Study Released By HAI And University Of North Dakota

The results of a study forecasting the U.S. supply of rotorcraft pilots and mechanics over the next 18 years has been released, confirming what many in our industry suspected. Unless there are some fundamental changes in policy, outreach, scholarships, and access to financing, the helicopter industry faces large-scale deficits in the amount of available and qualified licensed and certificated pilots and mechanics.

The study projects a shortage of 7,469 helicopter pilots in the United States between 2018 and 2036. For maintenance technicians, the numbers are even more concerning. Our industry is projected to be short 40,613 certificated aviation mechanics in the United States between 2018 and 2036.

The study results, commissioned by Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) and conducted by the University of North Dakota (UND), were released today, Feb. 28, at a press conference at HAI HELI-EXPO 2018 in Las Vegas. Allison McKay, HFI vice president, introduced the study, and two UND researchers, Dr. Elizabeth Bjerke and Kent W. Lovelace, reported the results. Recognizing the importance of this information, HFI is making available both the study results and an executive summary.

In addition to documenting the projected shortage, the study gathered information on how it is already changing operations. For example, more than 50 percent of surveyed operators said that the shortage of pilots and mechanics would definitely or probably interfere with their operation’s ability to grow over the next five years. Regional airlines are actively recruiting helicopter pilots — more than 500 transferred to fixed-wing operations in 2017 alone.

This shortage is an industry-wide problem, and fixing it will require efforts from many sectors, including government, industry, military, finance, insurance, and education. In the coming months, HFI and Helicopter Association International (HAI) will be recruiting stakeholders to collaboratively work on defining concrete next steps to combat the problem. If you would be interested in participating in this effort, please contact Allison McKay.

“Our industry needs to take a hard look at how we do things,” says Matt Zuccaro, HAI president and CEO. “We really don’t have a choice. These numbers show a future where the growth of our industry will be curtailed because operators won’t have the workforce they need. But we have the option to change that future by acting proactively now to recruit the next generation of pilots and maintainers.”

HFI Vice President McKay agrees. “The study results are certainly bad news for our industry. But the good news is that now we know the numbers — and now we can take steps to ensure the sustainability of our industry.”

Valentines Day Helicopter Tours

Selling out very fast – book your spot now!


Book your spectacular Valentines day helicopter tour over Los Angeles and give your special Valentine a most memorable experience guaranteed to please!

Purchase your choice of a 30, 45 or 60 minute exhilarating experience online  or call us at 818.462.3333 any time 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week for direct assistance. 

Schedule on Valentines Day or throughout Valentines week from Monday, February 12th until Sunday, February 18th.


WAI will award more than 110 scholarships to members at every stage of life valued at nearly $633,000. Applications for 2018 scholarships are due November 13, 2017.

Scholarship awards are a major benefit of membership in Women in Aviation International. In the past 20 years, WAI has disbursed more than $10 million to its members to help them reach their goals and advance into the aviation and aerospace careers they have always dreamed about. Read the success stories of past scholarship winners in the special 20th anniversary publication WAI Scholarships Change Lives.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, there is truly something for every interest.

The 2018 scholarship program will begin in July and run through November 13, 2017. Applicants must be a member of Women in Aviation International by November 1, 2017, and may apply for no more than three scholarships. Internships are not included in the three per member scholarship limit.

2018 WAI Scholarship Application

Contact Scholarship Coordinator Donna Wallace with any additional questions.

Whirly-Girls 2018 Helicopter Scholarships Deadline Extended to October 15th

The deadline for applications for the multitude of excellent opportunities has been extended to October 15, 2017. Awards are available for both experienced and new pilots See all the details here and get your application in now! Select from one or more of the following available scholarships which are to be formally awarded at the annual Whirly-Girls Awards Banquet at Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training Scholarship
  • Whirly-Girls Helicopter Add-on Flight Training Scholarship
  • Advanced Mountain Flight Training Scholarship
  • Airbus Flight Training Scholarship
  • Antipodean Aviation and Embry-Riddle Wire and Obstacle Environment Awareness Course Scholarship
  • Embry-Riddle Commercial Helicopter Pilot Ground School Course Scholarship
  • Erickson Vertical Reference/External Load Scholarship
  • FlightSafety International Bell 206 Scholarship
  • ForeFlight Pro Plus
  • Garmin GTN & G500/600 Course Scholarship
  • Night Flight Concepts Night Vision Goggles Initial Pilot Qualification Scholarship
  • Oregon Aero CRM/AMRM Instructor Training Scholarship
  • Robinson Helicopter R22/R44 Safety Course Scholarship
  • Robinson Helicopter R66 Safety Course Scholarship
  • Survival Systems USA Aircraft Ditching Course Scholarship
  • The Thurn-Herr Annual Advanced Training Scholarship

Selection Factors

In evaluating scholarship applications, the judges look for evidence that you have a set goal in mind for the scholarship training, that there is a good probability that you will succeed, that you will go on to reap benefits from your training, and that you are the type of person that will share your talents with others.

Judges look for evidence of the following:

  • Goal for the flight training specified.
  • Experience, service to others, and what others have to say about you through your letters of recommendation.
  • Achievements in life, particularly in aviation and the helicopter industry.
  • Attitude toward self and others, as shown through the entire application package.
  • Neatness, ability to follow instructions, completeness and accuracy of your application.
  • Reliability, motivation, and commitment to success as shown through prior employment, jobs and activities, and service to others.
  • Dedication to your career as shown through prior employment, especially in the helicopter industry.
  • Ability to accept responsibility and teamwork as shown through prior jobs and activities.
  • Financial need.


Introduction to Part 107 Drone Seminar

AOPA, in partnership with ROTOR FX LLC, is offering a fun program that provides the information you need to help pass your Part 107 Knowledge Test. Spend half a day with an instructor to get up to speed on important issues like airspace, weather briefings, and regulations. By attending a seminar at ROTOR FX, you’ll meet flight instructors in your area so you have a connection to the general aviation community for answers to questions and if desired, to help you fulfill your journey into other pilot certificates and ratings. Best of all, these seminars are FREE!

The seminar is developed to cover all the topics needed to pass the FAA Remote Pilot Part 107 Knowledge Test, which are: aircraft registration, pilot certification, regulations, safety, airspace, waivers, weather, and emergencies. The material will be presented in a fun, interactive way, and you’ll get free course materials to take home so you can review what you have learned.

Next ROTOR FX – AOPA Part 107 Free Seminar, December 2, 2017 – Register Here Now!


AOPA - ROTOR FX Intro to part 107

AOPA Teams With ROTOR FX For Free “An Intro to Part 107” Drone Seminar in Los Angeles

On August 26th and 27th, ROTOR FX in cooperation with AOPA will present a new free drone seminar entitled “An Intro To 107” at its facilities in Los Angeles from 9:30am to 3pm.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, are starting to revolutionize how companies are doing business. Drones are one of the fastest growing segments of aviation, with more than 43,000 remote pilot certificate applications submitted to date.

This AOPA presentation on sUAS is a great way to discover these aircraft for the first time and learn what it takes to become a FAA-certificated remote pilot. Certificated flight instructors (CFIs) and other experts with vast drone experience from ROTOR FX will cover topics ranging from regulations and airspace to weather and emergencies and other subjects you’ll need to know for the FAA Remote Pilot Part 107.

The material will be presented in a fun, interactive way, and you will leave with valuable course materials that will be instrumental for reviewing what you have learned. By attending the seminar at ROTOR FX you’ll meet expert  instructors and gain a connection to the general aviation and commercial unmanned community. This can be an excellent resource for getting your questions answered and finding help on your journey toward your remote pilot certification and other pilot certificates and ratings.

RFX manager, Steve Dupont, said “this is the perfect entry point for anyone considering acquiring an FAA 107 license and those just entering the commercial drone world” He continued “in addition to providing everything you need to know about 107, we will have most of the major types of drones and equipment on display with breakout sessions on their application and use.”

The original August 26th date was completely booked within 24 hours of announcement so AOPA and ROTOR FX have agreed to extend the seminar dates to the following day, Sunday, August 27th, as well.

RFX manager, Steve Dupont, said “this was a definite indicator of the intense interest and phenomenal growth of the industry.  We anticipate this will become a monthly event for the foreseeable future and we will continue to provide these types of educational or training events as long as there is demand.”

As an add on to the seminar ROTOR FX will also be displaying a wide range of drones and equipment with experts on hand to answer any questions. This will include some of the RFX family of specialized industrial, commercial and research drones with payload capacities as much as 350 lbs. Many of these have not been seen before as they are advanced vertical products custom designed and built by RFX over the past couple of decades for specific industries, research projects and agencies.

The company will also be providing information on its numerous flight and technical training programs for drones, drone rental and leasing options and its numerous drone consulting services.

It is expected this second seminar will fill very quickly as well. It runs from 9:30am to 3pm each day and breakout sessions and demonstrations will last into early evening. Register for Sunday’s seminar on AOPA for free at this link

About AOPA (  AOPA is the world’s largest pilot organization with hundreds of thousands of members in over 75 countries. Operating out of offices in Frederick, Maryland, Washington, DC, and Wichita, Kansas, it exists to protect and to grow the incredible privilege that we call general and unmanned aviation.  Whether it is through educating the public about the fun and the utility that aircraft can provide, preparing resources and training material to enhance the skills of pilots everywhere, or advocating for aviation within government agencies—it is our job to maintain the strength and vitality of the flying community.

Our mission is to ensure that the sky remains within reach of everyone who dreams of becoming a pilot.

About ROTOR FX (  ROTOR FX LLC is a leading designer and developer of a variety of specialized fixed wing, rotor wing and multi-rotor drone systems for commercial, industrial, government and defense applications with payloads up to 350 lbs. The company also provides individual, corporate and government training programs for unmanned pilots, flight operations, payloads and equipment. ROTOR FX is a service and repair depot for many commercial-industrial drones and provides rental and leasing services for drones and associated payloads such as cameras, LiDar, FLIR and other airborne technologies.

For more information on the event contact:  ROTOR FX LLC at  818.462.3333 or

AOPA - ROTOR FX Intro to part 107

Mark Aletky

The Mark Aletky Life Celebration event at ROTOR FX was attended by 100’s of friends, pilots, students, family and former band-mates.

Mark’s careers spanned music as a performer, manager and producer (mentored by Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire) to flying charter jets. Mark was undoubtably LA’s absolute best tour pilot and provided ten of thousands of people their first experience of Los Angeles and for so many their very first airplane flight.  Others were rewarded by his thorough and entertaining flight instruction and most recently he added a drone pilot certification to his many achievements.

Some of the family and friends attending the Mark Aletky Life Celebration event pose for a group shot

In every realm he touched so many people with his persistent smile and warm positive personality. His greatest accomplishment and legacy was building his phenomenal family who will miss his presence and guidance deeply.

So Mark, our great friend, fly on forever doing what you loved most .. you can never be replaced and it was our collective honor and privilege to have had you touch our lives.

Click here for Mark Aletky Slide Show