Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Question - Re: Helicopter Pilots

I was e-mailed a question about the book the other day:


I want to know if your book is relevant and/or pertinent for aspiring helicopter pilots like myself. If not, is there a book similar to yours that highlights the path for helicopter pilots.


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the question.

My book focuses mainly on fixed wing aircraft. My experience was with airplanes and I didn't really feel I could do the different routes for obtaining a helicopter licence / job justice. That being said, I think there would be a number of areas in the book that would be worthwhile to an aspiring helicopter pilot.

In the book, I outline the 3 main paths for getting your airplane pilot licences in Canada: Private Flight School, College Aviation Programs & Military and the pros and cons of these routes. These are also the 3 main ways for getting your helicopter licences.

There are a few differences however. To begin with, there are not as many schools or colleges for Helicopter training as compared to airplanes. The only specific college course that I know of is run by Gateway Helicopters in conjunction with Candore College in North Bay, Ont. Canadore College

I believe Chicoutmi CEGEP in Quebec also has helicopter training, but you're required to speak French.

There are a number of private helicopter flight training schools in Canada that are mostly centered in the larger cities. For example, Canadian Helicopters offers training in Toronto, Quebec City and Pentiticton.

Heli-College Canada is a private flight helicopter flight school in Vancouver

Searching the web will likely give you more leads as well as Helicopters Magazine which has articles about training

I'm not aware of any books similar to mine that directly relate to helicopter training. There are a few books out that briefly deal with it, but usually just a short section tacked on at the end of the sections dealing mainly with airplane licences.

I'm not sure of your background, but if you're relatively new to aviation, I think the sections in my book that would still be helpful would be:

Chapter 1 - the general introduction to the aviation industry

Chapter 2 - Things to keep in mind before starting out

Parts of Chapter 3 - examining the pros and cons of the different routes to get your licences - as mentioned, these would be slightly different for helicopters, but the general pros and cons of flying planes or helicopters will be similar for flight schools, colleges or the military.

Parts of Chapter 4 - The basic information regarding how to choose and instructor and tips for writing your licence exams would be good.

Limited Parts of Chapter 5 - Ideas related to networking would be important

Chapter 6 - Information about finding a job would be fairly similar. It's my understanding that finding a first job as a helicopter pilot is just as diffcult as finding a job as an airplane pilot in that you have to general go to remote locations and working in a non-flying position on the ramp for a certain amount of time before you're able to fly.

Chapter 7 - Tips for doing a good job.

Chapter 12 - General things you should consider before becoming a pilot.

(There's a full table of contents on the book's website www.piloteh.com )

So, I guess you could say, I think that the book would be helpful to aspiring helicopter pilots in a general way to help understand the industry, things to consider and tips for finding a job. However, it doesn't directly deal with the specific routes for obtaining a helicopter licence and job in Canada.

1 comment:

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