Helicopter pilot 20.03.2019

Is there anyone who didn’t dream of being a pilot as a child? Piloting an aircraft is cool and romantic. But it is, in fact, a strenuous and demanding job. This article describes helicopter pilot training procedures and particular features of the profession.

It all starts in a flight school or a private aviation training centre. No one can be employed if not duly qualified. In Russia, graduates of state schools enjoy more credibility. There is a rigorous enrollment process there, and cadets must study diligently: poor performance categorically results in expulsion. Private training schools are not so tough in their requirements and admit anyone that can afford the fees.

Theory and practice

Future pilots undergo complex theoretical and full practical training. Cadets study aircraft design, aerodynamics, navigation, meteorology, aviation law, flight safety and other necessary disciplines.

In practical exercises, they learn to check and prepare aircraft for a flight, take off and land, perform circular movements, flights on assigned routes, and flights to remote sites. Subject to successful examinations, graduates receive a special certificate, a flight hour record and documents to receive a pilot’s license and review by a qualification commission.

Due to a limited number of governmental training schools for helicopter pilots, private schools are in great demand. However, training there is not cheap. Fee-based training of this type in Russia costs at least 1.5 million rubles.

Strong and weak points of being a pilot

The strong points include high salaries. In Russia pilots earn upwards of 100,000 rubles, or much more, if employed in northern regions. In Europe and other countries, they are paid even more. It is quite feasible for a recent graduate to be qualified internationally and apply for this job.

Another advantage is the prestige of this occupation. Being a pilot means being a true hero in the eyes of others. Respect and esteem are guaranteed. Moreover, this job is believed to be interesting and quite enjoyable. Piloting an aircraft and flying for real, not just in dreams, mean true romanticism for those in love with the sky.

The high degree of responsibility is among the weak points of this occupation. Unlike most other professionals, a pilot is not able to make mistakes. This job is associated with certain risks, which don’t always or fully depend on the pilot. The flying profession involves long-term absence from home, nightshifts, and spending a long time in the same position. Accordingly, a professional pilot must be durable, courageous, attentive, punctual and concentrated. They must also have a cast-iron constitution and be able to make decisions promptly and handle a developing situation at lightning speed.

What do a pilot’s tasks include?

A pilot receives a task to carry out. They must prepare the equipment for a flight, take care of flight safety, monitor passenger boarding or cargo placement, follow the basic flight reference and route, instruct the travelers on the rules of conduct onboard an aircraft (unless there is a specialized instructor), abide by radio traffic regulations, analyze the weather situation in a timely and proper manner, and execute control centre commands.

If necessary, a pilot must assist in search and rescue operations. However, their scope of duties primarily covers the aircraft, the passengers and the cargo. Depending on the situation, the job of a pilot can be multidimensional, as helicopters are used for a great variety of purposes.

Written by Nikolay Danilov


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