In any context, when you talk about flying, one of the most interesting aircraft that you’ll probably ever get to fly is the helicopter! Professional training, of course, is your only avenue to becoming a successful helicopter pilot.
Unlike most other aircraft, the helicopter is small, yet more powerful and extremely maneuverable-and helicopter pilots have to be extremely skilled to get a license. Since the aircraft is small and light, it has the ability to perform any complicated operation-whether it is ferrying people from inaccessible locations like mountains or forests to rescuing passengers stranded at sea. The aspirant must be able to master his or her reflexes and be able to take decisions on-the-spot. It is here that the training can equip the candidate to handle almost any flying situation. Before you enroll for one, make sure you carefully research your options. To help you get started, here is some information that you should know.
What Does It Include?
Foremost, it is advisable to get a aviation medical examination taken, which will clear you for flying. This would mean that you have no apparent handicaps, and that your vision and hearing are perfect. Most aspirants are broken down into two distinct categories-those with no pilot rating and those who have a fixed wing rating.
For the former category, the training would differ from person to person. A newcomer would have to go through around twenty hours of instruction class and about twenty hours of solo flying practice. This would then be followed by a written test, which if you pass, will lead you to the next round-the check ride round. This is almost always done under the supervision of someone qualified from the aviation authority, who will in turn put you through a combined practical and oral exam. Once you are qualified for a license, you can move on to obtaining a commercial permit.
How Much Does It Cost?
As with any type of pilot course, this training can also be very expensive. Anything from USD 10,000 upwards should be considered normal. However, once you start working, you will easily be able to make up for the amount that you have spent on getting educated.
The first thing you need to do is to plan your finances. Be aware of the fact that this requires a long-term commitment on your part. So, if you can manage to pay from the beginning of the course to the end, then it is wise to indulge in this commitment. However, if you don’t have the required finances, there are many financial aids that could lessen the burden. There are many flight schools that have special payment schemes, that could be beneficial to you.
Remember that the armed forces provides career options for people interested in flying any type of aircraft. So, if you have the aptitude, joining the armed forces could be a good option. However, in order to enroll, you are required to have a four-year degree and should be flexible when it comes to the work timings.
Choosing the Right Program
While choosing an appropriate program, you must consider the cost and location of the training. Not all the states in the US have such facilities, so getting enrolled in one might mean that you have to relocate. Some schools do provide assistance with accommodation, though.
The average cost ranges anywhere from USD 20,000 to USD 40,000 depending on the school or program you have chosen. You should check for certain criteria-the courses that are provided, payment structure, duration, student insurance, safety schemes and guidelines, school facilities, housing facilities, ground-school training program, types of helicopters used, staff and instructors, job vacancy programs, and above all, the FAA certificates.
Unbelievable though it may seem, there are thousands of aspiring pilots out there, but only a few of them make it big. One of the biggest reasons is that most people are not fit enough to become one. So, make sure that you are physically as well as mentally ready first!