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Most of us have seen helicopters flying in the sky, but how many of us know how they work? While airplanes and helicopters share the skies, rotary aircraft still remain something of a mystery to fixed-wing pilots. Without a deeper understanding, helicopters seem to defy many common characteristics known to fixed-wing pilots.

San Carlos Flight Center invites commercial and rotorcraft pilot Michael Dutton to share more about helicopters. In this seminar we’ll take a high-level look into how a helicopter flies and the controls involved with their flight. Additionally, he will provide an overview of the rotorcraft certificate, motivation for pursuing the certificate, summary of the requirements, and expected timeline. Lastly, Michael will answer common questions such as, what is autorotation? And how do helicopters handle differently than aircraft? There are many differences between helicopters and airplanes that fixed-wing pilots likely do not understand. These questions and many more will be answered during this seminar.

If you were ever curious in learning more about these unique machines, join us for this seminar.


Michael Dutton is a CFI, and CFII in fixed wing with private pilot privileges in helicopters. He’s been flying while working at the San Carlos airport for over seven years, first working for the Flight Center before moving on to Airport Operations. In his off-days, he’s still at the airport as he continues flying and advancing his flying skills.


San Carlos Flight Center (SCFC) is the SF Bay Area’s most dynamic flying club, committed to building general aviation through safety, community, and adventure. AOPA has consistently recognized SCFC in their Best Flight School survey, most recently in 2022 as a Distinguished Flight School.

SCFC is committed to promoting safety in general aviation through our regular safety seminars and guest speaker programs. Livestream access is free for everyone, but recorded seminars are available solely to members at a later date. Click here or contact a SCFC member service rep at (650) 946-1700 for more information about online access to our web archive of over 400 recorded safety seminars.