James updates us on the rest of his 2016 flying year

I’ve had an enjoyable and successful first year as a commercial pilot. I have flown countless passengers around the midlands over the summer, many of whom had never flown in a helicopter (or even flown) before. It has been a real privilege to give so many people their first taste of flight.

The biggest challenge over the past year has been adapting to the rigours of commercial flying where any unnecessary time spent on the ground starts eating into profit margins. This requires still completing all checks properly and carefully as well as expeditiously! The work can also be quite intense with up to 3 hours of flying in a day made up of individual 5 minute flights with rotors running passenger changes – and sometimes not even operating from an airport.

Above all it has been amazing to indulge in my passion to fly and be paid for the privilege. The hours I have built this season have helped me hugely towards what I need to start my flying instructor’s course later next year.