CPL And FI Scholarships

Scholarships Available

Applications are open for the following scholarships to be awarded in 2020:

• EASA Commercial Helicopter Pilot – CPL(H)
EASA Helicopter Flight Instructor – FI(H)

It is a combined application form so you can choose to apply for one or both of the scholarship awards.

What’s Included? 

The Commercial Helicopter Pilot Scholarship will be awarded to one candidate selected from applicants who complete their PPL(H) at Helicentre Aviation Academy prior to 30th September 2020. The Scholarship winner will receive fully funded training to CPL(H) including the ATPL(H) Theoretical Knowledge course, hour building up to 155 hours total helicopter time (or as required according to other licences held at the discretion of the Academy), and the CPL(H) modular flying course. All training will be provided using the Guimbal Cabri G2.

The Flight Instructor Scholarship will be awarded to one candidate selected from applicants who complete their PPL(H) or CPL(H) at Helicentre Aviation Academy prior to 30th September 2020. The Scholarship winner will receive a fully funded Flight Instructor course and a full time position at the Academy working as an FI(H) upon qualification. All training will be provided using the Guimbal Cabri G2.

How Much is it Worth?

The Commercial Helicopter Pilot Scholarship is worth approximately £55,000 GBP and the Flight Instructor Scholarship approximately £20,000 GBP.

Medical Requirements

• Applicants for the CPL(H) Scholarship must hold a valid Class 1 Medical
• Applicants for the FI(H) Scholarship must hold either a valid Class 1 or Class 2 Medical

Nationaility and Eligibility

Applicants of all nationalities may apply for both the EASA CPL(H) and FI(H) Scholarships, however those appliants who would require a visa in order to attend a course of training in the United Kingdom must be eligbile for a Short Term Study Visa so as to meet the application criteria. Helicentre Aviation Academy is British Accreditation Council approved and is able to sponsor eligible international students for up to six months while they undergo flight training courses.

Application Deadlines

• All application forms must be recieved no later than 31st December 2019
• Applicants must compete their PPL(H) at Helicentre Aviation before 30th September 2020 to be invited to undergo selection

Selection Process

Scholarship selection is a three stage process. All applicants who complete the PPL(H) course before the deadline will be invited to attend an interview lasting approximately 30 minutes in front of a panel of industry professionals during October 2020. This is the first stage of the selction process.

On successful completion of the interview stage, selected applicants will be invited to give a presentation. The presentation topic is selected by the applicant and will last 15 minutes in duration using any delivery method as chosen by the applicant. At the end of the presentation the applicant will be asked to go into more detail about their future plans and this part of the second stage will last approximately 10 minutes with an opportunity for the panel to ask questions at the end. The second stage of the selction process will last approximately 30-60 minutes and will take place in November 2020.

Once all applicants have completed the second stage, selected applicants will be invited to attend the final selection stage, an entire day spent working both as a group and individually on a varity of physical and mental tasks designed to highlight strengths and weaknesses in various areas. This will allow our panel to assess applicants against the competencies requried to operate as a Commercial Pilot or Flight Instructor, and work as a member of the Helicentre Aviation team. The final selection stage is planned to take place in November 2020, but depending on application numbers this may be scheduled for December 2020.

The Scholarship Winners will be announced in December 2020 as soon as the panel has come to a decision on the most suitable applicant in each case. Selection dates will be notified to all applicants in plenty of time to make arrangements for attendance of the selection process.

Ready to Apply?

Register your interest in the Scholarship Programme today and a member of our team will contact you with further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Commercial Pilot Licence (Helicopter) Scholarship?

The scholarship will be awarded to one successful applicant in November 2019 and will cover the direct costs of the ATPL(H) ground school in preparation for the EASA ATPL(H) written exams, hour building from the hours held on receipt of application to the pre-requisite hours to commence the CPL(H) modular course (155 total hours, 135 total hours if PPL(A) already held), and the cost of the 35 hour EASA CPL(H) modular flying course at Helicentre Aviation Ltd.

What is the Flight Instructor (Helicopter) Scholarship?

The flight instructor (FI(H)) scholarship will be awarded to one successful applicant in November 2019 and will cover the direct costs of the EASA FI(H) course at Helicentre Aviation Ltd.

Why is Helicentre Aviation offering a Scholarship?

For twenty years we have been training new pilots from zero to commercial pilot and flight instructor, and we are always on the look out for the right people to join our team and fly for us. Our Chairman identified many years ago that a pilot shortage was on the horizon and that the need for assisting the right candidates achieve their objectives existed. Our success stories are plentiful; our former students are working in different roles all over the world living their dream, flying helicopters! We speak to hundreds of people every year who aspire to be commercial helicopter pilots, many of whom are unable to go beyond PPL(H) due to financial constraints given the high costs of hour building and advanced training. Choosing to become a commercial helicopter pilot is a life-changing decision and we are delighted for the seventh year running to be able to offer one of our motivated and passionate PPL(H) graduates the opportunity to realise their dream.

How much are the scholarships worth?

The total estimated value of the CPL(H) Scholarship is £55,000, which will be awarded as a combination of solo hour building and dual instruction at Helicentre Aviation Ltd., and our commercial ground school. If appropriate type ratings are held, the scholarship winner may be offered opportunities to hour build on the larger types as well as the two seat training helicopters, which will further increase the value of the hours awarded.

The total value of the FI(H) Scholarship is £18,000 covering the cost of the flight instructor course at Helicentre Avaition Ltd.

Will I have to pay any of it back?

Not at all. The successful applicant will be granted a once in a lifetime opportunity which we hope will be the start of a long and fruitful career as a Professional Helicopter Pilot.

Will I be bonded in return for being awarded the Scholarship?

Should you be awarded the CPL(H) scholarship, you will not be bonded, however a freelance position at Helicentre Aviation as a commercial helicopter pilot flying tours and pleasure flights will be offered to the scholarship winner and we hope that he or she will enjoy building up their experience to enable them move onto the next stage of their career, and eventually their dream job.

Should you be awarded the FI(H) scholarship, you will not be bonded, however, a freeland position at Helicentre Aviation as a flight instructor will be offered to the scholarship winner to continue building experience and enabling them to move onto the next stages of their career.

Why is the Scholarship only open to Helicentre Aviation PPL(H) Graduates?

Helicentre Aviation invests heavily in assisting motivated individuals fund their professional training, therefore it is essential that we are confident in the candidate's ability to successfully complete their training. Choosing from graduates of our own training program, having watched them progress through training and seen them interact with our staff and with other students, gives us the best opportunity to assess ability, performance and personality, which are important factors in selecting a suitable candidate for the scholarship award and for future employment.

Are there any age restrictions associated with the Scholarship?

The minimum age for the CPL(H) scholarship application is 18 years as of the 30th September 2019. Whilst there is no upper age limit, please bear in mind that under current EASA regulations there is an upper age limit of 60 years to operate Commercial Air Transport in single pilot helicopters and you will need to consider, should you be awarded the scholarship, whether it will be feasible for you to complete the entire training program before reaching the age of 60.

How many scholarship applications do you expect to receive?

2013 was the first year we awarded scholarships and we only received 12 applicants for the CPL(H) scholarship. In 2016 we received 22 applications, so whilst it impossible to predict how many applications we will receive in 2018, the numbers are not expected to be high. Last year, we received only 19 applications! Bear in mind that previous applicants can apply for the scholarship again if they are unsuccessful so whilst we expect the number of applications for 2018 to increase, there is a limit to how many students we are able to train in a year and we typically get booked up very quickly in the last six months leading up to the scholarship deadline. It is therefore wise to plan to complete your PPL(H) in plenty of time to make the deadline (whilst the fastest student to complete a PPL(H) completed it in five weeks, you should typically allow two to three months full time and six to nine months if you are flying less frequently as there is also a written examination you need to pass as well as meeting the flying requirements before the scholarship deadline).

Do I need to arrange my own Class 1 Medical certificate?

Yes, at the time of application through to scholarship award a valid Class 1 Medical certificate must be held to ensure you are medically fit and eligible for the use of a CPL(H) when the time comes. If you are awarded the scholarship the Class 1 Medical must be maintained throughout your training at your own cost. Initial Class 1 Medical Examinations are carried out at specific medical centres. A list of these locations can be found on the CAA website.

Do I need any previous flying experience to apply?

In order to be eligible to apply for the CPL(H) scholarship, you must be in a position to complete your PPL(H) with Helicentre Aviation Ltd. before the scholarship deadline. The PPL(H) is the first stage of training you go through in order to become a Professional Helicopter Pilot, so in obtaining the licence, which will remain valid for life, you will not only have completed that first important step allowing you to progress onto your commercial examination, but more importantly you will hold a licence to fly helicopters which is an amazing achievement! Completing the PPL(H) course at Helicentre Aviation will also make you eligible to apply for our scholarships year after year and have an excellent chance to join the many Scholarship Winners who are enjoying a career as a Professional Helicopter Pilot with the help of the funding they have received.

I have started training for my PPL(H) at another school. Can I still apply?

In order to be eligible for our CPL(H) Scholarship you must complete your PPL(H) course and pass your skill test with Helicentre Aviation before the scholarship deadline. If you have already started training for your PPL(H) elsewhere and you choose to complete the course there, unfortunately you will not be eligible to apply for the scholarship.

Is the CPL(H) Scholarship open to International Students?

Yes. If you are an international applicant, you will need to let us know as early as possible in order to arrange the appropriate visa that is required for you to undergo flight training with us. Please call a member of our team on +44 (0) 116 259 0186 to discuss these requirements.

I really want to apply for the Scholarship. Can I transfer from my current school?

If you have started training at another training organisation and wish to transfer to complete your PPL(H) training with Helicentre Aviation, please call us to discuss your individual situation and we can book you in for a training review.

If I am awarded the Scholarship will I need to pay for anything myself?

The scholarship winner will receive ground school for the ATPL(H) theoretical knowledge course, hour building to the minimum number of hours required to commence the CPL(H) course (up to a maximum of 155 logbook hours), and the CPL(H) modular flying course (a maximum of 35 hours) from the date the scholarship is awarded. Any theoretical knowledge enrolment fee, or hour building or training towards the qualification already undertaken by the winner prior to the scholarship award date is not covered by the Scholarship and will not be reimbursed. The cost of keeping your medical certificate and at least your rating current, as well as any travel, subsistence, and accommodation costs will be your own responsibility. Additionally any fees payable directly to the CAA (or other independent bodies) for examinations or licence issue will be at your cost. Should you fail your skill-test after your first attempt, you will be responsible for covering the cost of the re-sit, including the aircraft hire, if applicable. If additional training is required in preparation for the commercial skill-test, this will be the responsibility of the scholarship winner.

How do I apply?

Register your interest on the Helicentre Aviation website, and a member of our training team will get in touch by phone or e-mail to run through the application criteria and answer any questions you may have. If you wish to go ahead, you can enrol you on the PPL(H) course there and then, or you can visit us to meet the team and speak to the instructors, students and hour builders before making your decision. Once enrolled you will receive a copy of the scholarships application form.

When is the application deadline?

You have until the 31st of December 2018 to enrol on our PPL(H) training course at Helicentre Aviation and also submit an application form. At this point, we will hold onto your application which will be kept safe until you pass your PPL(H) skill-test. The second deadline is the 30th of September 2019 to complete your PPL(H) training. Submitting the form early will help make our team aware of your intentions to be a scholarship applicant and plan accordingly.

What is involved in the selection process after I have applied?

There are three phases to the selection process. You will first be invited to attend an interview lasting approximately 15 minutes. You will need to bring the items specified in section 10 of the application form with you to the interview for inspection by the panel. You will be asked about your future goals and intended career path as a helicopter pilot, as well as timescale and how you would support yourself during your training should you be awarded the scholarship. There will also be some general questions asked to learn more about your decision making processes and your personality. Selected candidates will be invited to attend a further meeting and deliver a presentation on any chosen subject lasting 15 minutes using Keynote or Powerpoint (projector, screen and remote/pointer will be provided). You may wish to prepare for this presentation well in advance in case you are selected so that you are well rehearsed to present to the panel. Should you be successful in the second phase, you will be invited to attend a final selection day involving a range of team building and individual exercises as well as another interview and presentation.

If I am lucky enough to be awarded the scholarship, what are the timescales involved?

The CPL(H) Scholarship will be awarded in December 2019. You will begin the ATPL(H) ground school course immediately in preparation for the EASA exams to be completed by 31st October 2020. Upon completion of this, the scholarship winner’s hour building phase will begin before the flight training commences, culminating in the commercial skill-test being taken before the 31st December 2020.

How do I find out more about the PPL(H) course?

The first step is to register your interest so that a member of our team can call you to discuss the training process in more detail. We would like to invite you to meet our head of training, attend a one-to-one career chat with our training co-ordinator, meet the staff and some of the current students, and have a look around the aircraft and the facilities. Optional trial flights can be arranged to give you the opportunity to decide whether a new career as a helicopter pilot is right for you. Additionally you may wish to attend one of our free career seminars which provide a lot more information. Call us on +44 (0) 116 259 0186 if you would like to have a chat with a member of our training team.

When will the training course for the Scholarship winner take place?

You must be available to complete all the ATPL(H) theory, examinations, hour building and practical training between the 1st of January 2020 and the 31st of December 2020.

Can I apply for both scholarships at the same time?

Yes. Simply tick both of the checkboxes on the application form. If you apply for the FI(H) scholarship having just completed your PPL(H) and are lucky enough to be selected, you will be expected to meet certain requirements to complete your entire CPL(H) training in a given timeframe.

I applied last year but was unsuccessful. Can I apply again?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of times you can apply and it does not cost anything to send another application in. If you missed the deadline this year to complete your training or submit an application, you can always apply next year.