R66 helicopter on the pad at Advance Helicopters

Back in the air!

Despite the obvious sense of deja vu we’re really excited to reveal we’ll be back training again from Monday 12 April.

As before we have been busy in the background ensuring aircraft and instructors are ready to get our clients back on the controls.

Even seasoned pilots tend to get rusty after a few months on the ground so it’s a really good idea to do an extra bit of preparation before getting into the air again. Here are some things to think about:

We’re very much looking forward to getting you flying again but as before demand will be high and we ask for your patience if your preferred slots are not available. Please ensure you read our guide for clients before coming in. To request a booking call us on 01273 946044 or email lynn.clarke@advancehelicopters.com. We can’t wait to be flying with you again!

Helicopters in the hangar

Lockdown update

We have paused flight training and self-fly-hire during the current UK-wide lockdown.

Meanwhile the Advance team will continue to work in the background to make sure we can get started again as soon as we can.

We know many of you will be keen to get in the air once restrictions are relaxed so we’ll send a newsletter when we have further information on getting the rotors turning again – click here to sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to hear.

In the meantime if there is anything we can do please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Advance Helicopters competition

Share your best flying moment and win!

Have you been taught to fly at Advance Helicopters? Share your best flying moment with us to win!

Will you never forget that special moment when you passed your PPL skills test? Have a great photo of your favourite lunch spot? Have you landed at a spectacular location?

Send us a photo/short video via our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or email info@advancehelicopters.com

First place will win an Advance Helicopters t-shirt, cap and endless bragging rights. Runners up will win an Advance mug and slightly fewer bragging rights!

Deadline is August 31st 2020. We’ll announce the winner in our email newsletter (sign up to it here).

R44 and R66 starting up for check flights

Rotors turning again

We’re pleased to say we’ll be training again from 4 July, following the change in restrictions that come into force that day.

We’ll be following relevant Coronavirus guidelines diligently. To help you understand the changes we have produced a guide for clients, we ask all our customers to read this before getting in touch to book a flight. We also highly recommend a read of our recent blog post Preparing to fly again.

Since the beginning of lockdown the Advance Helicopters team have been keeping current and ensuring the helicopters are serviceable – including maintenance flights in line with manufacturer’s recommendations. We’ve also been planning for restrictions being eased so we’re ready to begin training again.

We know many of you are really excited to get flying. Demand will be high and we ask for your patience if your preferred slots are not available. We have temporarily suspended bookings via our online bookings system so we can manage availability. To request a booking call us on 01273 946044 or email lynn.clarke@advancehelicopters.com.

We can’t wait to see you!

Robinson R22 helicopter at a private site

Preparing to fly again – guide for GA pilots

With the recent relaxation of lockdown restrictions now allowing recreational flying, many of you may be thinking about getting into the air again.

Of course all pilots regardless of experience will inevitably incur some level of skills fade over time. Even if you flew in the days immediately prior to lockdown you still would have been out of the cockpit for a significant period.

Aware of this, the CAA has issued guidance for general aviation pilots returning to flying. We strongly advise everyone reads this, even if you are not planning to go flying imminently, as it will get you thinking about how you need to prepare to get back behind the controls.

Some of the key points are:

  • Are you fit and well? Don’t even think about going flying if you have Covid-19 symptoms
  • Is your licence and medical current?
  • Remember before carrying passengers currency requirements still apply
  • If you’re an owner make sure your aircraft maintenance and documents are up-to-date
  • Make your self aware of any procedural changes at the airport (eg changes in air traffic provision)
  • Do an extra thorough Check A before flight
  • Make your first flight in a local area in good weather
  • Do a ‘hangar flight’ – give yourself a few minutes in the cockpit to re-familiarise yourself with it
  • Take extra time on your first flight and use checklists

The CAA advise that low-hour pilots, those with low hours on a new type or new flying qualification or those that have not flown for a while should consider getting a check flight with an instructor once restrictions are lifted further and dual-training is possible. At Advance we think this is really important so have taken the decision not to go ahead with self-fly-hire until such a time.

Hopefully, training will be allowed again in the coming weeks and at Advance we’re preparing for this. In the meantime we would strongly recommend reading the CAA guidance now so you can get in the preparation mindset and be ready as soon as we get the green light. Another resource worth looking at is the GASCO presentation on returning to flying.

Flying Rewards

Here is a quick update of some of the recent happenings at Advance Helicopters.

We’ve been rattling through various student successes recently including:

1st Solo Flights – Rob and Christian

Cross Country Qualifying Flights – Sara and Alex

Type Rating Tests Passed – Adrian, Tony and Lulu

PPL Tests Passed – Piers, Will, Manuel, Tony

CPL Tests Passed – James and Ed

Congratulations to all our students on passing these great milestones.


We also had a fantastic flyout with four helicopters (see picture above) to West Kent Shooting School. They have a great location to land and provided us with some excellent facilities for a really fun day of clay pigeon shooting. A great day was had by all – just don’t ask who can first and who came last!?!

If you’d like to discuss any of our training or the social side of flying helicopters then feel free to drop in for a chat, or for more details contact us  and see how we can help you enjoy life to the full.

ELCAS Approval

Advance Helicopters is pleased to announce that it now approved for the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS) scheme.

This means that we can now offer armed services personnel the opportunity to use their Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) to help pay for their pilot training. 

The ELCAS scheme can be a very valuable financial help to service personnel looking at training as a pilot. Now with Advance Helicopters ELCAS approval any scheme payments can be made direct to the training provider making life quick and easy for the candidate. 15

If you’d like to discuss any of our training for military personnel or the ELCAS scheme then feel free to drop in for a chat, or for more details contact us and see how we can help you today.