One thought on “Becoming a Helicopter Pilot

  1. Hello Tom,

    I’ve been following you snice I have seen some pics of your work on Instagram and immediately have followed your blog as I’ve read about it.

    On the one hand you make a lot of people jelous, on the other hand you tell the truth about a business which isn’t what a lot of “kids” dream of.

    For me helicopter flying has been a dream since I have drawn a first picture in 2nd or 3rd class in school (German system). I followed this way until I got a medical “No” of the German Army. A dream exploded. Until now I don’t know why, because I was a good athlete.

    I took a different road, tried some other jobs and finally ended up studying “Sports and Exercise Science” in Munich. Since 2008 I have been working in my job and it was 2013 when I went to an exhibition in Friedrichshaven (AERO) to get in contact with some people flying helicopters and get the information about a possible training. Prior to that I remembered my old dreams by flying remote helicopters, reading magazines and looking up in the air for every helicopter sound.

    Luckily I got in contact with a flight instructor of a german school which got a contract in training some foreign police helicopter pilots. And they planned to invent a fitness training program for them. So this was my chance to get into the business. One hand washes the other.

    Since autumn 2014 I’ve got an PPL(H) with a Cabri rating and do my hour building here in Germany. BUT all next to my job, money getting in and directly out for flying.

    In my mind there are two types of people in the business: the one who can afford the training without any consequences and the ones who have the passion but not the money.

    So my experience for now is that every flight school want to have your best: your Money. Like you said. And they tell you the heaven on earth… But that’s not the truth. Depending where you live, how flexible you are and where you want to fly chances are better or worser. Depending where you will do the training, you have to spend a 65.000 to 80.000 Euros (integrated / modular).

    I do completly agree with your thoughts on becoming a helicopter pilot. I am now 35 years old, I have a passion and hopefully will get my dream become true – in which area ever. Let’s see how the way goes. For me it was the best to finish a first training / education before I’ve stepped in the business. Maybe it was fate – being in the right place at the right time. BUT I do recommend everybody who wants to become a pilot finishing a first degree. First of all you earn money, second you always can change back no matter why – just think about the medical! You can loose it in the next moment. And then? It’s not easy to motivate studying all the different topics at home after work or at the week-end when friends have fun outdoor meeting and chilling. But for me helicopters are a passion and that’s my drive.

    Second you should build up a network. This is most important for everybody. Now as much people as possible in the industry.

    It’s good to know that there are companies which like to have those newbies and give them a chance. Reading all the available pilot positions with 1500+ hours, turbine time etc. is grueling. So propably I’ll come back to you, but this will take some more time.

    Doing the training when you have finished a first degree / education and have worked some time in your business makes you a more live experienced person what may help while flying – for me this was the case.

    And – to come to and end – I do absolutely recommend everybod to do some kind of sports which is good for your overall coordination and do fly simulator at home. There is one very good device to use with X-Plane or DCS. You will miss the natural feeling of flying but you a lot good for your coordination what helped me to get quickly through my first hours of flying – especially hovering.

    Finally I’ve set up a homepage of myself at . So far it’s just in German, I am working on it and will place a link to your blod if you are interested.

    Excuse the long post. 🙂




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