March 3, 2024

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Helicopter Pilot Careers in Film and Television Production

Helicopter Pilot Careers in Film and Television Production

Are you a helicopter pilot looking for an interesting career? How about the chance to play a part in the next blockbuster movie? Or the chance to rub elbows with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. If this sounds like fun then a career as a movie pilot might be in your future.

Helicopter pilots who fly in support of movie and television production generally play two roles. They fly a helicopter that is part of the scene being filmed or they fly a helicopter as a camera ship and film the action in a scene.

If you want a career as a Hollywood pilot the best thing you could do is to get a job with one of the companies that provides motion picture support. Don’t expect to be directly hired into a position as a movie pilot. Most operators who do Hollywood support also do other types of flying such as charter. If this is the case you can expect to this type of flying while you learn what’s required of a Hollywood pilot.

Pilots who fly helicopters that are in a scene are required to be a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). SAG is the union that most if not all Hollywood actors belong to and if you’re going to be on screen you’ll have to join it also.

Pilots who fly the camera ship are not required to join SAG.

At any rate, whether you’re on screen or off you’ll eventually need to join the Motion Picture Pilots Association (MPPA). The MPAA consists of a group of Hollywood movie pilots. As a group MPPA members fly the majority of aircraft used in the production of Hollywood movies.

The life of a movie pilot can be exciting but it an also consist of very long days and lots of travel. Long days at movie shoots in remote locations both in the United States and overseas keep many pilots from pursuing this line of work.

For the person willing to make the required sacrifices, a career as helicopter pilot flying for the movies is exciting and lucrative.