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We are more than happy to discuss your expectations and give you honest advice. Call in and see us, we’re happy to show you around and give you the opportunity to chat with our current students during their breaks. Some comments from our previous students and guests are as follows:

Junji Amano - Japan Dwight Geelan Martin Naylor
Alan Bell Joanne Goodall Patrick Parker - Western Australia
Dave Bell Dave Goodman Fergus Ponder
Andrew Beveridge David Goodman Lyndall Pinson
Tony Browne Ian Gotham Greg Quade
Dave Cameron Christian Grytten Mark Reid, Reid Helicopters
David Carter Alan de Haan - Holland Andre Scholte - Netherlands
Matthew Chan, Hong Kong Mike Jarvis Robert Slater
Brendon Cleaver - Colorado, USA Lee Johnson - Maroochydore, QLD Ronny Sarholz
Timothy Cousins Bradley King Mrityunja “Meetu” Singh, India
Josh Davis Rene Knudsen Nigel Thomas
John Devine - Caloundra, QLD James Loane Nick Talbot
Steve Dix John MacInnes Vincent Talty
Anne Fine Peter McAnulty - NZ Tunui Wano
Dorothea de Flines, Netherlands John McClymont Ken Webeck
Alan Ford Bryan McGrath Heke Whatarangi
Ricky Ford Adi Mitchell Naor Ziv - Israel


Junji Amano - Osaka Japan

“Very clean, friendly, helpful… my English ability was not excellent but I could achieve my aim”

Alan Bell - Scotland

Ag flying in NSW

" Fantastic, environment is extremely friendly, and conducive to learning. International Students are well catered for, am extremely pleased with my choice”

Dave Bell

“The overall training, knowledge, atmosphere and social aspects of Becker’s are excellent. The helpful and encouraging training staff and office staff have made training at Becker’s very easy and comfortable. Arriving early and mixing with other students at different stages and doing a lot of study before hand was very helpful and highly recommended”

Andrew Beveridge

“Very happy to be here, a close environment”


Tony Browne

“Sincerely would like to say you have a dynamic, enthusiastic team, who will go out of their way to make things pleasant”

> Extract from an email received from Tony 25/06/02

> Got my SA comm (South African CPL(H) on 5th of June to be exact, and was luckly enough to find a job with Alpine Aviation (web address ) and started working with them on the 11th, it's the 25th today and I've alredy done 40hrs, so I'm stoked over the moon!! Alpine has secured the contract for Netstar (a vehicle tracking company)and as you can imagine in SA, especially Joburg, cars are stolen, hi-jacked regulally, so I'm kept very busy. We operate 3 R44's for this, there are 3 407's, a jetranger, a long ranger, EC120 for charter work etc... and R22's for the training school, I'm itching to get my paws around that jetranger collective, who knows what time will tell??? I'm currently on day shift for the next 60-100hrs, even though I have my night rating, one needs these day time hours, because as Mick says when you turn away from the lights, things get very dark...

Dave Cameron

“Am happy with choosing Becker’s, have found it to be a very good learning environment with input and help from senior students to be excellent”

David Carter - Woolooma, NSW

CPL(H) - Working in mustering and tourism. 

“Mike has the right balance for pushing those who need pushing to gain confidence, and holding those back who are overconfident… If you ever wanted to fly and can afford it, give it a go. No use looking back in 10 years and saying I wish I had done that now”

David was the second guy on the Rookie Program.


Matthew Chan, Hong Kong 2006

When I visited Becker’s, I already had first-hand experience of a number of other well-known helicopter flight schools in Australia, Southeast Asia and America.
However, Becker stands out as a very unique establishment.
What Mike really teaches is power management.
You will learn about power and its limitations from an entirely new perspective which is both practical and versatile. He will train you in power techniques which will make you a much safer pilot out in the field. You will find Mike highly professional, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about every aspect of flying helicopters. Mike, Jan and their crew are friendly, genuine and sincere, and I am always grateful to them for my learning experience.

Brendon Cleaver - Colorado, USA

CPL(H) - now in tourism in Western Australia

“Wonderful experience training with Becker Helicopters… made some great friends… felt well supported by everyone… the quality of camaraderie and equipment was great. Becker Helicopters main strengths are attitude and atmosphere, knowledge, and attention to detail. My training with Becker Helicopters was all I expected and more. A relaxed but professional attitude from Mike and Jan made the training experience enjoyable for students and their families.“

Timothy Cousins

“The whole course is well structured and flowed well. I shall definitely be recommending BHS to any friends/contacts, thanks for all the help everyone”

Josh Davis

“Professional and personalized, yet laid-back. Friendliness and quality training”


John Devine - Caloundra, QLD


“Mike has a ‘can-do’ attitude and this combined with his extensive experience and instructional ability, and his commitment to his own personal growth ensures a win/win for all parties”

Sadly John Devine died whilst parachuting. He was passionate about life and he will be sadly missed.

Steve Dix

“Dean was very good teaching me the basics and Mike… well what can I say? A legend! Mike really helped me towards my PPL/CPL tests. Thanks Mike.”

When asked what Becker Helicopters main weaknesses were all Steve had to say was “No in house masseur and no lap dancing evenings arranged for us!” Nice try Steve…"

Anne Fine, South Africa

“I think that heli flying really is all about Attitude and teamwork – it is quite a daunting career to embark on but when the flying is in your blood and is your passion.  This passion empowers you and the winning formula to climbing” (achieving your dream) is in attitude and power to achieve balance.

Dorothea de Flines, Book Publisher, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Coming to Australia was a long cherished dream and so was flying a helicopter. I was this fall at a point in my life that I had to make a number of decisions and I just needed to check out if flying a chopper would be part of my next moves. Coming from a totally different line of work it was a long stretch, but I am very glad I did give myself the chance to find out what attracted me to helicopters. Reading the information pack on the Becker Helicopter website at home excited me and I was having a ball with that stuff. And then I arrived on the doorstep for some hands on experience. Having had a very serious introduction of a full day, and a trial instructor flight of 90 minutes I can seriously recommend Becker Helicopters to everyone who wants to have fun, learn a lot at the same time and seriously assess whether or not this is for them. Mike’s theory lesson, the instructor video’s, the strong comradeship amongst the students, Ric’s dedication to get me to hover the helicopter (boy, that man has nerves of steel), the manta rays we saw down below while flying to Noosa Heads, the never ending list of duties for the duty pilot (I’d recommend to add ‘get Ric a decent lunch’ to the list) and the care for details that everybody has – I just wish this was for me. All of you at Beckers Helicopters stole my heart and I had the best of times. Thanks.

Alan Ford

“My period of training was the best time of my life and I feel a real sense of achievement from learning to fly helicopters.”

Alan is back working and flys on weekends saving his money to do the extra Pilot in Command hours.

Ricky Ford

CPL (H) Ricky now owns his own helicopter in NT, near Darwin. 

“Becker Helicopter Services is Mike and Jans’ life… the business is run to the highest of standards, with that standard not being out of the students reach. The student is considered one of the team and made to feel important. Mikes’ experience is extremely beneficial and shown by the way he teaches, and the facilities are A1. The company ski-boat, volleyball, and BBQs’ are just some of the activities carried out to keep you enthusiastic. Mikes’ book is a tremendous learning tool and his DVDs are thorough. Mike and Jan have a great business due to hard work and effort. I will ensure that if you put in the effort they do, results are not far away or out of your reach. Mike and Jan and the team are extremely friendly and honest. The flying is fantastic and I found the helicopters extremely rewarding. Congratulations to the Becker’s on a successful business.”

He turned 18 the day he sat his CPL Theory exam. Congratulations on your engagement Ricky.

Dwight Geelan

“When you make a new bunch of friends just like that what more could you want”
“The help is fine, they are always there for questions”

Joanne Goodall


“During theory small reference required as notes provided were good. Found practical flying and air exercises really useful”

Dave Goodman

“Positive attitudes always. Well organised good facilities and machines”

David Goodman

Rookie program - Flying for Slingsby, WA

“I can’t put it in words the way you have helped me and my family achieve so much through your commitment, professionalism, and confidence in such a short time. I could not ask for any better. I am really glad I made the move. I know that what I’ll learn here will set me up with a big advantage over other schools students. I really value the honest evaluation of flying skills that all instructors provide.”

Ian Gotham

CPL (H) Flying for Stirling Buntine, Jabiru NT in R44’s on tourism

“The operation at the moment is of high quality with good direction for the future. A wealth of knowledge and experience is to be sponged up at Becker Helicopters, others coming here soak up as much as you can, I did, and I believe I have been well prepared by Mike and staff for the future.”

Christian Grytten

“I’m very happy with Becker’s, Mike and Jan are nice and the instructors and all the students are helpful and friendly”

Alan de Haan - Holland

“What made me train with Becker Helicopters was the professional and personalized information and follow up. Mike is a good instructor with good people and communication skills, good ground briefings and flying”

Mike Jarvis

Thanks so much for helping me achieve the first step to my ultimate goal, a working helicopter pilot. In the last 6 months I have had some of the most exciting, enjoyable and frightening times of my life. As I said at the presentation, it can all be summed up using one word (but I won't say it here). I feel I have been trained by the best, not only the flying but also the theory. I feel you have given me the tools to begin to learn how to be a good safe pilot.

During this early part of my flying career it felt I like I was climbing a mountain, you struggle with each step, sometimes things come easy other times it is a real effort and you wonder why you are doing it to yourself. But through it all you know you can do it. Then the day you reach the end if the climb and you get your CPL. You are so excited you have reached the top of the peak, then you look up, and see that you are only in the foothills and Mt Everest looms ahead. But you have prepared yourself for the climb and continue on, taking with you all the skills you have learned on the way to where you are.

I just loved my time with you even when not flying, and sitting here in my office I just want to be up there. I thrived on the banter in the the Opps room. I miss it so much.

I will be back, I plan on doing some time in the Bell and Sling later on. At the very least I will want to fly once a month until I get some business stuff out of the way then it will be pulling up tent and climbing the east face of Mt Everest.

It is such a big effort to get to this point and without the support from my wife Johey, it would have been possible. I am very lucky to have her.

I congratulate everyone at Beckers for being the best flying school in the business, none of the other schools I approached even come close.

Regards Captain Mike Jarvis

I'm a captain it's so cool

Lee Johnson - Maroochydore, QLD

“The training is in-depth and practical, the instructors know their stuff, and their personal service is second to none.”

Bradley King.
Story by Brad - Trained 2004

Well, fantastic things do happen. There is little doubt that I am a seriously blessed young pilot. Finishing my training with Mike’s team ( Becker helicopters) in April 2004 and flying as a professional pilot over the Great Barrier Reef in August 2004 is probably something I felt was always ultimately possible but the realisation of living that dream today remains incredible! As much as some say ‘Brad’s a lucky bastard’, and they’d be right, I find it’s really much simpler than that.
My experience of the job hunt revealed a plethora of helpful, understanding and very approachable operators. Successful line pilots would say to me “Just keep trying, you WILL get work. It’s the best job in the world!” All these guys have been through it and their empathy was obvious. Meeting the successful guys, you find it’s their attitude that has enhanced their careers. Chasing leads, being at the right place, asking the right questions, nourishing rapport, and listening to my gut certainly helped me land my first job.
There are many reasons why I chose to train with Mike Becker’s school over the other 5 I researched. Firstly, they train using the noted best training helicopter in the world, the Hughes 269 and a Bell 47, set up for Sling and night approvals. Both require good throttle management skills you don’t get on governed machines. Mike and Jan are personally beautiful people and excellent communicators.
Many students remark on training there just because of the caring, family environment. Mikes passion and vision for developing greater teaching techniques impressed me too.
He has written a book, made a series of videos and developed his own theory course.
Not to mention the guy’s a freak with his understanding and control of the machines.
The seller, after all this, for me was his frankness. “It’s a five year plan Brad. If you’re not prepared for that, don’t bother wasting your time.”
At last a school that didn’t want to get me drunk to sign up. His words resonated with what my research had already told me and I trusted that he would make me the best and safest pilot I could be.
My training was fantastic; Scary and frustrating at times, challenging and salubrious at others and always supported. Absolutely one of the greatest achievements of my life!
The thing is the training’s not just about flying, for me it was more about personal development, about understanding the temperament I would be required to adopt and nurture to deal with the pressures and challenges of being a commercial pilot. Some of this stuff can be really uncomfortable and Mike is a master at exposing and exercising your weaknesses. I can tell you, you don’t realize how important that side of your training is until you are thrown in the deep-end on your first day or any day as a professional pilot.
An unfamiliar machine, a quick float endorsement and flight check then sent 30nm over the ocean at 500 ft AGL to some reef with paying passengers, who’s lives are now in your hands, international airport procedures then without so much as a couple of scratched pencil marks on a VTC. “You’re ready, get going!” I completed 5 flights that day to varying locations, one after the other, clock running, and then was negatively critiqued over my lack of finesse landing the float equipped Bell 47 in the cross wind at a busy helipad. What a head space!!
I was later told by my chief pilot that I was put under that pressure as a test to see how I would react. Buggar! Mike was right. The training never stops! On completing my CPL flight test with Mike, he says to me “You now have a licence to learn”. I’m extremely grateful for such a start.
The key to getting work is without doubt, getting out there. I would not have landed this position if I hadn’t shaken the guy's hand. It’s all about how you present and how well you relate to people. They are the major tools in your arsenal. It’s no different in that way to any other industry.
I’m an electrician and an alpine tour guide and have been honing these skills for years. Your preparedness to do anything for nothing will make you more attractive too and the realisation and acceptance of being at the bottom of the ladder will prevent any negative assessment by your potential new colleagues as well. The only way is up! My position primarily involves flying a beautiful, float equipped Bell 47 out to the reef, landing on sand cays and anchored pontoons and shorter scenic flights over Cairns and the neighbouring waterfalls and rainforests. I also clean and maintain the helicopters, the hangar and the bathrooms, answer the phones, do the pick ups, balance the paperwork and some gardening. I get paid per flight hour and a small retainer for a 4 day week. Cairns has a hundred other ways of making money on the side while allowing me to build hours and remain immersed once again in a helicopter learning environment. I’m meeting pilots and operators every day gradually increasing my networking circle in this small industry. In only my first 2 weeks I’ve flown 23 hours. The future remains promising for flying R44’s within the year as well.
Written by Brad – November 2005
I looked at 6 other schools before I settled on Beckers. - All within Australia. Without a doubt, choosing Mike and Jan has been one of the single best decisions I have made in my life. Wow...big sell hey?! Lets touch on a couple of things....When I looked for a school; I knew I wanted some boxes ticked.....
I wanted to be taught to fly a manual throttle governed helicopter (the difference between learning on an Automatic or a Manual car I guess - if you learn on an Auto you're limiting yourself straight away!), I wanted to be taught by one of the best schools/instructors in the world with loads of experience, I wanted help to excel in all my exams and achieve great scores,
I wanted a school that didn't try to "big sell" me and one that told me the reality of my potential flying career. I wanted the best instruction money could buy and I wanted to achieve all this in an environment that could not only teach me controlled airspace jargon and procedures but truly challenge me with diverse flying conditions and terrain.
I wasn't asking for much... I just wanted to be the best pilot I could be - and Beckers got the job. It is a big decision; don't take it lightly. You could buy quite a few Swedish massages with that sort of money (it's still something I think about on occasion*) When you finish your training you are simply obtaining a license to learn, be it 105, 125 or 155 hours. That license however should leave you with powerful life saving and flying skills tattooed to your brain that serve you forever and certainly, these are something I use and strengthen everyday, consciously and unconsciously when I fly. I wasn't the best student in the classroom but did pass all my exams thanks to a fantastic teacher and hard work and my Navigation has improved thanks to my GPS, hehe, but I know my foundations as an aviator are much stronger than a lot of other pilots I know, trained else where. I was employed just 3 months after I finished at Beckers, sure enough flying a Bell 47(manual throttle), 2 days a week flying out to the Great Barrier Reef!! You think that's great, I am now base manager of a company in Port Douglas flying 500 - 600 hours per year and will be flying squirrels professionally in 2006. I completed my CPL (H) at Beckers in May 2004 and Mike and Jan have never stopped supporting me. Yes, I can unconditionally endorse Becker Helicopters for your training as could everyone I trained with. One of the most incredible times of my life and I will be forever grateful to them. Best of luck with your choice mate. I'm sure it will be the right one. See you in the air.
Update July 2005
Learning lots of course and have just recently cracked 400 hours. It's been 11 months now since I began my first job. 'Am seriously   Loving the ride and my role here in Port Douglas.
Update July 2006
Brad has now bought into this company and running a successful joy flight business.

Rene Knudsen

“Organisational, high profile, respect for individual needs and friendly and helpful. Becker is by far the best choice when it comes to training, setup, instructors and operations”

James Loane

“It is up to the student to study the volume of information. The instructor was good and the entertaining environment helps for memory retention. Found Mike Becker Hand Book a valuable learning tool, especially in conjunction with Principles of Helicopter Flight. I think it is a happy industrious place and a good environment in which to learn”

John MacInnes

“More girls in the class would be good”

Peter McAnulty - NZ

CPL(H) - now Ag spraying

“Training in non-controlled and controlled air space a huge benefit… Jan and Mike friendly and approachable”

John McClymont, Director, Heliwork, Redcliffe QLD & Kununurra WA.

Heliwork have 33 helicopters including 15 R22’s, R44’s, Bell 47’s and JetRangers.
We’ve now had 6 Becker-trained pilots through here and they all were and are good.  They seem to have an edge in that they’re a little better trained - they have a higher level of finesse and smoothness and their procedures are excellent.  They’re good employees.  They go through another 12 months here at our main maintenance facility before we send them out in the field, and our 6th Becker-trained pilot is doing that right now.  I’m sure there’ll be more.
This is where we run the rookie pilot program through

Bryan McGrath

“I spent 6 months looking for a training school. BHS was the only one that was enthusiastic about tailoring training to me, it has delivered”

Adi Mitchell

“Very good mix of professionalism and relaxed attitude which leads to max enjoyment in course”

Martin Naylor

“The school lives up to its reputation of providing high standard training, amongst comfortable surroundings with an emphasis on FUN! I feel lucky to be part of it and hope it will always be this way”

Patrick Parker - Western Australia

“Becker Helicopters are an innovative and professional organisation, they are always looking for ways to improve. This approach to teaching offers students the right balance of theory and practice, which is sure to see them evolve in the next millennium. Mikes approach to the industry is passionate, and I found his passion to be contagious. If you are considering the plunge don’t procrastinate, just do it!. I have no hesitation at all in recommending Becker Helicopters to those who want to fly.”

Lyndall Pinson

Just to let you know that I received my 'Becker Helicopters' cap last night. It was ordered after Robyn & I came back from our helicopter flight with Marcus on Saturday 1 Dec 02. The cap takes pride of place on the hat rack.

The flight was a birthday gift from Robyn to me. We had the most fantastic flight - I will always remember it, especially as it was my 50 th birthday (7 Dec 02). It was better than flying in a Cessna and Tiger Moth. Robyn amazed herself as she is scared of heights - normally. We could not stop talking about it afterwards.

Would you please thank Marcus again for making the flight very enjoyable.

We have recommended Becker Helicopters to all our friends; and we two will be back again.

regards, Lyndall Pinson

Fergus Ponder

“Mountain flying is a huge plus” … “Recommending Becker Helicopters is easy. Mike and Jan are both easy to talk to and very knowledgeable about their training and also our career prospects, which is important as we all need a job after the hard work is done”.

Greg Quade

Currently working for Northern Queensland Helicopters, mustering in R22’s and Bell206 in NSW Fires

After qualifying CPL (H) at Becker, I walked almost straight into a job and in the first 12 months I’ve logged nearly 1000 hours.  I found Becker excellent – they’re enthusiastic, professional and friendly – in fact their whole attitude towards students simply can’t be faulted.  For example, for a while I had real struggle with theory, but they were behind me all the way.  They’re industry-orientated and don’t take anything lightly.  I did look at and talk to several other training schools before I chose Becker, and while they (Becker) were dearer than some I saw, I felt that as my training was the foundation for my helicopter career I wanted the best - that if you’re going to skimp on your training you’re not serious.  I think Becker is excellent.

Mark Reid, Reid Helicopters, Emerald, Queensland.

Reid Helicopters operate all over Australia and run 2 R44’s and an R22 on mustering, powerline checking, feral animal control and sling.
Becker turns out pretty good pilots.  They have good basics, a professional approach to safety, and the routines including groundwork are drummed into them.  Mike (Becker) is as good an instructor as any I know. I have no worries with Becker-trained pilots.

Andre Scholte - Netherlands

“The look of the school is fresh and professional. The multi instructors give you a lot of extra experience and help you to look at the training in different ways. Also the sling-load course is an experience not to miss. The experience of the instructors is something that will help you further your career. The accommodation in the pilot-house is a great place to get your English skills up.”

Robert Slater

CPL(H) - Owns and operates his own KH4 in Cairns - Heliview Pty Ltd

“Everything was covered well, Mike put a lot of time and effort into helping me when I was just a small dollar amount compared to his CPL (H) students. I recommend Becker Helicopters for the professional and courteous attitude, which was given to me. Theory notes were absolutely excellent and very effective and get you thinking about what you are doing. I have done endorsements in Melbourne, Airlie Beach and Sunshine Coast… Mike would have to be the better one of them all… I learnt to fly at (name of school withheld) around 5-6 years ago and was very disappointed with their attitude. I felt like I was treated like a number. Once I got my licence they didn’t want to know me, I was on my own. I have been approached by Mike several times to give his students work in my KH… I would take Mikes students before anyone else’s. I have witnessed Mike get work for other students whilst I was flying there which is pretty rare for a lot of flying schools. I chose to train at (name of school withheld) because they were cheaper than the rest of Australia, which was a wrong decision. You get what you pay for. Mike seems to know a lot of people in the industry. He teaches you to fly well, to survive, and makes sure you know your stuff.”

Ronny Sarholz

“... The atmosphere is great, the people are very professional and friendly and the multi-culture makes it even better. The instructors are also good. I like the barbeques, it produces a friendly and relaxed atmosphere”

Mrityunja “Meetu” Singh, India

“I’ve had a wonderful time at Becker Helicopters.  I was there for close to a year, and I have come back with many happy memories.  The flying instruction was always personal, and one was allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. 

One incident comes to mind.  I have a mild speech impairment, which goes full throttle when I am not talking to a person face to face.  So, initially talking to the tower was almost paralytic.  Both Mike and Dean were patient with me, prompting me with hand signals!  I must clarify, that in time I had my radio calls down to an art.

The non-flying staffs were always there for you, more so for matters not concerning the school.  On nearing completion of my CPL (H), I asked for information about work visa.  Maraina called the government long distance enquiring about the nitty-gritty of working in Australia.  I don’t think I was charged for that call.  Jan on the other hand bought US currency from me at a rate higher than the banks were paying.  As I was running short of money to pay the last instalment of my fees, and at that time the US dollar had crashed.  I hope the currency has recouped and Jan has recovered her money!

The atmosphere at Becker’s was very inclusive.  We students came from all parts of the world.  Speaking in a variety of English dialects, the least common being Australian!  This inclusive, almost bohemian atmosphere was put to test after the 9/11 attacks.
I being a north Indian Pajput, look “Middle Eastern”, felt no such inflection from anybody at the school.  And that is saying something, as in the weeks after the attacks; children were shying away from me in shopping malls.
I have come away with life long friends, from amongst both the staff and the students.  In the end I must say that it was a good decision on my part to take to flying choppers, and more so to have trained with Becker Helicopters”

Nick Talbot

“I have definitely selected a knowledgeable happy school with a great atmosphere”

Vincent Talty

“I still have yet to see my brand of beer around. Doing great guys, thanks and keep it up”

Capt. Nigel Thomas - Trained 2005

Well there I was - just getting over the stress of the lead up to and then the actual CPL flight test(s)! thinking that the high stress, and command decision making under pressure was all over, and just concentrating on getting on the road to pick up a trailer - pack up our belongings to head back home to Melbourne to recover over the Christmas break before hitting the road to go job hunting in the New Year....... but Oh no !! Phone rings in the car - and it's Capt. Becker - offer of a job of uncertain dimensions for an uncertain period of time, in an uncertain location, for an unnamed operator - which all sounded great - only catch was - have to be on a plane out of the Sunshine Coast this afternoon and need a decision in about 10-15 mins! Quick consultation with the lovely Suzanne - and putting aside the fact that somehow the house had to get packed, the trailer had to be loaded and the car & trailer driven back to Melbourne and unloaded - without my assistance, the response was - "honey - it's an opportunity & you have to take it" - much as I knew how hard it was for her to say it - she did & the die was cast.
Frantic afternoon - enlisting help from the ever ready, willing & able Shane, and resident terrorist Daniel T (offering to drive back to Melbourne with Suzanne) - all obstacles were overcome, and in the course of the afternoon - in discussion with our mystery employer Shane wound up on the plane to Sydney too !!! Arrive in Sydney - cab in the rain & dark to a hangar in Bankstown (belonging to Heli- Aust) we're met by a fellow recruit and directed through the vast hangar - past an S76, a Huey a couple of Jet Rangers and a Squirrel to our dingy quarters bolted on the side of the hangar !!
Up at dawn's crack - meet the boss - Jim Norrie who does a quick assessment of us & we learn that what we're here to do is sit in the left seat of Jet Rangers, scouring the New South Wales countryside for Australian Plague Locusts (about which we know bugger all). Fortunately it transpired that our first day would consist of a training session on the habits of the APL and how to spot the little buggers from a helicopter. We're duly bundled into a twin engine Barron & whisked up through the clouds to Orange for the training session with the Department of Primary Industries - who by the end of the day had left no stone unturned in turning us into experts in the field of spotting APLs. !! A hairy flight back - this time in a Part Navia (VFR) and dodging around the Blue
Mountains to avoid weather and we're all set for our missions. Allocated to pilots & aircraft - we're off. I have the dubious honour of being paired up with the Chief Pilot, so with maps - whizz wheel, rulers & protractors in hand -you never know when that little GPS is going to fail you ! - We jump into the Jetty & head off out through the Bankstown VFR route at 700'.
"Much safer at this height with all those bloody fixed'ies buzzin' about" snarls Jim - "not that I'm suggesting you should do the same" he says
in classic do what I say not what I do style! "So - you rated on turbines" he growls, and I respond in the negative and after a bit of a
discussion about my flying experience he seems to think that my hours in the '47 are a source of comfort, so he says "ah, these things are just like a big '47" come on the controls, head for Orange and I'll come off as we go" - so that was a great hour & a half of stick time on day 2 that I really wasn't expecting. After a few beers the following night - talking about Hueys, the old - "'s just a big '47" comment was repeated,
but I think I'll just wait to be convinced of that in the fullness of time! So we've been here for 10 days now and while not flying it has been a massive eye opener to see a real busy commercial operation up close. These guys are very experienced pilots (all three that I've flown with so far) and the company operates a wide range of helicopter types tasked on a variety of missions from fire fighting to long lining, aerial spotting to survey/exploration work, winching, photography, powerline surveying etc etc It's a great lesson in mucking in, getting on with people & being a good team player, and once you've established yourself in that mindset, the good advice and contacts "hey you should give this guy a call......" all start to come your way. It's certainly a job where you need to be flexible - last night I was in Young rural NSW expecting to get up & chase grasshoppers, but instead I woke up to find I need to dig out a bogged fuel truck, drive the ute 400 kms back to Bankstown and wait for a helicopter to arrive from Warnervale to take me up North to Gunnedah to crew for them in a flood relief operation - I've just grabbed a few minutes while waiting for my chariot to arrive to give you a bit of an update. It's just great to be able to maintain the momentum by getting straight into a job in the industry and even though its' not flying right now - the experience, exposure & contacts are the critical value - so I would strongly recommend anyone to pursue this type of entry into the industry and grab it with both hands...... I don't know where it's going to lead, but I'm having a great time finding out! Nigel Thomas – Flying in Victoria

Tunui Wano

Tourist pilot in WA after completing 12 months on Rookie program

“Jan and Mike are friendly people and they do their best to make you feel welcome. They have a wealth of experience in their instructors, and their training is very professional and of a high standard.”

Age 43 when he started was told he was to old by many people. Now he lives his dream every day. Good on you Tunui.

Ken Webeck - Wee Jasper, NSW

CPL(H) - Now Ag sprying

“Mike Becker’s diverse and varied experiences in the Helicopter world make him an ideal instructor. Combined with his energetic enthusiasm for passing on his flying skills, a student at any level could only benefit from time spent at Becker Helicopters at its current beautiful location”

Heke Whatarangi

“Good balance of professional training tempered with social activities”

Naor Ziv - Israel


“I was welcomed to the school by all and enjoyed mostly good weather, fine facility and friendly, although professional, attitude. From my limited experience, this school is one of the best I’ve seen or heard of”.


Many of our past students are happy for you to contact them by telephone or email. Please call Becker Helicopters and we will pass on their phone numbers or email addresses.