“Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”
―Leonardo da Vinci
To be a helicopter pilot is a dream job. Thousands of young men and – fortunately – more and more young women are setting their sights on being at the controls in a helicopter cockpit. Helicopters play an extremely important role in mountainous Switzerland. Countless tasks, such as supplying remote regions, assistance at serious accidents and natural disasters, construction work and urgent and fast passenger transport, would be impossible without helicopters.
So our country also needs motivated, reliable and well-trained pilots. This is why we aim to provide answers to questions such as “What is required to become a helicopter pilot?”, “How much does training cost?” and “What are the career possibilities?” Please click on the menus on the left for detailed information on the various training courses and licences available.
The cost of training as a helicopter pilot depends on the choice of course and qualification. Costs for private pilot training start at approx. CHF 36,000, while those for potential commercial pilots start at approx. CHF 110,000. The quoted figures are based on the shortest possible course, using training helicopters with piston engines.
As a general rule, a newly qualified pilot initially carries out two functions; acting as a flight assistant, for example, or as a co-pilot performing simple flights under the supervision of a chief pilot. As experience increases, advanced training opportunities open up, as well as a step-by-step introduction to all spheres of commercial flying, such as transport or passenger flights in the mountains or the lowlands. There are also opportunities for promotion to flying instructor, chief pilot, base manager or other management positions, as well as transfer, subject to corresponding experience, to the Swiss Air Rescue Service (REGA).