top of page
Here is a compilation of questions we frequently ask while got our webinar
Requirements for the training
What level does my English need to be at?
In general, you need to speak and understand English well for pilot training. ICAO Level 4 in English is required.
Since the language is the foundation for your training and later work as a flight instructor, we advise you to work on it as much as possible before the training. We have also created a PDF with helpful tips that we would be happy to send you.
Do I need my high school diploma?
No, that's not necessary.
What physical abilities (fitness) and how much "intelligence" do you need? Do you have a good chance with a high school diploma and normal fitness (not particularly athletic) or is success almost certain or does that mean nothing at all?
As long as you pass the medical, the fitness is sufficient. In terms of intelligence, pilots are not above average for the rest of the population.
Is a radio certificate required in advance?
No, this is not necessary in advance for the training in the USA.
Is it possible to start at any time or are there always fixed start dates for the training?
We have monthly start dates, with a little advance planning you can usually start on your desired date
How many students are enrolled per course? We have start dates once a month. As a result, the classes are very small, from 3 people we offer group lessons in theory.
Which application and training periods are planned?
You can apply at any time. The training lasts 12-18 months and you can then work in the USA for almost 2 years.
How much time must be scheduled between the application and the start of training? Or how long does the application phase last?
Once you have all the documents together, you can apply straight away. Then it depends on how fast the authorities (consulate) etc. work. Shouldn't take more than 2-3 months
Is there a weight limit for training on the R22?
Yes, 240 lbs, that's 108 kg.
Is it still possible to enter the USA at all?
At the moment there is an entry stop, as it is not recommended to travel worldwide. We are confident that this will change in the near future.
What about training in general due to the Covid19 problem?
Currently (May 2020) the training with us is carried out in such a way that the theory for groups is held online with zoom. One-to-one tuition and flight training will continue to operate, with students having the option to pause. Our helicopters and buildings are completely disinfected daily. Hillsboro Aero Academy has a 2 week quarantine for newly arrived students. During this time, however, you can already start with the theory lessons.
Do you help with the apartment search or does the HAA have rooms on campus?
For the first few weeks you can rent a room in one of our apartments. Afterwards, most students move into a shared flat to save money. We provide support when looking for a flat if someone is looking for a room in a shared flat.
To what extent can one prepare for training in Germany in order to be there as quickly as possible?
First of all, you should have good English. After you have registered, we can give you access to our Learning Management System, which you can use to prepare for the theory lessons in concrete terms.
How great is the benefit of flight simulation software or is it even more harmful?
Some aspects can be practiced very well with the simulator. But there is also the danger that you will train yourself in wrong procedures that you will find very difficult to get rid of. We recently tested a new app that you can use to learn funk sayings. Because that's always one of the hardest parts for new pilots. Flying, listening to the flight instructor and then radioing can be very difficult if you don't understand the logic of radio messages. You can find the app we use here planeenglishsim.com/
Does it make sense to do an apprenticeship as an aircraft mechanic beforehand?
If you already have the training or are in the middle of it - the knowledge you have as a result will definitely be helpful to you during the training. However, it does not make sense to start the training in advance, this is not a prerequisite.
Does a German PPL-H somehow count towards the training?
Yes, the PPL and your flight hours are counted. In order to convert the EASA PPL to the FAA PPL, you must apply to the FAA. This FAA license is then valid for as long as your EASA license.
What about pilots who have already started a modular CPL-H training in Germany?
You could also apply for the F-1 visa in this case and participate in the program. Please send us an email to email@example.com, then we can clarify this individually.
Can existing licenses such as PPL-A or FI(S) be credited for training in the USA?
Generally yes, but we would have to look individually at what is possible.
I've almost finished my Frozen ATPL. Is any of this recognised? If so, how long does the training take?
Your flying hours will be fully recognised. In the USA you can only get an FAA PPL license and then you have to do the FAA IFR, CPL and CFI licenses. Depending on how many night, solo and cross-country flying lessons you already have, the price and duration can vary. I can email you more information and a price list.
Is it also possible to get started with a military pilot's license?
As you probably know, your military license must be converted to a civil license and recognized. Based on this, you can come to us in the USA to complete the training program with us. Your military training can also make you an interesting candidate for civil helicopter companies.
Are flight hours on other aircraft of any use? So gliders or motor planes?
To a limited extent, yes, because by then you already have flying experience. However, the FAA requires that you must have 200 hours in the helicopter in order to work as a flight instructor in the Robinson R22.
I'll soon be getting my bachelor's degree in aircraft design complete in Hamburg. Is it generally possible to have subjects such as aerodynamics recognized in order to save costs in theory lessons? Of course, the content must first of all match exactly. But are there fundamentally such possibilities?
It's great that you already have so much experience. Unfortunately, this cannot be recognized in theory classes in the USA, but your knowledge will of course help you enormously. The theory lessons in the USA are not nearly as intensive as those for the EASA license.
If you can/do not want to start until next year, does it make sense to do the PPL in Germany beforehand?
In general, this is possible, but it makes little sense financially and in terms of time, because training in Europe is much more expensive and generally takes longer. If you already have the PPL, you can still join our training program, if not, we advise you to save the money and then do the complete training in the USA.
I have heard that one of the prerequisites is a math/English test. How important are math skills? Or how extensively are these also tested?
The "Ability to Benefit" test is taken if you don't have a bilingual school-leaving certificate. Your math skills will also be tested here. It's all about heads and percentages. You don't have to be great at mental arithmetic, but an average understanding of math from school helps. When the time comes, we will be happy to help you prepare for the test!
My passport is currently valid until 2023. Would it be sufficient to register with the HAA if I scanned the copy of this passport and then quickly had my passport renewed? So that the valid passport is available at the beginning of the training.
Registration with the old passport is possible, but the new passport should be there before registering for the visa interview, as you have to enter your passport number on the DS-160 form.
Do you still need a visa with dual citizenship (DE/US)?
No, you don't need a visa then.
How about the certificate of fitness to fly (medical)?
For the training in the USA you need an FAA (= American) medical class 2, only after your return to Europe then the EASA medical class 1. But it makes sense, even before that to clarify whether you are fit to fly in Europe. You can make an appointment with a flight doctor, we will be happy to give you more detailed information!
What is the cost of the Medical?
The FAA Medical costs around 120-150 euros, the EASA Medical costs just under 250-300 euros.
What is required for the EASA Medical? Whole body MRI done?
No MRI is done, but an intensive check of your general health. The important thing is - no drug/alcohol abuse, good eyesight, no serious illnesses.
Can you also become a pilot with visual aids or contact lenses?
Yes, as long as the eyes can be corrected with a visual aid (contact lenses or glasses), that's no problem. However, color weakness can be a problem and should be discussed with the AME.
Do you have to submit the complete medical history to the medical?
As far as this affects the airworthiness, yes.
Is an EASA Medical repeatable if I fail? If so, after how many months/years?
It depends on why you fail the medical, but in principle it is possible. You can ask the flight surgeon for more details.
Who do you contact if you have specific medical questions?
It is best to go directly to an aviation doctor. We would be happy to send you more information about the aviation doctors here in Europe.
training costs and financing
What is the cost of education in the USA?
The training costs about 82,000 US dollars. Then there are travel, visa, insurance and living expenses. The faster you complete the training, the more money you save here. We would be happy to send you an overview of the costs to be expected.
Is the $82k for the training cost average or more for talented student pilots?
Around 90% of students are able to complete the course within 180-200 flight hours, so it's a realistic amount to calculate with. If you plan to go through the new EASA program, you can expect to pay about $10,000 more.
How about financing the training?
Hardly any of our students simply had the money for the training in their account. Most save at least part of the money and then borrow the rest from the family or part from the bank.
We recommend financing only part of the training on credit if possible. It is important for your career that you can remain flexible in order to be able to accept a position that brings in a lot of hours but less money.
How is local living financed, e.g. rent and meals?
You should include the cost of your living expenses in your planning. For students who live in a shared apartment, we calculate about 1000 dollars per month for living expenses including meals. Of course, it depends on your lifestyle. We can e-mail you a document with an overview of the additional costs!
Is it possible to work part-time?
In theory, it is possible to work up to 20 hours a week at our school. However, this slows down the training, so it makes little financial sense. We advise viewing the training as a full-time job and completing it as soon as possible.
How does the theory/practice class work? How many hours per week are planned for training and lessons per week?
Our advice is to fly at least 4 times a week and also take theory lessons (alone or in a group). In general, the most successful flight students are those who see the training as a full-time job and are at school 5-6 days a week.
job opportunities and earning potential
How good are the chances of getting a job immediately after training?
We cannot guarantee acceptance at HAA. However, we only hire our own graduates as flight instructors, on average around 15-20 flight instructors per year in the helicopter sector. With our new EASA program we expect an increase of about 50% in students from all over Europe, which means that we will also need about 50% more flight instructors. If it is not possible to hire a pilot with us, you can take the F-1 visa work permit to any other company in the US, whether the company itself is visa approved or not. We actively help those who cannot be hired with us to look for a job and place our graduates with other flight schools and helicopter companies in the USA.
Is the job after training at HAA an offer to collect hours or is this work also paid?
After the training you are a flight instructor and can work with us or with other schools/companies. This work is of course also paid!
How many flight hours do you collect when you work as a flight instructor?
Our graduates return to Europe with an average of 1200-1500 flight hours. During the training you fly about 200 hours, after that about 500-700 hours per year. Depending on where you work and how dedicated you are, this can of course increase.
How safe is it to generate the 500-1000 hours of flight experience in the 23.5 months of work in the USA? Only as a flight instructor at the HAA? Or can you work for other companies?
On average, our graduates fly 1200-1500 hours. Of course, it depends on the number of students and the motivation of the pilot. But there is the possibility to switch to a tour company. We work very closely with Sundance Helicopter in Las Vegas. There you can start with 750PIC hours to fly tours in the H130 and AS350.
How high is the starting salary, e.g. at ADAC air rescue, with regard to repayment?
During the F-1 visa, the earning potential is very different, mostly between approx. USD 15,000/year and approx. USD 25,000/year.
The starting salary of a PICUS of the ADAC LRG is around 45,000 euros per year, and the captain's salary is in the upper middle range of the pilot's salary.
Corona shows a clear impact on air traffic. Do you expect a drop in US helicopter pilot employment?
At the moment (May 2020) there are major restrictions, especially in scheduled air traffic, that's true. In the helicopter sector, the effects are expected to be much less, because a large part of the work is in the field of work aviation (rescue flight, transport of loads, etc.).
Where else could you work as a helicopter pilot in Germany if you don't make it through the selection process at DLR?
There are many other interesting helicopter companies in Germany and other European countries that offer interesting and challenging jobs. You can find a list here: https://www.helis.com/database/country/DE/
What is the chance of flying winch missions as a pilot in the Alps? Is it possible to gain experience with winches/ropes in the USA?
To fly winch missions you need a lot of flight experience and training, these missions are among the most demanding in aviation. In the USA we offer our Long-Line course where you learn to fly with an external load.
Approximately how many hours of the 1500 are completed on turbine types?
Our flight school does not operate turbine helicopters because that would significantly increase the training costs for our flight students. But there is the possibility of finding jobs in turbine helicopters after training in the USA. However, this is not necessary for a career with ADAC Luftrettung.
But that means that I still have to be very flexible with my place of residence and work after the apprenticeship, doesn't it?
Yes, as a new pilot, you can't expect to move straight to where you want to be. Flexibility is important, especially at the beginning. However, there is the possibility of applying internally to a specific station, for example at the ADAC air rescue service.
Career program in cooperation with ADAC air rescue
Do you have to be a German citizen to take part in the program?
No, you just have to speak fluent German and English and be able to work legally in Germany.
Do completely inexperienced candidates also have a chance?
Yes, in any case!
Is there a maximum age at the start of training?
No, the ADAC LRG can employ pilots up to the age of 60.
Is there a maximum age for hiring at ADAC?
As Bernd said, the maximum age for ADAC air rescue pilots is 60 years.
Are people in their early 30s disadvantaged when it comes to hiring compared to younger people?
What happens to the pilots if they are no longer allowed to fly because of their age? Are they then unemployed or are they guaranteed to continue to be employed at the ADAC LRG for other purposes?
The pilots retire at the age of 60.
Do you think that there might be a large rush of applicants in the coming period? What's your assessment? How many people will be accepted into the program?
We currently have 10 Pilots in the cooperation program who have been accepted and are awaiting entry into the United States. Since the program is just beginning, the number of applicants is not limited at the moment. However, we assume that we will limit the number of participants in the future in order to be able to offer everyone jobs.
But there is the possibility for everyone to do the training with us in the USA, to complete the EASA program and then to apply here in Europe - of course also with the ADAC air rescue service!
How does the great lack of pilots among the rescue pilots come about?
Due to fluctuation (pension and partial retirement). In addition, the Bundeswehr only trains as needed, so that the Bundeswehr pilots are no longer available in the required numbers.
If you are rejected by the ADAC at the beginning of the application phase (e.g. in the job interview), can you still withdraw from the training?
Yes, exactly, there are no obligations or costs until you know where you stand with the ADAC.
What exactly is tested during the ready entry examination at DLR?
You can read more about it here: http://www.attc.de/DLR-Test-fuer-ADAC.htm
Can the DLR test also be taken before the start of training?
No, the test is only taken after completing the training in the USA and after obtaining the EASA license. The chances of passing the demanding test are significantly higher if you already have experience as a pilot.
How much does the DLR test cost?
The costs are around 2,000 euros and are covered by the ADAC LRG for participants in the program.
Can the DLR test be repeated if necessary?
Basically yes, although it is always a case-by-case decision. The selection committee assesses the result and determines whether there are chances of success given a second chance.
Is it possible to have already passed DLR selection procedures for helicopters (e.g. federal police) recognized in advance of the training?
Basically there is this possibility. In consultation with the DLR, we decide whether the test or parts of it can be recognized. However, a final interview before the selection committee is mandatory.
If you have already passed the DLR test, for example through the Lufthansa selection process, do you still have to take the test again for the ADAC?
Yes, because the test for rescue helicopter pilots is different from that for the Lufthansa.
What about a type rating for ADAC helicopters?
The type rating is paid for by the ADAC LRG.
The ADAC only has turbine helicopters - but you only train on piston engines, right? How do you guys get together?
Turbine hours are not required to work at ADAC LRG.
What happens if a pilot becomes unfit (accident, illness, etc.)?
There is an occupational disability insurance (loss-of-license insurance) especially for pilots. The ADAC air rescue grants a subsidy for employed pilots to this insurance. Otherwise, in the event of medical unfitness to fly, each individual case must be examined.
Does the ADAC have gradations if you wear glasses but have a valid Class 1 Medical?
No. Only Medical Class 1 is decisive
How certain is it actually that after you have completed all the steps and been included in the ADAC's pool of applicants that you will actually get a job at the ADAC?
If you have successfully completed all steps, including the DLR selection and have been accepted into the pilot pool, you will be given a permanent position as soon as it is your turn and a position becomes open.
When you are in the ADAC pilot pool, how long does it take until you are finally in the cockpit, and how is the question of location resolved?
If all the requirements are met, then we offer the pilots in the pool the next vacant position. This can then be at any of our stations throughout Germany. The duration is difficult to estimate, it depends on the needs of the ADAC air rescue service at the time. But a lot of flying personnel will be needed in the next few years.
How many days at a time does a shift usually last? And how many days in between are free? Is the working week at the ADAC normally 5 days? Or is there also 7 on/7 off or 14/14?
The service rhythms differ between day and 24-hour stations and must move within the framework of the 2nd DV LuftBO (flight service and rest time regulations). 24-hour station (two-shift operation): usually 7 on / 7 off. Day station: 3 or 4 on / 7 off or 7 on / 7 off.
Approximately how many flight hours does a pilot achieve per year with the ADAC?
ADAC LRG pilots fly around 200 hours a year, depending on location.
Can I express location preferences to the ADAC?
As a new pilot, don't expect to move straight to where you want to be. Flexibility is important, especially at the beginning. However, it is possible to apply internally for a specific station, for example after employment with the ADAC air rescue service.
Is there a similar program with the ÖAMTC and are there also opportunities for jobs in Austria?
There is currently no such cooperation program with the ÖAMTC. In addition to rescue aviation, there is a variety of interesting jobs for helicopter pilots in Austria. Important employers in this area are, for example, Rotorsky Helicopter Service, Wucher Helicopter GmbH, Heli Austria GmbH, Schenk Air GmbH.
Do you need the EASA/FAA licenses before submitting the application or the interview?
No, that's not necessary.
Could you do an internship at the ADAC to get an insight into the day-to-day work of a station?
Unfortunately that is not possible.
Is a medical degree an advantage to be taken on by the ADAC after completing the training?
Of course, experience in the medical field never hurts, but it is not a criterion for employment.
As a CPL pilot who organized his training in Germany himself, do you still have a chance of being accepted by the ADAC, or are only pilots from the program hired?
Of course, pilots outside of the program can also apply.
How far is your own EASA program in development? It was said the planned start is 2020.
We are currently (June 2020) waiting for an EASA inspector to enter the US to inspect our flight school. It will then take another 6-8 weeks before we can start the EASA program. All student pilots who have already started with us can still enter the EASA program. The EASA training program is completed in parallel with the FAA training.
bottom of page