Glossary of Terms

Definitions for common
helicopter & aviation
acronyms and buzzwords

As in all technical areas, pilots are often guilty of using abbreviations, acronyms, and buzzwords. Midwest pleads guilty of using such words in this Website. Hopefully, this page will help to decode many of those terms for the non-pilot who plans and dreams to fly helicopters.

Helicopter Terms:

  • "Block Time"

    Most flight schools sell aircraft training time in 10-hour, pre-paid "blocks". Normally, the student or rental pilot is offered a discount if they purchase a "block" of time in advance. This saves the pilot money and minimizes paperwork and bookkeeping expenses for the school.

  • CFI

    A Certified Flight Instructor, approved by the FAA. A pilot who has met the requirements and earned the right to teach others to fly and earn their pilot's licenses.

  • CFII

    An FAA-Certified Flight Instructor who is qualified to teach other pilots to fly in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) and to earn their Instrument Rating, which then allows them to fly in the clouds and when the flight visibilities are less that those required for flight under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Actual Instrument Flight is conducted under the direction of Air Traffic Control (ATC) Flight Controllers.

  • Commercial Pilot

    A licensed pilot who has met the additional experience and testing requirements that allows that person to be employed as a professional pilot. There are, however, FAR limitations on what types of flying a Commercial Pilot may or may not perform "for hire" or as an employed pilot.

  • FAA

    The Federal Aviation Administration. The branch of the Department of Transportation that regulates air traffic in the United States and sets standards, rules, and regulations for pilot training and certification.

  • FARs

    The Federal Aviation Regulations. Issued by the FAA, these are the Rules and Regulations governing all flight operations in the United States.

  • PIC

    Pilot-in-Command Flight Time - Simply put, that flight time when a student pilot is flying solo or a licensed pilot is acting as the person actually flying the aircraft and taking responsibility for the flight, with or without passengers. (The technical & legal definitions can be found in the FARs, Federal Aviation Regulations).

  • Private Pilot

    A licensed pilot who flies for personal business or pleasure. That person may be flying their own aircraft or an aircraft belonging to someone else.

  • Solo Flight

    When a student or licensed pilot is flying the aircraft alone with no passengers or a Flight Instructor aboard. Solo flight is Pilot-in-Command flight time.

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  • Charlie Duchek and his staff are the best possible choice I could have made for helicopter flight training. Safety is emphasized throughout and Charlie has the gift of being able to teach all the skills you need to become a proficient, safe, confident helicopter pilot. There is a certain magical feeling to flying helicopters that Charlie and his group are able to impart to all their students. I am a 55 year old jeweler who was fortunate enough to find Charlie, his skills and his patience. I would recommend him to all those who care to "share the magic."

    Roger Doyle - Past Helicopter Student
  • Charlie and his staff are the best group of instructors I have ever come across.The aircraft are the cleanest and best maintained I have seen. They always take the time to explain a question in clear understandable language.

    Chuck Talent - Past Helicopter Student
  • The process of picking the right flight school is the most important decision you will make regarding your flight training. Midwest's instructors are extremely knowledgeable and professional, and really care about your progress toward your certificate. I am 100% satisfied with the training I received from Midwest. Whether it is for a career or personal enjoyment, Midwest can help make your dreams of helicopter flying a reality. I would recommend them to anyone.

    Chad Boyd - Past Helicopter Student
Midwest Aeronautical Robinson R44 N600SR
Our Aircraft

Gorgeous, Low-Time R44 Training Ship

Midwest offers pilot training in a beautiful Robinson R44 Raven I helicopter. Recently overhauled and equipped with state-of-the-art avionics.

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Charlie Duchek with Bell 407 jet helicopter
About Us

The Most Experienced CFI in St. Louis

Chief Pilot Charlie Duchek is the area's most experienced flight instructor in various makes and models of piston-powered helicopters.

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Competitive Training Rates

Our training rates in the R44 are competitive with what other flight schools charge for training in a two-seat R22 helicopter.

R44 Dual Instruction
(Private Pilot, Commercial & CFI Training)
R44 Dual Instrument Instruction
(Instrument & CFII Training)
NEW! R44 Introductory Training Flight
1-hour Discounted Demo Flight
only $349
Classroom Instruction
(Ground School & Checkride Preparation)

Compare to $500-$600 per hour elsewhere