You required a special skill set to become a helicopter pilot. Individuals that want to fly a helicopter are required to go through some sessions of helicopter lessons to get started. The operations of a helicopter are different from private-charter fixed-wing aircraft, and so are the required skills and experience.
What do the helicopter lessons entail?
Before you can be allowed to pilot, you are required to get a private helicopter license. To do this, you must first complete at least forty-five hours of training, seven written exams, and specific practical skills tests. The requirements for a commercial helicopter pilot are quite different from a private pilot.
To upgrade your license to a commercial license, you have to complete 185 hours of rigorous training, pass fifteen written exams, and practical tests. If you are taking on the role of a commercial pilot, you should expect to give at least 500 to 1,500 hours of flight time.
How much do helicopter lessons cost?
The cost of helicopter lessons is determined by the flight schools. This means that the charges are different and based on the flight school that you choose. Factors that will generally affect the cost for your helicopter lessons include the following:
- Instructor fees
- Duration of the lessons
- Type of aircraft
- Aircraft fuel and maintenance
If you are taking helicopter lessons in a non-university flight school, you may be expected to pay an average of $30 -$40 per hour for the training. The cost may add up to about $10,000-$15,000 at the end of the lessons. It should be noted that this cost applies only to private lessons and licenses.
If your goal is to take up a job as a commercial helicopter pilot, the cost will significantly increase. This is because you would need both private and commercial licenses. The additional cost for getting a commercial license can add another $30,000 to $40,000 for the helicopter lessons.
This means that you can spend between $45,000 and $70,000 to obtain your licenses from a non-university flight school.
Can I get a job after my helicopter lessons?
The helicopter lessons alone will not get you a job. You need to complete the process by obtaining your license. As mentioned above, you need both private and commercial licenses to take up a job as a helicopter pilot.
In addition to getting the licenses, you also need to get more advanced training and certifications to give you a competitive edge in the industry. The training includes:
- Instrument rating
- Turbine transition
- Mountain operations
- Certified flight instructor
- Night vision goggles
- Certified flight instructor instrument
- External load
With the training and certifications, you can achieve your goal of flying helicopters for a living and earning highly rewarding remuneration in the process.
Is it difficult to fly a helicopter?
The simple answer is yes. It is very difficult to fly it but this is only at first. When you get used to it after taking several helicopter lessons and practicing, it becomes easier with experience. As many professionals have said, it becomes more like riding a bike for you.
Helicopters respond to slight movements and you must understand these fundamental facts when you start your lessons. With more practice and familiarity with the control adjustment, the process becomes easier. Different factors also contribute to how difficult flying a helicopter can be. These include:
- Weather conditions
- High altitude
- Instrument flying
You can master all these while going through your helicopter lessons. So, do you have a flair for flying? Do you have a dream of becoming a commercial helicopter pilot? It is achievable. Follow the training process and earn your licenses while you practice regularly.