It takes courage and tenacity to make a career change. Pilot asked Richard about his experiences in becoming a CPL(H).
What inspired you to go flying and what drew you into helicopter commercial flight training? From a very early age I had a fascination with mechanics and vehicles. I built models and learned as much as I could about how they worked. As a teenager a friend took me up in his Cherokee from Liverpool, and from that point I had to fly. When my wife and I got married, we chartered a Heli Air Twin Squirrel to take us to the reception venue, and that was the ‘rotary’ decision made. It took a while, but eventually I could make a career change a reality, and I knew I wanted that to be the challenge of flying helicopters commercially.
How did you select your ATO(s)?
I chose a school that was in busy airspace (lots of opportunities to practice comms and manoeuvres, and traffic), a sensible distance from home (cancellations, weather, fuel costs, last minute opportunities), with high levels of aircraft standard, maintenance quality and instructor availability. Heli Air has five accessible bases throughout the UK, and an excellent reputation, so it was a bit of a no-brainer.
What has the training experience been like for you – are there particular aspects you would like to highlight?
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