September 8, 2009
SRT Helicopters, provider of high-risk operational services and training for rotorcraft users and aviation organizations, became the first Part 61 flight training school in the United States to be approved for the M-1 Visa Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The M-1 visa provided through SRT will allow foreign students to reside and train in the United States for up to 12 months.
According to Christian Gadbois, president and CEO of SRT Helicopters, “SRT has worked hard to distinguish our training from that of all other flight schools in the country. Following an extensive evaluation and an on-site visit from representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and Department of Immigration and Customs, we achieved a significant milestone in flight training. We see the M-1 visa approval as a significant accomplishment and a validation of our training program.”
He added, “The SRT training focuses on total pilot training as opposed to the standard CFI training goal of many flight schools. As a result, SRT focuses on quality and not quantity of training hours. We start with the rotor-wing private rating and then move to a fixed-wing private rating. Because of the way we structure our curriculum, we can move a student through private fixed-wing instrument, commercial, rotor-wing instrument, CFI rotor-wing, CFII rotor-wing, and commercial fixed-wing ratings in that order in less time and at a lower cost to the student. And most important, we believe we produce a stronger, more marketable pilot in the process.”
Gadbois has been involved with training for more than 20 years and is currently a voting member of the Helicopter Association International Training Committee. He is also a frequent speaker for the Airborne Law Enforcement Association, Air Medical and Rescue Conference, Texas Governor’s Office of Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Conference, and Helicopter Association International.
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