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To become a successful helicopter pilot you need to find the best helicopter school for your training needs, and helicopter pilot training can vary a lot depending on which type of operations you wish to pursue.
Traditionally, many helicopter pilots received their flight training through service in the military but an increasing civilian demand has lead to more pilots now receiving their training from civilian helicopter schools.
In recent years the conditions for helicopter pilots have also improved with better salaries, newer equipment and more career opportunities.
Choosing the Best Helicopter School
A question we are often asked is 'which is the best helicopter school?' and the answer is not a simple ‘choose this one vs that one’. Where you live, where you wish to work and what your ambitions are will affect which training provider is best suited for you. These questions should be carefully thought through before you decide where to receive your training.
While the basic helicopter flying skills are the same wherever you choose to learn it is worth looking at schools that offer training in an environment that closely resemble the environment you wish to work in. Where you receive your training is also your first networking opportunity and a lot of helicopter pilots get their first job through contacts they make while still in training. Many schools are linked to other commercial helicopter operations so it is worth having a look at what else they have to offer besides the basic training.
Career Opportunities as a Helicopter Pilot
Helicopters are used in a wider variety of aviation operations than any other aircraft. This means great career opportunities for aspiring helicopter pilots. To give you an idea we have listed some of the most common uses below.
Maritime – Helicopters are widely used to transport people and goods between ships and ports, oil installations and a number of other offshore operations.
Law Enforcement – You have probably seen them; police helicopters and airborne traffic surveillance are in many places flown by civilian helicopter pilots.
Emergency Services – Search & Rescue, Air Ambulance Services and Fire Watch are examples of emergency services employing helicopters.
News Gathering – A lot of TV and Radio channels operate helicopters as an 'eye in the sky' to gather news footage and dispatch journalists to places of interest quickly. A helicopter is also a great platform for aerial photography.
Corporate – Although it is one of the smaller sectors of helicopter operations, there is a growing number of helicopters used for private and corporate transport.
Training – A lot of helicopter pilots build their flying experience and further develop their skills by teaching new helicopter pilots. Being a career helicopter instructor is also a very rewarding job, combining education and flying.
Contact the helicopter schools found on this website to learn more about how you can have a rewarding career as a helicopter pilot.
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