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What does an Army Helicopter Pilot do?

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  • Written By: Victoria Blackburn
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2016
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An army helicopter pilot has the education and aptitude to operate a rotary blade aircraft and is responsible for all of its aspects including preflight inspections, loading details, equipment use and refueling. Army helicopter pilots are highly qualified and dedicated military officers that are responsible for assigning duties to crew members, preparing and submitting flight plans, reviewing mission allocation and examining detailed weather information. In addition, they provide assistance for combat ground support and transportation of troops and supplies, and they also provide much needed public assistance during emergencies.

As well as flying military helicopters, a pilot prepares and commands the crew during missions and training. An army helicopter pilot is responsible for his or her crew members and conducts and supervises their training to ensure that all members are ready to perform their necessary duties. Developing strategies and training methods to improve the crew’s performance may also be part of a pilot's mandate.

During training, army helicopter pilots receive substantial instruction in the care and operation of the helicopter. It is important that they understand and know how to repair and test helicopter safety both inside and out. Training includes ground school, which includes learning the basic principles of flight, standard operating procedures and weather reporting and memorizing pre-flight preparation check lists. As well as completing the theoretical training, helicopter pilots also undergo a detailed flight school.

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Hands-on helicopter flight school involves significant flying time with components that include learning the principles of helicopter flight and operation, monitoring gauges and dials, basic helicopter flying techniques, emergency flying drills and learning and performing combat maneuvers. Prior to operating an actual helicopter, an army helicopter pilot in training will learn tactics and maneuvers in a flight simulator. After completing sufficient simulator time, logging considerable flight time in a helicopter is necessary before graduating to become an helicopter pilot.

An army helicopter pilot must have physical strength to complete the demanding drills as well mental strength and determination to perform under stressful and sometimes dangerous situations. They also have to be dedicated, hard working individuals to successfully complete the rigors of the required training. Not everyone has the aptitude to perform the rigorous training and live the life of an army helicopter pilot. They live a comprehensive and demanding training schedule, complete with all the military basic training. For more information on how to become an army helicopter pilot, please contact a local recruiting office.

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kentuckycat
Post 2

@cardsfan27 - That is a fantastic story about your uncle. I have always thought that if you become an Army helicopter pilot you are setting yourself up in the future for flying endeavors once you go back to civilian life.

I think that most of the time this is what happens with Army helicopter pilots, unless of course they are called upon to serve in a war, in which case their job changes.

Most of the pilots I have met for small aircraft served in the military previously and have a lot of experience flying. The trait that I think they also obtain from serving and flying in the military that they are able to not panic and be cool under pressure while flying. I am sure most pilots are like this, but I would think that the mental toughness of the military would only enhance this character trait in the profession.

cardsfan27
Post 1

My uncle was an Army Helicopter Pilot and he said that it was a very stressful job to have in the army but it was necessary to always keep your cool.

He served in Vietnam and said that during a fire fight or an evacuation he was responsible for everyone's lives on board and this meant that he had to not only remember all his training in order to fly the helicopter, but also had to make sure to avoid getting fired upon and attacked.

Sometimes he would have to also position the helicopter is such a way that they could return fire and make sure that they could still maneuver out of the way so they could avoid being

hit.

Despite saying he never wanted to fly a helicopter in conditions at all like that ever again becoming an Army helicopter pilot gave him a valuable skill that not many people had that he took with him after he left the Army.

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