Our Part 61 helicopter flight training operations are conducted solely at our Westchester Airport location, in the Robinson R44 helicopter. Whether you dream of flying for fun with friends or family, looking to become a professional helicopter pilot or already a fixed wing pilot looking to earn your add-on rating, we are a helicopter flight school in New York that you can trust, dedicated to giving you the tools, skills, and knowledge to succeed as a licensed helicopter pilot.



If you have no prior flying experience, the recommended first step is to take an introductory flight lesson (discovery flight). Your first helicopter flight lesson begins with ground briefing covering helicopter flight controls, flying techniques and safety procedures. You will then join one of our professional flight instructors for an exciting 30- or 60-minute one-on-one flight. Once airborne, you will get to take the controls of one of our Robinson helicopters while taking in stunning views of Westchester County, the New York/Connecticut coastline and the Hudson River. Introductory flight lessons are not permitted in New York City airspace. Bring up to two friends to ride along as passengers for additional fee (subject to weight limitations).

Roundtrip hotel transfers are available between Manhattan and Westchester for additional fee. Our Westchester location can also be reached by the Metro-North train from Grand Central Terminal to White Plains station then a quick taxi ride. Total travel time approximately 45-60 minutes. Train schedules here.

30- or 60-Minute Discovery Flight

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Helicopter Flight Training Programs

Private Pilot Certificate

The Private Pilot course is an exciting opportunity for those with no flying experience to start flying for business or pleasure. If you would like to fly as a commercial pilot, this is also your first step toward a career as a professional pilot.

To obtain a Private Pilot Certificate you must:

  • Be 17 years old at the completion of the course;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or be approved by the Transportation Security Administration;
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand English;
  • Pass an FAA third class medical examination;
  • Fly a minimum of 40 hours, including 30 with an instructor and 10 solo;
  • Pass the FAA private pilot written test;
  • Pass the FAA private pilot practical test;

Upon completing the Private Pilot course, you will receive a Private Pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category rating and a helicopter class rating.

Factoring in federal requirements and ground training, the estimated total minimum cost to obtain your Private Pilot certificate is $40,000.00. We currently do not offer in-hour financing nor accept the G.I. Bill but accept flight training loans from Pilot Finance and Lending Tree.

Helicopter Add-on Rating

Pilots who already hold Private, Commercial, ATP or CFI Ratings on fixed-wing aircraft can earn an “Add-On” rating in a helicopter. Those pilots are not required to take the FAA Private Helicopter written exam and the minimum number of total required dual training hours is reduced.


  • Log a minimum of 30 hours, 20 dual and 10 solo
  • Hold a valid FAA private pilot certificate
  • Attain at least a Third Class Medical
  • Pass an FAA practical test

Commercial Pilot Certificate

The Commercial Pilot Program is oriented towards students who wish to make a career as a helicopter pilot. The syllabus is designed to prepare you for the practical demands of professional flying. The certificate you obtain at the end of this course will qualify you to fly most of the commonly used civilian helicopters.

Phase I (Private Pilot) This phase will be conducted as outlined in the Private Pilot Program. The main advantages to obtaining a Private Pilot Certificate are that you may carry passengers and that the time you spend flying with your instructor can be recorded in your logbook as Pilot In Command (PIC) time.

Phase II (Commercial/Instrument) Once you have obtained your Private Pilot Certificate you will have flown approximately 10 hours of solo time (without the flight instructor in the aircraft). From here you will need to reach 100 hours of Pilot in Command (PIC) flight time. PIC time includes all flight time where you are on the controls after you have obtained your Private Pilot Certificate. The 10 hours of solo time also counts towards this requirement.

During these next 90 hours of flight time there are a variety of areas to improve upon the Private Pilot Certificate and prepare for the Commercial Checkride.

The first area is to start working on a Helicopter Instrument rating. This training all counts towards the PIC flight time requirement while also giving you the benefit of an additional rating. See our section on Instrument training.

The second area is to become familiar with is congested-area flying. We will teach you to navigate the busy New York City airspace. This type of flying puts considerable demands on the pilot, both in terms of flying skills and aeronautical knowledge.

The third area is maintaining and improving upon all of the skills gained as a Private Pilot as well as how to plan and execute commercial operations. You will be taught to control the aircraft more precisely and develop the skills needed to work as a helicopter pilot.

Phase III (Pre-checkride) The last few hours of training will be spent with your instructor, preparing for the specific requirements of the flight test.

FAA Requirements The minimum number of flight hours required for the Commercial Certificate is 150 and it is reasonable to expect that you will attain the required standard to pass the checkride with that number of hours.

Ground School This class prepares you for the written exam and also introduces you to commercial operations. Essentially, the Commercial Pilot written examination is based on the same material as the Private Pilot test, but at a higher standard. The additional detail and depth of knowledge will be attained through one-on-one tuition with your instructor, combined with a program of home study.

Medical Requirements To be eligible to work as a Commercial Pilot you must hold a Class II Medical Certificate.

The majority of professional civilian pilots start their aviation careers as flight instructors. To become a flight instructor, you must possess an FAA Commercial Pilots License and pass the CFI Practical Exam.

The CFI Program is primarily a ground course, with heavy emphasis on the fundamentals of instructing and refining your knowledge to the standard required to train a new pilot. Students in the CFI program are expected to create a lesson plan book which will serve as a teaching aid during the practical exam and eventually, as a resource during their new career as an instructor.

The flight-training portion places emphasis on teaching from the co-pilot seat and mastering full-down autorotations. CFI applicants are required to demonstrate that they have the ability to land the helicopter, without any assistance from the engine


Why Wings Air Helicopters

The Ultimate Flying Experience

We have a saying here, “if you can fly in New York, you can fly anywhere.” Westchester County and the surrounding areas offer students a challenging yet rewarding environment for helicopter flight training. Our New York helicopter flying lessons given in diverse weather conditions, high air traffic volumes, and a complex airspace system prepare students to fly under even the most demanding conditions. Whether you’re in an NYC helicopter navigating your way above the city along local routes or flying out east on a cross-country adventure, you can count on receiving the flying experience of a lifetime with us.

Superior Helicopters

The Robinson R44 Raven II is the helicopter of choice for all our training operations. This aircraft provides many advantages over other models used for helicopter training, ensuring a safe, high-performance and versatile platform. The R44 is one of the most popular helicopters in the world, seating up to 4 people comfortably and can travel at over 100 knots. Private pilots flying for pleasure can bring along up to 3 passengers. If you are working towards becoming a commercial pilot, helicopter pilot training in the R44 will provide you with experience in one of the most widely used helicopters in the industry.

Personalized Training

As one of the top helicopter flight schools New York has to offer, we pride ourselves on building close relationships with our students. Being a Part 61 flight school, all lessons are conducted one-on-one. This means each lesson is tailored to fit the student’s unique needs. At Wings Air Helicopters, you are more than just a customer – our instructors will always treat you as a valued member of our team.

HD Cameras + GPS Tracking

Our training helicopters are equipped with high definition video cameras. After a flight we are able to give you a detailed debrief by reviewing footage from inside and outside the cockpit. This allows us to review airspeed, altitude and ground track in order to assess performance and provide additional feedback. With this tool you can be assured that you’ll be getting the very most out of your flight time.