I'm 22 and have been flying for around 4 years. My first job was flying state fairs/ balloon festivals (Ohio State Fair, Three Rivers Festival, Marysville Balloon festival, and a few others) mostly around Ohio. I currently work in Tampa, Florida! Proof AMA!

Edit: No, flying a helicopter in Battlefield does not mean you can fly one in real life.

Edit2: No, I have not gotten a blowjob while flying or allowed anyone to have sex.

Edit3: For those that are complaining about how much I get payed, this is a semi starter job. Don't think that being a helicopter pilot doesn't make a lot of money because it does, it's just all around 5-10 years after getting out of school.

Comments: 1679 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

InterdimensionalMan1270 karma

How come Helicopter Tours aren't called Helicoptours?

Also, what career path leads to your job?

Edit: You could say this comment has really "Taken Off"

pbrown92666 karma

I want to change our sign from helicopter tours to helicoptours now.

And the short answer is that I got lucky and was willing to work for a very small amount of money for what I do.

sapereaud33929 karma

How do I land a helicopter? Please answer, it's urgent.

M_Rams708 karma

Have you ever made gun noises while piloting an helicopter?

By gun noises I'd say the famous "pew pew pew" as an example.

pbrown92801 karma


voodooskull297 karma

Do you respect and worship your mechanics?

pbrown92298 karma

Yes, very much.

datode202 karma

How does one get into the industry? Do you just go to flight school and put in applications?

pbrown92211 karma

I went to flight school, flew tours with the same company for around a year, and then sent out applications. Mostly luck.

AC1711164 karma

Hi, have you ever been in a situation while flying where you have genuinely feared for your life?

What got you into helicopter piloting?

Thanks for doing an AMA

pbrown92215 karma

Only a few times, mostly during my last job. You're flying very close to towers, power lines, and amusement rides. It gets a little nerve racking.

And I got into by trying to find something to do with my life after high school. I was always interested in aviation so after I went on a demo flight with the local flight school, I was hooked.

all_the_names_gone156 karma

Is it true that helicopters only fly because they are so ugly the ground repels them?

pbrown92151 karma


airwa135 karma

  1. How much do you earn per hour?

  2. What do you think of airplanes? Have you considered getting your PPL at least?

  3. Oddest thing you've ever seen a customer do?

pbrown92170 karma

I get paid minimum wage :(

I think airplanes are cool and very useful. What I dont like about airplanes is how cheap they are. Meaning more people have access to them and can buy them. That means you have more people who fly once every couple months who loose touch. That's not saying there aren't crappy helicopter pilots, just more in airplane pilots in my opinion.

Merendino377 karma

I get paid minimum wage :(

...what. the. fuck.

porkbellybourbon114 karma

Let's put some lives in your hands. Literally your hands will kill or keep alive these people. And here's $9 for your troubles!

pbrown92164 karma


LordXenu4059 karma


pbrown92156 karma


aesu31 karma

To be fair, there is an abundance of people who wish to do this for a living, and very little demand.

CryOfTheWind16 karma

This is a big one. There are tons of people just out of school and very few jobs they are capable of doing. As a result you can literally pay zero or even charge for training of new pilots and you will still have a stack of resumes on the chief pilots desk.

pbrown9222 karma

Absolutely, thats why I went back and said I'm lucky for the job. After I started here and realized just how many people call and ask if we're hiring, I really understand how lucky I am.

pbrown9253 karma

Don't think I'm complaining about how much I get payed. I'm extremely lucky to even have the job.

indefaggotable4 karma

Isn't that pretty much the same for many air lines commuter pilots?

pbrown929 karma

Ya, those guys get paid absolute shit.

pbrown92146 karma

When we did tours at fairs we hot-loaded people (pilot never got out, loaders took people out and put the next group in with the helicopter running). So I was flying in Forte Wayne, Indiana and the loaders put a guy in the front seat with me with no shirt, giant nipple rings in both nipples, and a gun on his hip (Indiana is an open carry state). When I got out the boss laughs at my face and says "Its ok, we made him unload it".

loveplumber117 karma

What do you do when someone has to use a restroom? I know that sounds silly but as someone who nervously pees and is also afraid of heights, the moment I hear "helicopter tour ride" I just think about the sheer terror of having to pee somewhere up in the sky in a helicopter.

pbrown92161 karma

Our longest tour is 45 minutes. 90% of the tours are 10 minutes or less.

AdaptiveBigfoot83 karma

I've got an impressive 13 hours in helicopters in BF4, how much for ME to fly?

pbrown92168 karma

They sad thing is, I'm reallllllyyyyyy bad at flying the helicopters in BF4.

thairusso57 karma

i'll train you, young one.

pbrown9254 karma

I laughed to hard at this

NihiloZero73 karma

It's a matter of life an death. You need to tell someone how to fly a helicopter in 100 words or less. They are 20 miles off shore and their radio/phone/communication network is about to disconnect. What do you tell them in order that they might figure things out and safely land the helicopter?

pbrown92185 karma

Get low and jump out. You can't land a helicopter safely having never flown one.

reddit_rainbow_47 karma

Do helicopters have an "auto pilot" like planes?

pbrown9290 karma

Only the big ones

NihiloZero1 karma

That would probably depend upon the intelligence of the would-be pilot and the ability of the instructor to give succinct and clear directions.

pbrown922 karma

Not really. Hovering is all muscle memory.

Kevho0049 karma

Are you allowed to fly over amusement parks such as Busch Gardens?

pbrown92133 karma

Just got back from flying a tour over Busch Gardens

EternallyXIII47 karma

How much did you spend on all to become a certified helicopter pilot?

pbrown9284 karma

Around $75,000

tragic-waste-of-skin14 karma


pbrown92111 karma

How long did it take? Im still paying this off.

taft46 karma

are you the guy that flies that little red helicopter over davis islands/downtown?

pbrown92112 karma

Thats the channel 5 news. I fly the blue one over Davis island/ downtown.

fernandoandretn46 karma

Sikorsky, Bell, or Eurocopter?

foreverinane77 karma

Probably one of those awful piston powered robbies

pbrown92105 karma


dezerttim43 karma

Do you fly an r-44? A friend of mine went down in one and nearly lost his life. After speaking with some of the rescue crew they all mentioned that when one goes down its almost always an r-44 as its the hundai of helicopters, we did some research and found it to be a very popular craft. Ive always wanted to do a helicopter tour when traveling but am always scared away when I see that it is a robinson. Would you or do you feel comfortable in them?

pbrown92157 karma

It is a great helicopter. It's like people being scared of getting in a Toyota because Toyota has more accidents then Ferrari. There are a lot more Toyotas on the road.

feellikeawrapgod35 karma

Do you ever think to yourself "if I wanted to I could kill all these people in my helicopter". Or something like "one little mistake and we are all dead"?

pbrown9275 karma

More the one little mistake one

Jmunnny33 karma

Have you ever done the "helicopter" with your penis?

pbrown9265 karma


Yomkimme29 karma

What attracted you into becoming a helicopter tour pilot?

pbrown9275 karma

Tour pilot not so much. The way the industry works is you either instruct for 500-1000 hours to get a new job, or you fly tours. I was never much for instruction, so I picked this route. I'm looking forward to doing something different.

But what attracted me to becoming a pilot is the feeling. If you ever get a chance call up a local helicopter flight school and ask to do a demo. I promise you'll want to fly after that too.

Ihmhi118 karma

But what attracted me to becoming a pilot is the feeling.

If my experiences in Battlefield are any indication, the feeling seems to be "I NEED TO LEAN FORWARD BUT NOT THAT MUCH FORWARD OH GOD WHY IS THE SKY BELOW ME THAT'S NOT GOOD FUCK SHIT FUCK".

pbrown9232 karma


Fun_Crusher13 karma


pbrown9217 karma

We do both all the time, they aren't big deals as long as you pay attention.

JimmyCumbs11 karma

How often do you quote a certain bodybuilder/actor/politician?

pbrown929 karma

Every day

guba8074 karma

If you use GPS to navigate the airspace, Do you fly right up to the edge of controlled airspace (ie Class B) without calling ATC? I see targets (aircraft) do this all the time and wonder if they realize another larger aircraft could be flying extremely close to them at those points.

pbrown925 karma

We fly around Tampas bravo all the time so I dont need GPS (just know based on buildings where it is), but yes. I go up to it all the time, and no airplane is even legally aloud to be at the altitude I'm at when downtown, so i don't worry.

stalkergonepublic4 karma


pbrown9214 karma


MrSmith97161 karma

I'm a 17 year old who wants to be a pilot. How do I get started?

pbrown922 karma

Call the nearest flight school and ask to do a demo with them.