My first pilot job, like many fresh pilots in the United States, was as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). Back when I was first hooked on flying helicopters, I did thorough research to find the steps I wanted to take to achieve my goal of making a career as a helicopter pilot. The end goal was to be either a utility pilot or emergency medical service pilot. Figuring out how to get there was the challenge.
This is the first in a series of articles on different helicopter career fields.
Growing up I remember driving by a Bell 206 sitting on the ramp with the local news station’s logo covering half the helicopter on the way to the terminal to pickup my dad from a business trip. I thought it was pretty cool and asked myself “How do I become a helicopter news pilot?” At that time, I had no idea I would actually become a pilot, much less a news helicopter pilot at some point in my career. I ended up flying that gig for a few years before moving on, earning a pretty good salary.