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European Flight Training Academy

We’re the best choice for European students who want the ability to fly anywhere.

HAA welcomes cadets from across Europe to both our airplane and helicopter flight academies. Our programs appeal to European students for:

Advantages for European Students

Joint EASA-FAA Training

Our helicopter school, Hillsboro Heli Academy, is the only US-based helicopter school with an F-1 visa program that also offers joint EASA-FAA training. European students save considerable time and expense with an average program length of 15 months vs. the typical 24-36 months for separate FAA and EASA training. We are underway on developing a parallel program for our airplane academy, with plans to launch in 2023. Learn more.

F-1 Visa Program

We are one of only eight flight schools in the US with an F-1 visa program, and the only one with an EASA-approved curriculum. Most schools offer only the 12-month M-1 visa, which does not allow for enough flight hours for students to fly commercially in their home countries. The F-1 visa allows up to 23 months of additional time in the US, with the ability to gain employment as a pilot (usually as a Certified Flight Instructor) and earn the hours needed to fly for European employers. Learn more.

Flight Hour Savings

In addition to the time savings that European students can enjoy from joint EASA-FAA training our hourly rate for flight instruction is typically about 50% lower than comparable European-based flight training, without compromising our FAA Part 141 and EASA certified standards of instruction and safety.

Flight Environment

European students love to fly with us because our flight conditions in the Pacific Northwest resemble those of central Europe, with our broad valleys and rugged mountain ranges, variable weather, and temperate climate. Unlike students at flight schools based in Florida or Arizona, our students gain the real-world instrument training experience that employers seek.


Word-of-mouth is our biggest source of new enrollments, and we’re grateful that so many European students share their positive experience with us and with their peers. We’ve gathered a few of those here:

Video testimonial of Benedikt Grasl from Austria

Q&A with Joel Tiess from Germany

Q&A with Mathias Seifert from Austria