Helicopter Flight Instruction: Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does it take to become a professional helicopter pilot?
It varies greatly as everyone learns at a different rate which it makes it hard to predict how long it will take to finish the program. Great ways to speed up a student’s progress is to fly at least 3-4 times a week and study diligently at home. If following those recommendations, a student can realistically finish the professional pilot program in 18 months. If a student wishes to be done sooner, plan on flying twice a day, 3-4 times a week with lots of studying while not in class.
- When can I start my helicopter pilot training?
Alyeska Helicopters offers open enrollment so students can enroll whenever they are ready to start their program. To complete the enrollment process, Alyeska Helicopters needs proof of citizenship. That would be either a copy of the student’s passport or birth certificate, as well as a completed enrollment application.
- How much does it cost to get my private certificate?
Since everyone learns at different rates, it is hard to predict how much anyone’s final bill will be. A good cost estimate would be between $12-$25,000; our student’s average is around $22,000. Great ways to keep your costs down would be to fly frequently and study, study, study while not in class. Our flight training catalog gives a good idea of the cost of all of our programs.
- Will having my fixed wing certificate before I start helicopter training help lower my costs?
Not necessarily. Flying helicopters and flying airplanes utilizes two completely different skill sets. How you learn to react to situations in an aircraft is the opposite of how you should handle the same situation in a helicopter. Often having airplane time will require some extra flights to break pre-existing habits.
- If I complete your professional helicopter pilot program, will you hire me to teach at your school?
We love hiring our students and always hire from within our school first, however we can never guarantee jobs. If we have a job opening and there is a student that meets all of the requirements who would be a good fit for our school, they are given preference in the hiring process.
- What are my chances of getting a job after completing the training?
Excellent. There is a shortage of helicopter pilots, and that is not going to get better any time soon. Helicopters are becoming more and more widely used, and the demand for pilots continues to exceed pilot availability.
- Once I complete my training, what kind of job can I get?
Typically, plan on working as a flight instructor until you have at least 1,000 hours. This gives you time to demonstrate your ability to work in a professional environment while you improve your skills in the helicopter. Once you reach 1,000 hours you would be qualified to fly commercially. Job prospects to fly commercially are excellent as helicopters are becoming more and more widely used. The demand for pilots continues to exceed pilot availability, however, aviation is like all industries and the demand for pilots does change periodically.