Photo Gallery: VR Heli Academy

Friday, June 15, 2012

Photo of VR Heli Academy training VR Heli Academy logo

Customer Profile:

No. Employees: 7

No. Helicopters: 2


  • West Palm Beach, USA
  • UK

Aircraft in Fleet:

  • Robinson R44 (US)
  • MD500 (UK)

Types of Load Work Training:

  • Longlines
  • Cargo Nets
  • Seismic bags
  • Concrete buckets
  • Utility poles
  • Custom load work

VR Heli Academy offers confined area training for longline work. A team of qualified ground crewmen sets up the park and equipment so pilots can concentrate on their flying and lifting techniques. By providing a variety of "real world" pieces of lift equipment, pilots become familiar with what they might come across on the job and how different loads are transported in the commercial world.

Contact information:
Florida Training Base
VR Heli Academy | Ocean Helicopters
11550 Aviation Blvd, Suite 1
West Palm Beach, FL 33412
United States

Phone: +1.561.625.1900

Our thanks to Reuben Spiring of VR Heli Academy for sending us these beautiful pictures of their aircraft engaging in external load operations work at the VR Helipark in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The VR Heliparks are specifically set up and dedicated work areas for teaching longline courses and are ideal for perfecting hook shots, cargo net lifts and all other areas of longline work.

From learning to fly with your your head out the door, looking at the load, to developing an eye for precision work, VR Heli Academy's external load work provides the training needed in three stages:

  • Stage 1 — Vertical reference
  • Stage 2 — Basic long line
  • Stage 3 — Advanced long line

"We don't make it easy, as we want all of our students to reach a high level before they leave us," said Andy McAllister, Pt133 Chief Pilot, Ocean Helicopters/VR Heli Academy. "Our students progress from flying with various line lengths with an empty hook, to using real world equipment and flying real world missions. Our flight test at the end of the course includes landing a concrete bucket and cargo net in between one-hundred foot trees out in the bush, and also setting a utility pole into a hole that's just big enough for the pole."

VR Heli Academy uses the Onboard Systems TALON® LC Keeperless cargo hook on their Robinson aircraft. "Our affiliate company, HOBS Banners, have set up operation in about 24 countries with various operators,"said Rueben Spiring, Managing Director of VR Heli Academy. "We've found the Onboard hook to be streets ahead in terms of use and quality for all helicopters."


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