Who are some successful helicopter pilots


The training to become a helicopter pilot is possible both privately and with the Bundeswehr. At private flight schools you have the option of obtaining a professional pilot's license or a private helicopter license.

Helicopter pilot training with the German Armed Forces

Applicants are selected using a complex test process that can take up to ten days. A career as a pilot in the Bundeswehr requires a career as an officer. In other words, pilots are primarily soldiers who sign up for the Bundeswehr for a longer period of time. The training is very diverse and varied. The entire training period is between seven and eight years. A major advantage of training as a helicopter pilot in the Bundeswehr is that you get paid from day one and do not have to pay for the cost of flight training yourself.

Training at a private flight school

If you want to learn to fly a helicopter, you can do so at a private flight school. Since helicopter flight lessons are a lot more expensive than flight lessons with fixed-wing aircraft, it is advisable to complete at least part of the professional pilot training in America. In this way, the costs for training to become a helicopter pilot can be significantly reduced. After passing the exam, if you have a residence visa for the USA, you can collect flying lessons here as a professional pilot. 1,000 to 1,200 flight hours are a good basis for applying and increasing your chances of being hired. The American license can later be rewritten to be valid for Europe.

Salary of a helicopter pilot

The earnings of a helicopter pilot essentially depend on experience and seniority, as well as on the employer, so in the private sector, as a rule, less is paid than in the Bundeswehr. In the rescue service, the average gross annual salary of a helicopter pilot in Germany is between 30,000 and 45,000 euros (as of 2017), in the Bundeswehr it can be up to 60,000 euros.

Career prospects

Professional helicopter drivers who have completed their training and flight experience with the Bundeswehr still have good career opportunities in the civilian sector. Helicopter pilots are used for numerous tasks. For example, a helicopter license can be acquired from the police as an additional professional qualification. Helicopter pilots in the police force are also on duty at the Federal Border Police. Rescue services like the ADAC do not train helicopter pilots themselves.

The pilots have to meet the highest demands in terms of flying skills. Former military pilots have relatively good employment opportunities, but civil pilots with appropriate flight experience can also find new fields of activity here. Of course there are other professional fields as a flight instructor, with private clients, as a sightseeing flight pilot, with the ADAC or in agriculture.