What's New

2017 Updates

FAA First Class Medical

61.56 endorsement

Attained a FAA Part 107 remote Small UAS Commercial pilot certificate

Branded with the Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) and was Certified as an Instructor to teach the 155 hour accredited Safety Certification Course

Produced a RH IFR FITS SBT ACS structured Syllabus for White Rabbit Aviation in Spokane, Wa.

Created a comprehensive FAA approved CRM training program for 135 Helicopter operators.

2018 Updates

Completed Re-qual 135 R66 Ground Instructor training for 135 Operator

Conducted recurrent 135 training including newly added CRM training for 135 Operator

Coordinating RH industry career path initiatives for flight schools, tour, utility & HAA operators

Continuing efforts with the USHST's Helicopter Safety Enhancement efforts in reducing fatal accidents

Continuing FAASTeam support and presentations

Held a mentoring session at Colorado Heli-Ops, May 6th for CFIs and career pilot planning

Initiated a SMS and a growing Safety Culture at Black Hills Aerial Adventures and Dakota Rotors companies, May 8 & 9

Witnessed the Aviation Futures pathway participants from Colorado Heli-Ops filling second tier tour pilot slots in South Dakota

Conducted C&E and FITS SBT Facilitator courses at CHO (now 248 Facilitators trained) May 10 & 11

June thru October initiatives included a global search for a Bell 407, pre-buy inspection formulation, purchase, training and re-orientation of a 135 chief pilot, FAA conformity inspection, pilot check flight and night flight emergency training.

2019 Updates

FAASTeam presentations in SW Florida and discussions/input with a FAA FITS SBT research data gathering group.

Moving from Naples, Fl. to Winter Haven, Fl. by April 1st.

September 2019 Conducted annual BH407 Part 135 ground training for Elite Helicopters.

2020 Updates

Consulting for Colorado Heli-Ops part 141 and 135 programs

Renewing FAA CFI RH-SP certificate

Mike's Page

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HelicopterSBT was founded in 2011 by Mike Franz with the recognition that airplane & helicopter flight training was antiquated, evolving and needed to be modernized. This awareness prompted him to develop initiatives for accident reduction by accepting and promoting the FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS) modern training methodology.                            

As most industries change a need is created to formulate modern education and training programs. Individual performance requirements change with technology and customer demands. So I ask, why do flight schools still train pilots to learn to fly like the Wright Brothers? Pilots are taught skill sets to control the aircraft in various maneuvers, tested and given a pilot certificate and are expected to face the challenges of flying in a non training, unprotected environment. They are not taught about Aeronautical Decision Making or continued Risk Management and many people are surprised when they learn that 80% of General Aviation accidents are caused by poor decision making? Many of these accidents cause fatalities.

HelicopterSBT exists to promote accident reduction & modern flight training. The accident rate attributed to the short comings in our current training system need to be addressed. The antiquated maneuvers based system develops a pilot that can control the aircraft but does not develop their Higher Order Thinking Skills. Methods exist to teach pilots both flying and head work skill sets concurrently. This can easily be accomplished by trained FITS Facilitators. HelicopterSBT provides awareness and training of the modern methodolgy to produce pilots that can fly and make sound decisions. Bringing this knowledge of the FAA Industry Training Standards group to flight schools and instructors will address the causal factors of accidents. Flight schools with modern FITS SBT curriculums will produce pilots with both flying and thinking skill sets! More info on the modern FITS SBT Methodology can be found on the "Intro" page. 

Mike has been a helicopter pilot for over 50+ years. His age surprises many that call on him for assistance in changing to modern curriculums and training methodologies. Most older pilots are set in their ways and very resistant to change. Mike has researched training methods, techniques and requirements and accepts being the industry lead in modernizing flight training. Mike is an active member of the USHST, HAI, SAFE, AOPA, and the FAASTeam. These entities are working on training reform as they recognize the need to upgrade to meet the demands of increasingly complex flight operations and technically advanced aircraft.

Mike has melded into the UAS world and is certified as a Unmanned Safety Institute Instructor to teach the accredited Safety Certification Course.

HelicopterSBT staff members offer Seminars & Courses to bring the modern flight training methodology to aviation for both helicopters and airplanes. Please view the Courses & Services page for more information and also the "Intro to FITS SBT Methodology" page for a description of the modern concepts and elements.