Helicopter Institute Inc. along with our Team SkyWarrior partners are pleased to announce that we have been selected as the first-ever contractor solution provider for the Department of the Navy initial helicopter pilot training.

In an unprecedented move, the Department of the Navy has taken steps to evaluate outsourcing a portion of their initial helicopter flight training. Known as Contractor Only Pilot Training – Rotary or COPTR, the Naval Air Training Command (NATC) is evaluating contractor-based solutions to support their existing helicopter training programs.

“The COPTR small group tryout of 48 volunteer students represents the most innovative change in the last 40 years to how the Navy and Coast Guard trains helicopter pilots.  It is also the first commercial teaming effort for initial helicopter training ever for the Department of the Navy.” Says Col. Anthony “FES” Krockel, USMC, Commodore, Training Air Wing FIVE. “In the event of a crisis, the Naval Aviation Training Command may need to partner with industry to quickly develop proficient military aviators.  This effort represents a first step in developing this capability.”

The COPTR program provides a path for future Navy and Coast Guard helicopter pilots to enter directly into helicopter pilot training without the long-standing tradition of initially training in fixed wing.

“I look forward to working with Helicopter Institute to more quickly develop the world’s finest naval helicopter aviators in the world.” Says Col. Krockel.

The Navy’s COPTR program will utilize the Bell 206B Jet Ranger helicopter with training operations being conducted in Fort Worth, Texas. After COPTR program completion, the Student Naval Aviators (SNA) will then move on to NAS Whiting Field to continue their helicopter pilot training program.

“To say that Helicopter Institute and Team SkyWarrior partners are humbled to have been selected for the COPTR study would be an understatement. It is an honor to serve our nation’s warfighters.” Says Randy Rowles, President, Helicopter Institute Inc.

“The training of military helicopter pilots is not new to the North Texas region around Fort Worth. From 1956 to 1973, more than 46,000 military helicopter pilots were trained locally for all branches of service accumulating 5.6 million flight hours of helicopter pilot training during that period. After more than five decades, North Texas is glad to welcome them back!” says Rowles.

About Helicopter Institute Inc.: (HII) is an entry-level to advanced helicopter training facility located in Fort Worth, Texas. Additionally, HII is the exclusive provider for helicopter pilot training for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) at their Prescott, Arizona campus. Additionally, HII is the exclusive training partner for the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Fly.Train.Check. member-benefit program. HII training is available as a factory alternative for the Airbus AS350, Bell 206, 407, 505, and much more. The HII mission is simply…Improving Helicopter Safety One Pilot at a Time! For more information, visit  https://www.helicopterinstitute.com.

About SkyWarrior: Based in Pensacola, Florida, SkyWarrior provides a range of military and civil flight training programs. The company provides flight training ranging from a private pilot license to multi-engine airline transport pilot (ATP) certification. SkyWarrior also specializes in training military helicopter pilots transitioning to airline pilots as part of regional airline Rotor Transition Programs. CAE USA has acquired a minority stake in SkyWarrior providing initial flight training to military and civil pilots. SkyWarrior operates a fleet that includes Cessna 172, Piper PA-44, and Cirrus SR22 aircraft. For more information, visit https://www.skywarriorinc.com.


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