NMC Aviation now offers helicopter training

TRAVERSE CITY – Helicopter pilot training is now available through NMC’s Aviation division, offering students yet another option to expand their skill portfolio and career opportunities.

About five students will begin training at the end of January. The training and the helicopter are being provided by TC Helicopters, a local company that offers helicopter training, sightseeing and commercial helicopter services.

“The advantage is that there’s very few helicopter schools in the Great Lakes region. It’s an opportunity that we can bring close to home,” said Aaron Cook, NMC’s Director of Aviation.

“I think northern Michigan is underserviced as far as helicopter training is concerned,” agreed Mike Terfehr, president of TC Helicopters.  “It’s going to make it a lot more accessible for folks.”

Cook said he expects most students will still begin with fixed-wing training that NMC already offers and then transition to rotor wing, or helicopters. As with fixed-wing aircraft, students can sit for several helicopter rating exams including private, instrument and commercial. All exams are administered by the FAA. Most students pursue a rating per semester, Cook said.

It will also create another option for the 20 percent of aviation students who come from the community, Cook said. Already pilots, such students aren’t pursuing a degree but simply want an opportunity to earn extra ratings.

“It’s another facet of aviation that students can be exposed to. We’re an international program and we draw students from all over the world. This is another offering that attracts students to us,” Cook said.

Terfehr said a helicopter simulator will also be available to students. He looks forward to employing some of the students as flight instructors, sightseeing pilots and, eventually, in commercial and utility operations.

“We want our graduates to work for us.  This will help bridge the gap to the commercial helicopter world,” he said. “Highly-trained helicopter pilots are in demand. We’re going to work diligently to make sure our top graduates have job opportunities.”

Other career opportunities include oil platform transportation, powerline inspection, air ambulance transport, corporate transportation, and work in the logging and fire fighting industry. Students could also pursue military or Coast Guard careers.

In addition to fixed-wing and rotor wing training, NMC Aviation also offers training in unmanned aerial vehicles. Learn more at nmc.edu/aviation.

RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2014


Aaron Cook
NMC Director of Aviation
(231) 995-2914

Michael Terfehr
TC Helicopters
(231) 668-6000