Flying a helicopter can be interesting, but getting paid to do it will be more even more rewarding. As many people opt to ride helicopters in order to reach their destinations faster, the demand for professional pilots increases. This increase in demand also affects the number of people wanting to enter the industry as a helicopter pilot.
To become a helicopter pilot, you must be able to comply with some requirements. To start your career, here are some options you need to consider.
What are the requirements to be a helicopter pilot?
- Pick a school that is accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Most employers prefer and acknowledge FAA approved training programs.
- Complete helicopter flight training. You may complete training at any age. The prerequisite for the student’ pilot training includes:
- A current third-class medical certificate from an FAA approved medical examiner.
- Must be knowledgeable in writing, speaking, reading and understanding English.
- After completing the helicopter flight training, you must obtain a private pilot helicopter license. The prerequisites for the license will include:
- 40 to 60-hours of total flight time. This must include at least 20 hours of dual instruction and 10 hours flying solo. A solo flight usually requires a student pilot license that is acquired after completion of the flight training.
- Pass the three-part licensure exam which consists of a written, oral and practical flight exam.
- Since a private license will not provide you a living, you must build your commercial helicopter license. This will allow you to fly for hire and be considered a professional pilot. The requirements for the commercial includes:
- An additional 150-hours of total flight time.
- A second-class medical certificate from the FAA medical examiner.
- Once you already got hold of your commercial license, you may or may not acquire additional credentials such as instrument ratings or be certified as a Flight Instructor. This is voluntary but will provide better opportunities.
- Complete the necessary flight hours in order to land a pilot job. Most employers will be requiring at least 1000 hours experience in piloting helicopters.
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