Vertical Advantage Helicopters
On-Staff FAA Designated Examiner
Flight instruction in your own aircraft
Spacious cabin
IFR Training

Flight Training

High-Quality Personalized Flight Instruction

Learning to fly a helicopter is a truly rewarding experience. Whether you are interested in flying privately, or working towards a career as a professional pilot, Vertical Advantage Helicopters can help make your goals a reality. We offer flight instruction for your private, instrument, commercial, certified flight instructor (CFI), and certified flight instructor instrument (CFII) ratings. We have an FAA designated examiner on staff to insure convenient and predictable checkrides.

Not sure where to start? Helicopter discovery flights are a great first step to becoming a pilot.

1/2-hour: $300

1-hour: $500

Discovery flights are treated as a first lesson and are a hands-on introduction to the world of helicopter flying. The student gets to operate the controls and fly the aircraft (with the instructor's help). Discovery flights also make excellent gifts.

What you can expect from us:

Honesty. You should expect this from every flight school, but misleading sales tactics and misinformation have become all too common in this industry. No matter where you train, be sure to ask plenty of questions. We won't try to sell you a huge overpriced package, or give you misleading information about the industry. Becoming a career helicopter pilot can be challenging and you should know this up front, before you spend your money.

Experience. We have worked in the helicopter industry for years and have experience flying in many different training environments all over the United States. In addition to being an FAA approved flight school, we are also an active commercial operator. You as the student will benefit from our real-world experience and expertise.

Flexibility. At Vertical Advantage Helicopters you are in control of your flight training. You can train multiple times a day, or as infrequently as you wish. We are available 7 days a week with flexible hours for all your flight training needs. At Vertical Advantage Helicopters we work around your schedule.

Pay as-you-go. Many flight schools want to sell you a huge package filled with hidden fees and unnecessary expenses. They often require a large deposit or the total price of training before you can begin. You don't pay for college or any other education in this manner, so why would you pay for your flight training this way? At Vertical Advantage Helicopters all billing is done on a lesson by lesson basis. We do not require, or encourage the customer to pay for any flight training expenses up front. This protects YOUR MONEY. At Vertical Advantage Helicopters you buy exactly what you need, and skip what you don’t. For more information about why pre-paying for flight training is an extremely bad idea, click here.

Superior Equipment. We fly Enstrom helicopters. Enstrom helicopters are the safest piston helicopters in the world. Enstrom helicopters have a margin of safety and performance that is unmatched in the piston helicopter world. Their sturdy design, solid reputation, and extreme margin of safety make them ideal training helicopters.

Unlike other popular helicopters, Enstrom helicopters were designed for training and are not subject to any special federal aviation regulations (SFAR No. 73). This can save you thousands of dollars in flight training costs, and allow you to be a marketable pilot much sooner.

Aircraft rental after certification. If you complete your primary helicopter training with us, you will be able to rent the helicopter, and take passengers the day you get your pilot certificate. While you might expect this would be true at every flight school, it is not. Many new pilots are surprised to find out that the insurance policy at the flight school they trained at does not cover them for passenger carrying rental after they are certified. When you complete your training with us, you will be a fully prepared and capable helicopter pilot. We are confident in our training program, and trust you with our aircraft upon completion.

Expertly Maintained Aircraft. At Vertical Advantage Helicopters we take our job of providing students with the safest training helicopters very seriously. All of our aircraft are maintained 100% according to the manufacturer's maintenance specifications at our factory authorized Enstrom Service Center.

Enstrom Helicopters

Why Enstrom Helicopters?

We fly Enstrom helicopters exclusively for many reasons, first and foremost being their legendary safety record. Using NTSB data from 1996-2010 Enstrom helicopters are the safest helicopters when scored for fewest fatal accidents.


Enstrom Helicopters feature a high-inertia rotor system. In the event of a power failure, helicopters enter an autorotation. During an autorotation the helicopter converts the stored energy in the spinning rotor blades into lift to cushion the power-off landing. More inertia translates into more lift, which makes for a much higher margin of safety and survivability. Simply put, Enstroms are a far safer helicopter in the event of a power failure.

The landing gear on the Enstrom helicopter is one of the more sturdy, and energy absorbing designs in production today. This also leads to increased passenger safety and survivability.

Enstrom helicopters have a 3-bladed fully articulated rotor system. This practically eliminates the possibility of mast bumping. Mast bumping can cause the rotor system to separate from the helicopter. This is a potentially hazardous condition far more pronounced in 2-bladed rotor systems. This proven main rotor design has flown over 4,000,000 flight hours without a catastrophic failure.

The Enstrom F-28A, our primary training helicopter, has a manual throttle control. We believe that students who learn how to fly a helicopter with a manually operated throttle have a far greater understanding of the power needs, and limitations of the helicopter. Once you know and understand how to operate a manual throttle, flying a helicopter with a correlated or governed throttle is a very simple transition.

Enstrom Helicopters feature a large, highly effective tail rotor. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a hazardous condition known as LTE (Loss of Tail Rotor Effectiveness). LTE causes the pilot to lose directional control of the aircraft at low airspeeds. Enstrom tail rotors remain effective even in 20 MPH plus crosswinds. This increased margin of tail rotor effectiveness means a far safer and more responsive helicopter even in windy conditions.

Enstrom helicopters have one of the most spacious cabins of any small piston helicopter. The cabin is capable of seating a pilot and two passengers. The cabin is not limited by any predetermined seat or cabin weight limitations. People heavier than 250 pounds and taller than 6 feet tall can fit into an Enstrom with ease.

Enstrom helicopters have been in production for over 50 years. You as the student benefit from this stable track record of safety and refinement. Don’t just take our word for it; be sure to do your own research. We believe that the more you learn about Enstrom helicopters, the more you’ll agree that Enstrom is the training helicopter for you.

For more information please visit:

Enstrom logo


Hour Requirements

FAR 61.109 – Private Pilot Helicopter

40 hours total flight time, including:

  • 20 hours dual instruction and
  • 10 hours solo flight, both in areas of operation listed in 61.107(b)(3), in a helicopter.

The 20 hours of dual instruction in a helicopter must include:

  • 3 hours of cross country flight training
  • 3 hours of night flight training, which includes: 1 cross-country flight over 50 nautical miles total distance and 10 takeoffs/10 landings in the traffic pattern to a full stop, at an airport.
  • 3 hours flight training within 60 days preceding the practical test.

The 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter must include:

  • 3 hours of cross country time which includes;
  • 1 solo cross country at least 100 nautical miles total distance, minimum landing at three points, one segment at least 25 nautical miles straight line distance between starting and landing points.
  • 3 takeoffs and 3 landings in the traffic pattern to a full stop, at an airport with an operating control tower.

FAR 61.65 – Helicopter Instrument Rating

50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which 10 hours must have been in a helicopter.

40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time in the areas of operation listed under paragraph (c) of this section, of which 15 hours must have been with an authorized instructor who holds an instrument-helicopter rating, and the instrument time includes:

(i) Three hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in a helicopter that is appropriate to the instrument-helicopter rating within 2 calendar months before the date of the practical test; and

(ii) Instrument flight training on cross country flight procedures, including one cross country flight in a helicopter with an authorized instructor that is performed under instrument flight rules and a flight plan has been filed with an air traffic control facility, and involves:

(A) A flight of 100 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from an air traffic control facility;

(B) An instrument approach at each airport; and

(C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.

FAR 61.129 – Commercial Pilot Helicopter

A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating must log at least 150 hours of flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:

100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in helicopters.

100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least:

  • 35 hours in helicopters; and
  • 10 hours in cross-country flight in helicopters.

20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(3) that includes at least:

  • 5 hours of instrument training in an aircraft.
  • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
  • One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
  • 3 hours in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.

10 hours of solo flight in a helicopter on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(b)(3) which includes at least:

  • One cross-country flight with landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
  • 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern).

FAR 61.183 – Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)

There are no hour requirements for certified flight instructor (CFI) past a commercial or airline transport pilot rating. Basically, you must be at least a commercial helicopter pilot, pass the appropriate written tests, and complete a check ride. The same is true for CFII, with the exception that the applicant must already hold a helicopter instrument rating.

Physical Address:

Vertical Advantage Helicopters
2460 Greentree Rd.
Lebanon, OH 45036

(513) 746-7994

39° 27′ 44″ N, 84° 15′ 7″ W

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