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What does a Helicopter Pilot do?

Learn all about Helicopter Pilot duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Helicopter Pilot.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

An helicopter pilot is responsible for flying and navigating helicopters. They may transport passengers or cargo, or perform search and rescue missions, among other duties.

Helicopter Pilot job duties include:

  • Pre-flight planning and aircraft inspection
  • Coordinating take-off and landing times with Air Traffic Control
  • Taking off and landing the helicopter in a range of conditions
  • Carrying out aerial work such as crop spraying or mustering livestock
  • Transporting passengers or freight
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Emergency medical services
  • Firefighting
  • Law enforcement

Helicopter Pilot Job Requirements

In order to become a helicopter pilot, one must first obtain a Private Pilot Helicopter certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, including at least 20 hours of instruction with an authorized flight instructor and 10 hours of solo flight. Once the Private Pilot certificate is obtained, the pilot can then begin working on obtaining their Commercial Pilot certificate, which requires an additional 250 hours of flight time. In order to be hired as a helicopter pilot, most companies will require at least 1,000 hours of flight time.

Helicopter Pilot Skills

  • Communication
  • Coordination
  • Navigation
  • Observation
  • Quick thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Stress management
  • Teamwork
  • Physical fitness
  • Manual dexterity
  • Visual acuity
  • Good hearing

Related: Top Helicopter Pilot Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Helicopter Pilot

There are many ways to become a helicopter pilot. The most common way is to attend an aviation school and get a degree in aviation. However, there are other ways to become a helicopter pilot. One way is to join the military and learn how to fly helicopters. Another way is to work for a private company that provides helicopter services.

The first step to becoming a helicopter pilot is to attend an aviation school and get a degree in aviation. This will give you the necessary training and knowledge to become a successful helicopter pilot. There are many different types of aviation schools, so it is important to choose one that is right for you. Once you have completed your degree, you will need to obtain a commercial helicopter license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The second step to becoming a helicopter pilot is to join the military and learn how to fly helicopters. The military offers many benefits, such as job security and training. In addition, the military will also provide you with a salary and benefits while you are serving. Once you have completed your service, you will be able to use your skills and experience to find a job in the civilian world.

The third step to becoming a helicopter pilot is to work for a private company that provides helicopter services. There are many different types of companies that offer these services, so it is important to find one that is right for you. Once you have found a company, you will need to complete their training program and obtain a commercial helicopter license from the FAA.

Related: Helicopter Pilot Resume Example

Related: Helicopter Pilot Interview Questions (With Example Answers)