How to Become an Air Evac Pilot
If the idea of a career full of adventure and monumental importance appeals to you, becoming an air evac pilot, such as those employed with AirEvac International, might be just the job for you. After all, as an air evac pilot, every single day at work is meaningful, and life impacting. Your job will literally make the difference between life and death for many. What could be more fulfilling? Read on to learn more about becoming an air evac pilot:
What is an Air Evac Pilot?
An air evac pilot or air ambulance pilot is simply the pilot who flies an air ambulance. This can mean piloting a helicopter or small plane. You cannot begin your piloting career just training for medical evacuations. You must first become qualified to fly commercially before you would be eligible for consideration.
How Much Demand is There For Medical Evac Pilots?
There are around 150,000 medical flights via plane and another 400,000 on rescue helicopters throughout the country annually. This means there is a great need for qualified professionals, who are also willing to fly in such challenging situations to become evac pilots.
Is Medical Evac Piloting For Everyone?
No. Not everyone is cut out to be an air evac pilot. Sometimes, these flights will simply involve transporting a patient from one location to another for additional treatment when the patient is fairly stable. Other times, the flights are lifesaving in nature. This means as an air evac pilot, you will be responsible for someone’s life. You will see traumatic injuries and witness harrowing events. Consequently, this job will have moments of high-level stress and pressure. Of course, on the other hand, it is intensely rewarding as well when you help save someone’s life. Therefore, just as working in and emergency center or trauma bay at a hospital isn’t for everyone, neither is medical evac piloting. For those who can take the pressure, though, the career is extremely rewarding and fulfilling.
How to Become a Medivac Air Pilot
Now on to how to go about becoming a medivac air pilot once you have determined this is a career you want to attempt. Go through the following steps:
1.) Check Out The Specific Company You Want to Work For: Each air ambulance company varies slightly on their requirements, meaning they will desire certain education levels, certifications and flight hours. Therefore, it’ a good idea to check out a few of these companies to get an idea what will be required of you.
2.) Earn a Degree: Virtually all air ambulance companies require you have a degree of either two to four years, four years being preferable. Majors like English, aeronautical engineering, physics and math are ideal.
3.) Become Medically Certified: The next step to take is to pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) certification. This will give you a medical certificate, meaning you can then start flight training. If you plan on becoming a medivac air pilot, opt for a second-class certificate.
4.) Attend a Flight School: You can attend any university or college that is FAA certified and offers aviation degrees or pilot training. If you don’t want to go this route, you can opt to take lessons with an FAA certified instructor. The one caveat to this requirement is military flight training. If you have served in the military and have already gone through flight training and logged enough flight hours, you don’t have to worry about civilian training.
5.) Get Instrument Training: Since you will be flying in all types of weather conditions impacting visibility as a medical pilot, you need to be able to fly, using your instruments alone. Therefore, it’s a requirement to have instrument training and at least 40 hours of flight experience using only instruments to fly. There is also a written examine pertaining to instruments you will need to pass.
6.) Log Your Flight Time Hours: Many air ambulance companies have tough requirements when it comes to flight hours, requiring their pilots have a minimum of 1,000 hours. One way to accomplish this is to become a flight instructor and teach others how to pilot while amassing your flight hours.
7.) Apply: The final step is to apply to the air ambulance organization of your choice. Often, you can submit your resume online. If you get called in for an interview, be prepared to undergo a full background check as well as pass a drug screening test. Remember, air ambulance companies only hire the best of the best as their pilots, so they will pass you up if you can’t meet these simple requirements proving your professionalism and commitment to the job.
Are There Any Other Ways to Become an Air Evac Pilot?
Yes, there are private sector courses that can certify you to become a medivac pilot. Keep in mind, the most important element you need to become an air evac pilot are flight hours and licenses/certifications.
Why Choose Medivac Piloting As a Career?
It’s simple really, to make a difference. It’s only natural that we all want to feel as if we have made a difference on this earth though our efforts. As a medivac pilot you will have the opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of others on a daily basis. Yes, the career is challenging. Yes, it’s a difficult field to get into. However, the rewards you will garner for choosing to become a medivac air ambulance pilot are immeasurable. Contact us at AirEvac International to learn more about our air ambulance piloting requirements and the benefits of becoming a crucial member of our lifesaving team.