King Schools offers helicopter FIRC

August 1, 2013

King Schools is launching an online flight instructor refresher course (FIRC) tailored for helicopter instructors.

“The helicopter industry is a thriving part of general aviation,” said John King, co-founder of San Diego-based King Schools, with wife Martha King. “It’s an unbelievably good part of GA, but helicopter instructors had always felt left out.”

The courses for helicopter instructors will include video vignettes that examine a series of risk-management decisions and possible outcomes.

Matt Zuccaro, president of the Helicopter Association International (HAI), said the King courses are aimed at improving helicopter safety by addressing pilot decision-making and risk management.

“We need to change the culture of this industry,” he said. “We want to embed a safety culture in our industry.”

Martha King said the online courses will explore the pressures that influence pilot choices as well as ethics.

“What do you owe your customers?” she asked. “What do you owe your company, and yourself?”

The helicopter FIRCs will have the same retail price ($99 for HAI members and $124 for others) as King Schools FIRCs for fixed-wing pilots, and the helicopter courses will be available beginning in mid-September.

In other King Schools developments, the company is offering a companion iPad app that allows customers to load and view video courses without being connected to the Internet. The company is in the process of moving all of its video content to HTML so that it operates well on Apple devices.

Also, the winner of the King Schools annual sweepstakes this year will get a “mentor experience” with John and Martha King that includes round-trip airline tickets for two to San Diego, a hotel and rental car for four days, a school tour, a “blue screen” studio recording segment, $1,000 cash, and a dinner flight to Palm Springs and back in the company’s Falcon 10.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman | AOPA Pilot Senior Editor, AOPA

AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.