Below is a reproduced review from a HPPL student of his personal experience as he learnt to fly a Robinson 22 with JK Helicopters.
What does success look like?
For me: I wanted to get my PPL(H) licence, on an R22, flying the least number of hours, with support for the ground exams, within budget and in about 6 weeks.
JKHT is not only the callsign for one of their R22s, it’s also the name of the flight school: James Kenwright Helicopter Training. So when I found the website and called the number it was great that James himself was the one who picked up the phone and was happy to spend 20 minutes talking through what it would take to achieve that success.
That call, followed by a visit to the airfield and a read of James and Ewan’s latest testimonials feedback. That all sold me on it being a place I could trust would get me my licence and make it a great experience.
Today, 6 weeks later, I passed my flight test!
A total success: 45.0 flying hours (the legal minimum). All 9 ground exams plus the Radio Licence practical exam passed first time. For an all up cost of £16,500 (inc VAT).
Beyond getting the licence, what was my experience like?
As in so many things, it’s the people who make it the rewarding and enjoyable experience it was: James and Ewan.
In James, you have a hands on owner who is around everyday, as well as being an active instructor and CAA examiner who can conduct your final flight test. Ewan was my instructor throughout and, beyond being an experienced skilful pilot, he is more importantly a talented, easy to work with coach. Getting your licence is a shared success and 100% these guys demonstrated they were genuinely interested and committed to getting me through all the exercises, exams, paperwork, and hurdles to land that licence.
JKHT demonstrated all the benefits you can imagine come from being a small flight training outfit, focused on PPLs, open 7 days a week, and led by a 10,000 hour veteran. The office acts like a ‘club room’ with experienced and student pilots, all of them friendly, willing to have a chat, share stories, and help make the place a fun place to turn up to.
My objective was based on having had some previous flight training experience – both fixed wing and helicopter – albeit over 10 years ago. If you’ve not flown before, you might like to think about a few significant variables: (i) the benefit of training at a towered airfield, and a south west location, like Gloucester (which is also the country’s biggest general aviation field); (ii) availability of probably the most popular training helicopters – the Robinson R22 and R44 types; (iii) money and time permitting, giving yourself a reasonably short period in which to target completion of the course.
Richard Harborne – 1 October 2020