For most people learning to fly helicopters, getting a private licence will be a sufficient challenge. However, someone committed to going further – making a career with helicopters, for instance, commercial helicopter training will be the next stage.
Here are 5 key steps towards making your dream a reality – holding a commercial pilot licence for a helicopter.
1. Have you got what it takes for commercial helicopter pilot training?
You must have skill and aptitude in this job. Flying is only one aspect and you must remember the importance of the other tasks: ground work, regular training, safety, maintenance and customer service too. The nature of this industry means that, as a pilot of a commercial helicopter, you will need to be able to relocate to where the work is. You may also be called to work irregular shift patterns at any time, but safety for your passengers and your crew is essential also.
2. A rewarding career can be yours with your commercial helicopter licence
Getting your commercial helicopter license opens many doors. True, at first you’ll find yourself working hard to get hours and flying experience. But if you display the right attitude, gain experience and keep on believing in your abilities you could eventually find a challenging but exciting commercial position in the UK or abroad:
– Flying spectators to sporting events
– Inspecting electricity power lines
– Supporting deep sea oil and mineral exploration
– Taking part in Heli-ski and Heli-hiking operations
– Executive transfer
– Ferrying workers to oil rigs and more
3. Commercial helicopter training is hard work but worth the effort
Now you’ve got a taste for this glamorous career, you need to focus on training.
1. Firstly, you’ll need a private helicopter licence.
2. Secondly, you’ll need to build at least 155 hours’ flight time.
3. Thirdly, you’ll require commercial training. In this country, this usually involves the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) (H) modular course and ground exams.
And then? You’ll need to find a job. It won’t be easy; after helicopter training in the UK, pilots often find themselves caught between that same old problem: ‘needing experience to get a job and needing a job to get experience’. The key to success is in your ability, persistence, sales skills, and willingness to do whatever it takes to build flying hours.
4. Filling the hours required for your CPL(H)
The 155 hours’ flight time expected for a CPL(H) can include the hours involved in getting a private licence; the rest is usually gained by hiring helicopters. At such a time, taking additional helicopter courses to improve your skills will be of benefit.
5. What are the benefits of becoming a helicopter flight instructor?
Once you have acquired a commercial licence, you may wish to also obtain your Flight Instructor’s rating. This qualification will open doors to the helicopter training market, plus this is also a great way to build valuable flight time whilst improving your own abilities. If you do want to train as an instructor you’ll need the following:
– To have passed the Helicopter Commercial or ATPL(H) ground exams.
– 250 hours minimum flight time, plus 100 hours as pilot-in-command (PIC) if you hold CPL(H) or ATPL(H)
– If you have a helicopter PPL, 200 hours as Pilot-in-command (PIC)
So then, are you still interested in a helicopter course and a career as a paid helicopter pilot? If you want to start down the road to this rewarding but challenging job, why not take the first steps with Helicopter Flight Training from Rise Helicopters.