Private fleets can offer a range of reliable and necessary helicopter services to many different parties. While the government has access to public sources (like the military and government-owned assets), extenuating circumstances have forced various government bodies to call upon the private sector. This has often been the case when public resources have come under such intense pressure, requiring support from the private sector to plug up holes in the delivery of vital resources. If you are interested in personal helicopter training, then here is everything you need to know!
Most companies that provide helicopter services are well-versed across a range of core functions. Outlined below are some of the most common flight operations from private fleets:
Charter flights involve things like customised aerial tours. In New South Wales, you can book unique tours over the central business district, the beaches, the Hawkesbury River or the harbour. Move a little further west, and you can experience the breathtaking scenery of Katoomba, the Blue Mountains and Wentworth Falls.
Charter flights are also essential for public officials (like state and federal politicians), especially when they are required to visit disaster areas or attend public/political events in highly remote places. It allows them to bypass road congestion and fulfil their duties in a streamlined manner.
Helicopter services are also essential during natural disasters, like flood relief. The Queensland floods during 2010/11 were especially detrimental, resulting in the deaths of over 30 people. During cases of extreme danger, private fleets will provide their personnel and air equipment to provide relief to people in need of immediate assistance. On top of emergency evacuation support, providers of aerial aid can help with transport needs, aerial mapping, the mustering of livestock and fodder drops for isolated livestock.
Locust control is another critical component of helicopter services. Locust swarms can have a demonstrable impact on the agricultural industry, and, in the past, swarms have devastated crops. In fact, recent locust swarms have destroyed so many crops to the point that it has induced famine across parts of Africa.
Furthermore, helicopter services have also been used to suppress fires. The Australian bushfire season of 2019/20 was amongst the worst bushfire seasons Australia has ever experienced. This was attributed to a range of factors, including ineffective backburning, poor forest management, rising temperatures and sustained periods of drought.
Private firms that provide helicopter services can assist local fire agencies in several ways. Indeed, these include but are not limited to the following:
- Water bombing
- Mapping of the fires
- Surveillance of fire movements
- Crew transportation
Photography and filming
Finally, private aerial fleets can assist with professional photography and filming. So, if you are filming a motion picture, a television program, a documentary, sporting events or other wide-scale events, then helicopter services will be instrumental. They’ll be able to provide you with unparalleled footage, both in terms of location and quality. For example, Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy relied heavily on aerial footage, specifically the mountainous regions of his native country, New Zealand.
In addition to their core functions, most private aerial fleets provide in-house flight lessons. So, if you are interested in learning how to fly a chopper, then book a class with a provider in your state. While you’ll need to pass some preliminary tests and a medical examination (to ensure you can legally and safely fly the aircraft), you can learn through a pilot school. However, you should be aware that this won’t exactly be cheap, so make sure you are completed committed to taking up lessons before putting your money down.