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What They Do

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Career Video

Insider Info

Helicopter pilots are highly trained professionals who transport passengers or freight, conduct aerial searches, provide transport of critically injured patients, fight fires, provide law enforcement and much more. From herding animals to aiding television crews with gathering news, being a helicopter pilot is anything but boring.

And that means plenty of people want to do it.

Piloting is only a part of the job. A successful pilot can handle a unique blend of both physical and mental challenges. Helicopter pilot John Bradbury says the hardest part of his job is "dealing with the pressures of flying safe and still getting the job done for the client."

Helicopter pilots can fly for a variety of employers or clients, from companies with just one helicopter to large companies that employ hundreds of pilots. The industry is very competitive. Although pilots may need certification to work in certain areas, their skills are recognized all over the world. This gives them the chance to work internationally.

Duties include filing flight plans, checking aircraft structure, making sure flight systems and instruments work properly, maintaining contact with the control tower and filing a flight report after landing.

At a Glance

Take to the skies with a rotor on your motor

  • Helicopter pilots work everywhere, including the media and emergency services
  • Helicopters are getting more sophisticated all the time
  • Training can cost $150 or more an hour


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