Real-World Experience at 6,225 Ft

Truckee, California


All training flights originate at Truckee Airport. Our location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains offers unique opportunities for invaluable flight training. You’ll learn how to read the terrain, weather, and other visual cues:

  • During the summer, the density altitude can approach 10,000 feet. This may present a myriad of challenges that could impact both engine performance and aerodynamics. Learning to fly at high density altitudes will make you a much more proficient pilot at any altitude.
  • We practice landing on varied terrain that will give you a range of experience. It’s important to practice within confined areas, and there’s no shortage of tall pines in all directions. Slope takeoffs and landings can be done anywhere within a reasonable pitch.
  • There are many true pinnacles (mountaintops) for practicing your approaches. Pinnacle approaches are one such maneuver that will require extra care given the unpredictable mountain winds and high altitude. You’ll learn to determine wind direction and strength, and factor this in throughout your flight.


Instructors conduct ground training one-on-one with students in the classroom or on the tarmac at Truckee Airport facility.
During the winter months, students can take a break from their studies and enjoy Tahoe’s 500+ inches of annual snowfall.


Students are responsible for securing their own accommodations and transportation. Upon acceptance, each student will be assigned an ambassador from HeliTahoe Academy. They will help you to locate accommodation, navigate the transportation system or purchase a vehicle, and orient to life in Truckee.


Located on the shore of majestic Lake Tahoe, Truckee is a large town with plenty to do.  During the day, you can hike, bike, swim, paddle boarding, ski, snowboard, play golf, and much more. The activities don’t stop until the sun goes down. Then, you can join the night life in Truckee.


Your training schedule will vary from day to day.

  • Wake up to another beautiful Tahoe sunrise. Check the aviation weather forecast and Notices to Airmen issued for the day.
  • Arrive at HeliTahoe. Get another check on the weather and meet with your instructor. Your instructor will spend approximately 30 minutes briefing you on the day’s flight and the maneuvers you’ll learn and practice that day.
  • Go fly! Start by preflighting the helicopter to make sure it’s airworthy. Training flights typically take 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the lesson of the day. Throughout the entire flight, you’ll also need to account for high-density altitudes and mountain winds.
  • Postflight the helicopter after landing, making sure it’s in excellent mechanical order for the next student you’ll be handing it off to.
  • Debrief the flight. Your instructor will spend another thirty minutes highlighting everything you did well and offering instruction on the things you need to work on.
  • Take a quick break!
  • Head over to the classroom for a one-on-one ground lesson. Ground lessons last two hours and cover all subjects required by the FAA for the certificate or rating you’re working towards. Each ground lesson is a mixture of lecture with hands-on training.  Advanced students will practice teaching lessons to the instructor, in preparation for their own instructor certificate.
  • Go enjoy Tahoe! The moniker of “America’s Year-Round Playground” couldn’t be more true. You’ll never run out of extra-curricular activities to do, but make time for studying!