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How do you become a helicopter pilot?

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Quick Answer

Becoming a helicopter pilot involves either training in the military or taking classes at a helicopter school. Private training takes around 150 hours of flying.

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Those wishing to take military training to learn to fly a helicopter must enlist in a branch of the military and complete their time in the service. Getting into a military-based flight training program is difficult and those with previous flight experience are often chosen first. Those with the desire to enter the military for helicopter flight training should check with a recruiter since military policy often changes.

Because a military career is not for everyone, private helicopter schools are located all over the country. These schools provide the necessary 150 to 180 hours of training, but they are very expensive. To become a professional helicopter pilot, one must earn a private pilot rating and then a commercial pilot rating. After that, the pilot will be able to earn a certified flight instructor license. The more training a pilot receives, the more money he can make as a professional and the easier it will be to get a job.

Generally, private schools will cost between $40,000 and $60,000 for a professional license, as of 2014.

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