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What is easier to fly, a helicopter or an airplane?

Updated: May 23, 2023

If you are considering a career in aviation then you probably want to know what is easier to fly? a helicopter or an airplane?

Flying a helicopter

A helicopter is mostly unstable and the pilot needs to have constant control of the aircraft at all times, from the moment the engine starts until the blades stop turning once the helicopter lands back on the ground. Since helicopters fly low (2000ft), pilots must know the terrain below and obstacles along the route like buildings, mountains, power lines and trees. They also need to know possible landing sites in case of an engine failure. The pilot must know his flight plan and the route he is taking like the back of his hand.

Flying helicopters also get even more complicated when you have specialized jobs to do like long lining, lifting (hoisting), power line checks and more.

Flying an airplane

An airplane is much easier to fly than a helicopter. Your take-off and landing will require a lot of practice because they are done manually, but autopilot makes flying from A to B fairly easy. You sit back and monitor. While in the air, many pilots will often take that time to go through checklists, review procedures and make adjustments to their flight plan.

In general flying an airplane is much easier than flying a helicopter, especially for beginners.

In conclusion, an airplane is much easier to fly then flying a helicopter, especially for beginners. In a helicopter, the pilot is expected to have their hands on the controls at all times and be actively engaged in every second of the flight. Just a few hours flying a helicopter is mentally and physically draining where many airplane pilots can fly for many hours and not be fatigued at all.

If you are up for the challenge of flying a helicopter, have a look at the helicopter training institutions/schools we have listed for you. Not sure? A lot of the training institutions have a "be a pilot for the day" program where you can see if being a helicopter pilot is the career for you before you commit to training.

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