19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

about us

Hummingbird helicopters logo helicopter pilot training

Hummingbird Helicopters is owned by an ex-North Sea and Air Ambulance pilot with nearly 20 years commercial flying and training experience worldwide. Our instructors are some of the best in the UK and we are proud to say that we maintain a 100% safety record.

Based centrally at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Hummingbird will give you first class, customer focused, bespoke helicopter pilot training and exhilarating flight experiences. Through training at an international airport, you will be exposed to the world of commercial aviation, which will give you the skill and confidence to fly at any airport worldwide. We do not charge our customers landing fees, membership fees or any other hidden fees! There is no small print at Hummingbird.


Flying a helicopter is quite simply the most exhilarating and rewarding experience you could ever wish to accomplish in your lifetime. The challenge of mastering the most versatile utility vehicle ever designed is one to be truly proud of. Some of the benefits of helicopter pilot training with Hummingbird include:

  • Experienced Instructors
  • International Airport
  • No landing fees
  • No membership fees
  • No small print
  • We are CAA Accredited
  • Fully Insured
  • Free Parking
  • 100% pass rate
  • Free tea, coffee & biscuits!

Mike Hall is one of our trainee helicopter pilots who has always had an ambition for the skies. Hear from him why he chose Hummingbird Helicopters to support him in his helicopter pilot training by clicking the video below!

Mark Holderness was our first student to pass his Skills Test. Since achieving his PPL (H) Mark has gained his R44 type rating and now has his sites set on becoming a commercial helicopter pilot. Hear why Mark chose to fly with us.

  • star rating  I was given a gift of a 15 minute flight experience - and what a fabulous gift it was. Only a short flight, but then it was just for... read more

    Joyandmick P

    star rating  I booked the Vulcan Aerial Experience offered by Hummingbird for my son who is a keen photographer and aviation enthusiast. We were given a very warm welcome upon arrival and... read more

    avatar thumb Denise S
  • star rating  I bought my dad an hour flight experience as a present as it’s been on his bucket list. From initial enquiry to the actual day itself, the staff were... read more

    avatar thumb carolinedixon91

    star rating  Booked a 30 min flight in the two seater helicopter for my Mum .
    It was an early 90th birthday gift which we knew she would enjoy .
    My... read more

  • star rating  I booked a trial lesson for my husband's Christmas present( he has a fear of flying) I'm so glad I did because I think he may of been cured !!... read more

    Louise T

    star rating  Want a great experience with knowledgeable, friendly pilot? Then book up for your experience. We booked a lesson for our son and even when the flight was cancelled due to... read more

    avatar thumb Barbara S
  • star rating  I booked a 20 minutes trial lesson with this company for my boyfriend birthday's present. I have to say it was a lifetime experience and I was not even in... read more

    avatar thumb Cidila D

    star rating  As a family we all paid for our Mum/Grandma/Great-Grandma to come for a 30min experience as a early present for her upcoming 90th birthday. Unfortunately due to the new Government... read more

  • star rating  My wife got be a 30 min trial flying lesson from here for my 50th (as it was on my bucket list). It was amazing. My instructor was Andy, a... read more

    avatar thumb Ross W

    star rating  My son bought me a trial lesson with Matt t Hummingbird and it was exhilarating. Matt was very informative and helpful and welcoming. The whole experience was great and you... read more

    avatar thumb Langar_11
  • star rating  I bought a flight experience for my Dad's 90th birthday. It was well worth the price for the smile on his face when he landed. He is not too steady... read more

    avatar thumb Biggles254

    star rating  I have been learning to fly with Hummingbird for over two years now, and now have achieved my Private Pilot License, Matt and the team have been there throughout the... read more

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“Our instructors are highly experienced Commercial Helicopter Pilots with a combined total of 6000 flying hours. We provide all your training needs in-house so there’s no need to worry about anything. We look forward to passing on everything we know to you, in an informal but safety driven atmosphere.” – Captain Matthew M. Rake

Capt. Matthew Rake
Director | EASA ATPL(H) | FAA ATPL(H) | FI(H) | FE(H) | R22 | R44 | H269 | EC135 | AS355 | B412 | S92A

Capt. Matt Rake is an experienced pilot with over 4000 helicopter flying hrs. He has Airline Transport Pilots Licences (the highest grade of flying licence) from both the USA and Europe.

Matt is an Instructor,  Flight Examiner, Ground Examiner and is type rated on 7 aircraft types, from complex ‘heavy’ types such as the Sikorsky S92 to the smaller Bell 412EP ‘Hughie’, R22 and 44. 

His goal is to pass on his knowledge and provide safe, consistent, customer-focused training in a relaxed environment.

Alasdair Hutt
Flight Instructor | CPL(H)| FI(H) | R22 | R44 | Bell 206

Alasdair first flew solo when he was 16, enjoying the novelty of being able to captain a helicopter before being allowed to take his driving test.

After several years of private flying exploring Britain, plus a break in-between to attend university, he gained a Commercial Pilots Licence and is also a Certified Flight Instructor.

Alasdair has flown in a wide variety of environments – from remote areas of Scotland to the congested heli-lanes above Central London.

Helen Spedding

Helen is a Director of Hummingbird and is Compliance Monitoring Manager for both Hummingbird Helicopters Ltd and Hummingbird UAV.

Helen’s background is film and television and she was Production Manager on the BAFTA award-winning ‘Hillsborough’ documentary. She provides admin and accounts support to the Hummingbird team.

Floris Lasonder
EASA CPL | FI | PPL Ground Examiner Cabri G2 | R22 | R44

Floris knew from an early age he wanted to become a commercial helicopter pilot.

After finishing high school where he studied economics, he completed another two years in another school studying physics.

After working two years to save money as a executive / corporate driver in The Netherlands and Europe, Floris started his flying career in Italy, where he not only learned to fly helicopters to a commercial standard but also learned how to fly in the mountains and across borders such as France and Switzerland.

After gaining great experience as a commercial pilot Floris moved from Italy to the United Kingdom to do his Flight Instructor Course.

Floris already has some impressive experience operating across Europe and can tick multiple boxes, for example flying in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and the UK. Not only this but he has also dropped passengers off at 12 000 ft.

Floris holds both an EASA CPL and Flight Instructor rating as he joins our team, where he will continue developing in his career.  We’re certain his international experience will be invaluable to the Hummingbird team.
Michael Hall
Operations Manager

Michael has always known at some point he’d become a pilot. After gaining his Bachelors & Masters degrees, he became acutely aware that the desk life was not for him. Finally, he made the career change back in late 2017, enrolling as a PPL (H) student here at Hummingbird Helicopters.

Michael joined us as our Operations Manager in 2019 and shortly after, gained his PPL (H) on the R22. Now studying for his ATPL (H) exams, he can be found either in the office or outside on the apron, with a cup of tea in hand. Always happy to help, he’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.