Helicopter operations are the industry’s front line and offer direct career opportunities as a pilot or licensed aircraft engineer. Some larger companies may offer pilot training sponsorship opportunities or engineering apprenticeship schemes. The following information is for guidance only.
People learn to fly helicopters for all sorts of reasons. Some do it to make a living or to increase mobility in their business and social lives, whilst others simply wish to satisfy a burning ambition. Helicopter pilots must have good co-ordination and fitness together with sound judgment. The basic qualification is the Private Pilot License that entitles the pilot to fly on his or her own or with friends; it does not permit him or her to carry fare-paying passengers. Beyond that, those seeking a career as a pilot must qualify for a Commercial Pilot License that entitles them to undertake public transport or aerial work. The ultimate license is the Airline Transport Pilot License that is a prerequisite for operations in command of large multi-crew helicopters.
Pilot training is expensive and should not be undertaken lightly. For those that have achieved a Private Pilot License and have good educational qualifications, occasional sponsorship opportunities for training to commercial license standard are offered by the larger helicopter operating companies.
More information about pilot training and licensing can be found by downloading our Helicopter Pilot PDF document.
A career as a licensed aircraft engineer offers excellent job security and the opportunity to live and work almost anywhere in the world. There is not yet a formal nationally recognised licensed engineer training scheme but some larger helicopter operating companies may run apprenticeship schemes from time to time. These schemes vary in nature but all are designed to produce a fully qualified engineer through a process of on the job training and external course work.
More information about what you need to join a training scheme and how to apply can be found by downloading our Helicopter Engineer PDF document.
You can find a list of training schools here: BHA Member Pilot Training Schools.
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