Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott Campus and Universal Helicopters Inc. (UHI) have announced an extension of their 2010 agreement to exclusively provide helicopter training to Embry-Riddle students. The program is designed to carry students from zero time through their Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate.

 The contract with UHI simplifies the path for students seeking helicopter flight training while enrolled in Embry-Riddle’s Helicopter Flight or Helicopter Operation and Safety minors. The academic curriculum taken at Embry-Riddle helps prepare students seeking a career in the helicopter industry. Students will study aviation safety, environmental operations, crew resource management, flight management systems, flight planning and advanced helicopter operations.

Specific topics will include low-level flight planning, mountain flight, night-vision device operation, operations in adverse weather, and the management of operations, training, personnel, and maintenance. Since 2010, more than 150 Embry-Riddle students have received helicopter training via UHI’s fleet of Robinson R22 and R44 aircraft. 

“The strong partnership between Universal Helicopters and Embry-Riddle is celebrating its sixth very successful year and this agreement extends that out into the future,” said Embry-Riddle Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers. “The combination of an Embry-Riddle education and UHI flight training is a powerful one, and is well respected across the rotor-wing industry.”

Embry-Riddle Prescott and Universal Helicopters will ink a deal on Tuesday, March 1, at HAI Heli-Expo in Louisville, Ky., to continue facilitating world-class helicopter training in the mountains of Northern Arizona.

The agreement, which will be signed by Dr. Ayers and UHI President Dr. Gordon A. Jiroux, brings together the experience of two of the most respected names in aviation flight training. With an exemplary UHI safety record and more than 30 years in the helicopter flight training industry, Jiroux was the recipient of HAI’s Flight Instructor of the Year Award in 2014.

“This relationship allows helicopter students to obtain the highest quality helicopter flight training available, and even more importantly, obtain an aeronautical degree from the world’s best aeronautical university,” said Jiroux.

Additionally, this agreement allows students who are military veterans to receive the appropriate Veterans Administration benefits to attend Embry-Riddle and take helicopter flight training at Universal Helicopters. This agreement allows students enrolled in the program the opportunity to receive the appropriate student financial aid and VA funding to assist with the cost of their training. This program allows veterans who qualify for the Post 9/11 “Yellow Ribbon” GI Bill program to take their helicopter flight or their fixed-wing flight at Embry-Riddle.

Graduates of the program can pursue helicopter career opportunities with the U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. Departments of the Interior/ Forest Service/ Homeland Security/ FBI, certified flight instructor, state/ county/ local law enforcement, medical air ambulance companies, off-shore petroleum industry, fish spotting, tour operators, photography/ cinematography, executive/ corporate pilot, utility/ heavy-lift industry, logging industry, firefighting, search and rescue, heli-skiing, cattle herding, animal capture/control and agriculture.

“Our shared goal of training, educating, and mentoring the superior quality pilots and leaders will continue into the future,” said Dawn Groh, Helicopter Program Chair at Embry-Riddle Prescott. “That is a great benefit to the commercial helicopter industry as a whole.”

 For more information on Embry-Riddle’s Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science (Rotary Wing), go to http://prescott.erau.edu/degrees/bachelor/aeronautical-science-rotary/index.html.

For more information on Universal Helicopters, go to www.universalheli.com.