~ Helicopters to the Rescue

 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Getting Your Pilot License‬‏
Getting a pilot's license with the intent on learning to fly a helicopter is a very ambitious goal.  But of all of the aircraft, the helicopter is probably one of the most versatile and useful kinds of flying in society.  However, it might be obvious that it is more complicated to fly a helicopter than a conventional private airplane.   So the training is more extensive, difficult and expensive as well.  But adding the helicopter to the list of your piloting skills on your resume will make you tremendously marketable in a field that is always in need of well trained pilots.

You don’t have to look far to find ways that helicopter pilots are getting great jobs in all segments of society.  Every local news team has at least one if not several traffic or weather helicopters to help report the news.  Every day these pilots whisk a news team off to the heart of a fast breaking story, often a story that is filmed directly from the cockpit of their helicopter.

The need for helicopters to assist law enforcement is easy to witness by just watching any cop or detective show on television or in the movies.  But the way the pilot of the helicopter becomes a big part of many police situations is not overstated.  For law enforcement, the need to get right to the heart of a crime situation is nothing short of critical.  Time makes a big difference when it comes to solving a crime or stopping a dangerous situation from spiraling out of control.  So many times it is the helicopter pilot who can take a team of highly skilled police or FBI officers right into the middle of a trouble situation with pinpoint accuracy.  And when those heroes of the police department can save a life because you got them there fast, there is no way to estimate how great you will feel about your role in that important job.

Helicopter pilots can find great employment giving rides around the city during the holidays, flying busy executives to high stakes business meetings from the top of skyscrapers, whisking rock stars away from overly adoring fans or working for hospitals getting remote patients to medical care quickly and saving lives in the process.  This means that the chances are your life as a helicopter pilot will be exciting, fast paced and always doing something urgent taking you to the most interesting of places.

But of the many ways that helicopter pilots find great jobs helping others in society, rescue missions may be the most meaningful.  During the hurricane Katrina disaster, it was a common thing to see helicopter pilots going in and plucking people off of rooftops to take them to safety and to be reunited with their grateful families.  In forest fire situations, helicopters are what are used to dump water or chemicals on the fire to try and stop the burning.  And it is the helicopter that is used to get in the middle of danger and get people out or to get the injured to medical professionals quickly and save lives.  Your skills in handling that complicated aircraft will never seem more crucial than when you are using them to benefit your fellow man in trouble.

You should know the demands that will be put on you when you start on your course to learn to fly a helicopter and get a pilot's license that says you can be counted on to handle this important vehicle with skill.  Unlike a conventional airplane, the helicopter and maneuver straight up and side to side with phenomenal flexibility.  It can hover over a location virtually in one place and be landed with nothing more needed than a small plot of ground to place it down on rather than a long landing field.  The skill to be able to actually do these maneuvers with this precision flying machine take time and money to gain. 

You will work very hard in pilot's school for helicopter pilots.  And this specialization of pilot training is anywhere from 5-10 times more expensive than conventional pilots training.  But if you can get the training under your belt and the experience to show you can handle a copter like pro, the employment opportunities are abundant and the money good for you to have an exciting and diversified career flying helicopters as your job and your passion.

How Not to Crash an Airplane

When you enter flight school and start to anticipate those hands on flight lessons, that's really the exciting part of the program.  We all know that the classroom learning and the technical knowledge are important.  You really cannot expect to be a pilot without knowledge of aerodynamics and the technical theory about aircraft and how they work both in flight and during take off and landing. 

But it is when you get in the pilots seat and take the controls of an airplane that things get exciting.  The FAA requires that you get 40-50 hours of airtime actually flying an airplane and getting in flight instruction from a certified pilot before you are qualified to test for a pilot's license.  This makes sense.  After all, flying an airplane is a mechanical and physical skill.  Along with the knowledge of how to read the instruments, how the plane works and the relationship between the craft and the atmosphere, there is a certain amount of "seat of the pants" knowledge that can only come from handling an airplane up in the air, where you wanted to be all along.

There are a lot of aspects to flying to cover during your time in the air with your instructor.  The take off takes some getting used to and you have to learn to carry this part of the flight off safely and in cooperation with the tower and other aircraft in the area.  When in the air, finding your altitude and dealing with different situations that come up while flying can really only be taught when they happen.  And landing the airplane is an area of particular focus because that is where there is the biggest potential for error which can be catastrophic.

One area of flying that must be part of your training that maybe wasn’t part of your thoughts when you daydreamed of becoming a pilot is disaster recovery.  You know that when you drive a car, there are dozens of "situations" you might get into that require that you make corrections or have the wherewithal to handle a crisis situation and get through it with as little damage and injury as possible.  While flying an airplane does not put you in the same kind proximity of other aircraft as driving does, you have more dimensions to flying (up and down) as well as wind, weather and airborne hazards to be concerned with. In addition you may face equipment malfunction while in the air and you must have some knowledge and experience in how to handle this kind of crisis to get through it alive.

If your flight training doesn’t include crisis training, you should get it at all costs before you even consider taking other people up in your airplane and you are responsible for their lives.  You should have an instructor who will intentionally cut the engines and teach you how to handle the aircraft without the aid of power and to glide it safely to the ground.  You should also get what they call "spin" training which is what you will need if you suddenly find the aircraft spiraling to the ground "spinning" while you frantically try to figure out how to pull out and save your life and the airplane as well.

This part of your training will be a bit frightening.  But your instructor will be able to put you into the situations you need to understand and talk you through them so you have the knowledge you need to recover from disasters if they happen to you while flying.  You will be glad you are prepared even if you never experience problems flying and it will give you self confidence to know that you were taught how to respond to crisis rather than having to figure it out when it happens.

How to Pay for Your Dream

Having a dream of becoming a pilot and getting behind the controls of an aircraft to guide it into the clouds is the start of a great life reaching for the stars.  But that first step of getting your pilot's license is a big one.  Not only is flight school challenging and something that will take significant effort and time, it's quite an expense as well. 

Flight schools are not cheap.  Offering instruction in getting a pilot's license means employing highly trained and skilled instructors who are skilled pilots. In addition to the expenses of running classrooms, flight schools must be able to help you complete 40-50 hours of actual flight time which involves one on one time with that instructor.  So flight schools must provide the airplanes along with the mechanics to keep those planes in good repair.  All of that is expensive and that is built into the cost of your training.

So to make your dream a reality, sometimes you have to get a student loan or some financial aid to get where you want to go in the airline industry.  Like any other form of education, there is assistance available if you know how to get it.  So you are determined not to give up on your dream, you will have to make finding financial backing as much of a project as getting through flight school and getting that pilot's license.

One often untapped resource are grants from organizations or companies that benefit from a fresh supply of good pilots.  You can find out at your nearest airport the types of organizations out there that have grants for students who need help with flight school.  Pilot fraternal organizations as well as men's clubs like the Boy Scouts, the Lions Club or the Shriners often have scholarships for deserving students.  If you have an adult relative in one of these groups or you are a member or an alumni of one of these groups, check out any grants they might have before you go to strangers.

Another clever way to get financial aid is to look for colleges that offer a full degree in aviation and flying.  Often these schools operate a fully funded flight school as part of that curriculum.  And if you enroll in an accredited college or university, the scholarship and federal student loan program through FAFSA is always there to be of help.  Another "back door" trick to get free tuition and even some funding from the school is to go to work for the school or have a parent do so.  Often colleges give free schooling to employees and their kids as part of their employee benefits.

But even if you are working with a school that is only about training pilots, talk to the administration because they may know of more grants or student loans you may qualify for.  Before you start on this quest, make sure you have your financial documentation in order.  That means have your tax documents all gathered up as well as bank records, pay stubs or anything else that document your financial status and can be used to demonstrate financial need for assistance.

The school can be an important partner to you in finding the funding you need.  There may be existing federal programs like the Pell Grant or the Stafford or Perkins loan programs that will work to get you the money you need to get through flight school.  Again, getting logged in with the FAFSA program is essential to go after any government funding but once you are approved by FAFSA, the government will most likely guarantee any student loan you need.  That means banks and credit unions will welcome you with open arms when you come to them for a student loan.

You may actually be surprised how much financial aid is out there to help you realize your dream.  If you must pay for your schooling with a student loan, don't despair going into debt.  Once you get your pilot's license, your market value will skyrocket and you can pay the loan off from the good job you get in the aviation industry.  And it's worth going through that loan process because in the end when you have realized your dream of becoming a pilot, you will be able to sour above the clouds piloting an airplane and you will be grateful for anyone who helped you along the way.

Insider Tips on Preparing to get Your Pilot’s License

When I was growing up, probably the one piece of “sage advice” I heard from an elder relative was simply, “Always know what you are getting into.”  And when it comes to getting your pilot’s license and becoming one of those select few who are allowed to take aircraft off the face of planet earth, you should be well prepared to get through what is by any estimation a pretty tough training period.

They say that anything worth having is worth waiting for.  And getting your pilot’s license is definitely worth going for.  So not only should you go into it with a good supply of determination and patience, you should go in dead set on working as hard as you need to.  Then not only do you come away with the license, you come way fully prepared for anything once you get in the pilots seat of an airplane.   And some of the things you should be prepared for are…

.   Lots of study.  You will have to know your aircraft inside and out.  Don’t settle for anything less.
.   Making an investment.  Quality flight training is not something you should cut costs on.  Be prepared to pay for the best training you can get.  It will pay off many times over when you are totally confident in your training.
.   Sticking with it.  It will be up to you to keep scheduling lessons one after the other so you progress through the training until you are ready for that first test flight.  Don’t let grass grow under your feet between classes.  Make getting your pilot’s license a high priority in your life and you will get to your goal before you know it.
.   Test flights.  You won’t be flying an aircraft in the first week of class.  You are going to have to learn a lot before the instructor lets you have the controls.  But be determined to demonstrate your knowledge and air worthiness so when he or she does turn over the craft to you, you are ready for that responsibility.

You are entering an entirely new world and a new skill where you must have a combination of a high level of knowledge and plenty of experience to be able to handle the many situations you will face in the air.  The first level of competency is your knowledge of the airplane you are about to fly. 

While you are not going to become an airplane mechanic, there should be nothing unfamiliar about your plane.  Study the mechanics, the design and the operation of the aircraft until you eat, drink and sleep airplanes.  That knowledge will be a lifeline for you once you are the captain of that craft.

Do your homework up front about not only the reputation of the school you choose to teach you to fly an airplane but whether the individual instructors are acceptable.  Not only should your teachers be experts in flying, they should be outstanding at passing that knowledge along to you.  If you are not comfortable with a teacher or you and that teacher just don’t hit it off, make changes early.  You will be in the air with that instructor as your training moves along so you want to be sure you are on the same wavelength with him or her.

By making it your ambition and even your mission in life to get the best, the toughest and the most thorough flight training you can get, you are starting off on the right foot toward a great career in the airline industry.  Your training should be difficult, uncompromising and if you don’t cut it the first time, they should have no qualms about making you go around for that lesson again. 

You will be responsible for the lives of others when you reach your goal of piloting an aircraft.  You should accept no shortcuts and insist on nothing but the best so you come out of that training the best of the best as well.  You will be glad you had high standards when it comes to the pilots training you get.

It All Starts with Desire

That first inner prompting that tells you that part of your destiny is to fly an airplane might just come when you watch airplanes take off and you can only think, "It would be so cool if I could do that."  Sometimes we talk ourselves out of going for that dream thinking that only Air Force pilots or people who are on the path to fly jumbo jets can get a pilot's license.  But really anybody can do it, even you!

It might surprise you to learn that tens of thousands of people start out on the path to get a pilot's license each year and most of them do it not to become a professional pilot but just to pursue the dream. But it really all starts with that desire and that inner urging to at least try it.  Once you get a pilot's license, there are a lot of practical ways you can put your love of flying to use.  Sales people use it to get to more customers.  Being able to fly your own airplane also opens up new ways to go see friends and loved ones.  But even if you just want to fly for the sheer fun of it, it's still worth your while to look into how to get your pilot's license.

All you have to do to start your path toward becoming a pilot is head out to the airport where there are hundreds of people who know the ropes of the airline industry.  But for better results, don’t go to the biggest airport in the region.  In almost any major or medium sized city, there are small local airports that provide service to private pilots, business aircraft, helicopters and other specialized flying needs.  It is there you find the true flying enthusiasts and it is there that you will find flying instructors mixing with mechanics and other airline industry professionals in a relatively relaxed setting.

The first milestone of your search is to meet a few flying instructors who can give you specifics on how to find out if you really have that inner drive to become a pilot.  These small regional airports are often the homes of a number of flight schools who are always looking for customers and you can often find an instructor with an hour to kill who will give you a tour and help you get a basic understanding of the process you should plan to go through to get your pilot's license.

Once you make contact with a mentor who can guide you in how to go forward with your flight training, he will get to know you and your goals.  Many flight schools have the flexibility to design a program around what you want to do with your pilot's license.  There are several levels of pilot's certification so you don’t necessarily have to aim for the highest and most expensive license which would make you able to fly for American Airlines.  If you just want to take some short flights around for fun, a sports or recreational license is a perfect fit for you and the flight school can get you there efficiently.

Even on that first interview with your instructor and the school, you may get offered a chance to go up in one of the school's planes and even to sit in the pilot's seat.  These aircraft are designed so the instructor can control the plane from his seat too so you can hold the controls and put your feet on the pedals that control acceleration and lift and as they move in reaction to the instructors movements, it will feel like you are flying that plane. 

If that first experience permanently hooks you and confirms in your heart that flying an airplane yourself is a must do priority, then you are on your way to getting your pilot's license.   You can get started the next time the school has a class scheduled and step by step move through the process of getting that license and becoming a pilot.  Just take it on as an adventure, even a lark because even if sometime along the way, you change your mind, you can always come back later and pick up where you left off.

Living and Breathing Your Desire to Fly

When you first go to a flight school and spend some time with one of the instructors to find out if learning to fly is for you, he or she will commonly take you up on a demo flight where you get to sit in the pilots seat for take off, during the flight and landing.  And while the expert is doing all the work, you get the feel for being in the pilot's seat of an airplane, maybe for the first time.  For many of us, that first flight is a transformation that will take you from someone curious about flying to a true believer with that deep inner drive to learn to fly whatever it takes.

If the flight instructor who took you on that first flight knows what he is doing, you will walk away from that first experience with an armload of information including the curriculum for ground school, the costs of training for your pilot's license and a layout of the time commitment involved.  It might be a little overwhelming when you get home and start looking over all of that material.  But if that inner drive to become a certified pilot has birthed the love of flying in you, you will then and there determine that you are going to put in the time and conquer the knowledge so you too can become part of that special society of people who can fly an airplane.

You should make that moment when you are filled with determination to learn to fly and make it one of those big memories you often go back to.  That is because if you really want to be a great pilot and to get there as quickly as you responsibly can, you should be prepared to make getting through flight training and learning this amazing new skill the absolute top priority in your life for the weeks ahead as you go through the learning process.

For one thing, the training to learn to fly is not cheap.  You are taking training from specialized experts whose time is not cheap and flight schools provide the airplanes, gas, supplies and insurance so you can take their airplanes up for learning flights.  You cannot get a pilot's license without flying several times a week throughout your training period.  So be prepared to pay several thousand dollars for top notch flight training.  But if you can make that investment, and you put in the time to get the work done, you are virtually guaranteed that at the end of the curriculum, you will earn your pilot's license.

And just as you take into account the financial investment, you should be prepared to make the time investment to learn to fly a top priority for you.  Whether you are taking classroom lessons or your lesson that day is to take the aircraft up, you should be prepared to be at the flight school a couple hours for each session.  And to make progress, you should plan 2-3 lessons a week.  In addition there is the travel time to the school and time to study and prepare for the next time you are with the instructor.

There are a lot of resources you can use to conquer all of the new terminology and areas of knowledge you will have to become expert in to truly "become" a pilot.  But look on that intimidating body of knowledge ahead as the mountain you have to climb to achieve this lofty goal.  Then charge into that mountain and climb diligently every day.  You can conquer that information if you study and give this passion of yours plenty of time.  And the more you learn at home and during times when not at the school, the faster you will progress. 

Before you know it you will be taking the flight test for your pilot's license.  You will have put in sufficient hours in the air and your knowledge will be rock solid.  And when you walk out of that testing and you conquered it all, you will look down at that pilot's license and you have every reason to feel proud.  You will have not only finished a course of study, you will have changed into a completely different person.  You are now and will forevermore will be - a pilot.

So You Want to be an Airline First Officer

When you are in that long process of getting your pilots license, its fun to think about the different jobs in the airline industry that this license might make possible for you.  Obviously, the top echelon of being a full fledged pilot is to pilot one of those jumbo international jets.  But there is a path between where you are and that job and first officer is a fine goal to start out with.

Of course, one way to quickly become the head of the team on a commercial airline is to go to work for an airline where you will be piloting a smaller craft or to work for a charter airline so you are the only one flying the plane on each outing.  That’s not a bad option and it’s a respectable job using your pilot’s license.  But sometimes nothing will take the place of climbing the latter in a larger airline so you can enjoy the big rewards of someday being the chief pilot on a large craft going to some exotic route.

If you get to the position of first officer on a large aircraft, that is no small position.  It is an “apprentice” position and you are in the position of being an assistant to the captain while you learn the ropes of operating a large and complex craft.  But if you are a young pilot and you want to get a good flight log of real life cockpit experience, paying your dues as a first officer is an outstanding time in your career and one you will benefit from tremendously.  It won’t pay as well as when you make full pilot but look on it as your “internship” and be glad that by holding down that spot, you are on your way.

Much of the excitement of piloting a major aircraft for one of the big airlines comes to you even as the first officer.  And that major airline flight time on your resume is nothing short of priceless as you move forward in your career in the industry.  Along with learning the nuances of the aircraft itself and how to respond to different in flight situations from a technical point of view, the time you have working as a peer with an experienced airline captain and crew can help you sort out the culture of the airline of the industry so you can not only navigate the aircraft but your career in the industry as well.

By serving some good months or years in the first officer position, you are putting yourself directly under the scrutiny of the people who make the decisions about hiring for airline captain jobs and other senior positions in the airline industry.  Airline captain is not a position that you can just walk off the street and do.  And by doing some good time as a first officer and getting noticed for your good work in that position, you will be in great shape when the time comes for you to apply for the top job.

So include a stint as first officer in your career path as you start your ascent through the positions of authority in your airline career.  And when you make this first level goal and have a first officer position, don’t be too hasty to rush through it.  This is an outstanding time to build relationships and to demonstrate competency not only to the people who might promote you to captain but to the airline staff and your fellow crew members who may one day say “Yes Captain” to you when you sit down to command a big aircraft en route to London, Paris or Rome.

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