Career Tips

Here’s How to Become a Helicopter Pilot (Professional Guide)

Here is tips on how to change into a helicopter pilot. Helicopter pilots function in a wide range of sectors, from catastrophe aid to vacationer excursions. Some pilots pursue flying as a pastime or as a mode of transportation, whereas others pursue careers as industrial pilots. A profession as a helicopter pilot may be each difficult and rewarding.

What does a helicopter pilot do?

Helicopter pilots work in a variety of sectors, serving each personal individuals and enterprise enterprises. Pilots can work as taxi drivers, be a part of the army, or prepare as flight instructors.

Helicopter pilots are employed within the following industries:

  • Medical help in an emergency (emergency medical providers).
  • Officers of the legislation.
  • Transportation for Agriculture Executives.
  • Firefighting.
  • Rescue and search operations.
  • Sightseeing and flight instruction.
  • Licensed flight teacher.

As soon as you may fly helicopters, many alternatives current themselves. A number of industries make use of helicopter pilots with the right helicopter pilot’s license.

Helicopter pilot common wage

In the USA, the everyday earnings for a helicopter pilot varies relying on whether or not the pilot has a personal or industrial license. In the USA, the common earnings for a helicopter pilot is $78,108 per 12 months.

how to become a helicopter pilot

How you can change into a helicopter pilot

Earlier than turning into a helicopter pilot, a number of necessities should be met. To acquire a personal pilot license, a industrial helicopter pilot, for instance, should first go all exams. To earn a pilot’s license, pilots should go written and flight examinations, log the suitable quantity of flight hours and obtain comparable expertise in response to work necessities.

Observe these 5 steps when you want to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot:

Get a medical examination

Pilot candidates should go a medical take a look at earlier than enrolling in class or a flight coaching program to make sure that their psychological and bodily well being is not going to intrude with flying. A doctor who has been accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration should conduct the examination.

Docs will search for well being points that may stop you from getting a license, akin to:

  • Issues with the center
  • Problems of the thoughts
  • Drug abuse historical past
  • Consciousness lapses
  • Listening to issues or circumstances
  • Coloration imaginative and prescient impairments or difficulties are two examples of imaginative and prescient impairments or points. Acquire a level or enroll in a flying college.

Earn a level or attend flight college

Except you wish to fly a helicopter for enjoyable, you may think about getting a level. An affiliate or bachelor’s diploma in math, physics, or aeronautical engineering is required by most helicopter pilot employment. Some universities that supply aviation applications additionally help with the licensing course of.

As a result of the curriculum focuses solely on what it takes to change into a pilot, attending a flight college could be a quicker path to licensure. This entails enough flight expertise in addition to written, oral, and pilot examination preparation. Scholar pilots carry out take-off and touchdown strategies whereas finding out helicopter controls. Pilots first study on simulators, then with the assistance of an teacher. When the trainer determines that the coed is prepared, solo flights are carried out.

how to become a helicopter pilot

Safe monetary support

For individuals concerned about turning into pilots, a number of flying faculties and personal companies present loans, such because the Profession Coaching Mortgage. Some commerce associations can present possibilities for coaching, training, or scholarships. Candidates who don’t wish to go to high school may be a part of the army, which supplies coaching and license in return for service. If you have already got a fixed-wing pilot’s license, you may apply for a rotorcraft license as an add-on, which may decrease your flight hours required.

how to become a helicopter pilot

Acquire the right licenses

Helicopter pilots should first get a personal license earlier than transferring on to a industrial license. Some pilots aspire to be Airline Transport Pilots, the FAA’s highest honor. Follow checks for all licenses are accessible on the FAA web site. People should be 17 years outdated to qualify for a personal license, even supposing a 16-year-old can purchase certification. Daytime and nighttime flying hours, in addition to twin and solo excursions, are all required for licensing.

Acquiring a personal license

Pilots should meet the next necessities with a view to get hold of a personal license:

  • You should be a minimum of 17 years outdated to take part.
  • Cross the FAA written examination.
  • Log Flight time is 40 hours.

When you meet the necessities, with a view to obtain the personal helicopter pilot certificates, it’s essential to do the next.

how to become a helicopter pilot

The 40-hour flying period contains:

  • 10 hours of solo flying.
  • Three hours of cross-country flying with a companion (instructor).
  • Flight time is three hours throughout the day and three hours at night time.
  • Cross-country solo flight for 3 hours.
  • One cross-country flight of 75 nautical miles.
  • Three solo takeoffs and landings are attainable.

After acquiring a personal helicopter pilot license, pilots can broaden their profession potentialities by furthering their training and coaching to amass a industrial helicopter pilot license.

License for industrial use

Candidates should meet the next necessities with a view to get a industrial helicopter license:

  • You should be a minimum of 18 years outdated to take part.
  • Having a personal pilot’s license is a should.
  • Medical certificates issued by the FAA.
  • Floor instructing in its entirety.
  • Cross the FAA’s written, oral, and sensible examinations.
  • Full one twin cross-country flight after 20 hours of twin flying instruction.
  • Full one cross-country flight by your self.
  • Full 100 hours as pilot-in-command after 10 hours of instrument coaching and 10 hours of solo flight coaching.

Take the personal license examination (personal helicopter license)

The industrial pilot’s examination consists of 30-50 questions, and passing requires a rating of a minimum of 70%. Answering questions like recognizing the operations and components of an plane, in addition to executing maneuvers like resolving a disaster or explaining easy factors of process, are all a part of the flying examination. Planning and performing a brief flight with the trainer beside the coed pilot is a part of the flying take a look at. If an error is made, the trainer can inform the pilot to restart the examination or retry a portion of it.

Pilot for a industrial airline

Pilots with the ATP qualification have a greater likelihood of touchdown a job. This qualification necessitates important flying expertise and is often obtained after just a few years of economic piloting expertise.

Candidates should meet the next necessities to change into an ATP:

  • Have a industrial pilot’s license or the equal.
  • Have a ranking in your instrument.
  • To be eligible, you should be a minimum of 23 years outdated.

Acquire 1,200 hours of flight time, together with 500 hours of cross-country flying, 100 hours of nighttime flying with a minimum of 15 hours in helicopters, 200 hours of flight time in helicopters with a minimum of 75 hours as pilot-in-command, and 75 hours of instrument time, 50 of which have been accomplished in-flight with a minimum of 25 hours in helicopters.

Replace your resume

A pilot’s resume ought to embody what number of flying hours they’ve, the plane they’re accustomed to, and any honors they’ve obtained throughout flight college. Some flight faculties can provide pilots with résumé templates that incorporate all related flying and coaching particulars.

Widespread questions

The next are some continuously requested questions concerning turning into a helicopter pilot:

What math expertise do helicopter pilots want?

When piloting rotorcraft, pilots should make the most of a wide range of arithmetic skills. Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus are all widespread matters. College students can enroll in school math applications or examine independently utilizing books or examine aids designed significantly for pilots.

How a lot will training value?

Turning into a helicopter pilot is an costly endeavor. A residential license will value between $10,000 and $15,000, and a enterprise license will value between $18,000 and $20,000. The price of flight time coaching is often $200 for a twin hour and $160 for a solo hour. Written examinations vary in value from $200 to $500, whereas flight exams are round $500.

Ought to I attend flight college as a substitute of school?

In lieu of standard school, helicopter pilot candidates may attend flight college. Scholarships or profession potentialities as flight instructors may be accessible by way of flying faculties. Flight faculties present the additional advantage of permitting college students to earn each a level and a pilot’s license on the similar time.

What’s the coaching and work like?

Helicopter pilots’ preliminary employment is often as a flying instructor at a coaching college. This lets you earn cash whereas gaining invaluable flight expertise. Flight instructing is a enjoyable and troublesome manner to enhance your airmanship and aeronautical information. The primary job pilots sometimes obtain is a task as a flight teacher.

Is it attainable to get a personal pilot’s license and not using a highschool diploma?

To enroll in flight college, it’s essential to have a minimum of a GED certificates.

how to become a helicopter pilot

What’s an instrument ranking?

Pilots with an instrument ranking are in a position to fly in low visibility circumstances. Instrument meteorological conditions, or IMC, is one other identify for this grade. Pilots will need to have a minimum of 40 hours of instrument flying time and 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilots in cost to be thought-about.

What can I count on from helicopter pilot coaching?

Put together to complete your research and meet all coaching necessities as soon as you start.


Pilots should proceed to fly with a view to enhance their skills since they’ll deteriorate if not skilled frequently. Pilots should maintain as much as present on flying procedures and laws, and they are often evaluated frequently.


Relying on how continuously you may full flying coaching, you will get a personal license in roughly three months. Pilots typically fly two to a few instances every week, along with classroom preparation. Pilots can preserve their talent competence and construct on prior classes through classroom and flying instruction. Pilots can overcome studying plateaus or help the place they’re having problem by taking enough time to check.

how to become a helicopter pilot

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