How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified EMS Helicopter Pilot?

When a helicopter flies overhead, almost everyone looks up, right? Helicopters and the pilots who fly them are shrouded in mystery. If you want to be a pilot, you should find out How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified EMS Helicopter Pilot? Helicopters are quick, agile, and can access areas that a fixed-wing aircraft could never reach. Helicopter pilots do search and rescue missions, evacuate wounded military personnel out of conflict zones, and provide airborne reconnaissance, civil medical transport, and other services. Is this the right path for you? Let’s have a look.

Certified EMS Helicopter Pilot

What Is An EMS Helicopter Pilot’s Job Description?

An EMS Helicopter Pilot, often known as Air Ambulance Pilot, transports patients to the medical attention they require as rapidly as feasible. They may work in distant places where transporting a patient by road might take many hours, or they may work in a more densely populated area to lessen the time spent travelling due to traffic. They usually work for a helicopter service provider that delivers helicopters, pilots, and technicians to hospitals.

How Long Does It Take To Train As An EMS Pilot?

‘EMS’ does not have a specific certification. In the United States, all EMS occupations will require FAS commercial rotorcraft and rotorcraft instrument permits. Obtaining those two licenses will take 100-200 hours of flight time and cost $50000 or more. Most EMS professions require more than 2000 or 3000 hours of training, thus simply holding a license will not guarantee you a job.

How Long Will It Take For Me To Receive My Driver’s License?

Every flight school is different, but you should anticipate spending around two years acquiring all of your qualifications at a university flight school. You’ll get a degree from a university flight school, not simply a certification or two. If you only need a private or Commercial Pilot’s License, you should enroll in a non-university flying school rather than a university one. Obtaining just these licenses is likely to take only a few months or even a few weeks, depending on the program’s rigor.

Because they are shorter, non-university flight schools are often more demanding than university ones. These flying schools are more likely to offer only the most basic certifications and training, such as long line, night vision goggles, mountain operations, and turbine engine training, rather than all of the more advanced ones.

As a result, you’ll likely graduate from a non-university flight school program sooner and for less money than you would from a university flight school program. Keep in mind that if you go to a non-university flight school, you’ll probably only get 150 flight hours instead of the 200 required for your first job. You’ll have to figure out a means to get the remaining 50 hours on your own.

What Is The Role Of An EMS Helicopter Pilot?

Patients are transported from the scene of an injury to a hospital or from one hospital to another, by an EMS Helicopter Pilot. They concentrate on flying the plane while the medical team looks after the patient; therefore medical knowledge isn’t required for their job. The following are some of the responsibilities that an EMS helicopter pilot might perform at work:

  • Before each shift, complete preflight checklists, which include reading any flight condition notices, checking employees, and examining the helicopter.
  • Prepare the helicopter to respond quickly to calls, usually within 5 to 10 minutes after the initial notification.
  • Operate a helicopter in both good and bad weather, and at times at night, employing night vision systems.
  • To accommodate patients and medical personnel, balance the helicopter’s load and operation.
  • To boost efficiency, assist medical staff with cleaning and non-medical activities on-site.
  • After you’ve completed your flights, keep a log of them and get your helicopter ready for the next journey.
  • Ensure that the craft and pilot meet all FAA regulations.
  • Operate conventional aircraft such as the Robinson R-44, Bell 407, and Airbus H125 and 130.

An EMS Helicopter Pilot’s Skills And Abilities

An EMS helicopter pilot is well-versed in the operation and upkeep of their aircraft. They may be familiar with medical terminology, but they rarely have medical training or responsibilities. The following are some of the skills required of an EMS helicopter pilot:

Physical Stamina And Abilities

In order to renew their medical categories, a pilot must maintain their physical health. To load and operate the helicopter, they must be physically capable of lifting, loading, and pushing pretty hefty weights.

Coordination And Speed

These abilities enable a pilot to react swiftly to unforeseen circumstances and change course if necessary.


An EMS helicopter pilot builds strong ties with local airports and communicates clearly with them to ensure that their route is free of other aircraft at all times.

Knowledge Of FAA Regulations

An EMS helicopter pilot, like all pilots, must follow FAA regulations, which include aircraft maintenance requirements, protocols, and routes.

Math And Science Skills

A detailed understanding of how instruments work and how weather influences the craft’s functioning is required to understand instruments and design the optimal course.


When it comes to becoming a certified EMS helicopter pilot, How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified EMS Helicopter Pilot? To answer this question simply, becoming an EMS pilot takes six years. It’s an estimate, not a precise time frame.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long would it have taken to become a helicopter pilot?

That is dependent on you as well as the weather. The FAA mandates a minimum of 40 flight hours of training, 20 of which must be with an instructor and 10 of which must be solo. In most cases, 50 to 60 hours is more usual for student pilots.

How much does it cost to train to fly an EMS helicopter?

Helicopter pilot training costs $200 per hour for instructor-led flight time and $150 to $175 for solo flight time. On-the-ground cost of training $30 to $40 per hour. The average cost of obtaining a private helicopter pilot license in the United States is $10,000 to $15,000 in total.

Is there a demand for helicopter pilots?

When you’re looking into becoming a helicopter pilot, you’ll probably hear that there’s a scarcity in the profession. This is due to the fact that there are only roughly 15,000 active helicopter pilots in the United States. By 2038, nearly four times as many pilots will be required as there are now. That’s a colossal sum!

Which is more difficult to fly a helicopter or a plane?

Helicopters are more dangerous to fly than aero planes because they are more difficult to control. Helicopter crashes are also more common than aero plane crashes in general. Helicopters crash 35% more frequently per hour in the air than the average plane.

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