Ideally, there is only a handful of things that you could do in this lifetime. Build a castle on an Island, drive super cars, and breed sharks or whales – just for the heck of it. The only thing missing here is a way to avoid the nasty traffic jams. And that’s where helicopters come in to balance the equation. They bring convenience, practicability, and above all, save you time.
Today, owning a helicopter is now easier than ever. There are so many options out there – starting from a “humble” two-seater helicopter to luxury choppers that come with a small boardroom and separate cockpit. So, if your super car is no longer making the cut for you, consider adding a helicopter to your garage. However, be prepared for the endless phone calls from friends and family requesting for rides and air parties.
As promised, here are the things to consider when purchasing your first helicopter.
Who will fly the new machine?
One common thing about helicopter owners is their love for the hands-on stuff. They tend to drive themselves in super cars, and also a good number of them pilot their private choppers. So that should be your first option when you are in the market for a helicopter. In fact, flying yourself comes with enhanced privacy, unmatched satisfaction, and saves you money. However, if you prefer riding in the back seat, you’ll need a bigger machine and a professional pilot to fly it.
But in case you choose the DIY route, then you need to get your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). It takes around 12 months to complete and costs anywhere between £8,000 to £20,000. You can ask around for helicopter owners communities to help you stay in the loop.
The distance between your points of interest should guide you in selecting a helicopter. Smaller ones limit the distance you can travel in one go, while bigger ones stay airborne for longer and also carry more passengers. But if you intend to rent or lease out the chopper, the Robinson R44 could be a better choice compared to the R22. It has five seats, two at the front and three at the back – making it an ideal option for business trips and site seeing.
Just like any other big purchase, the price of the helicopter requires your undivided attention. You don’t want a situation where you buy a helicopter that requires excessively high maintenance. Or a small one that needs refueling after every thirty minutes of flight. So, do thorough homework on options that could work for you. And even go a step further of hiring one to get a feel of what to expect.