How to Become a Helicopter Pilot
If you are fascinated by helicopters and have a desire to fly one, then becoming a helicopter pilot may be the perfect career for you. Helicopter pilots are highly skilled professionals who fly helicopters for a variety of purposes, such as rescue missions, sightseeing tours, aerial photography, and transportation of people and goods. Here’s a guide on how to become a helicopter pilot.
1. Meet the Eligibility Criteria
Before you can become a helicopter pilot, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria, which include:
– Minimum age of 17 years
– Hold a valid medical certificate
– High school diploma or equivalent
– English language proficiency
– Pass a background check
2. Obtain a Private Pilot License
The first step towards becoming a helicopter pilot is to obtain a Private Pilot License (PPL). The PPL is a prerequisite for all further training, and it allows you to fly helicopters for non-commercial purposes. To obtain a PPL, you need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours of solo flight time, and pass a written and practical exam.
3. Build Flight Experience
After obtaining a PPL, you need to build flight experience to improve your skills and become a better pilot. You can do this by completing additional flight hours, taking advanced training courses, and practicing different maneuvers. The more flight experience you have, the more confident and capable you will be as a helicopter pilot.
4. Obtain a Commercial Pilot License
To fly helicopters for commercial purposes, such as sightseeing tours, aerial photography, or transportation of people and goods, you need to obtain a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). The CPL requires a minimum of 150 hours of flight time, including 100 hours of pilot-in-command time, and passing a written and practical exam.
5. Specialize in a particular area
After obtaining a CPL, you can specialize in a particular area of helicopter flying, such as emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighting, or offshore oil rig transportation. Specializing in a particular area can increase your job prospects and earning potential.
6. Stay Current and Continue Learning
As a helicopter pilot, it is essential to stay current and continue learning to maintain your skills and knowledge. You need to complete regular flight training and pass medical exams to keep your license valid. You can also take advanced training courses and attend seminars and conferences to stay updated on the latest helicopter flying techniques, safety procedures, and regulations.
In conclusion, becoming a helicopter pilot requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for flying. By following these steps, you can achieve your dream of becoming a helicopter pilot and enjoy a rewarding career in this exciting field.