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Getting Started As A Pilot


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Hey guys, so I've been thinking about switching careers and becoming a heli pilot for a couple years now and I had an option offered to me recently.... A relative runs a spraying company and he offered his fleet for me to learn. And so I presume that I would do ground school at a flight school and then log most of my flying time on his choppers. So I'm wondering if this would be a good idea for me to get my license this way or not. Once I get licensed I'd be flying for him anyway.....

Any thoughts would be appreciated

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Honestly, not being an instructor I'm not sure how it works. But I can imagine as long as they are a licensed instructor (or training pilot, not sure though hopefully someone will correct me) they can teach you. I imagine there is some kind of ciriculum that has to be followed on what you are taught. Again hope someone will correct me but I don't believe you can be taught sitting in a machine while it's doing commercial work, ie spraying


Hope it all works out though!

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You need to get your training from an instructor, so check around for a school that has an instructor who can training on the type of machine that you'll be bringing. No doubt the spray booms will have to come off for training.


Good luck!



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When I was in school there were a couple folks that trained on their own machines (with the school's instructors, of course) - they had made arrangements for hangar space and maintenance with the school. If you have to rent hangar space for your entire ab initio training as well as pay for your own fuel and maintenance it may not end up being much different than just training on the school's machines. If your family's business is nearby you may be able to do your ground training at the school but have the instructor come to your hangar for the flying.



If it were me, I'd be safe and budget for a full CPL course using the school's machines - that way you won't be left hanging if for some reason you lose access to your relative's machine.


Already having an offer of employment after school is a tremendous opportunity - you've already overcome the biggest hurdle a lowtimer will face! However, in the spirit of covering-your-butt, I'd also be visiting other helicopter companies and dropping off resumes just in case the job offer doesn't work out... I say this 'cause I've bitten myself in the butt in a similar fashion. I had a "maybe" offer from a company owner whom I had been familiar with long before I had my license, and I failed to pursue a really great opportunity elsewhere while I waited for the answer on the "maybe" - which never materialised in the end. Learn from my mistakes! :D


Best of luck, and keep us posted.


- Darren

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