Professional helicopter pilot scholarships announced for 2017

With just over three months remaining until Helicentre Aviation Academy’s 2016 Scholarship applications close, the company has announced that its Scholarship programme will run for a fifth year. Since the programme started in 2012, eleven pilots have been awarded professional training scholarships totalling over £300k (GBP), with two more awards due to be made towards the end of this year.

Helicentre says the programme has already been extremely successful, providing the Scholarship winners with funding to complete their professional flight training, as well as career opportunities to work as Professional Helicopter Pilots. Previous winners of the Flight Instructor Scholarship have all been offered immediate full-time Instructing positions within the Academy, and winners of the Commercial Pilot Scholarship who have now qualified are flying ad-hoc charter for the company. This has also led to opportunities for the more experienced Scholarship winners to move up into the company’s Utility and Survey roles.

It’s not only the Scholarship Winners who have benefited from the programme, as Head of Training and Managing Director Captain Sarah Bowen explained. “We launched the programme after identifying a need for pilots, particularly Flight Instructors to satisfy our own requirements. We had no idea it would produce such talented, high quality applicants, and has given us the opportunity to work with a fantastic group of individuals who strive to maintain our high training standards.”

Two full Scholarships will be awarded in 2017, a Commercial Pilot (CPL(H)) Scholarship with a value of around £55k and a Flight Instructor (FI(H)) Scholarship worth £18k. The CPL(H) Scholarship will pay for all post-PPL(H) hour building, including the chance to fly some of the hours out of the company’s new base in Orlando, Florida, the CPL/ATPL theoretical knowledge course, as well as the complete CPL(H) modular flying course – a total of up to 140 hours flight time in the Cabri G2. The FI(H) Scholarship will cover the entire cost of the winner’s Flight Instructor course and will include a full time Instructing position on completion.

Callum Tinnion, one of the 2015 winners (pictured below), spoke of how the award has changed his life. “It’s an incredible opportunity which has made it possible for me to complete all my training up to Flight Instructor without having to worry about finances,” Tinnion remarked. “As part of the award I’ve even been offered a full-time position straight out of training – it feels amazing to be part of such a great operation which offers so much in terms of experience and opportunity to move up within the industry.”

Entry criteria and application deadlines can be found at where you can also register your interest to join the 2016 or 2017 Scholarship programmes.