How Long Is Army Helicopter Pilot School?

Basic training will then be 6 weeks with an additional 6-week course to become a warrant officer. Once completed, you will progress to Fort Rucker for the next stage of your training. This training will involve classes, flight simulator practice, and practice in training helicopters.

Helicopters are used for a variety of tasks within the Army including transport of cargo, vehicles, and troops, medical evacuations, and carrying out attacks on enemy forces. Training in all of these areas will be provided during your time in the flight school.

You will also be expected to specialize in a specific type of aircraft during this time. Due to the extensive training required to gain all of the relevant knowledge and skills, you can expect this training to take about a year on average.

Can you be a helicopter pilot in the army? 

To become a helicopter pilot with the US army, you must attain the rank of Warrants Officer. There is no need to have enlisted before this.

Applicants are encouraged to have at least one Bachelor’s degree before applying to be a military pilot in the US. Becoming a pilot is highly coveted and intensely competitive so any advantages work in your favor. For the Army’s helicopter flight division, you do not necessarily need to have a Bachelor’s degree or any qualification of higher education.

There are criteria that you will need to meet before becoming a helicopter pilot. You must be at least 18 years old to enlist in the army. To appear before the military board that selects pilots, you must be under 33 years old. In particular cases, you may be able to appear before the board with special dispensation if you are 33 or 34 years old.

You will then be required to complete the training program. You must score highly in aptitude tests, be a US citizen, and be physically fit. You must not be colorblind or have any issues with depth perception as these can impact your ability to fly safely.

There are height and weight restrictions as outlined in the Army Body Composition Program. These are set out to minimize injury and to ensure soldiers can carry out their duties without issue. Instead of a set weight or height, their restrictions are based on a height-weight ratio and take body fat percentage into account.

The restrictions are also different for male and female soldiers. Applicants will also have to be signed off by the flight surgeons at Fort Rucker as fit for duty. You will also be required to complete entrance essays and provide letters of recommendation. 

Can you fly planes in the army? 

The Army Air Corps (AAC) is the aircraft division of the US Army. As with the US Navy and the Marines Corps, several roles within the US Army involve operating aircrafts. These fall into three main categories: fixed-wing aircrafts, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

To be authorized to operate any of these, you must graduate from Warrant Officer Flight School. Before flight school, you must attend 6 weeks of basic training and then complete the 6-week course for flight school.

During this training, you can choose which type of aircraft to specialize in for the US Army. 

Is army flight school hard? 

Army flight school comprises a 6-week training program in Fort Rucker, Alabama, which is intensely structured to ensure that only the best training is provided to pilots.

You must hold the rank of warrant officer to attend Army Aviation School, which is a rank that high school graduates can apply for. You will be away from home for an extended period with little time provided to contact your loved ones. This can be a mentally challenging time but is set to prepare you for future tours.

There will also be physical exercises such as drills and flight practice that will take up a large proportion of your day, over long hours. The challenges you will face in training will provide a small taste of what life will be like as a US Army pilot.

If you cannot handle these changes early on, this career path is not best suited to you. 

Is it hard to become a helicopter pilot in the army? 

If you want to pilot helicopters in the Army, you have to put in the work. You will have to apply, first of all, completing an application form, essays, and aptitude tests. You are also expected to be physically fit and will be tested in this area, too.

Basic training will put you through your paces for 6 weeks. Basic training can be grueling as you are taken out of your comfort zone, have all luxuries removed, and are away from all of your loved ones. You must live on a tight schedule where every moment of your day is accounted for, with very little free time. This alone can be mentally draining and prove a difficult transition. This of course is only the first step towards your goal.

Afterward, to become a helicopter pilot in the Army, you must complete Warrant Officer Flight School specializing in piloting helicopters. This will be for roughly another 6 weeks and will involve you traveling to Fort Rucker in Alabama. You will start by taking classes in physics, navigation, and protocol. You will also have medical exams to pass.

Through all of these tests, you will be vetted to make sure that you are following the correct career path for your skills and are up to the task of operating aircrafts. You will then progress to flight simulators for practice.

After completing roughly 7 ½ hours with the simulator, you will progress to training helicopters. This training is aimed to help you learn maneuvers, night flights, and emergency procedures.

Upon completion of this stage of training, you will graduate to one of four helicopters depending on your skill level and preference: the AH-64 Apache, the OH-58 Kiowa reconnaissance aircraft; the UH-60 Black Hawk, or the CH-47 Chinook. These are the most commonly piloted helicopters in the US Army for newly trained helicopter pilots to operate. 

After about a year, you should be classed as fully trained. The process of qualifying as an army helicopter pilot can be mentally and physically challenging and can take time to accomplish. For those who have chosen this career wisely, it will all be worth it.  

What is the best helicopter to fly in the army? 

The aircraft you fly depends upon your preference, rank, and skill level. When you are newly qualified, you will have a choice of four helicopters that all have varied purposes. The Bell OH-58 Kiowa supports troops in armed reconnaissance missions.

The CH-47 Chinook is a large transporter helicopter, ideal for transporting personnel and cargo. The AH-64 Apache is the Army’s go-to offensive helicopter whilst the UH-60 Black Hawk is ideal for search and rescue missions and works with medical teams for evacuations.

Once you are an experienced pilot, you can move on to a higher grade of helicopters. Firepower and agility are two fantastic attributes for an Army helicopter to boast. The MH/AH-6M Little Bird has been used in almost every major conflict since it was commissioned for use. It may be called Little Bird but it brings tremendous firepower.

It has great maneuverability and can be used in the tightest of spaces, whilst also carrying missiles, rocket pods, and miniguns. However, if you are looking for the mightiest of the helicopters, the Boeing, twin-engined MH-47G Chinook is arguably the ultimate Army helicopter to fly.

It is an all-around vital part of the Army air fleet and can transport vehicles, fuel, troops, and supplies with ease. As the Chinook is a larger and heavier helicopter, it can carry out long-range flights and can handle a wide range of extreme weather conditions. 

What rank are army helicopter pilots? 

To pilot US Army helicopters, you must attain the rank of Warrant Officer. Pilots of similar ranks in the US Army are paid similarly to pilots within other military organizations such as The Navy or Marines.

The rank of helicopter pilots is classed as commissioned officers by warrant as they are trained as specialists.

Base pay for US Army helicopter pilots starts at just over $3,000 a month. This equates to pay rank O-1 on the military pay chart, with pay increases after 2 years of service.