Helicopters can take off from and land on small areas.
They can also hover in one spot in the air.
The military uses
these versatile aircraft to transport troops and cargo, perform search and rescue missions, and provide close combat
support for ground troops.
Helicopter pilots fly the many helicopters operated by the services.
What They Do
Helicopter pilots in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Prepare flight plans showing air routes and schedules
- Fly helicopters by controlling engines, flight controls, and other systems
- Monitor gauges and dials located on cockpit control panels
- Perform combat maneuvers, spot and observe enemy positions, transport troops and equipment, and evacuate wounded troops
- Check weather reports to learn about flying conditions
- Transport troops and equipment
- Perform spotting for gunfire and field artillery
Helpful fields of study include physics and aerospace, electrical, or mechanical engineering.
Helpful attributes include:
- Determination to complete a very demanding training program
- Self-confidence and ability to remain calm under stress
- Strong desire to fly aircraft
Job training consists of academic and flight instruction. Flight training consists of at least 80 hours of flying time.
Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes:
- Principles of helicopter operation
- Principles of helicopter inspection
- Flying techniques and emergency procedures
- Combat skills and tactics
Helicopter pilots are stationed at military bases or aboard aircraft carriers around the world.
They fly in all types of
weather conditions. Helicopter pilots take off and land from airports, forward landing areas, and ship landing decks.
Civilian helicopter pilots work for police forces, local commuter services, and private businesses.
They also work as
crop dusters, fire fighters, traffic spotters, and helicopter flight instructors.