How to Buy a Helicopter: The Complete Guide

Are you interested in making your trips a bit more exciting and adventurous? Perhaps you’re looking to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning a helicopter rather than renting them from others.

Whatever the case might be, buying a helicopter can be an incredible way for you to enjoy your passion for flying.

Think about the bragging rights behind owning your own private helicopter. Having a chopper that’s only used when you want it to be used!

Here are several steps on how to buy a helicopter if it’s your first time doing so. Be sure to factor in all the considerations before making your purchase.

1. Who’s Going to Be Flying It?

There are essentially two different scenarios that apply to the people who are interested in owning their own helicopter. They’re either interested in buying one they can fly themselves or buying one and having someone else fly it.

For those interested in flying it themselves as a hobby or personal transportation, they typically invest in lighter choppers that gives them full control.

Meanwhile, those interested in buying one for an experienced pilot to fly will purchase the bulky helicopters with enough space for all of their passengers.

In either case, you might be looking for the cheapest helicopter possible, at least to start things out.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re interested in buying for both flying yourself and having an experienced pilot fly you places, then reach out to an expert who can point you to the right options for that situation.

2. How Often Will You Use It?

Here’s yet another question that you should be asking yourself prior to looking at the market for a helicopter.

Obviously, owning a helicopter is going to cost a pretty penny. However, you can justify all the cost of maintenance if you’re planning on using it enough.

So… how many hours would be deemed “enough” to purchase and own your own helicopter? Where is the line?

Typically, you want to at least accrue somewhere around 150 hours of flying in order to justify buying one of your own. If it’s any less than that, then you might want to consider other ways of traveling other than just a helicopter.

3. How Far Will You Travel?

Helicopters can be a tremendous tool for airborne travel, but they are generally used for distances of 300 to 350 miles. Granted, that amount could be more or less, depending on the mileage that you use.

So, with that said, it’s all about considering how far you’re hoping to travel when you use the helicopter that you wish to purchase.

They can be a huge asset for situations such as escaping Los Angeles traffic and get to places such as San Diego or Spring Valley much quicker than braving it in a car.

However, if you’re hoping to fly to places such as Phoenix from Los Angeles, then you might be stretching it thin on fuel.

One of the biggest things is to factor in the relative distance of your frequent travels. If you aren’t sure how to gauge that, then base it off of your travels the past year or so.

How long have you gone distances of over 350 miles? Are there frequent occasions where you take trips that are a few hundred miles away? If so, your new helicopter can be an incredible way to travel to those spots year-round!

4. What’s Your Budget?

Everyone has a budget on the items that they purchase, and a helicopter certainly isn’t any different.

Start by doing some research to see what the price range is for the type of helicopter that you’re interested in.

For example, the lightweight helicopters that you fly yourself go for around $37,500 or more. However, the big, bulky choppers can go for anywhere around $300,000 or more. It is cheaper if you can find pre-owned helicopters for sale.

Many factors should go into how you budget for your future helicopter. How much do you plan on using it? Will it be your main form of transportation after you purchase one? What’s the typical price range for the type of helicopter you’re interested in?

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Set yourself up for a helicopter you can enjoy for a long time to come without compromising your bank account.

Setting a budget now will help you with negotiations when you go to buy from a helicopter broker as well.

5. Find the Right Broker

Finding the right helicopter broker to work with is everything. The right broker will make the whole process easy for you. They will listen to your needs and not only find you the best helicopter for you but also the best aviation headsets, accessories, etc. You want someone that won’t take advantage of your lack of knowledge and try to hustle you.

Rather, find someone that comes highly-regarded in the industry. If you’re searching local, then be sure to ask around and see who your friends, fellow executives, or even family members have trusted with their purchases.

Don’t make the mistake of going to a certain broker just because of the lower price they claim they’ll offer to you.

Take your time, perform research on the models and brands you should be on the lookout for, then find a broker that can hook you up with them.

How to Buy a Helicopter: Trust the Process

Now that you’ve seen several factors and things to consider on how to buy a helicopter, it’s time to undergo the helicopter-shopping process.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of options so that you can filter them out as time goes on. Don’t put your back against the wall with only one or two models remaining on your list.

Make sure to browse or website for more articles on helicopters, as well as other helpful information.


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