Wednesday, 24th April 2019


Helicopter pilots fly single and multiple-engine helicopters for business, leisure or emergency response services. They transport passengers to different kinds of locations, which may be otherwise difficult to get to, such as city centres, rural areas or offshore sites

Helicopter pilots can be employed by a variety of organisations; chartered airlines, emergency services, private owners and major businesses. Their work could either involve ferrying businessmen to and from different cities or transporting oil miners out to the offshore oil rigs.

The duties of a helicopter pilot are very similar to that of a normal airplane pilot, however, the technical skill of flying a helicopter is obviously different.

Helicopter pilots will need to perform the following checks and procedures:

  • Checking weather conditions and airspace restrictions of the flight path
  • Filing flight plans
  • Working out fuel requirements and maximum loads
  • Checking the helicopter's equipment and instruments in cockpit
  • Carrying out safety checks
  • Communication with air traffic control and gaining clearance to take off

During the flight a helicopter pilot will use a range of instruments to navigate, control position and communicate with air traffic controllers. Helicopter pilots must have good concentration throughout the flight. After landing the pilot will complete all post-flight paperwork, including a duty hours log, before preparing for the next flight.

In some cases, in bigger helicopters, pilots may work in a team with co-pilots.

To find out about becoming an RAF Pilot, please click here.