John asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 month ago

I'm in U.K and want to train and qualify as a helicopter pilot. Where is the best place to do that fairly quickly and what sort of cost?

I am thinking that a short intensive course would be best as I have a lot of free time at the moment.

I have about £35,000 available but have an apartment that could be sold for about £90,000 if necessary.

After qualifying where is the best place to get work (any flying work) in order to build up the flying hours ?


3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Unfortunately if you train via that route you’ll be exceptionally unlikely to achieve your dream. 

    A short intensive course can gain you your PPL(H).  But that limits you to daytime visual flying only and you cannot make direct journeys but must fly routes following established navigation beacons. 

    To do as you wish you would need to acquire a commercial licence. Before you can even start that you need a lot of hours, and as helicopters use a lot more fuel, have shorter duration, and cost vastly more to rent than fixed wing, acquiring those hours privately will soon blow your total budget.

    Once you have enough hours you can progress to commercial training, so will learn far more advanced navigation skills which will allow you to learn to fly by instruments alone gaining you your Instrument Rating (IR). You’ll also need to learn far more regarding flight planning and much more about laws related to flying including how long you may fly without a break, how long between flights you must rest for and loads of other stuff not directly connected to flying skills.

    The biggest problem will be that after all that is complete and you’re newly qualified, you’ll be outcompeted for every job you apply for by all the ex-military pilots who have thousands of hours more than you.

    So get your PPL(H) and then start looking for work with UK or foreign military services. If you’re accepted for their rotary flight training then they’ll get you through enough training that acquiring your civilian commercial licence will be a walkover and you’ll leave the service with loads of hours on your log on possibly a wide range of machines. You’ll almost certainly be qualified as well to fly jet-powered helicopters and that’s something you’d need ten times your total budget (at least!) to get if done privately as jet-powered models use vastly greater quantities of motion-lotion.

    Unfortunately you can’t work as a civvy pilot  to acquire the hours you need to get a commercial licence. Because nobody other than armed forces will pay a rookie to learn: you’re utterly useless to them operationally until you’re qualified, and once you are qualified it’s hard for a civvy employer to stop you from leaving and leaving them with  nothing to show for their huge investments. Military are different as you cannot leave without their permission.

  • Snezzy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Join RAF. Do everything exceedingly well. Say prayers that they miraculously choose you for flight training and then again that they select you for helicopter.

    Or ask Prince Harry how it's done.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Helicopter pilots do not make a lot of money.  Go fix wing.

    • John1 month agoReport

      I'd still rather fly helicopters  ....and why 'anonymous' ?

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