A helicopter pilot may be hired by a branch of the armed forces, or work for independent companies that provide helicopter services for recreation and rescue operations. Typically, it is the job of a helicopter pilot to fly helicopters to destinations, often carrying cargo and passengers. During rescue missions, helicopters are required to be hands-on in handling emergent situations and ensure that they are in constant contact with ground staff.
Eligibility criteria to work as a helicopter pilot include a high school diploma at the very least – many organizations may ask for a formal degree in aviation as well. Training from an approved flight school is essential if you want to work as a helicopter pilot. Of course, obtaining a license is an absolute must for pilots if they want to fly helicopters as a career. One has to be absolutely physically fit, with exceptional knowledge of navigation equipment and control. In addition to this, one has to be able to work without supervision, and make quick and effective decisions, especially in cases of emergencies.
Typically, a helicopter pilot is required to work on shift or project basis. While working as one, you may be asked to handle a multitude of work assignments such as rescue operations, wildlife spotting and photography, and news reporting work. Of course, if you decide to work for armed forces, your job description might be a little different.
Here is a list of job duties that are particular to the position of a helicopter pilot:
Helicopter Pilot Duties and Responsibilities
• Check assigned helicopters to ensure that they are in good working condition before each flight
• Perform weather forecast checks and handle delays as instructed, if the weather is not conducive to flying
• Plan and plot fastest and safest routes to destination, using the helicopter’s inbuilt navigation system
• Monitor technical processes and instrument panels during the course of each flight
• Create and maintain effective liaison with ground staff and air traffic control to ensure that situations are kept under control
• Embark on missions such as rescue operations and firefighting, and ensure that targets are reached in a timely manner
• Carry passengers from one place to another, and provide them with safety instructions to ensure their safety and wellbeing
• Evaluate the performance of assigned helicopter, and ensure that corrective actions are taken as necessary
• Manage emergency landing situations by exercising training and control, ensuring the safety of passengers and cargo
• Create and submit flying checklists and plans, and handle reporting work at the end of each flying shift