The New Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating

On June 21, the FAA approved new commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) rules that, among other things, announced a new Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating is required to fly a small UAS or drone for commercial purposes. If you’re looking to operate a UAS for hire, here is all you need to know to get started:

Applying for the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating – New Pilots

New Pilots (people not currently holding an FAA-issued pilot certificate) must meet the following to qualify for a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
  • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
  • Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam (a computerized written test) at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center, such as Group 3 Aviation. To stay current, you’ll be required to pass a recurrent knowledge test every 24 months.

Once you’ve passed the Initial Knowledge Test, you then apply through the FAA’s online IACRA system. Once registered with IACRA, you will login with your username and password. Click on “Start New Application” and, 1) Application Type “Pilot”, 2) Certifications “Remote Pilot,” 3) “Other Path Information,” and 4) “Start Application.”

Continue through the application process and, when prompted, enter the 17-digit Knowledge Test Exam ID you received when you passed your knowledge test. Please note, it takes about 48 hours for your test code to be recognized in the system once you pass the test so it is best to attempt to complete your application two days after you’ve passed the test.

Your application is submitted electronically and the TSA will automatically conduct a background check. You will receive a confirmation email once your application has completed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) vetting process. The email will provide information that will allow you to log into the IACRA system and print a copy of the temporary certificate.

Applying for the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating – Current Pilots

Current pilots (having had a biannual flight review within the last 24 months) who hold an FAA-issued pilot certificate other than student certificate are also required to apply for the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating. The knowledge test is not required for current pilots, but you must pass a recurrent online training course (Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) ALC-451) every 24 months. That online training is already available at If you are not current, you have the choice of having a BFR or following the new pilot rules above.

Once completing the online training, pilots must fill out FAA Form 8710-13 (can be done through the online IACRA system) and bring it, with proof of the training and government issued photo identification, to a FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), airman certification representative (ACR), designated pilot examiner (DPE) or FAA-certificated flight instructor (CFI) for identity confirmation and signature. If you elect to work with the FSDO, ACR or DPE, you’ll leave with your temporary Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating from them. If you’re working with a CFI, you will be sent your certificate once the FSDO has signed it off and sent it to the FAA pilot registry office.

We have a DPE and CFIs here at Group 3 Aviation and are happy to help you with this step. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.


This of course is a quick overview of the process to get your new certificate. All details on how to apply the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating can be found on the FAA’s website here. The FAA has also published a list of Frequently Asked Questions here. It’s a good idea to closely review both pages before applying, whether you’re a new pilot or current pilot.

Reserving your spot for the Knowledge Test

The FAA Knowledge Test for this certificate will be available in August, however the exact date has yet to be determined. Here at our FAA-approved testing facility, we’ll be able to administer it immediately upon its availability.

We are currently taking names and numbers and will call people in the order we received your name as soon as we are able to take reservations for the test. Call us at 818-994-9376 or email us to get on the pre-reservation list for the knowledge test.

When showing up for your test, you must bring government issued photo identification.

The cost for the test at our testing center is $165, $10 off for AOPA and EAA members.

Preparing for the test

The FAA has outlined airman certification standards for the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating. Reading through those standards (found here) as well as the sample questions from the test will help prepare you in advance. Additionally, we highly recommend reading through the Advisory Circular 107-2, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which clearly outlines the rules and responsibilities of a UAS pilot in preparation. The FAA stated the test will cover the following topics:

  • Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
  • Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
  • Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
  • Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
  • Emergency procedures
  • Crew resource management
  • Radio communication procedures
  • Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
  • Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  • Airport operations
  • Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures

It’s important to note the FAA has stated no ground school is required to take the knowledge test and no past training or courses taken will count toward your certificate. Be aware of predatory programs claiming their classes, online or in person, meet prerequisites for the Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating Knowledge Test. However, the FAA does encourage self-training, online training or taking a course to become familiar with the regulations.

Whatever you choose, be sure to study or prepare before the test, as a failure of the test requires you to take it again, repaying the fee. If you do fail the test, you’re allowed to take it again 14 days after your last attempt.

We will update this post as soon as we have a direct link to study materials from the FAA and we will post updates on our Facebook and Twitter account.

Whether you need to take your Knowledge Test or need a DPE or CFI to sign off on your new certificate, please give us a call. We’re here to help, and answer any questions we can.

Professional Tips: Aerial Photography with Helicopters

Nothing boosts the appeal of a photo like a change in perspective. Whether you’re a professional photographer, hobbyist, artist or social media maven looking for a way to boost links, shares and following, taking your photos from a whole new perspective is how you differentiate your work from the masses. And what better way to do that than from a helicopter?

Aerial Photography: Helicopter vs Drone

Hiring a helicopter to help you capture those unique shots is easy and affordable, while offering you all the flexibility you need for your project. We can fly doors on or off, allowing you to sit in the front or back, and are legally allowed to operate at a large altitude range. With a helicopter, you can bring a selection of cameras and lenses, allowing you flexibility in how you take your photos, and with the speed of a helicopter, you can shoot several subjects in the same flight, saving your own valuable time.

Drones, while they can be useful for specific needs, do have their limitations. Regulations require drone operators be FAA-licensed pilots and the drone cannot fly above 400 feet, if you’re using your photos for commercial gain. And a blog or website where you make money on ads and by sending followers from your social media is considered commercial gain. Be sure to confirm the drone pilot is licensed to avoid legal repercussions.

What’s more, most off-the-shelf drones carry wide-angle lens micro cameras like GoPro, limiting your control over the image. Higher end drones and camera gimbals designed to carry a professional camera sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and you’re still limited by the FAA-imposed 400-foot altitude.

Hiring a Group 3 Aviation helicopter for your aerial photography means you can bring all your cameras, pick your altitude, let us know how long you can fly, and leave the rest to us.

Group 3 Aviation’s R44 Helicopter

Our R44 is the ideal aerial photography platform for serious photographers. First, it is less expensive than a larger aircraft, allowing you to get the most out of your shooting investment. With your choice of seats to shoot from and the ability for us to remove individual doors, it provides the ideal opportunity for you to get clear shots.

What’s more, the helicopter only has two blades and a tall mast, reducing chances a blade will end up in your photos.

Before every flight, you’ll meet with your pilot to go over what you’d like to capture from the helicopter and receive a safety brief. Your pilot will do everything allowed by FAA regulations and safety practices to help get your shot. However, the pilot is also responsible for assuring your safety and that of the flight. We’ll work with you to mitigate any concerns to help you get your photos safely and within legal requirements.

Tips for Ideal Helicopter Photography

Unlike shooting on the ground, there are some specific considerations when shooting from a helicopter. Here are some tips to assure you get the best out of your helicopter photography experience.

Consider the orientation of your subject and the time of day. If you’re shooting a mountain range or building facing west, afternoon or even golden hour may be the best time to fly. A fault line may show the best definition from the air mid-day, or if you’re going for dramatic effect, early morning or late evening to accentuate shadows, for example.

Camera settings
Aerial photographers regularly recommend shutter speeds between 1/500 and 1/1000. In calm conditions, 1/500 can be ideal. However, 1/1000 may be the best bet depending on your focal length. Longer focal length = faster shutter speeds. Think about focal length before the flight. A very wide focal length will make it difficult to keep parts of the helicopter, mainly the blades, out of the image. Shooting in burst mode can help increase chances some shots do not have blades. In most cases, f/5.6 will work fine, but, depending on focal length, be ready to switch to f/8 or f/11 to attain the brightness you desire. Auto settings sometimes work, but be ready to use manual modes to increase the chances of capturing the ideal shot.

Doors Off Safety
When the doors are off, an additional layer of safety is important. In flight it gets windy in the aircraft, and even cold. Dress appropriately by wearing practical layered clothing to stay warm, and tie your hair back if it isn’t too short to stay out of your eyes.

Also, when the doors are off, no loose items are allowed in the aircraft to prevent the risk of items falling out. Extra items that are not strapped down are often not allowed. Your cameras will need to be on straps around your neck, sunglasses will need neck straps if you choose to bring them, and if you bring a camera bag, it also needs to be secured. We also highly recommend bringing an empty memory card as you’ll not want to see a full one fly from the aircraft when you attempt to change it out mid-flight.

Book Today

We’re here 24/7 to help you book your ideal photo flight. Give us a call today to discuss what you’d like to capture and how we can help you do just that, all within your deadline and budget.

Change the perspective of your photographs by hiring a helicopter to capture aerial photography.

Show Dad the Sky is the Limit this Father’s Day with a Helicopter Ride

Give dad the gift of excitement and unforgettable adventure this Father’s Day with a helicopter ride tailored to his interests.

Surprise dad with a tour of the city, a flight along the coast, or a unique fly and dine adventure. At Group 3 Aviation we offer a number of unique Father’s Day gift ideas guaranteed to please any sense of adventure and budget, and leave dad smiling and talking about this day for many years to come.

Helicopter Tour of Los Angeles

If dad is a big movie fan, consider a helicopter tour of Los Angeles’ most notable landmarks and movie locations in a way he’s never experienced them before – from the air. Imagine Sunset Boulevard laid out before him and up close views of the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, Tower Records and the Hollywood Bowl. He’ll cruise over the hills with a front row seat to the stars’ homes and Los Angeles’ most famous movie studios while enjoying an unobstructed view all the way to the ocean. Our Los Angeles tour packages start at $150 per person and can be customized to his own unique interests.

Fly & Dine

If dad is an aviation buff, he’ll love our fly and dine experience. We’ve partnered with the famous 94th Aero Squadron to offer dinner and a view he’ll not soon forget. Decorated with World War I and World War II memorabilia, the 94th Aero Squadron offers sweeping views of Van Nuys Airport, allowing dad to sit back and watch the world of aviation buzz around him. Our fly and dine experience begins at the restaurant where our Group 3 Aviation driver meets dad and brings him to his helicopter for a helicopter tour of his choice. Upon landing, we’ll bring him back to the restaurant where he’ll enjoy a special meal. If you’d like to make your fly and dine experience on Father’s Day itself, check out the 94th Aero Squadron’s special menu for that day. We can also schedule any day of the week and provide you with a certificate to present dad.

Landing and Adventure Experiences

For the ultimate fly and play experience, treat dad to an all-out adventure at breathtaking Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu. A vineyard, winery, celebrated movie location, and working ranch with many exotic animals, this little slice of paradise offers visitors the perfect picnic spot, wine tasting and even a personal safari. With this adventure, dad will arrive by helicopter and enjoy his choice of experiences, then return again by air for a day he’ll talk about for years. Our Saddlerock Ranch excursions can be customized with a catered picnic, wine tasting, a safari and even and extended helicopter tour on the way back, starting at $1,498 for two.

Learn to Fly

For a truly once in a lifetime experience, why not make him a helicopter pilot for a day with his very first helicopter flying lesson. We’ll give him a quick introduction to helicopter flight, then take him out to his aircraft. He will take the controls of a helicopter, learning to fly, climb, descend, take off, land, and the king of all helicopter skills, hover. Who knows, you may spark his next big career move! Introductory flights start at $450 and include 60 minutes of hands on flight training that count toward an FAA pilot certificate and dad gets his very own logbook at the end. If you’d like to go along on dad’s flight lesson, we can take two additional people in the R44 for $610 total.

Whether it’s a quick tour of the local sights, a unique destination trip or the chance to be a helicopter pilot for a day, dad will love a Father’s Day Gift from Group 3 Aviation. Give us a call today to book your adventure or purchase a gift certificate dad can use to plan his own great escape.

Helicopter Rides, the Ultimate Unique Mother’s Day Gift

Helicopter rides and tours, the ultimate unique Mother’s Day gift

Looking for the most unique way to show Mom just how special she is this Mother’s Day? Nothing beats a helicopter ride for a unique Mother’s Day gift she’ll never forget.

At Group 3 Aviation, we offer a number of helicopter tours, excursions and even an opportunity for Mom to take the controls of the helicopter for her first flight lesson.

Helicopter Tour and Malibu Mimosa Brunch or Sunset Champagne Toast

For the ultimate celebration of Mom, consider a Malibu Peak landing and helicopter tour. In this special trip, you can choose either morning, afternoon or evening and we’ll cater accordingly. In a morning flight, we’ll whisk Mom and up to two additional people off to our exclusive Malibu Peak landing site where Mom can enjoy coffee or mimosas and pastries before heading out for a special tour of the coast and Hollywood on the return trip. Our early evening trip includes wine or champagne, cheeses and other tasty treats, and a view of the sunset.

All tours include 30 minutes to enjoy the view and solitude of our grassy pad. Want to increase the adventure? We can add a longer Grand Tour after Mom’s private landing to make it the ultimate experience. Prices start at $380 per person.

Mother’s Day Mimosa Safari

Our Mother’s Day Mimosa Safari and helicopter tour takes Mom to beautiful Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu by helicopter where she’ll be met by Saddlerock Ranch’s safari coach and embark on a festive and relaxing brunch-style safari tour.

The tour kicks off with a visit with Saddlerock Ranch’s exotic wildlife, from a zebra trio and water buffalo family to alpacas, yaks, llamas and Spanish highland cattle. During the tour Mom visits tasting stops to sample fresh fruit juices and lemonade with Saddlerock’s own sparkling wine to create a variety of delicious mimosas. These beverage samplings are complemented by an assortment of pastries, croissants, fruit spreads and cheeses that round out the rest of a delicious meal.

Upon return to the helicopter, we’ll take Mom on our popular Hollywood and The Beach tour.

Mother’s Day Brunch & Spa

For something in the complete pampering category, you’ll want to book Mom on an Ojai Brunch and Spa getaway. We fly Mom out to Ojai where she’ll be shuttled to Ojai Valley Inn & Spa for brunch, and if you’re feeling extra generous, a spa treatment, before taking a breathtaking helicopter tour of the sights of your choosing on the way home. Talk about a day she’ll never forget. Prices vary depending on add-ons and length of time.

Helicopter Tour

For something a little less grand, yet no less memorable, we also offer a number of tours from Van Nuys Airport (ranging from $150 per person), including our Hooray for Hollywood, Hollywood and the Beach, California Coast and Canyons, Valleywood and Grand tours.

Helicopter Flight Lesson

If Mom has always had her eyes skyward, you can let her be master of the skies for the day with her very own helicopter flight lesson starting at $450. She’ll receive ground instruction on helicopter flight and the flight controls then receive a 60-minute flight lesson where she’ll take the controls of the helicopter with her instructor.

WARNING: Introducing Mom to the incredible world of helicopter flight can cause a reduction in future inheritance as she may decide one hour is never enough…

To book any of these great gift options on or around Mother’s Day, give us a shout at 818-994-9376 and we’ll assure Mom has an experience she’ll talk about for years.


Save a Horse, Ride a Helicopter Charter to Stagecoach

Helicopter Charter to Stagecoach

Stagecoach, California’s premiere county music festival, is about to take the ring and what better way to ride into the excitement than your own metal helicopter charter steed? After all, who wants to spend hours on the dusty trail, in a crowded coach or waiting to park when you can be with fellow fans enjoying the best country music has to offer?

A helicopter charter from Group 3 Aviation carries you above it all in relaxed comfort. Sit back on your breathtaking 90-minute flight to Bermuda Dunes Airport and you arrive at Stagecoach refreshed and ready to kick up your heels.

Go alone or share a helicopter charter cost with two friends (up to three passengers per aircraft) and cut that two-and-a-half to four-hour drive (not to mention time trying to find parking then hoofing it out to the main stage) to 90 relaxing minutes with a view.

Flying into Los Angeles and don’t have six to eight hours (round trip) to spend on the freeway to the Coachella Valley? We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re local or are flying in from out of town, your Stagecoach helicopter charter can meet you at any Los Angeles-area airport to whisk you away to the Bermuda Dunes Airport, just north of the festival. A quick helicopter shuttle ride lands you at Stagecoach’s front door hours before a packed shuttle bus stuck in traffic can.

And a soothing quick helicopter return trip at the end of your festival visit sees you safely back with no unpredictable traffic delays, missed flights or dangers of falling asleep at the wheel.

Stagecoach runs three days, April 29-30 and May 1. For information on the festival, artist line up and hotel options, visit the Stagecoach site.

Helicopter Charter flights from Van Nuys Airport to Stagecoach

$2,200 in the R44 for 1 to 3 passengers*

To learn more about Group 3 Aviation’s helicopter charters to Stagecoach or to book a charter, give us a call at 818-994-9376.

* Additional Terms and policies: The price quoted is for flights originating from Van Nuys. Pick up at other regional airports is available and additional fees may apply. Standby time is an additional $150.00 per hour.



Flight Training Considerations – Helicopter Fleet

Learning to fly a helicopter is a rewarding and exciting career or hobby that will serve you your entire life. A lot of research goes into finding the right school for you. One important item to consider when researching flight schools is the helicopter fleet offered for your training.

Helicopter Fleet and Flight Training

When investigating the ideal flight training facility, it’s important to consider your helicopter fleet options. Does the school limit you with only one helicopter make and model? Do you have options to build experience in different engine types, rotor systems and power systems? Are there choices that allow you to choose the aircraft you’re most comfortable flying?

One downfall of many a helicopter training school is the fact that they only teach their students to fly one type of helicopter. Here at Group 3 Aviation, we ensure that students who attend our Los Angeles helicopter school are trained and able to fly a variety of helicopters as this can make a huge difference when it comes to applying for pilot positions.

A Starting Point for Our Students

All students enrolling at our helicopter training school will begin their training in the Schweizer 300CBi helicopter. These two-place flight machines offer excellent handling properties and auto-rotational characteristics making them ideal for beginner students. As a result, many students are able to earn their ratings far quicker than in other helicopter models, saving hundreds of dollars. One of the main features of these helicopters is their safety. Their exceptionally stable rotor system is not prone to dangers posed when learning to fly on two-blade systems and it provides plenty of time for an instructor to correct student errors. Most of our primary student training is undertaken in these helicopters to save students money, build confidence and increase safety.

Upgrading to the Robinson R44 Raven II

This very popular model of helicopter provides the perfect opportunity for students who are ready to transition to something larger and more maneuverable. With a two-blade rotor system and a larger engine, students also receive valuable education and experience with different aircraft. The R44’s four-seat capacity has also made it ideal for our helicopter tours, charter trips and aerial photography trips. The R44 II offers slightly higher speeds of around 135 mph as well as a range of approximately 400 miles. Once a student has mastered the art of flying this model, they are usually able to fly almost any other helicopter, as these are relatively advanced machines.

Enrolling for Our Flight Training Courses

Contrary to popular belief, students who wish to fly helicopters do not need to know how to fly a plane beforehand. We encourage those who wish to enroll in our helicopter flight training program to come in for a low-cost demo flight, where we’ll provide ground and flight training, giving you a taste of being a helicopter pilot as you take the controls. While you’re here, we’ll show you our aircraft and let you see, feel, touch, ask questions about and even fly one to help you determine the best choice for you.

Students who go on to become helicopter pilots usually enjoy an exciting and lucrative career that can last for many years. And of course, it’s just really, really cool!

Best Time to Visit Los Angeles

Unlike some international destinations, Los Angeles, the City of Angeles, offers something for everyone year-round, making every day a good day for visiting Los Angeles. However, we have a few insider tips to help you schedule the best time to visit Los Angeles. The largest metropolitan area in California, Los Angeles and its surrounding cities, beaches and mountains offer a little something for every taste. While there are great things to do year-round, here are a few insider tips for the best time to visit L.A.

Best Time to Visit Los Angeles

Looking to enjoy the sights without a few million of your closest friends? The spring (March through May) and fall (September through November) offer the warmth and beauty of the area without the crowds. Popular amusement parks see lower numbers when the majority of the country’s children are in school and beaches offer more peace. Lines are shorter at tourist attractions and the entertainment industry is in full swing with more opportunities for tickets to show tapings.

Also, with the oppressive summer heat away, the air is clearer in the basin, not only offering more breathability but also stunning views of the mountains surrounding the area. In our opinion, these are the most beautiful times to take a helicopter tour of Los Angeles. You can literally see for miles, up into the high desert and out to the islands all in the same flight.

Best weather in Los Angeles

Historically, our weather is hot in the summer, pushing folks to the mountains and beaches to escape the heat. Spring and fall cool off a bit, making all of Los Angeles comfortable and enjoyable, with average temperatures being in the 60s and 70s. There is less of a chance of precipitation during the spring months, making walking around and sightseeing all the more pleasant for tourists. In the fall, the temperatures are a bit higher than spring, lingering in the 70s, but travel rates are much cheaper with no high travel time between Labor Day in September and Thanksgiving in November.

Often, the weather is warm enough in the early fall for tourists to enjoy the beaches of the Los Angeles area without the crowds.

Things to Do in Los Angeles

The number of things to see and do in Los Angeles are almost as limitless as your imagination. Aside from the usual tourist attractions and amusement parks, there are a number of local events taking place year round. In the spring, line up to see all of your favorite actors and actresses as they celebrate the year’s great films with the Academy Awards. Checkout the California Poppy Festival and UCLA Jazz/Reggae Festival, or head out to Coachella. As for the fall months, visitors can partake in the Orange Street Fair, or experience a new movie-going experience at the Downtown Film Festival, for starters.

No matter what reason you have for vacationing in Los Angeles, the spring and fall months can be best times to do so. The weather is great, crowds are smaller, and there is a wide variety of activities to experience. Check visiting Los Angeles off your bucket list this spring or fall and be sure to include a helicopter tour!

8 Airports our Helicopter Charter Flights Serve

Due to the heavy congestion on Southland roads, more people are making use of timesaving helicopter charter services to get them to their destination safely, quickly and in style. Here at Group 3 Aviation, we offer a range of charter trips that encompass a host of destinations, allowing you the flexibility of saving time whether for business or pleasure.

Helicopter Charter Service Airport Destinations

Our helicopter charter services are available to and from a range of popular airport destinations including:

  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Van Nys
  • Santa Ana
  • Palm Springs
  • Burbank
  • San Diego
  • Santa Barbara
  • Las Vegas

Passengers who opt to fly with us can look forward reaching their destination on time and in style while receiving nothing less than professional service on their charter trip.

Check out our airport calculator to see flight durations and costs for these airport charter flights.

Helicopter Charter Options for Business and Pleasure

Whether you need to be in one of these destinations for an important business meeting or whether you would like to spend some quality time with someone special, Group 3 Aviation can help. Our charter trips include amazing scenic routes that can be accompanied by a delicious wine and dinner option if desired. This is an ideal option for those who need to entertain business associates or even for those who are eager to pop the question to an unsuspecting fiancée in an unforgettable manner.

Bonuses of a Helicopter Charter

Booking a helicopter charter trip with us let you not only reach your destination in style; it will also allow you to view a few famous sights along the way. These may include but are certainly not limited to places such as Rodeo Drive, the famous Dodgers Stadium, Surfrider Beach, the Malibu Pier, Bel Air, the Sunset Strip, the Playboy Mansion and many others. Our pilots will skillfully maneuver you past these sights while also ensuring that you arrive safely and on time at your intended destination.

Let Us Take Care of Your Helicopter Charter Needs

Although we are usually able to accommodate short notice bookings, it is recommended to book in advance to avoid disappointment. While our helicopters are able to accommodate a pilot and three passengers on each flight, it is important to remember that weight restrictions do apply to helicopter trips. Each seat is able to accommodate weight of 300 pounds and luggage space is also limited to one or two standard overnight bags. If in doubt, we will be happy to assist with any queries you may have in this regard.

The next time you are considering using helicopter charter services, why not give Group 3 Aviation a try? We will ensure that all of your air transportation needs are managed professionally, leaving you to sit back and enjoy timesaving ride.

5 Reasons to Charter a Helicopter in Los Angeles

5 Reasons for a Los Angeles helicopter Charter

People come from all over the world to work and play in Los Angeles. With more than 10 million people in Los Angeles County, travel can be tough. However, rising above it all with a Los Angeles helicopter charter saves time, money and stress – helping you get the job done, enjoy the sights and see Los Angeles in a way comparatively few do.


Undeniably the most popular reason to hire a private helicopter charter in the Los Angeles area is to rise above the regions notorious traffic congestion. In addition to 10 million residents, millions of domestic and international visitors every year flood the roads, adding hours to travel. It’s no wonder Los Angelinos often spare no expense on their cars – they’re a second home. Whether crossing the basin to catch a flight during rush hour, flying out to Coachella, or getting out of town for a holiday weekend, a private helicopter charter saves you precious time and stress.


The views from a helicopter in our region are breathtaking. A bird’s eye view of the region from a Los Angeles helicopter charter allows you to see the sights in a completely different way. Whether you’re taking in the Sunset Strip, Hollywood sign and celebrity homes or our world-famous beaches and canyons, you’ll never look at Los Angeles the same way again once you’ve seen it from the air.

So Much to See, So Little Time

The Los Angeles area is immense. Between Malibu, the San Fernando Valley to Burbank, the Hollywood Hills and L.A. Basin, Orange County, and our 75 of miles of breathtaking coastline, there is no way to see it all in a short vacation. Unless, of course, you take it in by helicopter. Group 3 Aviation offers a variety of specialized tours that highlight the region’s favorite sights, including our Valleywood Tour, Hooray for Hollywood Tour, Grand Tour/Best of L.A. and the California Coast and Canyons Tour. Any one of these tours will allow you to see a variety of different things in a very short period of time to help make the most of your California vacation.

Aerial Photography

Not only does hiring a helicopter charter allow you to see the sights from a completely different viewpoint, it also allows you to capture incredible aerial photographs. Whether capturing your memories, scouting locations, documenting property, or building your portfolio, aerial photography is best captured by a helicopter. Group 3 Aviation offers years of experience with helping photographers with their aerial photography and can help capture unforgettable images.

Film Production

Los Angeles and film production go hand in hand. A well-established and reputable helicopter charter operator, Group 3 Aviation offers more than two decades of experience in aerial film production projects, big and small. We offer a range of camera systems to help meet your budget and final product specifications. Whether producing for corporations, independent projects, studio television or film production companies, we help you capture the shots you need to shine. Our work over the years has included news, sporting events, commercials, private functions, utility companies, real estate development and government projects.

Planning on visiting California? Consider scheduling a private helicopter charter into your plans. When your time is valuable, we’re here to get you there.

Your Helicopter Pilot Training

Becoming a helicopter pilot can open numerous doors and put you on the road to exciting career opportunities. The private helicopter pilot training offered by Group 3 Aviation will provide you with all the technical knowledge and flight experience needed to successfully operate one of these aircraft.

Helicopter Pilot Training Course Overview

Group 3 Aviation offers a private helicopter pilot training course that meets all the requirements set forth in FAA regulations, Part 141 (a higher level of instruction completed in less time than schools that do not offer training under Part 141). Our pilot training includes 35 hours of classroom instruction along with 35 hours of flight time. You’ll receive training in principles of flight, navigation, meteorology and flight planning. At least 20 hours of the scheduled flight time will take place with a certified instructor, while the other 15 hours will include solo flight time. There are three different phases of this course, and in order to advance to the next one, students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination at the end of each stage.

Requirements for Enrollment

Those who wish to enroll in one of these helicopter pilot training courses must meet certain criteria as specified by the FAA. Students must be at least 17 years of age at the time training begins; 17-year olds will also need permission from a parent or guardian in order to enroll. Individuals must also be able to read, speak and write English fluently. An FAA third-class medical certificate is also needed, and applicants must hold a student pilot certificate or be licensed as a pilot in another type of aircraft before beginning classes.

Methods of Instruction

The methods of instruction will vary based upon the subject matter being taught. Classroom work will consist of a combination of lectures and video presentations, and may include some written tests. The flight instruction will include performing certain maneuvers, night flying, completing radio communications and conducting cross-country flights. Each student will progress at his or her own pace, with the average length of time needed to complete the course being around 10 weeks.

Licensing Requirements

Before becoming licensed as a pilot, individuals must complete all hours of instruction, including flight time. Upon mastering the skills needed to become a private pilot, the student’s instructor will approve final tests for the rating. The first is the FAA knowledge test, a computer-based exam that can be taken at Group 3 Aviation’s an authorized testing center. The final exam is an FAA oral exam and flight test with an FAA designated examiner. During this test, the examiner will first quiz you on the ground about your knowledge then you will fly together, where the examiner will have you performs a variety of flight maneuvers to prove your mastery. Upon successfully completing this final test, you’ll receive your private pilot helicopter rating from the designated examiner.

The dedicated instructors at Group 3 Aviation successfully trained hundreds of helicopter pilots. You instructor is your partner in achieving your goal. He or she will work with you at your pace to help you learn the skills and knowledge you need to successfully pass your FAA tests and become a private helicopter pilot.

From there, the sky is no longer the limit.