- Classroom Instruction: Once through with warrant officer candidate school, you’ll proceed to the flight training program at Fort Rucker. The program begins with classroom instruction on the intricacies of rotary-winged aircraft. You will learn basic flight physics, flight systems, emergency procedures, and you will learn how to draw and read flight maps.
- Flying: The training advances quickly to Warrior Hall, where new pilots learn to fly helicopters in simulators with spider-like metal legs. Once you have 7 ½ hours of simulator time under your belt, you’ll learn combat maneuvers used by Army pilots in trainer TH-67 helicopters. Then you’ll become an expert in one of four helicopters: the OH-58 Kiowa reconnaissance aircraft; the UH-60 Black Hawk, built for medical evacuations and search and rescue missions; the AH-64 Apache, the Army’s primary attack helicopter; or the CH-47 Chinook, a transport chopper. Depending on the type of aircraft you specialize in, you’ll log between 70 and 150 hours of actual flight time before becoming a helicopter pilot.
The entire program typically takes a year, but a new initiative called Flight School XXI began churning out combat-ready chopper pilots in only nine months in October 2005 to meet demands in Iraq and Afghanistan.