How do I Become an Army Helicopter Pilot?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2019
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Army helicopter pilots work in a variety of situations ranging from wartime missions to rescue missions, medical missions, transportation and more. It is one of the most exciting and challenging jobs in the Army. If you want to become an Army helicopter pilot, you must be intelligent, be in top physical condition and be willing to take the time to learn this trade. Classroom and flight training are a necessity for anyone wanting to pilot military helicopters.

Compared to flying other aircraft in the military, there are fewer educational requirements to become an Army helicopter pilot. Unlike flying many combat airplanes, you do not need a bachelor's degree to fly helicopters. You will need a high school diploma or an equivalent certification, and an understanding of math and physics is very helpful in understanding helicopter flight. Also, you must be a member of the Army and have attained the rank of warrant officer before being considered.


If you meet all those requirements, you can apply to flight school. Acceptance is based on a series of mental and physical tests to determine your ability to pilot a helicopter. A series of aptitude tests are given to show your intelligence, decision-making ability and learning ability. The physical requirements include a demand that candidates have vision no worse than 20/50, not be colorblind or have depth perception issues. Cadets also must be physically fit and fall between specific height and weight requirements to become an Army helicopter pilot.

Flight school itself is the final step toward your goal, and it consists of classroom and in-flight training. Classroom training will teach you all the general information necessary to become an Army helicopter pilot. Cadets learn about the physics of helicopter flight and are taught the controls of the aircraft. You will learn every part of a helicopter and what purpose it serves. You also will be taught and tested on your ability to read maps and flight plans.

Simulator training is your first step outside the classroom to become an Army helicopter pilot. Once you have logged more than seven hours of simulator time, you will be able to accompany an instructor in an actual helicopter. You will learn how to control these machines in a variety of conditions and learn various combat formations and tactics. You must log between 70 and 150 hours of flight time before you can graduate from flight school and begin handling missions as an official helicopter pilot.


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