
I started my flight training in the winter of 2005 and completed my training a year later. My first job in aviation was working as a ground instructor as I finished my Certified Flight Instructor Certificate. Once I completed my CFI, I began to work as a professional pilot in the city of Houston. I now fly tours and teach future pilots here in my home town of San Antonio.
One of the awesome experiences that I was fortunate to complete during my years as a commercial pilot was that I was hired to ferry a Robinson R-44 from Houston to Brazil. I flew down the Caribbean chain, Island hopping my way to South America. I flew through the Bermuda Triangle, landed in the Amazon jungle and flew over the Amazon River. I will never forget the beautiful waters and vacation atmosphere that I incurred while “working”.
My most favorite question while working as a pilot has been, “Your job must be fun”. My normal response is that “ Yes it is, my office has a wonderful view”. I don’t need to put up pictures because I have an awesome panoramic right in front of me.
The roads of life can take you many different directions, my road took a drastic turn after my husband took me to a seminar. He was already a fixed-wing pilot and was interested in flying helicopters, as we listened to the seminar he leaned over and said “I can’t do this (he travels for his job) but you can”, and I happened to be thinking the exact same thing.
Helicopters had always fascinated me but not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be a helicopter pilot and here I am 5 years later being paid to fly! So, if helicopters have ever fascinated you like they did me, go take a ride or even better take a discovery flight where you actually get to fly the helicopter. You never know where your road will take you!
With over 35 years as a career helicopter pilot, I have been involved in an exciting industry and I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. In that time I have been checked out in over 10 different types of helicopters and logged over 14,000 flight hours. With 10 years in corporate charter, 9 years in the tour business, 4 years as chief pilot for County flying EMS, Search and Rescue and fire fighting, 6 years flying offshore oil support and 5 years wildlife management in the Florida Everglades plus additional stints flying aerial photography and flight instruction, I feel that I can help younger pilots learn from my experience.
Attended a flight academy from Dec. 05 to Sept. 07. After graduation, I began working for a small flight school, and providing contract pilot services. This afforded me an opportunity to fly actual commercial missions including agricultural contracts, and photo flights in the south Texas area while building hours.
Shortly after graduation, I started flying with Alamo Helicopter Tours giving tours of San Antonio. From mentors, I learned early on that the helicopter community is small and that reputation and skill are needed to build strong associations for future advancement. Through these associations and hard work I was able to apply for and become the pilot of Sky 4 here in San Antonio. I now fly a Bell Jet Ranger for News 4 full time while being able to fly charter missions, tours and instruct on my off time.
"Shortly after graduation, I started flying with Alamo Helicopter Tours giving tours of San Antonio.
From mentors, I learned early on that the helicopter community is small and that reputation and skill are needed to build strong associations for future advancement. Through these associations and hard work I was able to apply for and become the pilot of Sky 4 here in San Antonio flying a Bell Jet Ranger for News. I gained a lot of experience and flight time with this job flying both the day/ night shifts.
Two years later and now with the required 2000+ hours of flight time, I decided to apply for an EMS job. I am currently working for Air Evac full time while still being able to fly charter missions, tours and instruct on my off time."
Like a lot of boys growing up I always had an interest in aviation. My goals
were to be an airline pilot. As I learned more and more about the
industry I soon realized that the road to where I truly wanted to be, would most likely be challenging and not always rewarding.
So I began to contemplate my next move. At the time I was working in automotive collision repair, and my daily commute took me right by a small airport. One day on the way home from work I saw a Bell 47 helicopter hovering near a hangar with a big sign advertising flight instruction. I called up the owner as soon as I got home and scheduled a discovery flight for that weekend. After my discovery flight I soon learned that the helicopter industry looked to be strong with much of the current workforce getting ready to retire within the next 5-10 years.
I decided to attend a flight school that taught in the Robinson R-22 because of the better chance to obtain a job after I received my certificates. After 18 months of instruction, I began teaching other students at the school I attended.
In December of 2006, I received a job as a line pilot offshore in the Gulf of Mexico with Air Logistics, now known as Bristow.
I have since been trained to fly the Bell 206, 407, and Sikorsky S76. I can
truly say that this career path has been a dream come true.
Ryan has seen a lot of action since he was born 26 years ago in Grandview, Texas. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 2008, and during his four years of Honorable military service, he completed two tours of duty in Iraq as a Machine Gunner.
After his Honorable discharge, Ryan wasn't sure what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, but he did know one thing: he wanted to learn how to fly helicopters.
"I liked the idea of going to work and doing something different every day. Plus, I could not see myself chained to a desk. At least with flying helicopters, my office would be at about 2000 ft! Also, it is something that not a lot of people do and I like that."
Ryan began his training in 2008 and never looked back. He's since completed his Private, Commercial, and Certified Flight Instructor certificates and is now instructing for Alamo.
Ryan is also a full time student at Mountain State University where he is working towards his Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management. When he's not flying, he enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family.
In February of 2009 I decided to make a career change from car sales to flying helicopters for a living.
I have always been fascinated with all things mechanical and fast. I sold my mustang race car and started attending Alamo Helicopters as their very first student. I live in Austin, TX and computed 3 to 4 days a week for the past year and a half to attend school.
I began working as a CFII instructor for Alamo Helicopters of San Antonio in April of 2011, hoping to relocate to the Austin branch opening soon. I aspire to become a tour pilot with Alamo in the next year and then go offshore flying turbine helicopters to and from oil rigs.
About San Antonio
San Antonio is a great place to live and train. Bad weather is almost non-existant. Affordable living, great food and entertainment choices but best of all are the friendly people. www.visitsanantonio.com.