One problem with helicoptering is that there are virtually no flying clubs, at least of the sort that exist for fixed wing, so pilots get very little chance to swap stories, unless they meet in a muddy field somewhere, waiting for their passengers. As a result, the same mistakes are being made and the same lessons learnt separately instead of being shared – it’s comforting sometimes to know that you’re not the only one to inflate the floats by accident! Even when you do get into a school, there are still a couple of things they don’t teach you, namely that aviation runs on paperwork, and how to get a job, including interview techniques, etc – flying the aircraft is actually less than a third of the job.
Another is that nobody really tells you anything, either about the job you have to do (from the customer) or how to do it (the company) – you will always be up against the other guy who managed to do it last week! Sure, there will be training, but, even in the best companies, this will be relatively minimal. This book is an attempt to correct the above situations by gathering together as much information as possible for helicopter pilots, old and new, professional and otherwise, in an attempt to explain the why, so the how will become easier (you will be so much more useful if you know what the customer is trying to achieve). In short, this is all the stuff nobody taught me – every tip and trick I have learnt has been included.