Benefits of Advanced Helicopter Courses & Add-Ons

Advanced training leads to safer, more confident helicopter pilots. Plus, by going beyond the typical flight school curriculum you’ll open the door to more job opportunities and cultivate marketable aviation skills that employers value. At Leading Edge Flight Academy, we offer four ways for our helicopter students to expand their skill sets. 

Mountain Flying Operations

Learn the unique aspects of mountain flying at the base of the Cascade Mountains, including meteorology, terrain, and pilot skills required to fly and operate safely in mountainous conditions. We offer real-world application of ridgeline, pinnacle, confined area, and high density altitude operations during these unique helicopter flight lessons.

GET STARTED
column-image

Night Vision Goggle (NVG) Training

An FAA-approved NVG course that prepares you for the advanced requirements of today’s commercial operators. We provide multiple levels of NVG training, including initial qualification, instructor endorsement, and recurring training.

GET STARTED
column-image

External Load Operations

Gain sought-after external load operations skills. Taught by our experienced utility pilots using our Bell 206 series and Robinson R-44 RII helicopters, you’ll obtain the knowledge and skills required to operate with an external load, including the use of long lines and Bambi buckets.

GET STARTED
column-image

Turbine Transition Course

Expand your piloting expertise by gaining the ability to operate turbine aircraft. You’ll train in the Bell 206 B3 to learn the specific operating parameters of turbine-powered helicopters. This course focuses on the systems, basic flying maneuvers, and emergency procedures in a turbine helicopter.

GET STARTED
column-image

Rotor Transition Program (RTP)

Interested in pivoting from helicopter piloting to an airline career? Many airlines offer financial assistance and starting bonuses, making it easier than ever to make the transition. Our Rotor Transition Program (RTP) provides you with high quality flight training that sets you up for a successful aviation career as an airline pilot.

LEARN MORE
column-image

Get The Most Out of Your Helicopter Flight Lessons

Whether it’s your first day at the controls or you’re a seasoned pilot, Leading Edge Flight Academy (LEFA) offers FAA-approved helicopter courses and education programs to further your aviation career. Get in touch to learn more about how these advanced courses and add-ons can open the door to exciting new career opportunities, for aviation professionals at every level of their career!

View All
Leading Edge is known for its diversity and high standards. Not only did they give me the skill set needed to pursue my career, LEFA helped pave the path to my first turbine transition job – one of many steps needed to get me to where I am today.

Twila Contreras

Twila Contreras
This is one big happy family of mechanics, pilots, and instructors. I’m very excited to become a professional pilot at Leading Edge Aviation and to invest in the rest of my aviation career.

Katani Best

Katani Best
Air Methods Corporation provides advanced air ambulance services as a flying ICU (Intensive Care Unit). The crew consists of one nurse, one paramedic, and the pilot. We respond at the request of EMS to rural scenes, and also transfer patients between hospitals. Our base in located in Osage Beach, Missouri. Air Methods has over 330 bases in 48 states. The education I received from Leading Edge and COCC prepared me in all aspects of flying, from air traffic-controlled environments to rural off-airport operations in the Cascade Mountain range. Flying in the mountains of Oregon prepared me perfectly to be an air ambulance pilot (now) and a bush pilot in Alaska (my previous 4 years experience). 

Will Lawrence

Will Lawrence
I work for JR Helicopters as an OAS-carded fire and short haul helicopter pilot flying AS-350b3 Astars. I fight fires and do search-and-rescue for Sequoia National Park in California. In the winter months, I am on-call for Part 135 commercial work. I couldn’t have asked for better training than I received at Leading Edge Aviation and COCC. They prepared me above-and-beyond with both my flight training and knowledge-base for my career in aviation. On top of that, I got to do it all in amazing Central Oregon!

Jordan Kunhmuench

Jordan Kunhmuench
I’ve obtained my Private certificate, Instrument rating, and Commercial certificate. I went on to obtain my CFI/CFII, flying as an instructor and running Part 91 tours through the end of my training program. By the time I graduated, I was interested in using my experience to pursue a few different career paths. From Grand Canyon helicopter tours to working off-shore and gas or utility operations, the sky is truly the limit for COCC/LEFA graduates.

Levi Rogers

Levi Rogers
That job really inspired me to pursue a career as a pilot. I started flight school at Leading Edge in 2016. I felt like I was getting a late start with my career and didn’t want to take on a lot of debt, so I worked my winters in Antarctica to save money and spent the summer finishing a rating. I’ve been so happy with my flight training at Leading Edge and all of the instructors who have helped me along the way.  

Becca Voltin

Becca Voltin
After completing my flight training and instructing at LEA, I got the opportunity to fly tours in EC 130s and AS 350’s in the Grand Canyon. Those experiences prepared me for the 2020 fire season, where I am now fighting fire in Central Oregon.

Tori Palmer

Tori Palmer
Leading Edge Flight Academy, in partnership with Central Oregon Community College, is very happy to announce the new Instrument Rating Scholarship. We are excited to be joining the list of Whirly Girl contributors and help advance women pilots in the industry. The recipient will receive the required training for a helicopter instrument rating, gaining the invaluable skills necessary to become a better, safer pilot. At Leading Edge, we instill our values of safety and professionalism with each student we graduate through a course; helping the aviation community grow, one success story at a time. Director of Flight School Operations

Nicole Wolf

Nicole Wolf
I wanted to do something that challenged myself. Do something interesting, something that would benefit me for the rest of my life.

Jackson Jukin

Jackson Jukin
While pursuing my Private Pilot Certificate, I tried out three different flight schools that either closed their doors for good or wasn’t the right fit. LEFA was one of the few schools that could honestly stand by their GI Bill program. Their instructors accelerated my training and helped me achieve CFII in 9 months. Finding a good flight school is hard! I’ve talked to so many students recently that have been failed by poorly operated schools that don’t hold up their promises. ???????? (Tori Palmer a former student/instructor is now a Contract Fire Pilot for Helicopter Express!)

Tori Palmer

Tori Palmer
Leading Edge Flight Academy helped me get to where I am now in many ways!  First while a student I worked Line Service and then in Dispatch where I learned aircraft scheduling, maintenance coordination and the importance of ground support. Then when hired as a flight instructor I had great mentors that all taught me the valuable information that I now use flying every day!

Mario Armendariz

Mario Armendariz
I can always depend on Leading Edge’s high standards to provide quality pilots that excel within Papillon.

Tyler Carver, Papillons Chief Pilot

Tyler Carver, Papillons Chief Pilot
It was a really fun experience to be able to help ferry the MD500 across the country and fly through extensive airspace. It’s one of those things that, as an instructor, you always talk about and teach but not everyone has done it. I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity. It’s definitely something I look forward to passing on to another person one day. It was nice to fly one of the coolest helicopters around too, so I can’t complain!

Cody Davis

Cody Davis