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Rotorcraft training in North America

These are places where you can get training in an amateur-built rotorcraft. This includes both gyroplane and helicopter instruction.


[Arizona| Arkansas | California | Florida| Georgia | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Kentucky | Massachusetts | Maryland | Michigan | New York | Ohio | Ontario | Oregon | Puerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth Africa  | Virginia]


Arizona Rotors, 10556 W. Avalon Drive, Avondale, AZ 85323 - Phone (602) 877-9760 - E-mail:
Dual flight training under 5209 exemption. Complete training through CFI. Gyro ratings issued by examiner on staff. Train in tandem trainer, Air & Space 18A. Helicopter training in a Brantly. Three gyro CFI's and gyro examiner on staff.

 RotorWay International, 4141 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, AZ 85226 - Phone (602) 961-1001, Fax (602) 961-1514 - E-mail: - Website:
For RotorWay helicopter customers only. A three-phase maintenance and flight orientation program. Designated Flight Examiner available for Private Pilot checkrides. Train in RotorWay Exec 162F. No weekend flight training, weight limitation of 210 pounds per person. Training is done in factory helicopters. 


Airborne Flight Training Center, Rt 3 Box 179, Ozark, AR 72949 - Phone (501) 996-7291 or (501) 635-8251
Train with Thomas Gage, CFI Gyro/Helo with 5209 exemption or Ken Turner, CFI. Solo signoffs through CFI. Checkrides done by DPE/CFI Ken Turner, Gyro/Helo. Solo signoffs through CFI. Ground school offered. Gyro training in Air Command tandem with Subaru power, helicopter training in R22 or Hughes 500. Train year-round if weather permits. $120 per lesson.

 Ron's Gyros, P. O Box 51, Elpaso, AR  72045 - Phone (501) 279-6465
Flight training year-round under 5209 exemption. Ground school instructions. FAA written exams on location. Operated by Ron Menzie, CFI/Gyroplane and Steve Menzie. Train in open-frame tandem gyroplane trainer, RAF 2000 side-by-side. $100 per hr.  Information package and training outline available on request. Contains photos of the gyroplanes used for training. Call first. 


Ken Brock Manufacturing, 11852 Western Avenue, Stanton, CA 90680 - Phone (714) 898-4366 - E-mail: - Website:
Basic two-hour introductory course. Covers proper rotor blade spinup, takeoffs and landings. Teaches respect for the machine. $350 course. Train in two-place towed machine. All training is one-on-one. Weekdays only by appointment We furnish all the equipment.

West Coast Gyroplane Service    497 Edison Ct.   Suite C     Suisun City, Ca. 94585      Phone  707-864-0704  Fax 707-864-8737  E-mail
Instruction given in an RAF 2000 gyroplane, two-seat side-by-side for Private through Commercial. All training meets or exceeds the FAA requirements from takeoff to cross-country and night flying. Training is $120 per hour Train with Gary Brewer, CFI/Gyroplane under 5209 exemption. Home base is Nut Tree airport in Vacaville, Ca. (South of Sacramento)


Tom E. Adams, 1855 Overlook Drive, Winter Haven, FL 33884 - Phone (813) 325-0000
CFI Rotorcraft/Gyroplane and Helicopter will train for proficiency or ratings, all time logged. Non-busy airport with control tower. Ground school with helpful books, videos. Train in Air Command 532 open-frame gyro and Brantly B2B helicopter. All flight maneuvers to meet FAR Parts 61, 91, 103, including full power-off emergency procedures (except helicopters). $100/hour gyro, $135/hour helicopter. Call evenings for more details.

Dofin Fritts, 6081 Four Star Road, Molino, FL 32577 - Phone (904) 587-2504, Fax (904) 587-5728 - E-mail:
Flight training for all ratings under 5209 exemption. RAF sales/training center. Train from 0 time through CFI in open and enclosed gyros. Gyro available for required solo time. Train in RAF 2000, Parsons tandem, Air Command side-by-side. Train/vacation year-round with family on beautiful Gulf Coast, Pensacola, FL area. Short drive to Biloxi, MS casinos and New Orleans. Will travel for groups. RAF and group training packages. Train 7 days per week.

William R. Ortmayer, 81 Brockton Lane, Palm Coast, FL 32137 - Phone/fax (904) 445-5069 - E-mail:
Train with Bill Ortmayer, CFI/Gyroplane under 5209 exemption. Signoffs for 90-day solo, can recommend for private, commercial and recreational engine ratings. FAA written exams. Ground school video $25. Train in Parsons tandem with Mazda rotary engine and 30-ft RAF blades. Intro package $350 (4 flights, ground school, tape, flight manual). Instruction $100/hour. Training by appointment only at Flagler County Airport 365 days/year, 90 minutes from Orlando, 30 minutes from Daytona Beach. Call for group rates.



Steve McGowan, Rt 1 Box 1025 Patton Rd., Cray, GA 31032 - Phone (912) 986-1820 or (912) 952-2092
Train with CFI/Gyro-Helo under 5209 exemption. Ground school available for gyro trainer and helicopter. Prep for written and practical test and signoffs. Recreational through CFI. Train in Parsons Tandem. Training by appointment only. Weight limit 230 lbs. For pricing call 8 a.m.-11 a.m. or leave message. Winter training according to weather. Due to volume, call-backs need be collect.

 Curtiss Patten, Rt 1 Box 338, Hoboken, GA 31542 - Phone (912) 458-3349
Flight training with CFI/Gyroplane in RAF 2000 side-by-side gyroplane under PRA 5209 exemption. 


NorthWest Gyrocopters, 336 N 1810 E, St. Anthony, ID 83445 - Phone (208) 624-3135, Fax (208) 624-3136 - E-mail:
High-time instructor Dave Noack, CFI/Gyroplane, teaches you to fly and gives you an in-depth understanding of safety issues and the dynamics of gyro flight. Train in tandem SnoBird Adventurer. Flight instruction $100/hour, ground instruction $30/hour. 



Gary Goldsberry, CFI, 401 S. Alabama Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225 - Phone (317) 996-2487 (home), (317) 632-7012 (work), Fax (317) 632-3446 - E-mail:
Train with CFI-Gyro/Helo at non-busy airport under 5209 exemption for proficiency or ratings. All time logged. Ground school available with helpful book and videos. Gyroplane training in Parsons-type tandem with Arrow power. Helicopter training in Brantly B2B. All maneuvers to meet FAR Parts 61, 91, 103. Written test, signoffs available. Weekends only by appointment.

Duane Hunn, Sr., P. O. Box 526, Knox, IN 46534 - Phone/fax (219) 772-8072
Experienced CFI/Gyroplane now has a home at the Starke County Airport in Knox, Indiana, servicing the five-state surrounding area. Instruction given in an RAF 2000 gyroplane, two-seat side-by-side for Private through CFI. All training meets or exceeds the FAA requirements from takeoff to cross-country and night flying. Training is $120 per hour which includes ground school under 5209 exemption. Duane Hunn is also the current president of the AskFirst Society or CFI instructors of gyroplanes.

Silas Smith, CFI, 11709 W. 117th St., Cedar Lake, IN 46303 - Phone (219) 374-4604 (evenings) - Work (emergency only) (847) 329-2070 - Fax (847) 329-2075 - E-mail:
Gyroplane flight training available in side-by-side Lycoming-powered Marchetti Avenger, SnoBird tandem (fall of '98) and McCulloch J-2. Training is conducted on the weekends by appointment only at the Lansing, Illinois airport located 25 miles south of Chicago. Lansing is the home of SnoBird Aircraft and of PRA Chapter 18, which has over 25 gyroplanes based on the field. Lansing is also home of the official PRA 18 crash dummy recently seen on the "Wild Chicago" TV show. 


Farrington Aircraft Corp., 4460 Shemwell Lane, Padacuh, KY 42003 - Phone (502) 898-2403, (800) 326-8556 - E-mail: Website:
Gyroplane, helicopter and airplane. Programs for student through flight instructor. FAA examiner on staff.Train in Air & Space 18A, TwinStar gyroplane, Robinson R-22 helicopter, Cessnas. Training for Recreational and Private rotorcraft ratings under FAA Exemption 5209 in experimental gyro. Certificated aircraft for commercial and flight instructor ratinqs. Free brochure on requirements and rates. 


Christopher R. Burgess, 3117 Basford Rd., Frederick, MD 21703 - Phone (301) 874-5251 - E-mail:
Instruction by gyro-rated CFI. Control touch training on the Burgess simulator available. Training available in your own two-place machine. Solo your machine only. Training by appointment only. Twinstar introduction flights available. 


Jim Nardi, 24 George Allen Rd., West Brookfield, MA 01585-2925 - Phone (508) 867-2982 - E-mail:
Instruction in Air & Space 18A, $90 wet, $30/hr instruction, primary students through commercial and CFI. Aircraft based at Stow, MA (Minute Man Field, 6B6). Will instruct in other gyros by appointment. Instructor ratings: CFIAI/SMEL/ATP, Comm-helicopter, Comm-gyroplane, CFI-gyroplane. 


Doyle Watkins, 8140 Laberdee Road, Britton, Ml 49229 - Phone (517) 497-3952
Training by Gyroplane CFI. Ground school available. Signoffs available for student pilot, solo. gyro flight test. Train in RAF 2000 dual-seat side-by-side enclosed gyro. Price $100. Training available any time, year-round.


New York

Trans America Rotorcraft, Ltd., 163 Primrose Road, Williston Park, NY 11596 - Phone (516) 746-3427
Training for solo through CFI ratings. Flight and ground instruction by Demetrios (Jim) Logan, CFI/Rotorcraft-helicopter and gyroplane, advanced ground instructor. Train in RAF 2000 dual-seat side-by-side powered by Subaru Legacy 130 hp engine. Year-round flight training by appointment only. Training for solo through CFI ratings. 


Whirlwing Rotorcraft Mfg., Alderfer Commander Division, 4278 Shafor Road, Hamilton, OH 45011
Flight familiarization by Ed Alderfer. For persons who will operate as ultralight pilots. Training under exemption 6080. $65 per hour. Each session: 9 takeoffs, 9 pattern flights, 9 landings. Power-off landings, PIO prevention. Train in Air Command side-by-side or tandem with Subaru power. Weekends, May through September by appointment. Many emergency procedures practiced. Will check out your own machine, test fly and trim. Pilot weight limit 210 lbs. Info $3. 


Simdel Flight Academy, P. O. Box 7, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada N3Y 4K8 - Phone (519) 428-1568
Instruction for U.S. or Canada under U.S. CFI Gyroplane and Canadian Flight Instructor/Gyro. Designated flight examiner (Canada) available. Ground school on request.Train in RAF 2000 GTX gyro for $150/hour. U.S.: 15 hrs. plus ground school $2,000US. Canada: 15 hrs. plus ground school $2,500Can. Year-round training 7 days/week. 250 lbs. maximum student weight. Can get U.S. license. 


Sport Copter, Inc., 34102 N. Skyway Dr., Scappoose, OR 97056 - Phone (503) 543-7000 Fax (503) 543-7041 - Website:
Gyroplane, helicopter training by CFI. Personal one-on-one complete instruction. Ultralight gyro radio-communicated solo instruction for 1-place ships.Train in McCulloch J-2 certified enclosed gyroplane, Brantly B2A helicopter (IFR), Sport Copter trainer. Year-round training 7 days a week. Will check out your own gyroplane and test fly. Emergency procedures and PIO prevention practiced. Motel close to airport. CFI and examiner on staff. School issues ratings. 

Puerto Rico

Jorge Gonzalez, P. O. Box 730, Arroyo, PR 00714 - Phone (787) 866-5859 - E-mail:
Train in Puerto Rico with CFI/Gyroplane. Earn signoffs for solo, solo cross-country, biennials, all flight checks. Covers all from basics to PIO avoidance and advanced maneuvers. Train in Bensen B8-O (similar to Parsons) with Lycoming 0-320. Dual $100/hour. Ground school for recreational and private: 40 hours $200. Train all year around. Lodging available close to airport. 

South Carolina

Rusty's Rotary Wings, Russell W. Nance, 213 Hickory Hill Tr., elgin SC 29045, Phone (803) 206-2609, (803) 699-0451 - E-mail:, Web:
Train with Certified Flight instructor (Rotorcraft Gyroplane and Helicopter) under PRA 5209E Exemption for gyro instruction.  Ground School Available.  Prep for written and practical test.  Fly in Air Command Mazda Tandem gyroplane.  Weight limit for training 250 lbs.  Orientation flight weight 300 lbs.  Air Command dealer.  Discounts given for flight instruction if new Air Command kit is purchased from us.


South Africa

Aerosport Capetown, P. O. Box 805, Brackenfell 7561, South Africa - Phone 27-21-9815826, Fax 27-21-9822017, Mobile phone 083 675 3541 - E-mail:
Training by full-time microlight instructor Louis van Wyk in a dual-seat Air Command autogyro. Course normally starts with ground training, followed by flying. Cost is about R300 per hour. Instuctor has experience in VPM gyros. Contact Louis van Wyk for more information.


Lisa de Vries, 5135 North Spring Drive, Roanoke, VA 24019-2621 - Phone  (540) 562 1902 - E-mail:
Training by CFI in RAF 2000 under exemption 5209E. Price is $120.00 an hour.

Do you have any additions or updates to this list of instructors in experimental rotorcraft? If so, please send your information to PRA, P. O. Box 68, Mentone, IN 46539 or send E-mail to PRA.

 Information courtesy of Popular Rotorcraft Association
Compiled by Paul Bergen Abbott, former Editor/Publisher, Rotorcraft magazine

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