Police Helicopter Pilot

Helicopter Aviation & Beyond:

We take you inside the cockpit of law enforcement helicopters around the world while sharing knowledge and insight on how to become a police or sheriff helicopter pilot.

Is Learning to Fly a Helicopter Hard?

The Average Person Can Learn How To Fly A Helicopter


Much has been written about what it is like to fly helicopters, as well as the process of learning how to fly a helicopter.  You may have read somewhere that it is like trying to ride a unicycle while learning how to juggle all at the same time.  That makes it sound like flying a helicopter is almost an impossible task to learn.  Not quite.

Many new helicopters are available with full glass panel cockpit displays. 

Many new helicopters are available with full glass panel cockpit displays. 

I recall one article where the author goes into great detail about what control inputs you make if you want the helicopter to move in a certain direction.  For example if you wanted the helicopter to begin flying forward and start a climb, you would put in a bit of forward cyclic (stick), perhaps pull in some collective (power), add a little left pedal, all at the same time and in the proper amounts.  Too much collective and not enough left pedal and you start to spin to the right, etc. etc. 

Now if you want the helicopter to start slowing down and begin a descent, you would reverse the above inputs.  A little bit of aft cyclic, right pedal and lower a little collective, simultaneously and in the proper amounts.  A little too much of one input, or not enough of another input, and the helicopter will start to fly in strange ways.

The point is that some articles can make it sound like learning how to fly a helicopter is a near impossible thing to master, when in reality, helicopter flying is only kind of hard.........

In this series of articles I am going to do what many others have done.  I am going to write about what it is like to learn how to fly helicopters.  It goes without saying then that these articles are not aimed at the instructor pilots with lots of flight time.  No these articles are written for the young (or old) aspiring helicopter pilot who might be considering flying lessons.  The boy or girl sitting in high school who is thinking of a career in aviation, but they are not sure if they have the skills or the brain power to become a helicopter pilot; Or the middle aged man or woman contemplating a career change, or even the new police tactical flight officer who knows that one day it will be their turn to start helicopter flight training. Do they have what it takes to learn to fly.

[To compare helicopter pilot with commercial airline pilot read - How to Become a Pilot

I am not a certified flight instructor so these articles will not be from the perspective of an instructor, but rather the perspective of the student learning to fly.  At the present time I have 1650 hours of pilot in command time, all but about 130 hours of it in turbine powered helicopters.  I still consider myself a low time pilot. And even though I have that commercial license, I am still very much a student pilot. 

I hope these articles will be both informative and helpful for anyone considering helicopter flight training.   

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