Is it easy to find a job after I get my commercial licence?
The job market is very competitive so a lot depends on you. Your first job will most probably be flying tourists around or perhaps cattle mustering, so you must be prepared to spend time looking for work in the tourist regions or the Northern part of Australia. One of the major factors that will affect your employment prospects will be the school that you train with. It is the standard of the school and its instructors that determines your initial pilot skills, but it is the reputation of the school within the helicopter industry, that determines your job prospects.
Many of the helicopter companies have firm ideas about which schools are acceptable, and which are not, and one of the first questions a prospective employer will ask you is «Where did you do your training?»
Your best value for money comes from training with a school whose standards and reputation are accepted and respected within the industry, and by training in the helicopter type that makes up the majority of the helicopters registered in Australia (see Training Helicopters). We therefore urge you to contact as many people in the helicopter industry as possible, prior to selecting a school.
How much will all this cost me?
This really depends on which licence you want, and how you choose to complete your theory, etc. To minimise your cost, we offer an incentive for buying blocks of 10 hours at a time. This is outlined in the Training Rates page. We do not ask for, or accept, full payment up-front for flying training as we believe the standard of our training is enough to keep you flying at PHS.
How much time do I have to invest?
There is no definite answer to this question; the time taken to gain your licence depends on how long it takes you to complete your theory, and how often you fly. The frequency that you fly can vary to suit you; it can be anywhere from once a fortnight, to twice a day – seven days a week, depending on the availability of bookings, the weather conditions, and your availability.
Due to our reputation and competitive prices, we are one of the busiest schools in Australia, therefore the more notice you give us of your booking requirements, the less likely you are to be disappointed.
Am I too young (or old)?
You must be at least 16 to get a student licence, which is the minimum qualification before flying solo. There is no limit upwards. We had a 89 year old who did a Trial Introductory Flight with us.
I’m wearing correction glasses, is that a problem?
No, as long as you can meet the minimum CASA eyesight requirements, that’s fine.
Is flying helicopters safe?
The H300 and the R22 both have excellent safety records, and Professional Helicopter Services has one of the best safety records of all Australian operators, and this is something we take very seriously. Helicopters are used in challenging rescue operations where the pilot’s skills as well as the helicopter’s reliability make all the difference. We also operate Bell Jet Rangers which are known as the world’s safest helicopter.
Do I fall out of the sky if the engine stops?
Some people believe that if the engine stops you will drop out of the sky like a stone and crash. Well, that’s WRONG. During your training you will practice numerous engine failures or «Autorotations» as they are called. You will quickly see that the helicopter is actually safer than an aeroplane if the engine should stop. The helicopter in autorotation is still under the complete control of the pilot, you can fly forwards and backwards to manoeuvre the helicopter to touch down in a suitable landing area.
Is my instructor experienced?
Your instructor will have at least a thousand hours of helicopter experience. We can assure you that you will not be lured by the experience of our senior pilots and end up flying with inexperienced instructors, as is often the case. All our instructors who will assist in your training have loads of experience.
Do you carry insurance?
Yes, and because of our safety record, we have one of the lowest premiums of all the Australian helicopter training schools.
How do I start?
If you have read this far, you are obviously keen to fly a helicopter. The first lesson will comprise of a briefing followed by a thirty minute Trial Introductory Flight. Before the lesson is over, you will have had full control of the helicopter. If you decide to continue, this flight is logged as part of your licence training. Our instructors will be glad to assist you, and go through the further steps in becoming a helicopter pilot.